Can’t a girl just eat some steak and fries?

I love wearing leggings (or as my life hostage calls them leggin’s – I’m not sure what he has against that extra G). I’m putting that out there. Growing up in the 80’s, I quickly learned leggings were the epitome of cool and now they’ve made a long awaited comeback.

My leggings obsession is passionately monogamous to one brand – LC by Lauren Conrad for Kohls. Black, size medium. And that friends is why I’m not supposed to wear leggings. Because I am medium, I’m a medium sized girl. And the world is not sure what to do with me. Medium girls don’t fit into a nice little box, therefore they aren’t normal. Too “thick” to be considered thin and too “small” to be considered plus size, both acceptable labels by the way. Raise your hand if you’re over labels.

I’ve never really fit into a typical body label. My brother is a lifelong athlete, has thighs that could rival any Triple Crown winning thoroughbred, and a body fat index somewhere in the same range as The Rock. My parents I think have always looked alike, as they say couples tend to do – both thin in an athletic way, full of muscle tone.

Then there’s me. I have cellulite on my sturdy thighs. A bust that makes button down shirt shopping a joke suitable for late night TV. Hips that don’t lie, as Shakira would say. And no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to shake the flags that wave with or without the wind on my underarms.

Yet, I’ve learned grateful acceptance. Those sturdy thighs? They’ve helped me cross the finish line of two (soon to be three) half marathons. That bust that could give Jimmy Kimmel a field day may someday be nourishment for a child who is brought into this world with the help of Shakira’s hips. And those pesky flags, they make me freakishly strong and allow me to move furniture as if it were made of cardboard.

I was at the doctor a few weeks ago. (Full disclosure: my doctor is phenomenal. She is board certified in three specialities, always treats me like I’m her only patient of the day, and is the most non-judgemental person I’ve ever met.) On this particular day, I noticed my weight was not where I wanted it to be and mentioned something about it to her. She looked at me and asked, “Rachel, are you happy?” I was so taken aback, I’m sure I looked like I’d seen the ghost of Elvis.

Me: “What?”

Doc: “Are you happy?”

Me: “Ridiculously.”

Doc: “Then you are a healthy weight.”

Absolute craziness! A medical professional was telling me my happiness dictates my health. Hold up, shouldn’t I have already been aware of that?

A recent picture of actress Halle Berry circulated where she of all things, showed off a gut. Not only did she show off a gut, she flaunted it like the fabulous female she is – wearing a body hugging dress and even placing her hands on her “bump.” That sent all the gossip magazines into overdrive – she must be pregnant! Her response: can’t a girl just eat some steak and fries?

Hell yes Halle, you have every right to eat steak and fries! You have every right to eat what you want, whenever you want. To work out every morning or sleep in. To be thin, medium or plus sized. To carry those extra pounds that showcase your happiness. You can even rock your black, size medium leggings, and absolutely no one has any right to say you’re not normal.

Rachel Olszewski

A hot mess held together on a daily basis by dry shampoo and probiotics, Rachel is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up but for now is a communications professional by trade. A true Chicagoan through and through, she is an East Coast transplant trying to set down roots. Although the height of her high heels may be getting shorter, Rachel’s expectations are not getting lower and she is on a mission to change the world one person at a time.

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