...I think I started this off on the wrong foot?
My poor blog-puppy...Aw, now I feel terrible
Horribly depressing analogy aside, it is true. I can't even blame it on my job because even though that does suck up most of my time and energy, I still manage to come home almost every night to practice pole dancing for 1-2 hours. My pole obsession is growing into a monstrous beast. A sexy beast, but a beast nonetheless. My life is currently nothing but work, dance, and sleep. I think my friends have forgotten I ever came back into town. I end up doing stupid things like forgetting my lunch for work in the morning because I spend too much time watching pole tutorial videos. I am starting to get fantasies of being able to dance all the time, maybe even as a career. Then again, the only solid line of work that includes a lot of pole dancing also includes touching gross old men while half naked. My dislike of such a thing outweighs for desire to dance all the time. This is in theory of course, I have never actually tested out how much I like touching gross old men, but I have a feeling I would not enjoy it, based on how uncomfortable hugging even some of my best friends makes me. So you know, I have to be all obsessed with it as a recreational thing, which makes it difficult to fit it into my schedule.
I can't say that I love pole because of the ghastly bruises it gives me or the painful way my thighs have to grip the pole or how intensely exhausting it is. I would have to say I like it because of the way it makes me feel. I know I have talked about this in the past, and I don't want to bore you to tears with sappy mush about feeling good about yourself and your body and being happy and blah blah blah. But for real guys. I have been working out fairly regularly since I began this blog in January, and that has made me feel good about myself, not just because I can dangle my superiority over everyone's head passively aggressively through a blog, but also because it's, y'know, exercise, and it feels good for my body.
This is on a whole other level though. And isn't just because pole dancing is supposedly sexy and that makes me feel more comfortable with guys. Believe it or not, being a pole dancer does not actually make men easier to talk to. If anything, it makes it almost more uncomfortable, because once they find out about it--which for me is almost right away because my brain never shuts up about tricks, spins, combos, pole idols...and yea. As you can see it is difficult for me to keep it from spilling out of my brain-- you suddenly get self conscious that they are picturing you dancing without any clothes on instead of listening to your riveting trivia about the Legend of Zelda. Guys probably do that already, but it only makes me more conscious of it.
No, it isn't the idea that someone would pay to see me do what I do and then get off on it. It's more just about...body image.
I woke up the other morning and spent a good 5 minutes checking myself out in the mirror. All I could think was "damn." I didn't even have to suck it in or find my best angles or pretend my cellulite didn't exist. I didn't even care. All my pants have been very loose lately and I've literally had to tighten my belt more and more frequently. I was trying to keep myself grounded and told myself it's because all my pants are wearing out since I only have about five pairs anyway and haven't legitimately shopped for pants in about four years. But recently I put on a few pairs that I barely ever wear because of how tight they feel (and how my thighs like to explode out of shorts whenever I sit down) and lo and behold, they were loose as well. My thighs, in fact, did not explode out of my shorts when I sat down! It was a miracle. A
Also, there is nothing like seeing someone you haven't seen in awhile and having them tell you how fit you look. Yes, stroke my ego. It shall purr like a little helpless kitten in your arms.
I haven't lost all that much weight. At least, I don't think so. I don't have a scale because I am cheap and all artsy so numbers make me feel crazy. But whenever I find myself in a bathroom that has one, I discretely jump on and consistently find that nothing has changed all that much. Maybe a couple pounds here and there, and maybe I've gained some muscle along the way. But still. I am pretty sure I look not all that different than I used to. It's still the same me. It's still the same body. So why do I feel so awesome about myself that it kind of makes me want to slap myself in the face with how obnoxious I have been acting?
There was once upon a time I really, really hated my body. I was disgusted by it, in the typical tortured teenage fashion. "Tortured" being a relative term here, of course. I am little more than an over-privileged white girl, after all. It all started around the time I hit puberty. Big surprise. When I hit the about the age of 13 or 14, instead of my chest magically inflating like the water balloons me and my friends used to stuff in our shirts as preteens, my hips, butt, and thighs did instead. And not in a smooth, attractive way. There had been no water balloon prep for what began happening to me. I flew through pant sizes in a whirlwind, meanwhile my chest remained exactly the same as it had always been. If you think that is an exaggeration, it is not. I can still wear the same shirts I wore as an eight year old. Sometimes I even do it out in public. That is just how unnoticeable the difference is.
During this time of lower-body inflation, most of the girls around me had not quite hit that point. They all still seemed to be beanpoles. I just didn't understand what my body was doing. I didn't know quite what to do with it. I didn't know how to dress or style my hair. Boys called me ugly. To my face. It all just... snuck up on me. It was like when you are supposed to be watching a kid and you turn your back for a second. The next thing you know you turn around and he is hanging by an electrical cord in the ceiling by his foot and covered in blue paint and glitter. And you have no idea where the blue paint came from. That is what my body did to me. It was a struggle and I am sure I am not the only one who went through this as a teenager.
I did get through it, however. With the validation of one very nice boyfriend and finally seeing some other girls gain weight in the oh-so-womanly places (other than their chests) by the end of high school, I had finally come to accept my body. Which was good. But that was it really. Just acceptance. More like, indifference. I didn't hate myself, but I didn't love myself either. It hasn't been up until just recently that I have finally understood how to go beyond acceptance and what it is like to love my body and how I look. There is a huge difference between the two that I feel a lot of people don't acknowledge.
Think about it. If you were going to get married, you would be about to devote your whole life to someone; you would have to be faithful; you would have to spend the rest of your days with them. Well, let's hope anyway. So say that were about to happen. First of all, you may be completely insane and I am warning you it is probably a bad idea. Don't make me say I told you so. But second of all, would you really want to be with someone you simply just "accept?" Unless you are over the age of 40 and have come to accept the secret truth of the bullshit of relationships that we younger folk aren't yet privy too, you probably don't. You probably want to marry someone you love. So why is your body any different? You are going to spend the next lifetime with your body. For heavens sake, you can't even divorce your body and squeeze it for every last penny it is worth out of spite. You are stuck with your it. This isn't a sci-fi movie people, you get what you get. So you may as well rekindle that flame and put the romance back in your relationship with your body. Take it out for a nice picnic with wine and caviar, play it a sweet love song on the guitar beneath it's bedroom window, buy it roses, or do some other bullshit move that is supposed to be a symbol of love or whatever. If it were me, I would take my body out on a romantic getaway. To the great city of San Diego. For comic-con. To show it the wonders of the world, of course! Yes. Ahem. Like any worthwhile relationship, there will be rough patches, but you have to work through them. Because loving your body feels good, and with enough love it can love you back.
I am not saying it is easy. Loving what you've got can be tough, because nothing is ever perfect. I'd love to be able to see my abs or get rid of my crotch biscuits*. There are always going to be days when you want to hid in a hole and eat your body weight in ice cream. However, I know I have worked bloody hard for what I have, even if it isn't the penultimate of bodies. I am conscious about what I put into my body and how I treat it. If this is the best it gets, then so be it, because I know I am working my hardest, and honestly, that satisfies my needs. No one can tell me I am not trying. And if they do they are a bitch so their opinion doesn't count. In the end, no matter how much work you do or don't do, people are always going to look at your through their own eyes and have their own opinions. If you are as bad at persuading other people as I am, these opinions probably will not change. You can't do anything about it. So you may as well ditch the anxiety and become a narcissist, because it is much more fun. Feeling important is great! You ARE the most important person there is, and no one can tell you what to do. I don't care if Obama came up to me and told me I was looking a little porky. I would say, "Eff that bullshit Obama! I love my crotch biscuits and they love me. We are going to run away and elope and have a beautiful life by the seaside, and there is nothing you can do about it!" and then I would turn on my heels and walk away muttering under my breath about how I will show him a slice of real healthcare.
Don't let the haters get to you
I love this newfound feeling. I mean, I don't have a boyfriend (as if I can't mention that enough times), so this kind of makes up for it, right? I can just spoon my own beautiful body at night! In all seriousness though, it is nice. I can wear shorts without feeling infinite shame. I love being able to show off my shoulders. Heck, during vacation I pretty much pranced around in little more than a bikini all week and didn't even think twice. There was a time where I would try to cover up my bathing suit with every scrap of clothing I could to the point where I looked more prepared for ice climbing than I did swimming. But now? I find any excuse to shed the layers, baby! Because clothes suck and it is hot out these days and I don't care what anyone thinks. I like this newfound freedom. It tastes so, so sweet.
So that is my little spiel, I suppose, about body image. I apologize if it makes you want to bash your head against the wall. But I promise you--and I don't want to be obnoxious and repetitive like every tween magazine out there, so excuse me--it really is about your choices, and you CAN do it. Just remember, you are the most--nay, the ONLY important person there is. So you can do whatever you want. And if you are already totally in love with yourself and have a great body image, then great! Welcome to the club! There is a $50 membership fee, so just wire that to my paypal account, and you will be all squared away to become totally superior to everyone else. We have meetings every third wednesday of the month where we meet to drink non-fat vanilla lattes, eat pretentious healthy snacks, and bitch about how no one is good enough for us until we eventually break down sobbing because of our crippling loneliness. It's super fun, you should definitely come!
*the wobbly bits in between my upper thighs...term coined by Tina Fey