I’m Smart, Funny, Beautiful and Fat . . .

ever so slowly I’m getting my shit together.

Thanks to the Wordswag app I can make cool meme’s like this.
Editorial Note: This essay was born from conversations I had with one of my oldest friends. We are navigating this next season of our lives side by side yet 400 miles apart. She agreed to me sharing my part of our story because it was like her story and maybe like your own or someone you know. I am the voice of my generation.

The Smart Part

Ok, let me explain. I’m not smart in a book way. Or in a take a test and pass it way. In high school I had a few wonderful friends that did my homework and helped me study for tests. I guess getting friends to do your homework is smart in a different way.

I can figure out your mortgage payment in my head, but can’t work a calculator.

I listen to books on Audible because I just can’t sit and read.

I have emotional intelligence — I’m a great waitress, teacher for kids who learn differently, and find it easy to connect with lots of people — the closer to the fringe of society the easier it is.

I can cook without a recipe and drive without a map. I have no sense of direction but I’m never lost or hungry.

The Funny Part

I love dark humor, I love a good prank, I love paradox and irony. Laughter is contagious. I also laugh at myself a lot — I’m serious but never take myself seriously.

I find a lot of things funny. When my son’s soccer team played the “Redwings” . . . I thought it was odd that twins would be on the team, then another Redwing jersey — triplets? and it wasn’t until I saw the fourth boy that I realized it was the team name. Now you might think that is Stupid and not funny — but when I explain it in a Walter Mitty sort of way, laughing hysterically, I’m funny.

In high school I excelled in Forensics performing a humorous monologue of James Thurber’s physics of a strapless evening gown — while wearing a strapless evening gown. (See photo below for one of my favorite gowns.)

Part of my Reneeness is not just making a funny but enjoying a good laugh. A laugh that starts with a smile, nostrils flare right before the giggles and then all hell breaks lose and we are all laughing loud, hard and often with snot and spit flying. And I can’t stop. When I finally do stop, hysteria could resume with a mere glance.

For days and even years. If you meet me ask about the “I’m sorry sir, you can’t smoke in the deli!” (even as I proof this story, I’m laughing — every dang time.)

I love to laugh.

The Beautiful Part

One of my many strapless evening gowns. Photo Credit: RZ 1986

When I was younger I felt amazing, vibrant and strong but not beautiful. This was pre-internet so I had nothing to compare myself too — except Brooke Shields. She was the only woman who was my nemesis and after Blue Lagoon it was not even a contest. Clearly I could manage myself better on a desert island than she did. My mid 30’s and through my 40’s I lost all feeling of amazement and vibrancy. When you are pregnant with girls it is said “they steal your beauty” and I think that is true. They took it and never gave it back.

Honestly, I’ve never felt pretty. My best friends growing up were way prettier — Toni had perfect hair and a great athletic body and Angie was pretty, talented and had all the guys. I was the third wheel. I was short, brown hair, glasses and kind of boring with a weird sense of humor and not in all the gifted classes with them.

I felt the most attractive playing ball, running, laughing, at the potter’s wheel — doing what I love made me feel lovable. Being beautiful like my friends or the homecoming queen was just too much pressure. I was happy flying under the radar.

What I know now

Me without a evening gown, in a minivan, waiting in a car line.

I’m just how I’m supposed to be. It has taken nearly forever. See, if I were smart it wouldn’t take so long!! Kidding not kidding, I beat myself up for having a personal revelation but not soon enough. It is a cycle of . . . I’m not sure what to call it. Blindness?

I have been blind to my own Divinity.

I heard a song entitled “Through the eyes of an Angel” and it broke me. “Seeing myself through the eyes of an angel.” I would be smart, funny, beautiful and healthy.

The Fat Part

Ouch. No one wants to touch that one.

I am not alone in my fatness nor am I alone in my desire to be whole.

What I understand is gaining weight isn’t just about diet and exercise. There is another component.

Again, I struggle to find the correct words and maybe that is because for each of us the words are different. Compassion, self love, inner truth, . . . whatever our core feelings are that we left behind, that were taken from us, somehow misplaced along the way.

Each of us walking this path have arrived by a different route, and now we have the opportunity to walk each other home.

The Fat Triangle

I am thinking of my fatness as having three sides — an equilateral triangle. Diet, exercise and loving myself for the smart, funny, beautiful woman that I have always been in the eyes of my creator.

The diet part I have down. I’m going back to eating a plant based diet. I don’t mention it often but I do have a certification in plant based nutritional combining my love of food, science and nature — super helpful. Now to just follow through. I’m beginning a love affair with oatmeal.

The exercise part will take a bit more time to get myself back in shape. I can run three very slow miles and I plan to increase little by little. As a full time Mom and part time writer, working out is a glitch but I’m making it a priority and making it part of my spiritual practice.

The loving myself part. Ugghh. I’m still not doing well with that. I compare myself to all those perfect people on Facebook and Instagram, then make brownies and eat them. Or I go to the gym and see all the skinny mini’s and I want to break them in half and then go make another pan of brownies. (Brownies and kettle chips are interchangeable.)

My favorite brownies and the best brownie pan ever!! my photo

I need to learn how to love myself in a healthy way. In a way that no one has ever shown me. It is something that has never been modeled for me until very recently. I really am on a desert island — with out Brooke or that blonde guy. I am alone to figure out what works for me yet surrounded by many friends and others just like me.

But when I take a step back, I can see how my kids love me unconditionally, the angels love me, how Dexter loves me, how a handful of others love me. Why can’t I do that for myself?

When I have that answer, I will be whole.

Lessons Learned:

Having just one person believe in you makes all the difference in the world. I am so fortunate to have soul sisters with me on this journey.

A daily spiritual practice rooted in mindfulness. Walking the dog is more than just walking the dog. Cooking healthy food is more than just working in the kitchen, it is time to infuse love into everything.

It is OK to be a different kind of funny, beautiful and smart. It is not only OK, it is how we were created — to be different from each other but have a shared light of the Divine.

My work/service/mission is to be the voice of my generation. To share with the world Our joys, triumphs and tribulations. I am honored to serve in this way.

Growing older is a gift.

We can be whole and divine. We can meet our weight loss goals. We understand that it is more than exercise and calories — it is about how we feel about ourselves.

In the stillness our soul speaks and says “yes, you are smart, beautiful, funny and vibrant.”

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