I started my fitness “journey” about 10 years ago. Over the years, I have learned to love my body. I love it not in some abstract inspirational way. When I run long distances I marvel that my legs can keep going for 13.1 miles. When I snatch 25-30 pounds I feel strong, empowered and amazed. My body is stronger at 46 than it was at 36. I wear a smaller size. I weigh less. I have more energy. I am acutely aware of how my body carries me through life. And yet the reality is…I still have body image issues.
The truth is no matter how far we come, we still feel the need to look perfect. We all have trouble spots we obsess about. For example, no matter how thin I get I hate my abs. Actually, they look worse when I am at my thinnest. How is that for irony? You can’t tell if you see me dressed. I gave birth to two people on the same day. Their residence was stretched to the max. When I was pregnant my belly literally looked bigger every day. At 37 weeks I gave birth to a 6 pound 10 ounce boy AND a 5 pound 11 ounce girl. My abs have never quite forgive me or forgotten. Twelve years later I have come as close to coming to terms with it as I can more than likely.
People say things like “well you earned those scars and they are symbolic of your motherhood”. Maybe that comforts some women but it never worked for me. In all honesty as I was getting divorced one of my biggest fears was that I was going to meet someone new and they would be turned off…I mean my childbearing stretch marks have nothing to them. At the point when I was in the best shape of my life I couldn’t wear a bikini with confidence. It felt so unfair and made me extremely self conscious. It all sounds pretty silly as I read this. I dreamed of a tummy tuck. It only seemed fair that I should get one. Looking at the big picture of life as I know it today it seems so trivial.
In my mind I know this is all total bullshit. Pardon my language. The truth is I needed to accept that a man will either be attracted to me or not. If imperfect abs bother him he probably isn’t for me. If I really want to wear a bikini maybe I should just go for it. I shouldn’t put myself under the knife and put myself through pain to look a certain way. Will having that smooth belly really make me better or more attractive? I don’t know but how much time can I spend worrying about something so frivolous???
I tell you this today because I want you to know that you are not alone if you have these thoughts. We all look at someone else and think they have it better than us. We wish we had someone else’s thighs, hair, butt, arms, cheekbones. We don’t look inside ourselves for our beauty. Consider someone might find you beautiful because you always have a smile for them. Maybe they love your voice. Maybe you have gorgeous skin. Maybe your empathy is a big turn on. For my part I am attracted to a man that is active, hard working, handsome, funny, smart and most of all a good dad. Abs don’t even come to mind. A man that puts his children first is number one on my list. So it stands to reason that it goes both ways. I am not the woman for someone who is shallow. However, if you like someone who is high energy, positive, nice and thoughtful…well I have that to offer.
So, take care of your body. Make it the best it can be. Feed it healthy whole foods. Move around as much as you can. Maybe that means running, lifting, yoga…whatever you like. Make a list of all you positive traits and the things about your body that you love! Most of all, love you with all of your bumps and bruises. If you spend time criticizing yourself you won’t have any self confidence. That is so NOT sexy. Nothing is as sexy as a person that feels they are. Promise. Go out there and rock that body!!
Love and light,