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New Year, new body?

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Oh yes, it is well and truly that time of the year isn’t it.  Whilst standing at the checkout scanning the magazine covers for pictures of Ryan Gosling (just me?), you will be bombarded with taut bikini bodies and headlines such as 2015- your best body yet! Or my personal favourite, ‘Celebrity body special- Half their size!’ (Would it be rude of me to point out that if these women were actually half their size, then they would be in hospital attached to IV fluids?)

Well, if there was an Other Side of Forty magazine on the newsstands (no, don’t worry I won’t be making that one of my goals for 2015- I know I’m not Oprah) there would be a picture of me like the one above. Make up free, big hat on, and having fun playing with my kids at the beach.  I would title it 2015- Same body I’ve always had, a little bit older, a little more wrinkled, a tad less perky, but goddamn it, I’m giving it my all to love what I’ve got!

Now don’t get me wrong, on occasion when I look at my body I wish my thighs were thinner or my tummy was flatter (particularly after the indulging of the Christmas season). But really, if I have learnt anything from getting older it is this. Are you ready? NO ONE REALLY CARES. Do your kids care about thin thighs? No, they just want you to use your legs to play and run and dance with them.  Does your husband care whether you have washboard abs? Not likely, he would be happy if you just let him touch you more often. Do your friends look at your bum, and snigger and laugh and point?  No, I’m pretty sure they would only do that if you’ve tucked your skirt into your undies when you’ve left the ladies room! (or is that just my friends?)

As with most things in life, no one really cares about what we look like as much as we think they do.  So I am asking you to forget about other people for the moment, and just focus on you. Take a look at yourself in a photo that you love and really notice yourself.  When I look at the photo above, I think of myself as a fun loving mum, wife and friend, feeling relaxed on holiday, and happy within myself. Now that’s a far better way to think about myself than scrutinising my body and thinking, “gee, I could stand to lose a couple of kilos.”

In other words, what I am advocating for is a body that you feel happy in and can love and accept for what it is.  When you let go of your perceptions of what other people think of you, then you can truly focus on what a body you love really means for you.  Yes, I am aware for some people that might mean that you want to lose a few kilos to feel more healthy, and that’s more than ok. Because hopefully your decision will be coming from a place of self love rather than self loathing.

If you are a parent, and you are confident and loving of the body you are in, you will be doing not only yourself but your kids (especially your daughters if you have any) a great service.  These days our kids get so many of their messages about life through the media and, lets face it, more often than not the message for young women seems to be that a hot bikini body equals a happy successful life. Tell your kids this is bullshit (swearing might actually make your offspring listen to you for a second) and replace those words with self love, and then start showing your kids how to do that by loving and accepting yourself.

Maybe print out this little gem I have just posted on Instagram. Forget #fitspo, give me #truthspo any day (ok, so hashtags aren’t my thing, but you get the drift).

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Yep, that about sums up my body lovin’ advice!

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These are my thoughts on the matter, I’d love to hear what you think. How do you relate to your body, have you found it an easier relationship as you get older?

 

12 Comments on New Year, new body?

  1. Rachel
    January 7, 2015 at 11:46 am (3 years ago)

    When I had the body most people dreamed of, I had no appreciation for it. The other side of 40 is way more comfortable and I appreciate what my body can do and how it looks so much more than I ever have. I think my appreciation also stems from a long struggle with a chronic illness too though.

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      January 7, 2015 at 12:12 pm (3 years ago)

      I think that is true for a lot of us Rachel, I know it is for me. Although, you are right there is nothing like illness to remind us of how grateful we should be for a healthy body.

      Reply
  2. Lisa Hatherly
    January 7, 2015 at 12:28 pm (3 years ago)

    Yes! I love this post. Comparison is a complete and utter waste of time – but for some reason body comparison – can become an all consuming – self hate party. We stop looking at others and then just focus totally on our own body and make a list a mile long of what is wrong with it. This was my issue – and as I got to the other side of forty – I focused on all the things that were different (wrong) from my 30s and 20s. The thing is you will always look back and say check out my legs when I was 20/30/40 and have an appreciation for them (in retrospect). So the ultimate form of self love must be to say check out my legs now – how good are they – these are all the amazing things that they do for me. And as you say shower them with love.xx

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      January 7, 2015 at 2:44 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lisa, we are certainly our own worst critics a lot of the time. I’m sure when I’m 60, I’ll look back on the legs I have now and think they were great, so as you say, why not love them now. x

      Reply
  3. georgia
    January 7, 2015 at 1:55 pm (3 years ago)

    LOVE this Mel! Such a refreshing take on the New year spin (god knows it drives me crazy, all the goals and resolutions people feel compelled to make!) Self love is the way to go – then funnily enough, the goals will come, effortlessly. 🙂
    G x

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      January 7, 2015 at 3:41 pm (3 years ago)

      You are so right Georgia, and you are a shining example of that. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Barry
    January 7, 2015 at 2:40 pm (3 years ago)

    Thank you.
    How wonderful is it to be genuinely happy and grateful for the present.
    I try consistently to be so, but it seems all to easy to become lost and disconnected like flotsam in the sea of everyday life.
    I really align with your perspective, and look forward with joy to your future expressions.
    XOX

    Reply
  5. Naomi Arnold
    January 7, 2015 at 4:31 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh my goodness, I love this post so much Mel. I was nodding my head (and giggling away at your jokes) the whole way through.

    I especially loved your headline: “Same body I’ve always had, a little bit older, a little more wrinkled, a tad less perky, but goddamn it, I’m giving it my all to love what I’ve got!” I’d totes buy that mag!

    Absolutely agree on so many levels.

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      January 7, 2015 at 8:07 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much Naomi, if I ever get a publication deal to publish my #truthspo magazine, I’ll be sure to contact you! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Melissa Chambers
    January 11, 2015 at 8:26 pm (3 years ago)

    What a refreshing article…..yes I have a tummy because I’ve had to kids and yes my boobs are saggy because I used them to nourish those 2 kids, but that’s okay I’m quite happy with what I have!

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      January 11, 2015 at 10:49 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Melissa. What a great attitude- more mums should think like that!

      Reply

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