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