Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bring It...

"Two piece or one piece?"

"Are you going to need to pee at any time during the day?" asks Rissa.

The thought of having to visit a public washroom while attempting to drag down a wet, clingy (to the point of achieving adhesion to my body), one-piece swimsuit, makes me shudder.

"Point taken.  Two piece it is.  I'll wear a cover up."

I wiggle my ass into the - surprisingly-tighter-this-year - crotch of the bottoms.  Once a year swimming offers new corporeal discoveries.  This spring/summer I discovered that my inner thighs had suddenly, expansively.... developed.

I do up the swim top, sqwoosh my breasts into the appropriate cups and then get them somewhat level; my bodacious bits pushed nearly up to my chin, near-to-choking off my air supply.  I turn my back to the mirror to sneak a peek at my rear view...

"Is that my back?!?"  HOLY CRAP!"  I slam it against the wall to hide  from my own gaze and the world at large.

My back now has the articulated appearance of a caterpillar, all rolls and bulges, from where the supporting back band has tightened - enhancing my extra back and armpit boobs.  On a caterpillar, these bulges can be sexy as hell, but in my twisted female eye?  I resemble a swamp troll.

Quelling the immediate urge to weep, I instead repeat my new mantra, "No problems, only solutions."  I grab my multi-coloured, Pucci-esque, cover up and drag it over my person.  "HAH!"  I place one hand on my hip with insouciance, and flash a smile in the mirror.  "Take that, back boobs!"

Welcome to Peri-menopause - your second adolescence.  Strange that we're not as excited about those developments later in life.    We are SO excited about getting those boobs when we hit puberty - we compare cup size, band size - try out different bras - feel all feminine and grown-up.  Why is it that when our 36 Ds morph into 38 DDDs, we aren't all doing a happy dance in the change room of the bra boutique, giving high-fives to the woman who just measured and then manhandled our breasts into the appropriately-sized bra?

"38 DDD!  YEAH!  WHOO-FREAKING-HOO!"  The confetti cannon will then explode with glitter and streamers.

"What do you plan to do with your new breasts, Heather?" the colour commentator will ask.

"Well Sandy, I'm taking them to DISNEYLAND!!!!"

"And your new inner thighs?"

"I'm going old-school Sandy.  I'm bringing back the 'bloomer.'  Let me show you here what I've done.  These used to be a pair of seersucker pajama pants... I've cut them off to mid thigh, you can choose to hem or not, because no one will see them.  I wear these under all my summer skirts and dresses, entirely eliminating inner thigh friction.  I've brought an extra pair for you to try, go ahead and put them on to see how they really work!"

"Wow, Heather, these are amazing!  I have ZERO thigh friction!"

"That's right Sandy.  And if you buy now, folks, you'll get two free pairs of bloomers along with your initial purchase!  Plus I'll throw in a shirt that actually fits you - no muumuus, no XL t-shirts, and NO club wear.

Peri-menopause is a shocker. Our bodies change - in spite of our best intentions.   I exercise every day.  I try to eat healthfully.  I'm doing squats and and lunges and planks and triceps lifts.  And you know what?  I still have extra boobs and newly voluptuous inner thighs.   Am I thrilled about them?  No.  But I'm 46 years old, folks.   Given how long the women live in my family, I probably have at least another 46 years left on this planet.  The thought of complaining about my physical appearance for all that time?  It's exhausting.

So I'm going to do the best that I can.  I'm going to continue to exercise and eat well and I'm going to wear clothes that actually fit me - not the 24 year old version of myself that media outlets tell me I should cling to.  And the next time my husband and daughter say "You look so beautiful!" I'm going to listen to them.  I'm going to accept their compliments graciously, without a grimace.  I'm going to fight back the judgy-judger inside my head, square my shoulders and say "Bring It!"

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