Life is Too Short.

June 27, 2009 at 12:31 am 11 comments

When I meet with couples seeking marriage, we sometimes joke about the amount of unsolicited advice they get from everyone, about everything wedding-related. I offer them my own two cents worth: “Life is too short for uncomfortable shoes”.

Do I ever listen to my own advice? Heck no! What would be the fun of that?

I’ve been in pain since the beginning of spring.
Other things I did in spring:
-started a running training program- building up to a 5K
-started wearing my favourite summer skirts, and cute little sandals with them.

So when my feet and knees started to complain, it was so easy to jump right to “I’m too fat to run”. I got frustrated. I quit following the schedule. I dropped out of the race for which I had registered. I stopped running.

And my feet still hurt.

I really don’t like my feet. I never have.

They are wide. And hard to fit. They are ugly, ungainly.
And it has been very easy to just sweep all that foot hate into a much bigger ball of body hate.

If only I weren’t so fat, my feet wouldn’t hurt.
I’m too fat for heels. Too fat for pretty shoes. Too fat for all the cute, cheap shoes at Payless.
Too fat to expect to be able to get through a day spent on my feet without pain in my knees, my toes, the balls of my feet.
Too fat.
If only I weighed less, If my feet didn’t have so much me to hold up, they’d be fine.
Riiight.

What sort of great idiocy is this?!
There are fat waitresses, fat nurses, all sorts of fat people who make it through entire days on their feet. Somewhere they find shoes that enable them to manage it. They exist, somewhere in the world. And dammit! If those shoes are to be had, I need those shoes. I want those shoes.
Dare I suggest it, even to myself? I deserve those shoes.

So I went out on Thursday and bought those shoes.
From a store where I walked in and she started off by measuring my feet (both! Because they’re different!) and then she matter-of-factly and without judgement told me what features we were looking for in a shoe that would work for me. (Adjustable straps at the front was key.) We found a few pairs. Some were waaay out of my price range. Some were only a little bit out of my price range. One pair came home with me. Dressy sandals, for the days that I can’t get away with my ugly but oh-so-comfy 5-year-old workhorses.

It feels like a lot of money to spend on shoes. But I’m embracing the idea of cost per wear, that I learned about from this book I picked up. The walking sandals I bought for a vacation in 2004 (at the same store) have certainly earned their place.

But, the thing is. I could lose 100lb and my feet would still be wide, and my arch would still be oddly placed, and all the little oddities that make one shoe right for me, and another right for someone else, would still be there. It isn’t about fat, or thin. It’s about figuring out what works. I’m working on hating my feet less, honoring them more, and dressing them better.

Life is too short to spend it hating, regretting, or trying to change the reality that is my incarnate self.
Life is too short for punishing myself for not being ‘normal’.
Life is too short for uncomfortable shoes.

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Zoo Adventures Members of the Body

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mulberry  |  June 27, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Why do we so often feel bad when we can’t find pretty shoes (and clothes)? It’s not as if we’re getting paid to take them. I have double-wide feet myself, and it’s only in the past very few years that I’ve been able to find nicer footwear. I’ve also been able to obtain boots that come in something besides black.
    I don’t mind the mere fact of having wide feet (and hands, for that matter). I just want to have decorative items available for them and in my size. Can you think of any other art besides fashion where the artist complains about the canvas being too big to work with?

  • 2. Nicole  |  June 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Good for you! IMO, shoes (and bras) are worth spending money on. May your shoes take you great places.

  • 3. littlem  |  June 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    What a nice post.

    “I could lose 100lb and my feet would still be wide, and my arch would still be oddly placed, and all the little oddities that make one shoe right for me, and another right for someone else, would still be there. It isn’t about fat, or thin. It’s about figuring out what works.”

    That. All those doctors that say, “Lose weight and your knee problems will go away”? 40 lost (and kept-off) pounds later, I find out that they lied and it’s all about body structure. Some of the best and fittest dancers and tennis players in the world have stuff like incurable tendonitis.

    To that end, as far as the Payless shoes go, I would say this:

    I realize budget as well as cuteness are concerns for most of us, but Dankso, Aerosoles, Softskins, NB, and even Robert Clerigie (if you’re into the combination of fabulous foot comfort, that French/Italian chic “I just threw this on” look, and the semi-gulty, semi-luxurious feeling of having spent perhaps a little more than you thought you should have, but on shoes that will last another 15 years) have sales.

  • 4. TropicalChrome  |  June 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    You are so right! The shoes have to fit our feet, not the other way around.

    I also have wide feet. Which means hard to find and expensive shoes. But I realized recently that the only shoes I’ve ever worn for multiple seaons (other than my sneakers and hiking sandals) were both wide and expensive. Which has actually made them far more cost-effective. I’m still turning this over in my head. But I’m enjoying my new shoes in the meantime :).

  • 5. Kristie  |  June 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Amen. I used to shop at Payless, and never dreamed I’d spend $80 on a pair of shoes, but I’ve gotten to the point in my life where comfy shoes are no longer an option; they’re imperative. Bad shoes cripple me in bad ways. We all deserve better than fashion that hurts us–physically or mentally.

  • 6. friendly daughter  |  June 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    dude, I couldn’t even read past the phrase “Payless Shoes.”

    They’re fine for kids’ shoes, (kids outgrown shoes so fast it’s not even funny) but virtually useless for anything else. THAT ain’t got a thing to do with fat. Take it from a 145-pound woman; thinner women don’t feel good in ’em either.

    The last pair of shoes I bought there were “emergency pumps” to wear to church at Grandma’s (coz I forgot to pack any suitable footwear, and skipping church was not an option) and my feet ACHED after twenty minutes of standing.

    Paid twenty dollars for about twenty minutes worth of wear. lol.

  • 7. Bronxgirl1  |  June 27, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    OMG…If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn that I wrote this entry myself. It is as if you were writing about my feet…LOL. Is it possible that we are related?…LOL

    Seriously, I became so fed up and I decided that there just had to be a better way. I think I may have found it. I started ordering my shoes from Evans. They have wide width EEE shoes and best of all they are cute! I don’t know where you are located but for me a wide shoe that is trendy is well worth the international costs. I have also heard other fatshionistas raving about duo. I looked at their site and I am dreaming of boots that will cover my fat feet and ankles. Best of luck to you.

  • 8. Travis Brand  |  June 28, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Weirdly enough? Payless is the ONLY place I have ever been able to find shoes that fit my wide feet. I also have high arches.

  • 9. Electrogirl  |  June 28, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Right on! I have always had big feet for a woman. 10 or 11 wide, depending on style and manufacturer and such. I am also more sensitive to touch than most people; I can’t just ignore and put up with something rubbing on my feet, it will drive me crazy all day long. One of the things my mom taught me is that well-made, comfortable shoes are worth every penny. I never have very many pairs of shoes, but the ones I do have usually last for years. That ‘cost per wear’ thing is so true.

    Rock those sandals!

  • 10. Rachel  |  June 29, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I started a running program a couple months ago that was waylaid by my graduate dissertation and am now resuming it. I went and got fitted for gym shoes at a running store before I began. I have flat arches, wide feet and one foot is half a size larger than the other. I couldn’t believe what a difference it made getting professionally fitted for shoes… my new shoes forced my foot into a comfortable arch and were designed for people with wide feet. I used to get sharp pains in the sides of my feet when on the stairclimber and it was all because I was wearing shoes that weren’t a proper fit for my feet. The new shoes cost about $30 more than the Nikes I bought in a mainstream shoe store, but they were well worth it.

  • 11. flash  |  July 5, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Nice!

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