Hard Lines, Not Hard Bodies

“Work it, Beyoncé!” My shoulders imperceptibly tensed as the anticipated low whistle sailed behind me across our neighborhood convenience store. I know how to play this game, so game-face on.



In one practiced motion, I grabbed the handle of the drink case, lowering my chin as I turned my head to shoot a targeted look over my shoulder. Just as the case door fully opened, I sassed, “Don’t you know it.” Then, turning my back to the three teasing men in line at the counter, I laughed, “You better watch yourself. You don’t want this kind of trouble.”

They always seem genuinely surprised at a mouth sized to match. And they always meet it with good humor rather than salacious flirting. I know this game by heart.

I have a big butt. I used to have a fine booty. Once, while leaving a movie theater alone, some college boys bounced a quarter off my behind. I should have been appalled. Instead, I kept walking as though I hadn’t noticed, fully satisfied at their wolf whistles. That’s right, boys, it works just like that.

Sigh. The metabolism gods caught on to me and things just don’t work quite like that anymore.

I can’t offer you advice as to how to rock a quarter-bouncing booty. I never did anything to earn the one I had. What I can do is be honest about my dissatisfaction and let you see what I’m doing to earn an improved, healthier physique. If I actually earn it this time, maybe I’ll be more likely to take care of it.

So. Let me show you what I’m workin’ with:

  • a naturally nice shape (albeit slightly curvier than usual)
  • a need for higher energy levels (three kids, people, three kids!)
  • priorities weighted to value well-being over jean size every day of the week

I’m ready to make a change and I realize that the greatest impact to the direction of my health will come from subtle course corrections, made one at a time. I’m focusing on little changes that I can realistically handle. Then I’m drawing hard lines around those better choices, protecting them, embracing them.

Focus should be my most effective skill right now and it has become as flabby as a distracted Babble writer that used to shake it like a Polaroid picture. So let’s drill down some focus and draw some hard lines.

I will draw hard lines around the following choices:

  • protect my shape: no more fast-food as stress-relief (seriously. come on.)
  • protect my time: all email-enabled devices turned off after 7pm (focus down on family, all eye-contact and full attention)
  • protect my core: more water, reduce soft drinks (goal is 8 glasses of water a day, eliminating my frequent dehydration headaches that make me lose entire afternoons)
  • protect my mind: cultivate a hobby that encourages focus and depends on lack of distractions (translation: nothing online, nothing related to skills I could monetize)


Hm. Okay. This should not be that difficult if I keep it simple and focus on simple changes.

But, man, this feels incredibly insurmountable, right?

Okay. Deep breath. One thing at a time. Today, I will focus on no fast food, no soft drinks but more water, and focus on the work in front of me but sweetly anticipate turning off access to email at 7pm (hard lines. shut it down.) and then do something just for me.

I just need to come up with that “something just for me.” One thing at a time, right?

In the meantime, what are your incentives to develop a healthier lifestyle and more grounded well-being? What are your obstacles? Show me whatchoo workin’ with.

• • •

Thanks to Brita for sponsoring this potentially epic series that may just result in my forging manageable steps toward being a healthier woman. And by “epic” I definitely mean my going back and forth, transparently trying to work this out in a “work with me here, people” way.


Article Posted 5 years Ago

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