Since turning 50 last year, I've felt surprisingly peaceful about myself and my appearance. I hear women my age complain that they miss being 25. They miss their pre-pregnancy figures, but not me. Here are some reasons why I love my body more today than ever before:
1. I didn't love my 25-year-old body. I was constantly unhappy with my weight, what size I wore, how I compared to movie stars and models. I look back and laugh at how much I ate and how relatively thin I was despite my very unhealthy diet.
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Is it inevitable that we are never happy with our appearances, no matter how fit and how youthful we are? Maybe if I had my 50-year-old mind attached to that younger body, I would like it more but I doubt it. I've finally found some body acceptance and I don't plan on giving that up.
2. This body of mine has provided me with a wonderful life. I have three beautiful children that kept residence in this body for 40 weeks each. I was blessed with healthy pregnancies, the ability to breast-feed and strength enough to schlep three very active babies around until they were ready to walk on their own. I know many women who haven't been blessed in these ways, and I won't disrespect them or my good fortune by complaining about my aging, yet healthy being.
3. I'm much less focused on my appearance and that has opened up a lot of time in my schedule. Honestly, I think I have a few extra hours a day that used to be spent obsessing over how I looked, what I would wear to the next big event, exercising more than necessary, and thinking about or following some low calorie diet. I still exercise and I still manage to put some vegetables in my mouth, I just stopped worrying about it so much. My mind is happily free of counting every calorie or fat gram and has opened up to plotting how women can take over the world.
4. I finally trust that those who love me do so for a whole lot more than how I look. My husband hasn't left, my children love me, my friends are as loyal as ever, my parents haven't disowned me and my dog greets me as if I am the most beautiful woman in the world. It appears that I have surrounded myself with people who don't much care about my 25-year-old body, so why should I? Oddly enough, I've never felt more comfortable in my own skin, and I'm pretty sure that's what people see when they look at me.
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So, as you age (and if we are lucky, we all do) I recommend you look back to that 25-year-old you, not with regret, but with joy. 25 was wonderful but so is 50 and beyond. Isn't it time to stop fighting with your appearance and start enjoying your life?
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