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Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:57 pm    Post subject: Body Image

So, in my case, having been skinny all my life, I embrace it as just simply me. Skinny is an important part of my identity, and I think that, if I were somehow to pile on muscles, I would feel just as uglified as if I were to pack on fat; both are in the "bulky" category in my mind.

After weighing 135 pounds all through my twenties, I was horrified to discover that joining the Navy at 30 made me gain ten pounds and I was up to 145. I did so much more exercise and physical training then, to meet their requirements, I do believe those were ten pounds mostly of muscle. Even knowing that, I was relieved, after getting out of the Navy, when, without even trying, I dropped back to my accustomed 135 -- probably by stopping all that physical training and consequently losing the built-up muscles.

Which doesn't mean I am sedentary. I am an avid walker/hiker -- I remember those "Sunday strolls" where I found I had gone, quite without thinking about it, five miles from home and had to walk five miles back. I go swimming whenever the weather permits and I can get to a pond or ocean, and indeed often swam across the Tar River from Greenville, NC to River Park North, rather than drive all the way around and across the bridge. I brave waves bigger than most people I know.

One drawback to being at my current size: my belly is actually rounder than a heavier person's would be. It isn't fat, I don't think; I am told that it is just that the internal organs themselves take up space, and that the only way to have a flat belly would be to build up the rest of my body around it. No thanks. I like being the way I am.

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