When I was a little girl, my Granddaddy was fond of telling me I looked “just like” his mother Lidya (aka Lida Belle or Lida). Lida was Carolina Cherokee and I suspect that this “just like” had more to do with the shape of my eyes and the color of my skin than anything else.
Granddad’s father was the son of a German immigrant and had been surrendered to the Poor House (along with his older brothers) when he was 3 years old. SO many stories in there, but this post is pretty self-involved, so the point here is simply, with the German heritage mixed in, that I was the darkest skinned kid to come along in awhile.
Maybe there were other reminders of his mother, who he lost when he was very young. Maybe the shape of my hands, the way I smell like bread when I’m clean – things like that would be remembered about one’s mother without, maybe, knowing one remembered (and now I am thinking about C., and wondering what little memories he will have of his foster mother…)
I always wanted to BELIEVE I looked like Lida. He gave me pictures of her. She was beautiful. But if I am being honest with myself, I know I look much more like my grandmother, Granddad’s wife – what with my round face and the way my broad neck starts all too close to my chin unless I am very thin. Yep, that’s Coker all the way.
My grandmother was round as a dumpling and, as a child and teen-ager, this used to horrify me. Especially because everyone – other than my Granddaddy – was fond of saying I looked just like her. I was thinking about all those things this morning when I stepped onto the scale.
I have been working out and being very careful to eat mostly fresh fruit and veggies. My skin looks nice. I feel good.
But yesterday, my stretchy skirt felt oddly tight and I thought, well, I should weigh myself – maybe I am just puffy today. After all, I do have puffy days. And I have been doing everything right for some time now. So, really – nothing to worry about. Right? Right?
Well… I had gained 3 pounds. *SIGH* And given what this little creeping up the scale has added up to over the past 6 or 7 years, despite my best efforts, this worries me. If I eat right and excercise and STILL gain weight, well, then WTF?
And I am just over 5 feet tall. It may not sound like a lot of weight, but it adds up on a little body. It gets hard to carry around. No, seriously. My feet hurt!
(More seriously, diabetes, heart-disease, and high blood pressure run in my family, so it’s not all vanity)
Yes, yes, I know muscle weighs more than fat. But c’mon – muscle does NOT make the waste of a skirt tighter!
Yes, I grew a new human in my body, and yes, he had to be cut free (much to my chagrin) and that takes a toll on a body.
But this started before M. was born, when I gained 10 pounds in one week while training for a triathlon. It wasn’t muscle, and it never went away. It was more like I turned 36 and *popped*.
Just. Not. Fair.
I feel bad about those thoughts I used to have about my fat grandmother. Despite my best efforts, I may age into a dumpling too.
Oh well, at least I’ll be nice and soft to hug. Right?
And as the wife of a man who was adopted and as one of my sons was adopted (this is currently in progress), I suppose I should realize that I “have” something in knowing just what dumpling I’ll resemble.
And yes, my arms and legs work OK and that is something to be grateful for.
I know all these things. Still, it ticks me off…