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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

I have two dresses sitting in my closet that I haven't worn in probably two years. Yes, I realize that this qualifies them for the donation pile, but they're really nice dresses and you never know when you're going to need to dress up for a wedding or a funeral or both. I tried one of these dresses on the other day because I thought maybe I'd wear it to a wedding at the end of February. I got the dress over my head, but there was no way I was going to get it zipped up the side. Then I had one of those panicky, I'm going to rip this dress, moments as I struggled to pull it back over my head. An inch. An inch and a half. That's what's gotta go from this body in order to zip that dress up. The thrill and pride of losing five pounds just flew right out the window.  

Here's what's ridiculous. I am right around the same size I was the last year I was with Chris (or Chris was with me, take your pick). At that time I was the skinniest I had ever been in my whole life. I knew that I would never be thinner and I was so happy and amazed that I was as thin as I was. I was thrilled to be the size I am now. I was happy, healthy and content with that body. Then Chris died and I lost about ten pounds. I lost ten pounds which I thought I couldn't lose. I mean if anything, I should have weighed more. Grief is so damn heavy. Grief should at least weigh twenty pounds. No, as it turns out it doesn't. Grief is light as a feather. Or at least light as pebble. 

I've been watching Awkward while I walk on the treadmill. I switch back and forth really between Awkward and Girls and the latest Downton Abby. There's a character in Awkward named Sadie. She's horrible and cruel. In season one she explains herself by crying to her mother "what do you expect? I'm surrounded by skinny petite girls while I have to write down every thing I eat and buy things from the special fat girls store." Sadie is a big girl. That's her excuse for being so mean. I hate this. When I look at Sadie, I see a perfectly normal girl. She's active, has won all kinds of horse riding awards and is on the cheerleading squad. Her character infuriates me. She really wants for nothing other than to be a size zero. This is a show that is meant for teenage girls. 

Counter this with Girls. They make no excuses for their weight. Laura Dunham's character, Hannah, admits to hating her body, but wears and doesn't wear clothes with a bold confidence that, frankly, I am jealous of. The show portrays girls with real bodies. Honestly, watching the show, I can see how their weight is the least of these girls worries. Figuring out what the Hell they're going to do to pay the bills is enough. I have mixed feelings about the show in general, but I will applaud the genuine female bodies.  In one episode you hear Hannah say that she finds her body disgusting and in the next episode she agrees that she is beautiful. That is the way. We all do it. One day we're disgusting, the next we're beautiful. 

I've wracked my brain trying to examine what it is exactly I'm doing differently now versus then. I no longer skip meals on weekends. Friday night dinners have gone from a bottle of wine and a sleeve of crackers to an actual meal. Usually pizza. I've added one and half people to my life. Turns out love weighs more than grief. I can go back to skipping meals on weekends. I can continue walking my 10,000 or more steps a day. I can continue to get on my mat and eat my kale. By the end of February, I just might be able to zip that zipper. Worse comes to worse, I buy a new dress and finally decide to put those others in the donation pile. 

I took a picture of myself once. It was during my first year into the whole 365 day project thing. It's a boudoir type photo. I'm naked, lying in bed with my legs up the wall. It's a tastefully sexy photo, taken when I was not even close to my second thinnest moment. I was just learning the art of liking myself. I remember being so proud of that photo. Where has that girl gone? I'm not sure, but I think I'm going to work real hard and bringing her back.