Life of a Mesomorph Trying to Be Skinny

What happens at age 51 when I take skinny out of my life equation?

What are the consequences of challenging my ancient belief system that skinny is better, more lovable, and healthier?

Well I will give you one example of a life living in Boulder Colorado (one the thinnest cities in America).  Some would say I’m a very lucky person to have a privileged life.  Yet, it was one filled with silent suffering, years of self-criticism, and never looking or being exactly what I wanted.

Today while out jogging on the mountain trails, I ran into a wise, hard working, and very intelligent woman.  She said, “I’m lost,” “Awesome,” I responded, and she started to cry.   “Lost to be found,” I said.

What a hard thing “being lost” is for all of us.  Reminiscent of a pain so intense, like a break up after a long relationship, or watching everything that defines you as a person fall apart and drift away.  Lost.

One thing though, she was WAY skinny. Folks are constantly asking her, “what are you doing, you look so good.”  These words aren’t meant to insult but when you are struggling with your body image (trying to reach the unattainable perfection) these words can cut you like a knife.

Last summer my partner Lindsey was dying inside, years of holding in old shameful traumas and patterns. Folks stopped me in Boulder and Lindsey while she was out strolling, and said what are you doing Lindsey you look so good.  Dying we both answered in our own, What THE FUCK WAY.

So I ask myself what would my life look like if I took skinny out of the equation? It is an experiment I have been working on for the past two years:

  • Bikram and Core power yoga:  Out, no need to be in the unnatural heat
  • Hatha and Anusara yoga: In
  • Wild and crazy fitness clubs:  Out
  • Natural surroundings: In

What workouts to do?  Allow my body and spirit and inner child to lead the way as I continue to learn how to LISTEN.  The key for me is listening beyond the reprimands of my demanding conditioned “you must do” mind.  This I have learned, it has not gone away, and I am not counting on it to go away.  More bird watching, more walking to work, and using walking and alternative transportation—instead of being so tired from my workouts and feeling overwhelmed from the fitness club mania.

My hope is that more of us will join this “un” doing way, where movement is a joy and a time to relax and fill up our being-ness beyond the rat race of doing and becoming more of a hard body. Wow when I say that, “hard body,” I feel a bit of grief, yet such relief in giving up the unattainable fight and now I feel free…

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5 Responses to Life of a Mesomorph Trying to Be Skinny

  1. sue Wallingford says:

    I’ll join you in the “un”doing way. I can’t really call myself skinny or a hard body…haven’t had that in a long time. I like the idea of just being ok with the curves, and i really like bird watching.

    Thanks Diane for a beautiful post…..

  2. molly marinaccio says:

    diane~ i STILL “battle” this….and i am almost 59..too flabby, too wiggly/jiggly…never enough….i am so tired…..when does self acceptance come??? when will i ever be enough to myself?

  3. Diane, I love “wild and crazy fitness clubs: out” and “more bird watching”
    Today I’ve been working on my next blog and wrote about the “substantial body” of the Chinese goddess of compassion, Guanyin.
    Everyone Guanyin statue I encountered in Taiwan shouted strong, grounded and present. Her eyes always lowered in contemplation, her body substantial and seamlessly connected to the earth.
    She’s no lightweight. She has nothing to prove. She loves without prejudice, others and herself. She’s a buddha. That’s what I’m aiming for.

  4. diane Israel says:

    Love this thank you Deborah for putting all this in this global context. Your so terrific and worldly. I hope we get to work together on our visions. Love Diane

  5. Zoe O'Verly says:

    At 52, I have realized that there is…

    No more need to run endless miles, unless of course I am being chased.

    No more need to swim endless laps – It is ok to get into the pool, and float.

    No more need to step onto the bathroom scale every ten minutes.

    It is ok to go without makeup.

    It is ok to enjoy a cookie or two.

    Booze is out.

    Gentle yoga is in.

    My curves are wonderful, and my wrinkles are beautiful.

    Finally, life is what we make of it, and we only get one shot at it. So, enjoy the journey my friend.


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