Yeah, the legs look good, at a glance!
These are the legs that I have pretty much covered up for 30 years. Covered up, meaning always wearing long pants or tights. There are many reasons why I didn’t think my legs were worthy of being seen.
Looking back, I can see where I may have started hating on myself. You know, more moments of looking at what’s wrong as opposed to seeing what’s right!
About 25 years ago, I had a friend who was in her early 20’s, I was in my early 30’s. She was a character for sure, strong, assertive and sometimes matter of fact and crass.
Sunbathing at her Condo in Malibu, a woman walked by, she said, “oh my God, somebody cover that woman up, why is she walking around with all that fat wobbling and those purple veins everywhere!”
Not only was it mean spirited, it made me think about my legs and wonder if they were worthy of being seen. Perhaps that was the beginning of me scrutinizing my less than perfect legs, along with everybody else who began scrutinizing them!
I was a trainer at The Malibu Gym. The gym is a tough place to be. Everybody is checking out everybody else and the people working out are staring in the mirror at themselves and everybody else.
One of the more mature female trainers made it a point to tell me that I still needed to lose that little bit of fat just under my ass at the top of my hamstrings–she even grabbed the fat to be real clear!
Mind you, we weren’t close friends, she just wanted to put me in my place since I was a new trainer. Now, looking back after a lifetime profession of helping people get healthier, there has always been the pressure to look the part. Hence the scrutinizing.
I had been feeling fabulous. I had just completed a 10 day vegetable juice fast. Since I rarely wore shorts, I felt brave and confident enough to put them on and walk into the gym. That ass grabbing incident took care of that!
Right around the same stretch of time, I decided to take an aerobics class in Hollywood. Whenever I wasn’t going to my gym, I felt a little freer to wear shorts elsewhere since nobody knew me. A day free of scrutinizing!
Again, I was feeling great as I walked across a residential street toward the dance studio and I noticed a homeless man in the alley near the studio. Later, when I left the studio heading back toward my car, he said, “you’ve got to get that last little bit of fat off the back of your legs, then they’ll be perfect.”
Why were these people so bold about MY body!?! I’m hard enough on myself, I guess they were my mirror, showing me more of the same.
My legs are not perfect.
My legs are sun damaged and scarred from too many blistering sunburns and too many mountain bike crashes. They are full of discolored broken veins. They have brown spots and white spots and oh yeah, red and purple spots too.
And, as you’ve already discovered, they’ve got a good amount of fat as a layer, and of course that added fat up near my ass!
Oh my goodness, as much as my legs are not perfect, I have seen some perfect legs. Absolutely smooth, silky, flawless legs. It’s maddening when I see them because oh how I have wanted perfect legs. I salivate when I see them.
Perfection is not attainable, how did we get wired into being so physically focused? I have managed to stay out of the mainstream mentality of a lot of things but I have failed in this category.
I’m sure all of those perfect legs I’ve seen, those dear ones have their own struggles, their own focusing on what’s wrong but just in other areas. Even though it may appear so, no one is perfect. We all hide our imperfections in one way or another.
I now embrace my imperfections, it is so much easier and feels a lot better than striving for perfection. I’m not gonna lie, it takes time.
In the past, I learned to pick myself apart and tear myself down pretty good. Always looking at what’s wrong, what’s unacceptable, unlovable.
And with all of that, I’ve been covering them up for a good 30 years. Disliking them, keeping them hidden. Now that I am blessed by AWARENESS, things can change!
I must proclaim, my legs are magnificent! They are strong and flexible, they get me places. They carry me through it all. There are times I am in AWE of my legs and what they’ve accomplished. Yes, my legs are beautiful because they are strong and they move with ease and flexibility.
My legs have been the basis of my income since I was 23! I worked my way through college teaching Aerobics. My legs have endured heavy squats during all my years of power lifting in the gym. My legs powered me through leading hikes in Malibu for the last 15 years. My legs have been pedaling up hills in the Santa Monica Mountains for the last 26 years. I could go on, you get the point.
Perhaps the narrative should be, “thank you for supporting me even though I haven’t loved you nearly enough”.
It feels really shallow to be so critical of appearance, especially knowing there are people who can’t even move their legs! I am profusely grateful for my perfectly imperfect legs.
Today I turned 60! I now embrace my legs and remind myself what they have done for me and continue to do. I’m going to practice something far better than pin pointing every flaw. I’m moving from self loathing toward self loving!
That is my new blog and if you can relate, please comment. If you feel inspired to send me a donation, I will graciously accept! If not, that’s okay too, I’m just learning to ask and receive and if I don’t ask, I won’t receive. Thank you for reading!