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It is time to love your body

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Oh yes, once again it is my favourite time of the year. When all the magazines pop the Kardashian’s away for a couple of weeks and excitedly reveal their best celebrity bikini body makeover stories for 2016 (actually forget that,  there is probably a Kardashian in there somewhere!)

Yes, after a few weeks of eating cheese, Christmas pudding, pavlova, and more cheese, I can’t wait to scan the supermarket shelves and indulge in a bit of body self loathing as taut bikini bodied celebrities tell me how I too can be happy and successful, if only I was ‘half my size!’ Hmmm, if I was actually half my size, then I would spend my Summer in hospital, but don’t let that get in the way of a good story!

Well, I am sorry ‘Woman’s Who New Weekly Idea Day Magazine’ I won’t be joining in your ‘fun’ and berating myself for not looking like Elle MacPherson, I’ll be too busy actually enjoying my life.  Because guess what? She’s got her genes (tall, long limbed, lean and tanned) and I’ve got mine (tallish, medium limbed, pear shaped and white as a lily). She makes her dietary choices and I make mine (mine would probably involve more carbs I’d hazard a guess). She has her exercise routine and I have mine (or I will do when I actually get moving for the year).  I’m also reasonably sure that even if I follow Elle’s 4 week diet plan that I saw on a recent magazine cover, I will still look a lot like me (albeit a little more miserable from depriving myself of pasta).

My body is that of a woman in her mid forties who has given birth to three children and god damn I am proud of it. Here are but a few reasons why:

  • I can still wrestle and pin down my 13 year old son to land a kiss on him (although this is getting admittedly harder)
  • I can still jump and bounce on a trampoline with my daughters (providing I have been to the toilet first)
  • I can still dance the night away like I am 20 (although unfortunately I can no longer ‘drop it like it’s hot’)
  • I can still comfortably walk, hike, jump, and even run short distances if need be (but not skip: I never have been able to skip for some reason)

In other words, my body works pretty darn well: I certainly have a few aches and pains brought on with middle age, but on the whole what a blessing this body of mine that gives me life is.

So why would I care if my tummy isn’t perfectly flat, my thighs have a bit of jiggle, and my bum is of the biggish variety: I am ok with that. My husband is ok with that. My kids are ok with that. I’m pretty sure my friends are ok with that. I’m guessing what they wouldn’t be happy with is a wife, mum, and friend who hated the way she looked, who sat on the sidelines of life because she cared what others might think of her. Who won’t ever get in her bathers in case someone sees those jiggly white thighs of hers. Fuck that for a joke. Life is for living, for having fun, for diving into the ocean…and for eating cheese.

Except, for one thing. The media tells me I shouldn’t be ok with that. Instagram tells me I should be thinner to feel good, people on Facebook fat shame normal sized women all the time, and those god damn magazines tell me that the celebrity bikini lifestyle is what I crave,

But I know one thing they don’t know: I know myself. I am Melissa, I am on the other side of forty and I choose not to give a shit what anyone I don’t love thinks about me.

So here I am at the beginning of 2016, I’ve got my mum bathers on and I’m whooping and dive bombing into my swimming pool with my kids. You may not see a photo of it on Instagram: but that’s ok, I’m having too much fun to get my phone out anyway!

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P.S. When I first saw this photo of me from my holiday to Greece (which is now one of my favourites of myself) my immediate thought was how my billowing top made me look so huge. Is this the first thing you noticed? I’m guessing you saw the beautiful scenery and a woman who is loving her life. If I had listened to that little voice, this photo would have never seen the light of day. Remember we always have a choice in whether to listen to those negative stories we tell ourselves, x

 

 

10 Comments on It is time to love your body

  1. Claire George
    January 4, 2016 at 10:55 am (2 years ago)

    Here here… my new years resolution this year was to not waste so much of my time thinking too hard about what I put in my mouth and how much exercise I’m doing in order to sculpt the ultimate version of my body (which mind you, never happens anyway). Time to embrace it all. Healthy …sure…. skinny…maybe not….Happy…I hope so :o)

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      January 4, 2016 at 2:38 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Claire. Yep, I truly believe happy and healthy does not have to equal skinny!

      Reply
  2. Jane Gramlich
    January 5, 2016 at 12:16 am (2 years ago)

    Beautifully put and perfect sense – Thanks for a great post. The pressure to look like we’re in our twenties is insane, but all around us nonetheless. One of my goals for 2016 is to book at least one session with a fashion consultant. I absolutely want to look good and feel good everyday. I don’t mind getting a little help in a way that complements my body rather than criticizes it.

    Reply
  3. Ceri
    January 6, 2016 at 11:07 am (2 years ago)

    Woohoo! Go you amazing woman! I love the attitude shift here. Also I’m 28 and would still want to make sure I’ve peed before trampolining (or laughing too hard mind you)—love your realness. 😉

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      January 7, 2016 at 9:35 am (2 years ago)

      Haha, thanks Ceri! I’m all about keeping it real! 😉

      Reply
  4. Jen
    January 17, 2016 at 2:31 am (2 years ago)

    Accepting your body as it is and for all the wonderful things it can do is a gift and really, I think, a key to happiness. I’ll never forget that years ago I was reading a weight loss book (The Solution) and the author talked a lot about how you first have to accept yourself and love yourself before you can make lasting change. Both my husband and I are working hard this year to get healthier and a huge part of it for me is reminding myself that my legs carry me through the steps I take each day, that my round belly is a gift. It all makes life a lot easier.

    Stopping by from Ultimate Rabbit Hole

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      January 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks for your comment Jen. I want to get healthier this year as well but as you rightly point out, it shouldn’t come from a place of hating your body. Good luck!

      Reply
  5. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    January 17, 2016 at 10:03 am (2 years ago)

    Such wise words. I’ve put on a lot of weight since my thyroid was removed after I had cancer but I eat delicious, (mostly) healthy food and I’m happy. At the end of the day, I’d rather be heavier than dead. And hello to another member of the “I can’t skip Club”!

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      January 17, 2016 at 12:11 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Sammie, what a great attitude you have. Also nice to know I’m not the only skipping challenged lady out there! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Karin @ Calm to Conniption
    January 17, 2016 at 9:50 pm (2 years ago)

    We can all be super nasty to ourselves can’t we. I am trying to check myself lately, especially after getting braces. No new year detox for me either.

    Reply

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