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The Unpostable Post.

Body criticism. It's everywhere, and I'm the worst on myself, but the world is pretty bad too.

Full disclosure: I'm 5'7", this morning I weighed 170.2 lbs.  I have about 35% body fat. My closet contains clothes between size 10 and 14. My shoe size is 8.5 and my measurements are 40-30-38.  In the last year, I have weighed as little as 160 and as much as 172.  In my adult life, the range was 148 (as a college athlete) to 211 (at 41 weeks pregnant with my fourth child).  I would have to lose 11 lbs to have a bmi of "normal weight".

I have guttate psoriasis sporadically and a fused 4th toe on my left foot.  I have a moderate amount of gray hair and a less-than-average amount of wrinkles and sun damage (thank you, graduate school).

I'm active, but I don't "work out".  I find it tedious. I'd rather walk, read a book, have a dance party or make love.

This is the story of a woman's body. One woman's body, all women's bodies.

We are changeable, we bear the evidence of a life fully lived, and if we're lucky, end up wizened, silver haired, saggy, soft, and slow, missing parts, with replacement parts and all sorts of industrial strength aids to living.

If we're lucky.

My belief, my understanding, my goal and desire, as a friend, a lover, and a human being, is to offer people who come into my life the most body forgiveness and acceptance that I can muster - and by this I mean acceptance of all the types of bodies people inhabit. A friend of mine in graduate school noted how I didn't have a "type", that it struck her how wide my tastes were and how I could see beauty in a very wide range of people. It's true.

Because it's what I need.

My question is: why is this so unusual?

And more importantly, why has every man I've ever been in a close relationship with felt it was his place, his right, or his role, to tell me how this body should be, to "suggest", so very helpfully, what changes he might find pleasing?

I wonder about this because it is, literally, a thought that never crosses my mind when I am with someone, especially when I'm with someone intimately.

Because if it ever gets that far, I love and accept all of you. I think, and it's just my opinion, that it's the job of a lover to be with someone's body, and their spirit, in a way that honors their vulnerability in that space, and their participation in it with you. Full stop.  No questions. Full acceptance.

I firmly believe that when someone judges me in this way, it's a clear indication of their own lack of acceptance of themselves. And no amount of my change, or my giving acceptance to you can help that business.

I'm just finished, really done, with the helpful suggestions, brothers.

If there is something you see, feel, taste, smell, or touch here that doesn't meet your fancy, you have three choices:

1. Keep it to yourself;

2. Learn to like it (broaden your tastes! I didn't like wine the first time I tried it, and it is one of the finest things in life. Some of the best things are acquired tastes, am I wrong?);

3. Move Along.

That's right. Move along.

Because I'm done with my judgement, and I'm done with yours too.