I texted to Colby today that I was considering writing a post about body acceptance, except that I feel too disgusted by my own body to write one at the moment. Which made me realize that this is precisely why I MUST write a post about body acceptance. Fake it ‘til you make it, say. Hopefully by the end of this entry, I’ll at least have called a truce with the old ‘bod.
Confession Time: I have been blessed by the metabolic gods. I have never needed to diet and in fact never even hit triple digits in weight until I was 3 months pregnant. So, I don’t have a lifetime of body wars behind me, like many women. Without much thought or control, my body consistently stayed at a certain weight and size until I had kids. Good metabolism and love for athletics kept me comfortable, if not always fully content (who is?), with my figure.
As I approach my mid-forties, with 3 pregnancies under my belt now, I sometimes feel like I don’t know my body anymore, and it is an unsettling feeling. For example, though I have been exercising regularly & I don’t feel like I am eating any differently, I somehow seem to have gained weight. This noticeable weight fluctuation happens a few times per year, and I don’t know why. I don’t step on the scale enough to know how much or when, but let’s just say I have to do advanced yoga to get jeans on these days. What the hell happened? It’s not even holiday season yet.
But, I am choosing not to dwell on that, and instead am going to focus on what I appreciate about my body. And I’ll revisit this post to remind myself of my @#&*^&!*% body’s good points as needed. If the jeans wars continue, it may be often.
Here are the Top Ten Reasons My Body is a Wonderland:
- It carried three freaking kids. Nursed each for 12 months. That’s around 27 months of pregnancy plus 36 months of nursing, for a total of 63 months, or 5+ years that my body worked overtime to help sustain a life other than my own. And it is still functioning. That, in itself, is pretty remarkable.
- It has logged over 1100 miles in running this year alone. Will likely exceed 1200 by the end of the year. And miraculously, has stayed injury-free.
- My legs are stronger than they have ever been. I’m pretty sure that my 43 year old legs could run the pants off my 23 year old legs.
- My abs ARE horrendous, but truly, not that much more horrendous than before I had kids. They have always been my weak spot. And now I have more of an excuse for a little extra “skin” (ahem).
- Despite looking like vermicelli, my arms are surprisingly strong.
- Thanks to Lasik, my eyes have 20/10 vision, and I don’t even need reading glasses yet.
- My hands are dry and rough, but that is part and parcel of getting to take care of my 4 favorite people every day. My hands were perfectly soft when I was single with no kids, no boyfriend and no family nearby in my early 20’s, but I think I was a heck of a lot less fulfilled.
- My hair has not yet turned gray. And I check all the time.
- I have laugh lines by my mouth and they get deeper every day.
- Everything still works, top to bottom. The real crux of it: Everything still works. I am truly blessed.
Looking over my list, I realize that my body is incredibly valuable because of what it accomplishes, every single day. I ask a lot of it and it rarely disappoints. As I get older, I think that body acceptance requires looking at what my body does for me rather than what it looks like in the mirror. It was easy to be accepting when it looked the same – slim and fit – year in and year out. But I’ve never been a fan of easy, and doubt I should start now. So as we approach the holiday season, I am going to choose to be grateful for my wonderful, strong, active, reliable body even if my Joe’s Skinny Jeans remain on hiatus until Spring.
So Colby, what does your Top Ten list look like?