I got very angry at a girlfriend during the week. One of my smartest, most attractive friends. She's fit and active, clever, tall and funny. Hell, I'd date her if ever that situation arose. But she was telling me, as we were coming out of the gym mind you, about how unhappy she is with her body, how she'd recently flirted with the concept of replacing meals with those ridiculous shakes in order to lose weight. I wanted to slap her.
Now while being a good friend means cutting your friends some slack about what you see as their ridiculous decisions (god knows, I'd have no friends left if all of mine got into me over the ridiculous decisions I've made in recent years), I couldn't keep my mouth shut (actually, maybe keeping my mouth shut would be a good dieting tactic?) and so I told her I thought that was just ridiculous.
You're gorgeous I told her, all those things I mentioned previously, you're strong and fit and healthy. Why, why? But no, she wasn't happy with her weight and her shape and that was stressing her out because she has made a grand commitment to getting fit of late and she wasn't seeing the changes she wanted to see.
But part of being a good friend is accepting that, even in our 40s, we all have our insecurities and worries and being there for each other. So I took her into the cafe for a smoothie and a chat. And we laughed and forgot all about it.
I guess what made me angry was because I'm so not in that place at the moment. I'm kind of loving the idea that my body is probably in the worst shape it's been in for quite a while. A couple of things have crossed my path in recent months. There's been a weird flow on effect from seeing the documentary Embrace. A great little post from some mindfulness thing I follow - @mindfulmft - about how important it was to fill yourself up with love if you expected anyone else to. And so I've been filling myself up with love.
A few Fridays now I've snuck off to the local cafe where I've sat in the sun and listened to music and downed a couple of ginger beers while clearing out all the household administration. Love it.
On those nights where it's just me for dinner I've made something I love and served it on crockery I love and read a book while eating it. Love it.
I'm walking more. Enjoying the gym. Finding opportunities to play sport. And only because I like the way it makes my body feel. Might not be knocking off any kilos but I don't care. It's knowing that my body is strong and can, for the most part, as I hobble around after a weekend full of hockey, do what I need it to do.
And then on Facebook the other day I posted something about my first swim of the summer. I pulled on the bikini that came into my life in another of these moments of serendipity and posted a photo, which, I realised as soon as I posted it, probably showed too much of my boobs. And I wrote about how filling yourself up with love meant loving your body whatever shape it's in. And here was mine in all its rounded glory.
(If I'm honest here, my boobs are my go-to body part when I'm feeling good about my body, they've never let me down, even though now they're a little more down themselves. I do wonder if I would ever be game to post a pic of my belly - which is my problem area - but that is a goal this summer too. Stay tuned for that photo.)
I don't post posts like this to seek validation from anyone, sometimes it would be nice to post anonymously and have no one notice. But 154 likes later it's nice to know that your friends think you are amazing. (And that includes one post from an old high school sweetheart who hadn't seen said boobies for about 34 years.)
It's been a weird couple of weeks. All this Trump business, 2016 continuing to dish out all the crap she's been dishing out, I'm over it.
But what it's all made me realise is this body I have is the only one who'll get me through this year, this life, and I have to love her for that. And if my biggest worry is about whether or not my undies are a 16 or a 14 then I'm done with that.