The 80/20 Girl Maintaining
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
I've always been sort of an 80/20 kinda gal. Or rather - I have always aimed at being an 80'20 gal. It is a conscious choice, because I CAN conceive of perfection and its attraction is powerful. Perfection is the glittering peak, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the star on your chest. It's the paper you get back from the teacher with the red100% across the top. It's Ralphaie's A + + + + + + + + + + + + + for his essay on getting a Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.
And very few people are able to miss that goal with as much equanimity as Ralphie. Most of us grow up fending off that feeing of being crushed, beaten, at best, as second rate wannabees. Early on I decided that I was always going to be happy if I got 80% of it. 80% right. 80% happy. 80% loved, accepted, paid. Like Garrison Keillor's children in Lake Woebegone, it's Above Average.
Eight years ago I hit my Weight Watcher's goal weight. That wasn't the weight that would automatically make me fashion model slim with a long torso that could wear wide belts or open pleats and legs that went on forever. no weight was ever gong to give me that - not even when all flesh is gone and all that's left is a skeleton - because that isn't the skeleton I was given. But it was slim and healthy and could be dressed very stylishly - and that was good enough for me.
Staying there for 2922 days never happened. That would be 100%. Staying there for 416 weeks or 96 months didn't happen either - other 100%s. But I have stayed there for about 84 months which is about 13%. So I'm actually an 87/13 kinda gal - and that's pretty durn good in my book.
Lately I've been reminded of that happy day when I grabbed the ring, hit the target, reached the goal weight. I've also been reminded of how I felt when I just stopped being the girl with her hand in the box - of cheez-its, cookies, crackers, chocolates, cheetos. (Oh - who knew C is the Calorie letter?) I still enjoy those things now and then, but they don't have the hold on me they did 8 years ago. I hear their call, but it just doesn't feel like they were talking to me.
Of course, I'm feeling particularly stable and strong these days. give me a week of anxiety and I'll probably be prowling around the kitchen looking for one of those C foods. Fortunately none of them live here with me - so it would be a drive to a store to get some.
I think giving myself permission to Not Be Perfect has stood me well these past 8 years. In high school that would have made me a C+ student. In college - a solid B. But those judgements belonged to institutions and their teachers. My own judgement is that I've done pretty well for myself. I might have done better but then I'd have become fixated on picky minor flaws and I know that behavior only leads to weight gain. I accept that there is hardly a woman alive who wouldn't like to drop 10 lbs. I know that's because we live constantly bombarded by visual media with a product to sell. If we lived in a medieval village or a pioneer town - how many different Perfect Bodies would we even see in a lifetime? 1? zero? Think how many Perfect Bodies a little girl has seen by the time she's 5? So yeah. Within the context of the world as it is - I feel I've held my own, come to terms with junk food, found a fit and style that makes me feel comfortable in my own skin and hey - exceeded my goal. I guess I have to call myself an 87% gal from now on.