For the last 20 years of my career, as I’ve been leading processes around the world, one of the top five reasons I’ve heard for why people don’t really love themselves and their bodies is “I have a fat ass.” I was born on the skinny side, so I’ve never really been able to relate to having a fat ass although I’ve always had other issues with my body, be it my belly, my sagging skin, my skinny legs or any number of other things that if I focused on could send me into a pool of bad feelings.
But since my hospital stay when I lost 11 pounds, I have come to dream about having a big, wide, round (okay, it doesn’t even have to be round) fat ass. For those of who you have tortured yourselves for millions of hours over the shape of your body, you may wonder “Why is she wishing for a fat ass?”
Well, I’ve lost so much weight that I’m a little bag of bones. I feel like I’m 13 again except without the muscles or padding in my rear to protect me from hard seats and the bed I’ve been resting in for so many hours to get well. I can’t get comfortable no matter how I sit. Yes, I’ve even gone to the extreme step of being one of those women who has to carry a cushion around with them — one of my biggest shadows. What kind of person has to carry around a cushion just to sit down? Me apparently, even though I never even liked carrying a purse, let alone a cushion.
I’ve tried everything. On doctor’s orders, I ate Kentucky Fried Chicken and big chocolate brownies to solve my bony ass trauma. But I woke up the next day with nothing on my rear end and a belly so distended that my son asked me if I was pregnant. My kind sister Arielle got me a booty. Do you know what that is? It’s padded underwear to make it look like I have a bigger rounder butt. But the padding is at the top, not where I sit, so there’s nothing on the place I need the most help! I’ve spent hours on Google searching for a great butt pillow, but the system is failing me. It’s become cosmically funny how my pants just hang down now since there’s nothing to fill them out.
So I decided to do a tribute to the big fat ass. To all those who have been hating, ignoring, hiding, shame-filled, miserable, or embarrassed, to all of you I ask that you appreciate that one day, the extra fat might be your lifesaver. It might be your soft cushion. It might be a friend, allowing you to sleep through the night or sit through a business meeting without wanting to scream because your bones are digging into the chair.
You never know when you’ll need what you’ve got. It’s true for me too. Even as I try taping big soft foam around me, I honor my little skinny ass because I know that too comes bearing gifts (although at the moment I just can’t find them). So whether it’s your thighs, your stomach, your rear end, your flabby arms, or some other part of your body, see if you can make the sacred promise, the solemn oath, and the blessed vow to thank it and honor it.
Transformational Action Step
Go to the mirror and say you’re sorry to any part of your body that you’ve been judging, criticizing, hating, ignoring or belittling. Really bless this part of your body. Thank it. Imagine how this part of you could serve you if you got hit by a car, were in an earthquake or endured some other trauma. See how the extra flab, for example, could protect you, save you, keep you warm or allow you to be a cushion for someone else to find comfort. Thank your body for all the gifts that it offers you. Promise to be aware not of its faults but of its greatness. Do this exercise every day for 10 days until you can write a thank you letter to the part of your body you’ve most judged.
With love and blessings,
Originally published in 2010.
PHOTO (cc): Flickr / bandita