I know I talk a big talk and I try to walk the same... but like everyone else I am susceptible to insecurities and a turbulent relationship with my body. Just like everyone else there are days when I have too many chins, my arms too flabby and my butt too big.
This afternoon, when I got onto the bus headed home, I had a "butt too big" moment. All of the seats were full and I stood in the aisle facing sideways. As I turned sideways I bumped a woman's shoulder with my butt. Forgetting that the aisles are small and forgetting that the woman herself was not petite - my mind automatically jumped too how much weight I had gained over the winter, how if I stepped forward my big belly would be in someone else's personal space and just how "large" I was feeling.
After a few stops I enough people had gotten off the bus that I could move to the back and take a seat. As I approached the two-person seat I looked the gentleman up-and-down, that I would be sharing a seat with and analyzed how well the two of us would fit side-by-side. I worried I would take up too much space, that I would either have to perch on the edge of the seat or squeeeeze myself in.
I politely asked the gentleman if I could sit next to him. I then perched on the edge - feeling out how well my hips might fit...and eased myself backwards. To my surprise...delight...amazement.... I fit just fine. It was not a tight fit. I didn't shove him out of his seat. We sat side-by-side, comfortably (or at least as comfortable as a city bus seat can be) for a hundred blocks.
I realized I wasn't as big as I was feeling moments ago.
I am not as big as I sometimes think I am.
I started remembering articles and reports I'd read - about how women are trained and programmed to take up less space. We sit with our legs crossed, our arms crossed, we sit as far over to one side as we can. Trying to shrink away, to take up less space than perhaps our male counterparts. This doesn't matter if we're a size 2 or a size 22.
we I will stop worrying if I will "fit" and start accepting my body for the size and shape it is...It takes time. It takes effort.
And I'm starting this evening by loving me.