Loving Your Body In All It's Stages of Life
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
Us women are our greatest critics. And the critical voice of ourselves can get louder as our bodies change over time due to age, children, stress, medical conditions, to name a few. Wrinkles. Cellulite. Weight gain. Thinning lips. Sagging skin. Double chins. Greying hair. Thinning hair. C-section scars and consequent FUPA's. Feelings of insecurity can creep in as these changes occur. Why is that? Is it because of your own interpretation of self worth attached to image? Is it because of societal conditioning of what "attractive" really means? Is it from fear of looking unattractive to your partner? What is the reason these changes can cause insecurity?
Most women in their mid thirties and above can look at the young 20 something girls slightly enviously, remembering the tighter skin, thicker hair, smaller physiques, fuller lips. But we were them once. We remember. We also now know we had no way to really know then the changes to our bodies that were bound to come. Ahhh ignorance sure is bliss! And yet, every moment of life experience has brought your body to where you are today, which is certainly something to be grateful for, because living life is a gift.
It's the change that can be hard though, even if your mind is full of self love and awe. Here's my story as of late. I've been the same size since I was in 9th grade. I even still have jeans from 9th grade that I was able to wear up until mid 2019 with the exception of pregnancy years. Then 10lb crept on Summer of 2019. Not too much worry there. Clothes still fit just a little different. Then since covid, another 20!!! has packed on! Now I'm heaviest I've ever been. Very little changed, except the amount of extreme stress I was under due to a child being hospitalized several times due to critical health issues as well as all that was going on with covid at the same time. And probably less movement due to stay home orders. It also doesn't help that I'm recovering from adrenal fatigue which makes my cortisol already really wacked, and my hormones equally jacked, both which contribute to weight gain primarily in the mid section where I see it the most. All the usual things I would do to loose a few just doesn't do the trick anymore. I see this body in the mirror, and think "damn girl, you have been through so much, and you still look beautiful in this new form". BUT. When I go to put my clothes on they fit uncomfortably different. I can feel how different it is to move with more skin on my bones. That is the uncomfortable part I don't like. I've always loved to dress how I feel and suddenly my wardrobe is limited to what fits and hides the parts I don't like in tight clothes. My solution? Buy bigger clothes for the first time since 9th grade. I mean, if I make it through a world pandemic with some weight gain being my biggest issue, I'm doing pretty damn good. #perspectivepeople
I honor my body's changes. That is completely different than saying I don't give a fuck if I'm healthy or not. I'm giving myself some grace for all it's been through, and see the weight as a symptom of that. When you honor your body and where she's at, you are saying to yourself, "I hear you, I see you, I love you!". And your body responds to that. I have this belief that part of the weight gain for me stems from somewhere in my subconscious. A belief or feeling that I had to protect myself, the world is not safe and one way my body tried to do that is to put on weight like a buffer from the unsafe world I felt I was in. But also, I see it saying, "I need ALLLL the love you can give me right now". And so I give her grace. I'm upping the anti on supplements, and clean foods and exercise that is not hard on my body, and all the water and sleep. Just to send my body that message that I see her, and hear her. Weight loss is not the goal. Feeling my intuition and listening for what my body is telling me it needs is. And I believe my weight will settle to where it's healthiest for me in the process.
Those parts of your body that are changing and you're struggling with. What are the messages there? How can you frame it in a positive? How can you love up on that part of your body to say to yourself, "I see you, honor you.". Send that part of your body all the love. Take extra care of it!! Speak to yourself the way you would want someone to speak with your most loved person on earth. Think about what changes have come with age that you LOVE! Are you more confident in decision making, a better communicator, more patient. Take the time to do the thing that makes you feel good about yourself! When we find confidence in ourselves through these areas of our self we admire, that radiates into a kind of beauty that no amount of make up, weight loss, or hair extensions can create!!
A woman I recently began working with in sex coaching is having a hard time being intimate with her husband because of weight gain as she's entered menopause. Whether its because of menopause or not, this is a challenge many women face. I'll tackle that issue in the next blog post. Stay tuned!