At about this time last year, my doctor found a lump and recommended a sonogram. She was just being cautious, she said, and told me not to worry about it. Nonetheless, I was subsumed by dread and worry in the weeks that followed. When the tests revealed nothing troublesome, I gave thanks for a healthy vessel, renewed my gym membership, and vowed to never again disparage my body for its “imperfections.”
Fast-forward to the present day. I’ve been exercising regularly and incorporating more vegetables and lean protein into my diet. My body is decidedly more streamlined, and the winter blues that have dogged me for months seem to finally be dissipating. All this to say, I was feeling pretty good about myself last week when I reached into my closet and retrieved a pair of jeans that I hadn’t worn in quite some time. Years, actually. But I was optimistic. I’d been working out! I’d been eating right! Those jeans were about to come out of retirement!
My optimism coughed, sputtered and was finally extinguished as I sucked in my stomach and cursed under my breath, wrenching the jeans over my hips with considerable effort. I managed to button them, but seeing as how the “overstuffed-sausage-in-a-denim-casing” look doesn’t seem to be in vogue this spring, I returned the jeans to the closet, feeling somewhat defeated.
Then I remembered the apprehension I felt last year as I walked through the linoleum hallways of the hospital, looking for the radiology department. I reflected on the relief that flooded my senses when the doctor called to tell me that everything looked just fine. I reminded myself that brave and tenacious souls the world over are facing real crises, so who did I think I was, feeling defeated (defeated, for chrissake!) by a pair of jeans?!
I realized that I had a choice to make. I could redouble my efforts at the gym and forever ban bagels in an attempt to be lean and mean, or I could decide that “lean” and “mean” are, in fact, not admirable qualities, toss the damned jeans in the Goodwill pile and go have a bagel.
Wearing a pair of jeans that fit just right, I had a toasted everything bagel with scallion cream cheese. It was everything I hoped it would be.