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The Sunday Post: Body Image (Plus, Dry July Continues)

Well, folks, I’m sorry to report that the dry spell is not over.

Earlier this week I received another beautiful bouquet of flowers from S with a card letting me know he was also counting the days. He did return a couple of days ago, but he brought something home with him and it wasn’t just a souvenir. He caught that nasty little bug that’s been going around the last couple of years. Our reunion is going to have to wait a little longer.

Yesterday I dropped off a little care package for him. It was a random assortment of things because he keeps telling me he doesn’t need anything. I made a batch of brownies, threw in a book I’d just ordered, a plant to replace the one that died while he was gone, and a yogurt parfait and breakfast bars. Very random. And oh yeah, a lottery scratcher in case his luck changed. He said he’s feeling better today and is trying to be a little active by doing laps in his condo. 😅 Fingers crossed that Saturday we’ll finally be able to see each other in person.

My landlord (and future son-in-law) doing his thing.

In the meantime, life goes on here in my nest. For about 24 hours I was without hot water because my hot water heater developed a serious leak. But I have a wonderful landlord who was on it right away and installed a new one himself with a little help from a friend.

Yesterday I spent most of the day cleaning. I dusted, vacuumed, rearranged stuff, and washed the curtains and afghans. I also went to the library, and the grocery store, and dropped off recycling. Not having any plans or company is certainly making my nest cleaner and more organized.

Today I had to go to the mall to order new lenses, I have a new prescription and wanted to see if Lenscrafters could just order me new lenses without having to get new frames. But that’s not what I wanted to write about regarding my trip to the mall. I’m not a mall shopper. I only go when necessary, like to get new glasses. But when I do go, I don’t like looking like a slob. Am I the only that dresses up to go shopping? Maybe it’s mostly because I don’t leave the house much these days, but I felt like I needed to put makeup on and wear something that wasn’t athletic wear or yoga pants.

I had a new tank dress that I hadn’t worn yet so I put that on and I liked the way it fit other than around my stomach. It looked like I have a belly. Which I do, of course. But for some reason, I thought I should put on some shapewear and suck that belly in. So I did. I felt much better when I looked in the mirror, but it wasn’t exactly as comfortable. That’s the price we pay though, right? I was almost out the door when I thought to myself: What is the point? Who am I doing this for? Who is going to pay any attention? So my stomach is not flat, who cares?

I know all this intellectually. I am all about body positivity and feeling good in my skin. I know I don’t have to be skinny to be healthy. And yet… Growing up in a Latin household, our physical appearance was always subject to critique and “helpful” observations from family members. Even now when I go home I want to look my best because I would rather hear that I’m too “flaca” than be asked if I’ve gained weight.

But today I ignored the voices of my tías and went to the mall with my non-flat stomach and got in and out of there as quickly as I could. And of course, no one paid the least bit of attention. No one cared (at least no one stared or pointed at me). Does this mean that when I put on my dress for my daughterś wedding in a few months I won’t put the shapewear back on? Oh, I’m for sure wearing it then unless I lose a few pounds before then. I may not care what the people at the mall think, but a family wedding? That’s a whole different story.

PS: I wanted to share a full-length photo of myself in this dress to show that I don’t care how my stomach looks. I took the photo. I took a few. But I didn’t like any of them. Guess I’m not quite ready to share evidence of my “imperfect” body with you just yet. I’ll keep working on it.

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