A year after a serious fracture I am still not able to exercise as I would like. The end result? Fifteen pounds overweight and a totally different perception of my own body. Clothes that used to fit me perfectly now hang in my closet unworn as I struggle to find my new self-image in a mirror that tells me over and over again that there are too many lumps and bumps visible, especially in light coloured clothing.
The answer, I thought, might lie in something Oprah apparently swears by; a pair of Spanx.
The saleslady at the store where I bought a pair a few days ago, was not terribly helpful. She showed me her limited collection and then, looking me up and down, said: "What are you, a Large?" I would hardly have needed reinforced underwear had I been a Small....
I admit fully that I bought my Spanx with great misgivings, not knowing what else to do given that we are about to head south to our winter home where linens and cottons are the cool but unforgiving fabrics of choice. I ignored that little voice inside my head that was saying....are you nuts?...
Instead, I paid a hefty $50 and took my secret purchase home, momentary lulled into thinking that I would now feel better about myself.
Once home, I removed the Spanx from the package in the privacy of my bathroom. I hoisted one leg into the flesh-coloured leg opening, then the other. I tried valiantly to pull the Spanx up towards my waist but nothing moved. The fit around the thighs was so tight, the scene reminded me of an episode of "Friends", the one where Ross gets stuck in a pair of leather pants. I started to laugh at the memory and then at myself, as I continued to try to bring the Spanx up from my thighs to my waist. It took me several minutes and required incredible force!
I eventually got things where they needed to be but by then I was so hot and uncomfortable, and the look of these skin-coloured panels holding me in around the middle while above and below, my flesh was being squeezed out, made me aware of how ridiculous I was behaving towards myself and gave me new insight into how far we women will go to try to look perfect.
So I had a bit of a talk with myself. I reminded myself that I am now of a certain age and that I am lucky that my fracture has healed so well. In any case, this look would require getting undressed in the dark, since it would have scared my poor hubby to see me in this type of sausage casing. Furthermore, I could honestly say that I was not willing to spend even five more minutes feeling this uncomfortable. With all due respect to women who enjoy their Spanx, this product is clearly not for me.
I ripped those Spanx off my body, enjoying the rush of feeling free once more. Yes, I am still lumpy and bumpy but at least I can breathe! And if truth be told, I was a little bit ashamed of having bought into the whole idea that you can cheat your way to a smoother figure. From now on, people will have to accept me for who I am, not for the way I look. And that includes me.