Around the time I graduated from college, my body shifted. I hadn’t gained any weight, but I noticed that my clothes were fitting my curves differently. They were snug where they’d once been loose, loose where they’d once been snug. I mean, I didn’t go from an A cup to a D cup and suddenly lose my hips altogether, but there was definitely some shifting. And it wasn’t weight-related, and it wasn’t immediately visible when I looked at myself naked, and it wasn’t particularly troubling or worrisome. I’ll admit that I can’t remember the specifics of the shift, but I remember the sensation of realizing that my physical form had changed. Markedly. It struck me as odd because in the past, any body changes I’d experienced were mass-related. In this case, mass remained the same while shape shifted.
About ten years ago, my body shifted again. My legs thinned out a bit and my bust rounded somewhat. Again, no drastic change in weight, but my clothes began to fit differently and styles that one suited me looked odd while others I’d long shied away from started to appeal. Once again, I was perplexed. I talked to girlfriends and asked if they’d had similar shifts, and many of them had. We chalked it up to aging, hormones, changes in activity that we weren’t hyper aware of.
I can feel my body shifting again now. I’ve stayed at a pretty steady 150 pounds for many years, but somehow my size 10 pants are becoming ridiculously uncomfortable and I’m having to trade up for 12s. I haven’t noticed any softening of muscle or even a noticeable difference in the size of my hips and thighs, but wow. Pants fit differently now. And several pairs have been donated once that realization sunk in for good.
Although I do my best to love and accept my body, these shifts are a little unnerving. I don’t feel the need to control everything my body does or even keep careful tabs on its various statistics and measurements, but when it does change I like to know why. And although I’m sure that hormones, aging, and activity shifts could be contributing factors, it still feels strange to observe changes that aren’t the result of purposeful action or inaction. I feel detached and disconnected observing these shifts, like my body is making decisions behind closed doors while my brain waits outside in the lobby.
But because I’ve gone through several rounds of body shifts, and because my doctor assures me that I’m in good health, and because many of my women friends have been through similar changes, I am trying to look at this as an exercise in trust. I do my best to listen to my body and respond to its needs, but also know that some changes are silent by nature. I have no idea why this could be important, but perhaps there’s a biological reason why some of my personage needs to settle in around my lower body. So I’ll trust that my body is making informed decisions, and head for the size 12s.
Image courtesy Steve Maher