I don’t like my body very much these days. Am I allowed to say that? Am I allowed to be skinny and feel ungainly? I don’t know. Everytime I have tried to complain about this body, I am shut down – my well meaning friends and family gather their bodies, pinch flesh, grab bellies, and then they say to me – you have nothing to complain about. So I keep quiet, and stop talking about the fact that sometimes, I feel fat.

Ironic I know. I’m a size 2 abi 4 abi 6 – I don’t even know what size I am anymore. I think that’s the problem, I don’t know this body anymore. The body I used to have was tiny and lithe and responded eagerly to my most basic attempts at exercise. I got carefree with that body, got used to that body.

These days the body is not so sensitive, it’s a lot more deliberate, a lot less obedient. So I have folds where no folds used to be and to be honest I have no idea what to do about it. This new me. This thicker me.

This me with an accordion like tummy and jiggly thighs. I don’t like my jiggly thighs.

Can I tell you another secret? I’m scared of exercising. Because, what if, just what if, I start working out…and nothing happens? Does that mean I have to live with this body for the rest of my life?

Today I met a designer with a tight lean body and a sense of fashion that celebrates that body – she looked at me and said “Great! You’re skinny, you can wear my smaller clothes” She grabbed my middle and I wanted to shrink – I wanted to say “I’m not skinny, I am a fraud. I have fat under my skin and I am much thicker than I look” I didn’t though, I came back home and looked at my chubby-ish belly and I growled at it – this body part that is falling out of line. Grrrrr.

Please don’t laugh at me when you read this. Please don’t tell me how minor my issues are. They are MY issues. I’m allowed to have them. And like my dreams, they are perfectly valid.

I’m doing something about it though, I’m starting workouts and working myself into making fitness a part of my life. Its not my diet – I like vegetables, sugar makes me nauseous, as does grease. I love salads, raw food makes me happy. It’s just my body, changing, telling me time is passing.

Maybe I panic because it feels like a metaphor of my life – I am growing older, time is passing, I don’t have the same chances I used to have.

Flip that coin and look on the bright side – I might not have the same chances, but I have new chances now, like I have a new body. It’s time to stop looking at the body I used to have, time to stop growling at the mirror. It’s time to build the body…and life, that I have. Work on it, fine tune it, sweat over it, till this new one becomes the best one.

I saw this beautiful picture of Beverly Osu, in her underwear, and an afro. I like it. I’ll make it my inspiration, not to look like her, but to look like my best me. Just like I need to take a picture of the life I want, and work on it, to live the best life…for me. I want to be able to stand and look at my body, and my life…and love them just the way they are. Look at them and smile in the mirror. And when another person comes up to me and says “You’re perfect for what I need”, I can say “You bet I am, I worked damn hard to make sure of it”

That’s the plan.