Soft in the middle

I have battled with my weight for a really large part of my life. I was thin then I was chubby then I was overweight then I was skinny again then I was overweight then I was average now I’m overweight again. And this is the cycle that just keeps on giving. And I just have one question…why?

Not why am I overweight right now, but why am I so caught up in having a hard body, a thin body, a fit body, or any certain kind of body? And I’d love to say I have the answer to this question or that I’ve resolved the issues or that I’m totally OK with how my body is currently presenting. But I haven’t and I’m not although I’m trying. Currently I spin on the bike 2-3 times per week, get my 10,000 steps in a day and do hot power vinyasa yoga 3-4 times a week. I bring a healthy breakfast and lunch to work and I usually cook dinner for the family during the week instead of going out. By all accounts I should really be at my ideal weight. I mean I’m not talking rock hard abs or guns that impress or being a size zero. I’m talking just my normal, ideal weight. But I’m not. Instead I’m soft in the middle. Where I used to be able to look down and just see my toes, I now look down and see what probably looks like a 3 month maternity pillow around my waist. And for the life of me I can’t accept it nor can I change it so I’m just stuck in the middle. Literally. But I have been thinking a lot about it.

It is well known that when you’re in middle age it becomes extraordinarily hard to lose weight and keep it off. We all know this. Pants that used to fit are in the trash; form fitting tops are in the bottom of the draw; caftans are acceptable. These are truths universally known. But for some reason my brain still thinks that my 45 year old body is 25 and it can’t understand why it doesn’t look 25. It doesn’t understand why the body is so soft in the damn middle. Like the pillsbury dough boy. Or the icing in the oreo. Or the ice cream in the cake. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FOOD REFERENCES? Anyway, the body is all, dude, everything is slowing down here. Everything. The legs don’t move as fast, the metabolism is running backwards, and when I try to live up to your expectations I end up in physical therapy. But the brain continues its tirade against the body trying to make it look like the age the brain feels and that’s when the problems come in. Torn hamstring, pulled hip flexor, herniated disc with sciatica. Benched.

So here’s my new theory. What if we are supposed to be softer as we age? What if in the softness our true selves can really shine? What if instead of soft being weak or ugly or wrong, soft is beautiful and welcoming and open to new possibilities. What if soft is the new strong? I mean really, I like soft things. Soft puppy dogs, soft blankets, soft sheets, soft hair, soft pillows, soft clothing. Soft is good. What if I was able to embrace the soft and allow all those around me to embrace my soft parts. I mean don’t walk around touching me in my soft parts, no really don’t, but what if softening is a part of life that we actually need to go through and learn. Well, if that’s the case, I am acing this lesson because I am S. O. F. T. soft. I mean maybe I’m just making this all up to feel better about where I am with myself these days and to put an end to the struggle. And if I am? It sure feels better to be soft and accept the soft then to fight every damn day for the other. To anyone in the middle of their years, or in any year of their life who is struggling with being soft in the middle, I’m right there with you. My softness sees and recognizes and loves your softness. Namaste soft people.

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