Monday, February 21, 2011

So, A Muffin Top And A Little Arm Walk Into A Bar...

Last year was a pretty successful year for Jeremy and his friends in the professional gambling world. Even with some less than stellar football weekends (NFL is incredibly unpredictable), they managed to come out of 2010 with a healthy bankroll, ready to take on 2011 with the same amount of tenacity that they approached 2010 with. 

With football being over and March Madness being a few weeks away, they decided to celebrate their successes with a month long trip to Hawaii, specifically on the north shore of Kauai Island. When Jeremy and I were dating, I was pretty jealous of this trip as it was to be a "boy's month" and I wasn't planning on getting to share in any of the fun. We had entertained the idea of me flying out for a week or so, but Jeremy was pretty sure his buddies wanted to keep it sans girlfriends and wives. 

Ladies, if your husband or boyfriend presented you with this idea, how would you feel? 


As a result, I received a very excited phone call from Jeremy a little over a week ago that his friend who had rented the beach houses was tired of fighting off the angry women and decided to open up the trip to everyone. Jeremy told me that he wanted to make this a trip for all of his closest friends to remember and wanted me to be a part of it. He was flying his new girlfriend out from St. Louis and wanted to fly me and Steven out as well. He also invited another friend of his from Las Vegas and her boyfriend. He wanted this to be a trip for the books! 

So, with a little coordinating of schedules and some details to be worked out with a few of his classes, Steven and I booked our flight and are heading to Hawaii in just over two weeks. 

Hell Yeah!!

The other girl coming on the trip is Jeremy's friend, Stacy. In some excited girlie text messages back and forth about how much fun we were going to have, she included a text that said "Sweet! So excited! Now I just have to figure out how to lose 30 lbs in 3 weeks :)" 


I had immediately started thinking the same thing. I don't usually start working on my "bikini body" until April or May… but now I have to squeeze into one in two weeks - yikes! 

As I've mentioned before, while I wouldn't consider myself to be an insecure person, I do have some self confidence issues when it comes to my body image. The skinnier I am, the better I feel about myself. The problem is, I love to eat, I love to drink and sometimes, I like to get crazy and make ice cream shakes for breakfast. This makes the perfect waist a bit of a challenge. 

Additionally, I'm in the process of putting on what I refer to as the "New Relationship Ten" - the weight that seems to come on rather quickly when instead of getting up and kicking ass in the gym for two hours every day, I lay in bed a little longer in the arms of my adorable and cozy boyfriend. And instead of sitting at home at night eating a tofu and spinach salad, I'd much rather be out with him and our friends drinking a couple Guinnesses and indulging in some chicken wings. And instead of waking up and eating yogurt and a banana, I want to show off my cooking skills by making a deliciously plump breakfast burrito. 

Fat and happy is a coined term for a reason. 

Obviously, there is a happy medium to all of this and I know that I'll settle into it. Not to mention, Steven is constantly telling me how much he loves my body and when he says it, I actually believe him. I hate being "that girl" that is always complaining about how fat she is or how that piece of pie is going to go right to her hips. But I also have a fear of becoming overweight and having to struggle again with taking the weight off. Not to mention, I like those size 4 jeans. Those jeans make me feel sexy. 

And then something happened yesterday that really made me think and sort of put me in my place. 

Steven and I were in the car last night, driving to pick up a pizza for dinner. I wanted that pizza. That pizza sounded delicious. But, thinking about Hawaii again, I couldn't help but feel bad and mentioning out loud how I should probably eat something healthier for dinner. As always, Steven assured me that I looked beautiful and not to worry so much about my body. I told him that I have always had body image issues and that it was something I was working on, but was very difficult for me to overcome. 

Steven turned to me then and in his sweet and completely unpatronizing way, he said "you don't have to tell me about being self conscious about body image." 

Steven was born with a birth defect called Radial Club Arm. His left arm is significantly shorter than his right and he was born without a thumb and wrist bone. Two weeks after he was born, he had his first of six major surgeries to reconstruct his arm to increase it's functionality. His most recent major surgery was approximately 18 years ago however he has had over 100 reconstructive appointments in his life. It is likely that he will have to undergo one more major surgery in order to permanently set his arm. 

In order to maximize it's productivity, he basically had his forearm completely rebuilt with metal rods after the initial turning of the arm that was done as a baby so his hand was facing the proper way. In December of 1985 when he was about six months old, his doctors performed an incredible surgery where they took his middle finger and created a thumb out of it, giving him the ability to grab and hold things which, as you can imagine, completely changed how he could live his life. With this ability, he would be able to do pretty much everything that someone with two normal sized arms could do. 

However, even being able to do almost everything "normally", he wasn't treated as normal. As you can imagine, kids were cruel. Even today, I've seen grown adults ask him questions out of ignorance like "geez, can you even lift anything with that arm?" He had to learn at a very young age whether or not he was going to let his defect define who he was or simply make it a part of his already wonderful personality. And very, very lucky for him, he comes from an amazing and supportive family who refused to let him ever think he was anything but absolutely perfect. 

So, while he has had his fair share of moments alone in his room with tears of shame and burden, he battled through his differences and ended up becoming a theatre major at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing Arts and is currently going to school with a major in Nursing and a minor in Communications. He also does the most outrageous and hilarious karaoke version of My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion that I have ever seen. He lights up a room when he walks in and people who know him the best can't find anything negative to say about his character. 

And I'm worried about ten extra pounds? 

Perspective is quite an amazing thing… and there is nothing more rewarding for me than to be put in check when I start to get all wrapped up in my head. 

One of my resolutions this year was to overcome my issues with my body image. When I wrote the resolution, I wasn't really sure how I was going to accomplish this, short of telling myself every day how beautiful I am and keeping the negative thoughts about myself to a minimum. But seeing as this has been something I've been struggling with as long as I can remember, I really didn't know what my next step would be. 

But then, that's the brilliant thing about Universal Law and the Law of Attraction. Intention is all we really need - I knew I was ready to be done with my self image conversation but didn't know what it would look like to get rid of it. And then I was given Steven, who overcame obstacles that I can't even begin to imagine and is one of the most beautiful people I've ever met. 

Now, I'm excited to go to Hawaii, lay on the beach with my handsome and lovable boyfriend and discuss which is sexier: my muffin top or his beer belly.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, you're a very good writer... I enjoyed this post.