Owning the Body I have

img_1859This is a post that has been rattling around in my head for a while now – body image, shame, disgust, hate, self-esteem, fatigue, guilt – all such strong topics and emotions never far from many women’s minds I feel… We are bombarded with images of so called “body perfection” from so many angles these days that it is often difficult to take a step back and evaluate how we really want to feel about our OWN bodies.

Like a lot of women I have often had a tumultuous and changing relationship with my body – thankful for and appreciative of it at times but often reviewing it with loathing and regret.

I have jumped through different weights and sizes – a roller coaster of ups and downs, fluctuations I have sometimes had some control over and at other times my body has taken me on the ride all by itself. Stress, grief, workloads, partying, studying, pregnancy, breastfeeding, exercising, not exercising, unhappiness, joy and fear all playing a part in my body’s ever changing look and feel.

I am now approaching the age of 42 – an age where I feel it is finally time to put up my hand and say I’m over this particular roller coaster. I’m over looking down at and across my body and feeling discontentment. I’m over feeling guilty for not exercising – again! I’m over thinking I “should” take some particular action to make my body “better”. I’m over trying to choose clothes that hide and protect rather than embracing what I already have in abundance. I’m over defending a body that has taken me through puberty, adulthood, pregnancy and birth. I’m over trying to prove something.

I hate exercising – there, I’ve said it! I hate going to gyms and joining in classes where I feel inadequate and uncoordinated. I hate weighing and measuring myself in a never ending quest to reach some perfect number combination. I hate spending time on activities that bore and drain me when I could be reading a book or writing a story.

I don’t mind going for the odd walk – it’s when I do some of my best thinking and pondering and pilates makes me feel strong and stops my back from hurting so I will keep adding these to my “to do” list – they are things I enjoy and not things I think I “should” do. I’m almost 42 – it’s time for the body “shoulds” to well and truly stop!

I love chocolate – I will never stop eating it – for better or worse it brings joy to my life! I know what my body doesn’t love – dairy (apart from chocolate of course!), wheat and unfortunately, alcohol – so I will limit these things that slow me down and cloud my mind. I will listen to my body instead of the internet, glossy magazines and wellbeing “experts”.

I’ve questioned myself over all these thoughts – am I simply putting my hand up and saying “I’m too lazy” to care for my body the way I should?? Possibly. But if my way leads to body appreciation and contentment as opposed to constant querying and guilt then I’m ok with that.

I’m almost 42 years old, I have rolls and curves, grey hairs emerging, tuck shop lady arms, ankles that aren’t getting any smaller and boobs that no longer stay up high! I’m tired of looking at these as imperfections rather than seeing a strong, fairly healthy, working body. I’m going to start working with what I’ve got as opposed for wishing for something I don’t want to work for.

My 4 year old little girl got herself dressed yesterday and asked to look at herself in the mirror. She stood up tall, shoulders back, flicked her hair behind her neck and declared, “I look awesome mummy”. Yes you do my darling. And so does mummy.

12 Comments

12 Comments on Owning the Body I have

  1. Helen K
    October 2, 2016 at 3:53 pm (10 months ago)

    Lovely thoughts – and self acceptance can so hard, so well done for your greater acceptance. It sounds like you are well on the way to working out what works for you – keep it up!

    Reply
    • Karen
      October 7, 2016 at 3:46 pm (10 months ago)

      Many thanks Helen! I think self-acceptance is a never ending challenge – especially for women! There are days when I feel more accepting than others but I’m trying to roll with the ups and the downs!

      Reply
  2. Ashleigh Mills - My Meow
    October 2, 2016 at 9:29 pm (10 months ago)

    I really go through phases like this. I have put on 8 kilo in the last 3 years and while I pretend I’m okay with it, really I’m not. I drink too much and eat bad food and it is not so much the weight, it is that I know that I am not being my best me. So i’m embarking on a program to shift my food and move more, it is not extreme more a lifestyle change, and then if my best me, is me, with 8 kilo, then I’m happy with that. It is all about if you think you’re happy with yourself and choices, and your body can do everything you want at the end of the day. I will never give up choccie either!

    Reply
    • Karen
      October 7, 2016 at 3:48 pm (10 months ago)

      I totally understand Ashleigh! I have gone through quite a period of not really treating my body all that kindly an I have paid for it dearly! I am definitely trying to feed my body better at the moment but for me that is about feeling well and energised – not so much losing weight. I have put on a bit of weight too but I am trying not to fixate on the numbers (easier said than done isn’t it??!). Good luck with your program!

      Reply
  3. Paula, The Geeky Shopaholic
    October 3, 2016 at 3:43 am (10 months ago)

    Love this! Especially this line- ” I’m going to start working with what I’ve got as opposed for wishing for something I don’t want to work for.” I’m working toward this mindset myself. It’s a daily process! :)

    Reply
    • Karen
      October 7, 2016 at 3:49 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks Paula – I couldn’t agree more!! Daily struggles are all a part of it. Even after I hit “publish” on the post I had a “am I really ok with it?” thought!!!

      Reply
  4. Tamara
    October 3, 2016 at 12:02 pm (10 months ago)

    Beautifully said! To live in the moment, and be present in today, means to love the body we have and celebrate the day ahead. You are both beautiful and look awesome!

    Reply
    • Karen
      October 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks T – right back at you! xx

      Reply
  5. Shari from GoodFoodWeek
    October 3, 2016 at 1:17 pm (10 months ago)

    It’s funny, I’m probably the biggest I have ever been and my body has truly been stretched and marked by two 4kg babies and another on the way – but I am the most comfortable with my body now with all that it has achieved.

    Reply
    • Karen
      October 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm (10 months ago)

      That is so great to hear Shari – I really think as we get older that act of self acceptance becomes easier doesn’t it??

      Reply
  6. Deb @ inner compass designs
    October 3, 2016 at 7:17 pm (10 months ago)

    Love this post so much. I am writing my self acceptance series and will be adding this post to my resources round up further in the series. I don’t see it as being lazy but accepting both your physical self and what you want/need. Some Pilates, some chocolate and ??? whatever you fill in the blank with is right for you. And the 40s Rock. I am 44 and growing into myself more every day.

    Reply
    • Karen
      October 7, 2016 at 3:51 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks so much Deb – looking forward to reading your series! Totally agree about the 40’s too!

      Reply

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