Lesli's Blog

The Best Is Yet To Come

Does Size Really Matter?

01 June

“Big, to small, small to big. Size doesn’t matter only you do.”

A Question of Size

A Question of Size

Since time and memorial, there has been a debate on size. Does it matter? Can you tell the size by looking at hands or shoe size? Does size really make a difference? Well, that particular discussion of size, and the answer to it, will continue unanswered by this author.

Women have discussed size primarily theirs for their lifetimes. Probably starting right at the time they picked their first fluffy, pink, and frilly tutu.

Does this make me fat, Mommy?  Never realizing just how darling and adorable they look. Like a big puff of pink marshmallow candy.kawaii_pink_marshmallow_by_kira212-d399ph6 Bringing a smile to all those who see these little lovelies. For some little girls this is their very first “grown-up” girly-girly feel.  This glorious “look-at me-feeling” is truly the most satisfying and exciting moment of their lives. Of course, they probably are only four years old. But, it is a thrill to be the center of attention!

Unlike most little girls, I would rather have had on my double-sided holster with their cap pistol six shooters, a cowboy hat, with my old worn-in and ratty cowgirl boots on.  And, my true badge of honor, my face would be smeared with the dirt of my travels and a roamin’ from the day.

Lesli's Everyday Wear Age 5

Lesli’s Everyday Wear
Age 5

OK, you say, what does all this have to do with size, Lesli?  We love little girls. We unabashedly admit to oohing over the cute, tiny little clothes, we see as walk through the little girls department.

We love and reveal in watching the way they grow up to be big girls, young ladies, and young women setting styles of their own.

As we grow we develop our own set of fashion do’s and don’ts from magazines,  and the all important influence of our very own girlfriends. In our early years we learn and gain experience while on shopping trips with our Mothers. My mother had a great sense of style.  She had grace setting her own personal style that was timeless. She always looked “complete.”

I have struggled with my weight my entire life.  During the difficult developing years I was not a small “tween.” I was the girl always on a diet and fighting with my weight from 13 until my early twenties. I knew early on and with great clarity, I would never have a model’s body (not that a cowgirl would ever care about that).

Through the years, I developed my own sense of personal style. I comfortably lived with the body I had. And, my body image. It was just me. Seemingly untouched by the drama many young women go through about clothes, fashion and their size. There is THAT word again.  SIZE.  It does matter, and unfortunately it matters to many women too much.

Many of my women friends stress about their weight.  They worry over their own thoughts they aren’t that picture perfect magazine size, or body shape, and worry themselves sick.

      Oh, No! Not The Scale!!

Oh, No!
Not The Scale!!

Seriously, (as I have often said to these beloved women) has anybody EVER said to you at the front door of a party……”Oh, Heather, you look lovely, in that outfit! What size is it? By the way would you mind jumping on this scale?”

Of course not.

We as women have been focused on our own body images since we were kids. Never really knowing the important imprinting of both positive and negative messages it has given our own psyche.

I have always been comfortable in my skin, and the shape it holds.  Good, bad or otherwise. It is who I am when I look in the mirror. “Hey! That’s me!”

When I was diagnosed with my first cancer in 1990, I had a lovely Rubens-ques figure. To define a Ruben’s figure is suggestive of the painter Peter Paul Rubens or his works. He painted in an extravagant Baroque style emphasizing movement, color, and women’s sensuality. His beloved women were usually rounded woman in a pleasing attractive way. The womanly figure of the day.Peter-Paul-Rubens-oil-painting-RUBENS11

During my personal Rubens-que period, I weighed 164 pounds. I stand 5′ 11′ tall.  I proudly wore a 14.  I was womanly rounded and curvy. Not fat. I was proud of the way I carried myself.  I always turned heads as I entered a room.

Recently, I have experienced an unexpected and unplanned dramatic drop in weight. Not the good kind of drama, like my favorite reruns of  Law and Order or The Mentalist. But, the kind that shocks you when you get on the scale.

Through this weight loss the structure of my body has changed.  I am not used to this sudden and drastically different image I now see sharing the space in the mirror with me.

This is my new reality.  It is a only a change in my visual identity. This has not changed my spirit or enthusiasm for all that I have. All that I am.

Within the last six months I have seen myself slowly slide out of my Size 10 Jeans.  Then buy the Size 8 Jeans. Then it was a smaller belt. Then cinching in the belt more. Then back to Target to buy the Size 6 Jeans. I was certain that was IT. No, back I went for the Size 4 Jeans.

Jeans Skinny with stripped teeAnd, shockingly, now it is the Size 2 Jeans. And, of course, while I was there, I had to have the much smaller belt.

This is a new experience for me. I am still 5″ 11″ tall.  I rather resemble an attractive and very good looking giraffe. When I hit the Size 2’s, the pant length became an issue. giraffe-clip-art_417978

I suppose clothing manufacturers don’t think there is a marketplace for the tall, waif-like, and very thin giraffe-like woman!  Who knew?

This is a time of reflection for me. The rare lymphoma that travels with me seems to have taken the more active ruling position in my body.  It is difficult for me. I have been on a “watch and wait” journey with my leukemia and lymphoma for a very long time. It has been a painfully slow road. Now the tempo changes.

Suddenly the speed with which the cancer is progressing is like a spinning top out of control, a whirling dervish with hurricane force winds or a tornado outside the window.

All of these recent body changes are only in the visual me. Recently, I answered a fill-in the blank contest for National Cancer Survivors Day on June 2nd.  “Life after cancer is glorious and every color of a rainbow.”  Imagine, I won!

Does size matter? Only in the way you view the world with all of life’s joyous moments just waiting to be experienced.

The Best Is Yet To Come!



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