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Vita brevis, carpe femur!*

*Life is short, grab the thighs!

You know what I’m thinking about, Virus?

I'm thinking about thighs. Big ole thighs. My thighs. Thighs thick with pandemic pounds. Thighs thick but with two c's: thicc

I'm thinking about thighs, Virus, but I'm also thinking about self-loathing and seizing things in Latin*

Body shame is a shit thing, and so many of us have been conditioned to deride ourselves, at least in part, according to our physical size. I’m guilty of this, particularly with the continued curving of my covid corpus. I guess my shape is more rounded than curved.

I’ve considered, of course, some kind of ridiculous crash diet. Maybe a raw squid and grapefruit cleanse. Kidding. Kidding.


My half-baked scheme gets as far as a shopping list. Damn. Grapefruit is spendy right now. I try to rally a few reasoned brain cells, give myself a stern talking to: “Take the stairs at work. Cut back on the carbs. Replace at least some of your liquids with water instead of Coke Zero and wine.” [gasp!]

Nooooooooooo !!! I stamp the foot of my inner toddler and press my lips together in defiance. Briefly. The stress of it all brings on a panic snack. I’ll start the stupid diet tomorrow, I promise.

Then tomorrow comes. And goes. And another tomorrow. And a week of tomorrows. And the shame. And the guilt.

Vita brevis, carpe vinum, I tell myself. Life is short, grab the wine.

Slow and steady. That’s what I’ve told myself before. You see, I’m a slow learner when it comes to weight loss… and keeping it off. I like beer and pizza and tacos. I like buttered noodles and wine. I’ve mentioned wine now in two languages. And don’t get me started on potatoes.

The point is: I’m not a fan of moderation. I wish I was. I’m not a fan of backhanded compliments either: “You have such a pretty face.” “I wish I had your confidence with the added weight.” “At least you have big boobs.” Oh, and the unsolicited advice? I’ve tried the shakes, followed the plans, listened to the tapes, and sniffed the essential oil blends. So, if you see me at the grocery store, it’s going to be one of two things: a cart full of spuds and IPA or a wagon full of squid and citrus. Smile and say hi, but mind your own business about the items. I have carbs to consume or cut, not likely anything in between.

And as much as I want to throat punch all those “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” platitude pushers, I know the buck stops here. Carpe diem, daminum it! [deep breath]

I remind myself, again, that I’m trying to practice positivity: love, light, and all that other sparkly bullshit. [another deep breath] The truth is painful. I know that I’m as much a failed calm person--a chillaxer or goddess of zen, as it might be--as I am a failed dieter. But I can reach for the golden ring of equanimity as I make my way around and around the carousel of my own crazymaking. [lights a candle and seventeen sticks of incense, shares a meme from social media about skull-crushing thighs]

Fat-shaming isn’t healthy or kind, and when I shake that pudgy finger at myself, it’s not pretty. Self-loathing leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, one that can’t be washed down or swallowed. I just wish I knew how to escape the thigh gap/thigh rub death spiral.

In case you’re wondering, I don't have the answers. I’m not going to fit back into my pre-pandemmy pants tonight, but I know that I can, eventually, because I’ve done it before. What I do know is that tonight I’m going to thank these big, beautiful thighs for keeping me upright. I’m going to slather on some lotion and speak kindly to my quads. I’m going to pick out a nice shade of pink and paint the nails on my toes that look a bit too much like Hillshire Farm’s Litl Smokies.

Baby steps, a pink pedicure, and these bodacious thighs. *Life is short, seize them!

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