I’ve been concerned about gaining weight since I started using a wheelchair more.  I’ve never been thin, and I’m usually happy with the body I have,  but I get worried about my looks and then obsess on what I consider my flaws.  I never judge others so harshly and I really like diversity in body shape and personality.

But like many, I also have this illusion of what I should look like.  That I should fit in those “healthy weight” ranges that doctors recommend.  I exercise some and I try to use my manual chair when I can, but the nature of my handicap is that I get tired very easily.  I also really like to eat.  Good food is one of the true pleasures of life.

So I think I’ll continue to struggle with it, with body image.  Does this wheelchair make me look fat?

I visited my 102 year old friend, who is in a wheelchair that tilts back a bit, so her belly pokes out more than she’d like.  “I hate that it makes me look so big,” she once said when she was having her picture taken.  I thought, how can it be this lovely woman can reach 102 and still be worried about that?

A few days ago, a friend of my brought me a fat laughing Buddha.  It’s a white ceramic statue.


Since I’ve had it, I’ve had such a better attitude about my body, my life, my luck.  I’m lucky to have friends who give me a better perspective than I could ever attain on my own.


He’s in my studio/bedroom so I see him first thing in the morning.  I once I heard a story, I can’t find any evidence of it anywhere, but I liked it.  After a life of austerity and fasting and working towards enlightenment, when the Buddha got older, he got happy and began to enjoy all the bounty of life.  That’s why there is the austere Buddha and this one.  It’s not true, but I like it anyway.



So, this wheelchair, this body, makes me look like I’m enjoying life, getting out there, trying to get as much light as possible into my heart.


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