A Pluviophilic, Xanthophobic...Thin Person? Whoa! Finding Myself at 45
Tuesday, March 01, 2016
It's raining today, casting a grayness around my living room as I sit atop my quiet hill, on my couch, at my laptop, working. I love the sound of the rain hitting the tin roof of our back porch, the calm lullaby of its fall outside the window I face as I work, the assurance that God will and does provide for His nature when they thirst or hunger. I just flat out love rain. In fact, I love it more than any weather, as I've never been much of a fan of sunshine or sweat. Something about the rain just calms me and makes me feel warm and cozy and far less stressed than I do on hot, muggy, Ohio summer days with that yellow orb blazing down and baking everything beneath it. Loving rain makes me a word I just recently discovered: a pluviophile, and I'm proud to be one, even if it took me 45 years to discover there's a word for it.
Maybe the reason I so loathe the sun is because I've always been self-conscious about wearing shorter, smaller clothes beneath it, to keep from getting heatstroke. In the past, I hated going out in "nice" weather because I felt like Jabba the Hutt perusing the aisles at the grocery next to all those tan, thin bodies in their shorty-shorts and tank-tops. I wore tank-tops, too, but mine only freed my giant bat wings to wave and jiggle every time I moved my arms. It was never a pleasant experience to go out in warm weather when I didn't feel hot at all. A bigger problem with the sun, though, is that it seems to be yellow. I've had some strange aversion to that color for most of my life; I just don't like it. It causes odd reactions. For instance, I pick all the yellow M&Ms or Skittles or Starburst out of the bag and won't eat them. I hate Minions and am unnerved by the recent appearance of the yellow, Twinkie-like nightmares appearing on everything with that relentless Disney merchandising. I refuse to wear anything yellow or paint any walls yellow in my house. I recently learned there's a word for this too: I'm a xanthophobe, another thing I just found a name for at 45.
We often think that "finding ourselves" is something reserved for twenty-somethings. Back in the 60s (before my time), I imagine it was the excuse for many young adults hopping into Volkswagen vans with little more than a floral headband and a guitar and jaunting off to some other place with a bunch of strangers, only to return home knowing themselves better. I refute the claim that this is a young adult thing. We change all the time. We discover new things about ourselves every day. Some changes are for the better, some for the worse, and some things are not really changes at all but are just us unearthing a part of ourselves we didn't know existed. For those of us who have spent a great majority of life as a heavy person, this journey of self-discovery often starts on a scale. That old cliche of a "thin person inside wanting to get out" may not be so far from the truth.
The other day, I was standing at my stove making my customary breakfast of two fried eggs (Yes, you CAN eat eggs on a calorie-counting regimen, and I eat two or three daily. We don't need Weight Watchers or Oprah to tell us that we CAN still eat the things we love, as long as we manage them and are accountable for them, right? I just fry them in Pam and spray a few squirts of butter spray on them, and they're still as delish as ever.) As I stood at the stove, I glanced over at my daughter's curio cabinet, which has a mirrored back. I had to do a double-take. In that reflection, there was this woman. She actually fit in the width of the narrow cabinet, and she didn't look bad at all, not even after just recently crawling out of bed. In fact, she looked healthy and thin. She looked proportionate and comfortable in her little jammy shorts. She was not some orc-looking creature that had blobbed out of the room, squeezed into flannel to the point of the buttons screaming in agony, with her bat wings jiggling as she moved the spatula. Even more amazing, that woman was ME!. Really! I couldn't believe it. That thin woman in that narrow curio cabinet reflection, looking almost cute enough in her PJs that her serious 80s-hair bedhead could be ignored was actually ME!
So, there you have it. At 45 years old, I'm still finding myself. I know now that I'm a pluviophile, a xanthophobe, and a thin person. Who'da thunk it? I certainly wouldn't have. I still have 9 pounds to go (maybe more or less, and I will find out tomorrow at my weekly weigh-in), but I am excited that I'm finding a new me all along the way, even if I am no longer in my twenties. I encourage each and every person who is trying to lose weight to keep trying, because you never know what you'll discover about yourself during the journey!