Curvy. Big Boned. Chunky. Thick. Full figured. Voluptuous. Solid. Bootylicious? (FYI Snoop said it way before Destiny's Child sang about it). Rubenesque - this one is my favorite. It sounds smart and artsy and proves I was born in the wrong century.
I never really knew what my adult figure looked like until I lost weight in my early 30's. I was probably the same weight in high school as I was at my goal but back then I just felt fat. And I'm pretty sure when a couple of boys would fly up dramatically out of their seats when I would sit down at my desk they weren't suggesting I was curvy and sexy. I'm also quite confident that breaking several chairs in her lifetime doesn't lead one to assume her large rear end is a major asset. (ha! ass-et)
And then there was the time my youngest son asked me, "Momma, how come your butt jiggles when you walk?" Sigh.
So I lost a bunch of weight and turns out - I'm curvy. Apparently there is a mathematical equation for this: a hip-to-waist ratio that determines your qualification. So-called studies show that this perfect number is .7. In real world speak - you can't find a damn pair of pants to fit your huge hips and ass without leaving a gaping hole at the back of your waistband. But good news - you now have somewhere to put your purse if you go dancing.
I'm on a constant mission to both make peace with my shape AND be fit and strong. Most days I'm ok with my curves. Some days I underestimate how much space they take up, like the other day when I almost knocked over a bunch of equipment at the gym with my butt but was saved by my trainer whose own derrière defies all laws of nature on her tiny, muscular body. But name one sport that my body shape is conducive to. Try it. I dare you. It doesn't exist. You are more likely to see my figure on Thick Girls with Booty than Strong is the New Skinny. Unless someone forms a National Childbirthing League (and trust me when I say I do NOT want to be drafted) I'm out of luck and fighting nature for the rest of my life when it comes to physical activity.
Enter Louwanda. I took a friend and former client to my favorite place to listen to live music in downtown Minneapolis. We had a great evening and got up to leave at the end of the night when a woman got up in my face demanding my name. (I'm pretty sure my friend thought we were about to get cut.) I politely told her mine and asked her for her name. Louwanda. She then proceeded to say, "I saw you walk past me three times! And the last time I said, 'Oh, hell no. Who she think she is walking in here like that?'" "Walking like what?" I say. "Oh you know what I'm talking about!" (Ok, so maybe we are going to get cut) I told her that was just the way I walk and she yells, "Bullshit!" At this point I don't know where we're going with this. But then Louwanda gives me one of the greatest compliments a Rubenesque girl in the 21st century can get. She says, "Girl, you might be vanilla in the front but you're 'chocolate' in the back." Ok, she didn't use the word chocolate. She used a particular n-word that I don't happen to use. But, profanity aside, this is high praise coming from a sister and I loved it.
I'm not ever going to be thin. I won't ever have an easy time shopping for jeans. It is my destiny to have to haul this junk around with me every time I try to be active, which is nearly every day. This shit is heavy, y'all. But that night, thanks to Louwanda, I didn't care that my butt jiggled when I walked. And I had the perfect name for my blog.