For many months, I lost touch with the physical world while immersing myself in a virtual political one. To sustain that, I had too much coffee and too much beer; coupled with the fact I was no longer getting outside to move, I gained a lot of weight.
I’m not too concerned with my weight as an isolated factor. I see it as a symptom, not itself a problem. Happily, after almost four years of figuring out which foods hurt my body and which ones heal it, I know exactly how to tackle the root causes of my feeling-crappy-ness. Doing so, I’ll feel much, much better … and my weight will change as a result.
What had bugged me, then? My clothing! I got to the point where I had four skirts and zero pairs of pants that fit me. I didn’t want to invest a bunch of money in clothing I’d only wear once or twice, so I spent a month wearing my least favorite clothing before deciding I had to change something.
How, I wondered, could I spend only a few dollars to cover a transition period? The answer came to me by virtue of my work in software licensing.
For ages, most companies bought their own hardware to run their software. Maintaining hardware was expensive and time-consuming, so that cloud computing was pretty exciting: all the software benefits, none of the hardware costs!*
Using software in the cloud, someone else has to maintain the hardware. With that “someone else” investing in all that infrastructure, the client company can use a little or a lot of hardware capacity … without having to constantly worry about hardware itself.
In a word, cloud computing offers easy scalability.
I needed that, but in clothing–something that would easily scale up and down with its hardware (me).
You know what provides scalability? Maternity clothes!
I bought a few pairs of pants and a few pairs of shorts. For the first time in a month or so, I actually felt good in what I was wearing.
It cost me all of $40, and will keep me covered across many sizes.
So, hey! Here’s to scalability, and making small investments to feel a little better now!
* There are plenty of other costs, by the way. Just don’t expect techies to care too much while oohing and aahing over new technologies!
A row of skinny clothes hung in my mom’s closet through my childhood.
“I’ll wear this when I’m skinny again,” my mom would tell me as she perused potential skinny outfits at the store. “I’m sick of being fat.” She’d that last word as if she was reciting the name of a mortal nemesis from the comics she loved.
I didn’t understand.
Somehow, bewilderingly, she didn’t know it. As if her words weren’t enough, she had a closet full of unwearable clothing that told me so.
I didn’t hate my body when I moved to South Korea after graduating college. Read more…
I hated gaining weight at the beginning of this pregnancy. I’d gotten used to seeing my slimmer, small-sized-for-the-first-time-ever self in the mirror.
At some point, I decided it was a waste of my limited energy to spend much more time being dismayed by my appearance. I accepted the temporary added weight and tried enjoying this image of myself, too.
Sandra (Square One Notes) blogs to create a record for her young daughter. When I read her invitation to post a selfie in exchange for a chance to win a Starbucks gift card, I wasn’t as intrigued by the prospect of a gift card as by her rationale:
I encourage you to show yourself. I need to know it’s okay to live in a world where we like ourselves. I want my daughter to grow up with a sense of self worth and confidence so that others will hold her in the same regard. Help me show her it’s okay to be in our own corner.
A lot of life, time and energy are spent here in the U.S. hating our bodies and faces for what they are and wishing they would be something else. It’s such a waste, when these bodies are a gift. Ellen Page touched on this briefly in a beautiful eight-minute speech that should be watched for all its affirmation of life.
So I offer this image of me, now, in celebration–not rejection–of what is:
That’s me, folks, crooked glasses and all. This is also me, enjoying a lazy honeymoon: Read more…
The Bible’s Deborah was strong and wise. As a little girl, I was proud to share her name.
I grew up wanting to be powerful like her, capable of complex judgments no matter how unpopular. I wanted to be strong, not skinny. I wanted to be so solid inside and out that it would take a simultaneous tornado and earthquake to move me.
I don’t need to tell my fiancee, Anthony, these things for him to know them, or to understand the grief on my face when he caught me staring at my reflection earlier this year. I had lost roughly a dozen pounds in a month due to dietary changes meant to make me healthier. “I’m wasting away,” I murmured, uncomfortable with my face’s increasing angularity.
Anthony reached for my hand and squeezed it. “Don’t worry, sweetheart. You’re still substantial.”
“Substantial,” I echoed. I liked the sound of it.
That’s what I wanted to be: substantial. And maybe, just maybe, there was more to being substantial than my weight.
In some ways, it was easier to lose hair than weight
In the months since that exchange, I’ve thought about it a lot as I’ve shuffled size 16 then size 14 then size 12 then size 10 clothing off of my shelves. I’ve alternately enjoyed the sight of myself in cute clothing I could never have worn before and combated agitation at looking so unlike the solid, strong
girlwoman I became accustomed to seeing in the mirror. Read more…