Friday, September 30, 2011

Body of Evidence



This emotional/life upheaval stuff is not exactly a beauty treatment.

It is at this point in my life when it would be very nice to look in the mirror and really like what I see. I’d like to stand in front of the mirror and say “Yeah, baby! He’s a fool to leave such a fine lookin’ woman! You are HOT, you babe you!!”

Today, however, I bent down to pick something up and caught a glimpse of myself in a nearby mirror. My goodness, I thought. Who the heck is that and what is she doing out of bed? Shouldn’t someone call that woman’s nurse to escort her back to her room?

My entire body and face seem to have reacted to this news all on their own.

My natural genetic make-up/recipe includes the bony, angular contributions of my father’s side combined with the ample, sculptured look of my mother’s side of the family. Instead of these components blending together like a good smooth yogurt, the result was more like the fruit on the bottom variety, with my hips lending the weight and heft to the lighter top half.

I lost about nine pounds the first week after HOB left. Unfortunately I had no control where the weight dropped off. (Shouldn’t I have least been granted that favor?) Instead of leveling things out a bit, the weight loss seems to have only amplified the differences in upper, middle and lower body.

Indeed, I now look a bit like an odd Lego character whose head, torso and lower half are made up of parts from three different sets of characters.

My head is extremely small anyway, and my regular readers know my hair woes. Even my hair seems to be reacting to my emotional state these days by wanting to burrow in and sleep on my head. No amount of chemicals worked on, left on, or sprayed on will get it up and out, volumized and vivacious. No. It refuses. It gets all insecure. And it gets worse as the day goes on. By mid-afternoon, it is frantically clinging to my head as though in a continual Moro reflex.

Unfortunately, I have also lost weight in my face—a place where the there is not a lot of padding to begin with. (I am one of those rare people who actually looks better than normal just after dental surgery.) “Gaunt” is a word that comes to mind these days.

And yet, even as my face is shrinking inward, large bags have appeared under my eyes. Granted, it has been a long, stressful week at work and I have not been sleeping very well, so I should not expect to look like a beauty queen. However, I've never had these before. These suckers are huge. These are not carry-on sized bags. These are check-in-and-pay-extra kind of bags.

Even with all this weight loss, on my hips have remained the same. It is as though I have had plastic implants placed on the sides of my hipbones. These suckers don’t melt away. They remain firm.

Well, I think HOB may have left these hips behind, but in the olden days, some wagon train would have loaded up this pioneer woman and considered her a treasure—someone who would make it through the lean times on the trail and if that trail suddenly stopped and the wagon train party had to, oh, I don’t know, hold up for the winter and there was no food left…well, let’s just say she’d be considered quite a dish, if you know what I mean.


Don’t get me wrong. I generally love my body and am grateful to it for the work it does. I am trying my best to take care of it. I am feeding it more regularly now, and so some of the weight I lost has returned.

(However, the face weight seems to have taken off to Hawaii and won’t be returning any time too soon. Hope it’s having a good time. Aloha.)

Oh, and yesterday while looking at that face, I discovered I had an age spot AND a pimple within the same square inch on my face.

Life just continues to give me things to think about.


50 comments:

Catherine said...

Stress does indeed create havoc with our body. That beautiful woman is still there Betty. She will come out to play as soon as you are ready.

Sending you love and hugs for a better October.
xo Catherine

Teresa Evangeline said...

"Who is that woman and what is she doing out of bed?" Despite what I know to be hell for inspiration, I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Maybe because I've been that woman. I've always said, if you want to lose weight, just get a divorce. Works like a charm. It doesn't sound like you needed to. It has sharpened your funny bone, though. I could never do what you're doing, keeping a sense of humor and being able to write about it. You are one strong woman. Thank you so much for letting us in at such an almost impossibly tough time.

Big Hug to you.

Mamma has spoken said...

I have many days like this, wondering when my body especially my neck turned old. Right now I have that saggy neckline that reminds me of chicken skin, and not in a good way...

Old Kitty said...

Oh BB!! I blame your mirrors!!! They're all wrong for you!! Mirrors lie!! :-)

But seriously! Glad you are eating better!!! And I always thought and still think you have cheekbones to rival Queen Nefretiti!

Big big hugs to you! Take care
x

AKAmamma said...

Just do what you like doing and you'll look and feel much better! HOB has his own issues and his decisions have consequences that he's going to have to live with. All the best. Heather

Jennifer Shirk said...

You're too hard on yourself, I'm sure. It's the stress. Once you start eating properly and get back to taking care of yourself like you should, you'll see a difference. Hang in there, honey.

Daisy said...

Be kind to yourself, dear Betty. You are indeed a beautiful woman and HOB has very foolishly left behind a treasure. Stress affects every part of us, but you will eventually leave that stress behind you and find peace. When that peace returns, you will recognize yourself in the mirror again and be happy with who you see there. You are still you. You are just seeing yourself from a different perspective right now. Don't worry about that woman in the mirror. Instead nurture the woman inside with good music and good books and good food and anything else that makes your heart and soul happy.

Cool Gal said...

It's stress! I say make some time for yourself and do a little pampering. You deserve it!

Kazzy said...

I bet you will notice your reflection is tied in with your countenance. Once you start to feel better inside you will see the face that says, "I can do this. I am worth much more than HOB realizes!"

Flartus said...

Mirrors are evil. Who needs 'em? My mental appearance lags about 10 years behind my actual appearance, so I do know that "Who is that dumpy middle-aged woman?" trauma.

Betty, I left you a flower on my blog. Miss Chef brought it back from the restaurant one night, and it made me think of you!

Green Monkey said...

did you really post this at 4:00 am? when do you sleep Betty? I also have a abnormally small head and hair issues. Be thankful you don't have daughters, mine likes to highlight my flaws - especially... my perfectly flat ass, my extra elbow skin, and my muffin top.

Gigi said...

It is SO not fair that we do not get to dictate where the weight loss comes from!

Take care of yourself Betty. Eat well and get plenty of sleep. And avoid mirrors. They are the devil's creation.

Out on the prairie said...

It has been a tough road. I went to a restruant this last week and remembered sitting at a table 8 years ago and a older man stopping and telling us how beautiful it was holding hands. Seems we jogged a memory for him.Keep smiling, it can be hard and get some nice chocolate.I would be lost without my BB fix of wit and wisdom!

Eloise said...

Betty, Betty, go back and look at the picture of you and Evan taken on your road trip. I hope you see what I see; a beautiful woman having one moment of pure joy. Not frantically posing and trying to make sure everyone is OK ("see, I'm having fun, is everybody having fun?-yes, we are all perfect and happy"), but just being the authentic wonderful woman we love and respect so much. Believe it or not, these thoughts came to my mind as soon as I saw that picture, I should have shared them with you sooner.

Leah J. Utas said...

An age spot and a pimple? Ya just gotta laugh.

MomQueenBee said...

Ha! You are going to be fine, and the line "I would be considered quite a dish" is proof of that. Hang in.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Stress is a common factor regarding weight loss especially places you don't want to loose weight, If you eat regulary and try to have a goodnight's sleep it will do wonders for your face, but Betty you are still the same Betty before HOB decided to go, you still have the same sense of loving life and you still have that thing call HOPE for the future.Life can deal out some rotten deals along the way but it's how we cope with them......that is the secret.
Thinking od you
Yvonne.

Anne Gallagher said...

I look at myself every day and can't fathom who is looking back. I have jowls. My face "fell" after having my daughter and I don't know why they showed up but I want them gone. As well as the 30 extra pounds in my mid-section. UGH! Can I just say treadmill.

Stress does indeed reek havoc with a body. Just take it one day at a time and you will soon revert back to your same beautiful looking self.

Brian said...

Thinking is okay, and we think you are purrfect the way you are!!!

Pat said...

It's true that what you are going through is AWFUL with a capital "A", but you will be back to your old happy self again. I promise you. Please don't degrade yourself - stress DOES play havoc on the body. You are a beautiful woman - inside and out! Your husband is the one losing out here! Every day you should look in the mirror and say positive affirmations like: I am beautiful, I am strong, I have a wonderful future, I can get through this!

We are ALL rooting for you, Betty!

Pat said...

Oh, and as far as your "check-in" bags under your eyes? Don't worry. The airlines ALWAYS loses them anyway.

Snappy Di said...

You'll be fine. In time the stress will subside and your body will return to it's normal calorie burning routine. Heavy stress always caused me to lose weight too. Sort of an involuntary thingie.

ellen abbott said...

It's just the stress.

So, until you are feeling strong and healthy and happy again here's my advice. Remove all the light bulbs from the bathroom and replace with one 40 watt bulb and don't clean the mirror. Or replace the mirror with an old silver stained antique one. I look really good in mine in the dim light.

rosaria said...

Ok, I've been there, thought the same thoughts.
Truth is that women look at themselves always critically, too critically.

In the big scheme of things, your body is enough for you, as mine for me. It has all the right elements for the right functions.

Step out and away from feeling sorry and look at how strong and resilient you are. You are a winner, self sufficient and totally able to take care of things, including yourself.

Eat well. Exercise the doldrums and the muscles, and your mirror will whistle back at you.

Susan in the Boonies said...

An age spot AND a pimple.

I wrote that song. But I don't mind having someone else sing along. Makes me not so lonely.

Hugs, Betty!

I'm with ya, my friend!

Katherines Corner said...

Oh my goodness, you have a way with words, you crack me up. I barely recognize myself in the mirror. At least you knew it's you. well sort of.. LOL. I doubt you look like a lego . Thank you for keeping your sense of humor, it's crucial.Sending big hugs and sincere wishes for a weekend filled with joy, Katherine

Brian (not the cat) said...

Please don't fall prey to the trap of over-examining parts of your body in the mirror. That way lies madness. As one of your other readers pointed out, you look great in the photo of you and Evan. Enough said. Drink plenty of water, eat right, exercise, and continue to radiate love and enthusiasm. That's what really makes a person beautiful.

Eva Gallant said...

I lost about 35 pounds when I got divorced. Then I married again and gained about 150. I may have to get divorced again.

jenny_o said...

Oh Betty! How can you be so funny and make us laugh at such a time! You have a gift, my dear.

Don't bother with mirrors; they never tell the whole story. Hope you have a tranquil weekend.

Madi and Mom said...

Morning BB,
God blessed you with a sense of humor even in the face of adversity. One thing for sure even when you are 85 you will still have your sense of human...that is something HOB cannot take from you. As for your hips, like mine, they bore 2 fine sons so wear them proudly...
Love and Hugs
C

Donna said...

I'm Sure you are as beautiful as Ever...just Tired! All this is NOT YOUR FAULT Betty!
Get some Rest this weekend and try to find that "fire" in your belly...

Hilary said...

Gotta love the irony of an age spot and pimple. Stress always does a number on us. You are certainly one of the very beautiful ones. Your sense of humour shines through your eyes and your writing. Look after yourself.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Betty, break all the mirrors in your house and you won't care!

Ms. A said...

Oh how I hear you! I'm the same way. If you just saw my face and upper body, you would think I was starving. No so with the middle, although, if you look further down, my lower legs are skinny. My hair is falling out and I haven't had eyebrows, in years. The age spots have become the majority, rather than the minority. Bless you, Betty, we share common ground, although I may cover a little more of that ground, than you do.

ds said...

Age spots and pimples--I'm with ya!
You are one tough lady, with a fabulous sense of humor. Stress does take a toll, but we all know how beautiful you are, so don't fret. Just hang in there.
There is lots of support all around you.

julie fedderson said...

Mirrors are evil--avoid them at all costs. try to stay healthy and buy a good creamy concealer in the meantime. I'm so glad your sense of humor hasn't lost any weight! It's incredibly brave of you to share how you are working through this.

Jayne said...

!!! Betty- This would be a good time for you to read Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck (if you haven't already--Oh you can read it again if you have!). I mean, if we have to endure this kind of torture, we might as well have a good laugh while we're at it.

karen said...

Meh - don't pay any attention to that woman in the mirror. She is just pretending to be you - until you adjust to life and get your groove on again. And you will. Take good care of yourself and will yourself to be fabulous. It's the best revenge.

Ami said...

I keep not commenting because I don't know what to say.

So I just am sending good thoughts your way. All the time.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Nasty pimples. I hate that I still get them. It should be one consolation of aging: no more pimples.

No matter how ugly you feel, you are no less than beautiful, Betty.
xoRobyn

Red Shoes said...

Found you through Green Monkey... so blame her...

I am sorry for what you are experiencing... I have no words of wisdom. I just know that when I went through these same events in my Life, normalcy did eventually return for me... as they will for you.

*huggles*

~shoes~

Shan said...

You are still just as beautiful as ever to me.

Peggy K said...

Hey, that weight you lost...I found it. Say the word and you can have it back!

Carnival Girl said...

Oh, my dear Betty, you are naturally beautiful and always have been, but not even Angelina Jolie would look great after what you've been through.

I've been saying this for years (because I have hair just like yours), but if ever there was a time in your life to get a perm, this is it, baby! You will have full fluffy voluminous waves that spring forth unbidden, sexy and free, to propel you into a new outlook on life. Perms have improved greatly since we were in 7th grade, so throw away those old notions you may have about disco queens and foot high bangs.

It's just an idea, honey, but do think about it. Love you! KL

ladydazy said...

You are beautiful!! Don't let your own thinking make you wonder. It's hard, I know, I'm a woman too! But someone will see your beauty and you will move on...

Pat Tillett said...

You are a hottie in my book!
I've been mostly on the road for a while, but I'll do my best to catch up here...

Linda said...

Betty, you make me smile, even when you're posting about something as traumatic as your current situation. I think the reason this post makes me smile is that there probably isn't one of your readers who hasn't experienced some semblance of what you described upon seeing your reflection. Don't let your perception of that reflection get you down. What your friends and family see is a bright and beautiful woman in the throes of a major trial...a bright and beautiful woman who is on her way to overcoming the difficulties.

GreatGranny said...

Betty, everything will work out for the good. Just take care of yourself and don't worry about your reflection in the mirror. Life does go on after the man is gone, divorced or widowed. I've worn both shoes. And I survived by God's Grace and you will too.

Baby Sister said...

I'm sure you look as beautiful as always. I wish my body would lose weight where I wanted it to. That would be nice.

The Empress said...

Sorry to laugh, but this makes me think of what the classy Catherine Deneuve once said, "ass or face,"

though, much more eloquently than that.

xo