A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Monday, May 5, 2014

What is a Beach Body?

And now… a rant. (Bear with me, I haven’t had one in a while.)

As summer approaches I’m hearing the usual clamor from the weight loss/diet/fitness industry about getting our bodies “beach-worthy” for the warm weather that is approaching.  I really don’t like the term “beach body” as it applies to fitness.  It implies that only bodies which are a certain size and shape (due to the strict discipline of their owners or THIS amazing diet product!) are worthy of the fun and relaxing activities, and small clothing volumes, that beaches provide.

To me a beach body is, quite simply, a body of any size or shape which happens to currently be located on a beach.  You don’t have to earn fun in the sun by being muscular or cut or slender or by having huge boobs to fill out a bikini top, you just have to be there.  Period.

When I reach my goal weight I will still not have what American culture is talking about when it refers to a “beach body”.  I will carry scars which, unless surgically removed, are likely to stay with me for life.  There’s an adage that goes: having forgiveness does not mean you don’t have to live with the consequences of your mistakes.  Just so, my body may forgive me for taking it to almost 300 pounds by taking those pounds back off and eventually getting to a state of glowing good health, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have to live with the physical consequences of having once been that weight.  The scars will probably hang in soft, loose folds of flesh that will forever bar me from having a classic “beach-worthy body".  And just as I did when I was pounds upon pounds heavier, I will continue to put on a swimsuit and swim and go to the beach.  As always, if the sight of me is offensive to people they can feel free not to look.

Here's my beach body from a few year's ago (2008 - when I was probably at my heaviest), having fun with my friends while building a sand castle.  Nobody went blind from the sight of my large, pale thighs, and nobody stopped me at the gate and refused me entrance for not having the right kind of "beach body" for the beach I was on.  If I look cute, happy and playful in this picture, it's because I was.

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