I figured it was only a matter of time until I had a run-in with a drunk, homeless guy in the city. This weekend, it finally happened.
It’s gotten chilly in NYC, so I busted out a favorite long, cream sweater and my Nike workout pants to run errands this past Sunday. These particular pants are flared, so they majorly cling to my thighs and show off my quads. I didn’t think twice about how my legs looked in them – at least, initially.
Because I’m a beast and carry home 30 pounds of groceries over 20 blocks, I tend to focus on NOT running into the people around me. I’m watching out for tourists who stop in the middle of the sidewalk to gawk at the tall buildings, small children that tend to dart everywhere, and drunks that stagger all over the place.
Ahhh city living sounds so attractive, right??
Anyway, I’m walking the last bit of avenue on the way to my apartment and spot one of the aforementioned drunks ahead. He’s bobbing and weaving so I veer way to the right and avoid eye contact, the former in order to avoid a collision and the latter to discourage any sort of conversation/comments.
Fortunately, I’m successful on the “no collision” front, but unfortunately the drunk decides to scream at me as I walk by. He lunged toward me yelling “TWO BIG THIGHS!!!”
Since this isn’t the first time I’ve been yelled at by a drunk, I didn’t jump sky high like I might have before, but I did about shit my pants. I kept moving to get by him, but it left me a little shaken up.
Sure it startled me, but that wasn’t all that was bugging me. I was really pissed at the guy! ”Yeah, I know I have big thighs, asshole! Who does he think he is?? At least I don’t wander the streets hammered 24/7 like he does. What a dick…” is all I could think to myself as I finished the trip home.
While I dragged my jars of almond butter, pumpkin puree, roasted red peppers, almond milk and coconut cream up the stairs to my apartment (why the hell do I buy so many canned goods so far from home??), I started to settle down a little and actually use my brain instead of emoting like a lunatic. Here’s what the internal dialogue sounded like…
Logical Me: ”Ok Hight, you need to chill the eff out. It’s just a drunk guy spouting off. Why does what he said bug you so much?”
Crazy Me: ”Because that was a really shitty thing to say! What if someone came up to him and yelled ‘worthless drunk!’ in his face? He’d be hurt, too.”
Logical Me: ”Ok so it wasn’t nice, but you’re letting this guy get to you. Why?”
Crazy Me: ”Probably because I still haven’t made 100% peace with the size of my ‘two big thighs’. I wish they were smaller and tighter, so when he pointed out that they were big, it was a reminder of what I still don’t like or accept about myself.”
Logical Me: ”That’s what I thought. So what are you going to do about it now? Staying upset about it is only gonna make you miserable the rest of the night and probably send you headfirst into a bag of potato chips by about 9pm.”
Crazy Me: ”I guess I can look at it in a couple ways. #1 is his comment has more to do with how he feels about himself than what he thinks about me. He’s a homeless guy for cryin’ out loud! He probably isn’t thrilled with his life, so his comment is probably coming from a place of him hating on himself. Maybe saying that made him feel a teensy bit better.”
Logical Me: ”Ok, so you can remember in the future to NOT TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY and give someone the BENEFIT of the DOUBT. What else?”
Crazy Me: ”I guess #2 would be to find ways to be grateful for my ‘two big thighs’ instead of loathing them. Ok… My big thighs have come with a big butt, and I like my big butt. My thighs help me carry home loads of groceries and move heavy stuff around my apartment all by myself. They also have a lot of muscle on them which means that my basal metabolic rate is high and leg day creates a huge calorie deficit and EPOC effect. I can also lift a lot in the gym because of them, and that makes leg day so much fun! Alright, so I CAN be thankful for my big thighs.”
Logical Me: ”Yep. EXPRESSING GRATITUDE is critical in accepting less favorite body parts – and isn’t that the reason you got all upset in the first place?”
Crazy Me: ”I know, I know. But it’s easier to hate on myself. It’s a habit.”
Logical Me: ”True, but you’re more miserable when you hate. And we’re trying to avoid being miserable these days. Therefore, we’re trying new things like gratitude over hate. So anything else?”
Crazy Me: ”Next time I’ll throw a jar of almond butter – wait, nope that’s in short supply these days, I’ll throw a can of black beans at his head. That’ll shut him up.”
Logical Me: ”Yeah… great plan…”
So you see – once I finally settled down, I realized that the reason the guy said what he did had nothing to do with me or my big thighs. More importantly though, I realized that I still hate on my thighs sometimes and therefore don’t like when someone points out that they’re big.
One way of growing to accept them is by adopting an attitude of gratitude. In fact, gratitude can do all sorts of wonderful things. I highly recommend it.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” - Melodie Beattie
Your turn – Tell me in the comments about a time when gratitude or not taking comments personally has changed your outlook on a situation.