What would you change about your body if you could?
Would you change your height? Your hair? Your eyes?
Do you love your body just the way it is?
Loving your body is not automatic. It doesn’t usually come easily. But loving your body at any age is possible.
In my 20’s I probably had a laundry list of things I would have changed about my body. That list is gone now.
Now I’m in my 40’s, and I can honestly say that while I may not have chosen to look the way I do, I wouldn’t change anything about my body.
My hair, for instance, has always driven me crazy. It’s stick straight, thin, stringy and my natural color is a lovely, mousey, dishwater brown. (I left the brown behind years ago.) I have always had “hair envy”. The hair I always wanted was curly. I’d even keep my natural color if it was just curly.
My hair doesn’t curl worth a darn. In my teens, I permed, curled, applied cans and cans of mousse (remember mousse?) and hair sprayed it to the heavens just like all the other girls in my school. It didn’t help. The curls fell out within hours. But, I know plenty of women who have curly hair and hate the fact that straight is never an option for them.
If I woke up one morning and my hair was suddenly curly, I would probably complain that I couldn’t put it behind my ears anymore in an effort to get it out of my eyes!!
My father has curly hair. Did I get his curly hair? Nope. I got his feet and hands. For years I wore shoes that covered up my toes. My feet are not “lady-like” at all. I only started wearing flip flops and open-toed sandals in that past 10 years or so. Now when I look at my “ugly feet” I laugh and think about my dad and thank God that I’m able to walk. That’s a luxury some people don’t have.
As for my skin, I swear I have the oiliest skin on the planet. I’m constantly dabbing my forehead with a tissue or paper napkin. Occasionally, my husband will see me and ask “are you sweating?” How embarrassing. And of course, with oily skin usually comes acne. Oh, joy!! I had to wait until my 40’s to get the acne under control, but I’m still oily. The upside is the commercials, ads, and articles about how to care for dry, cracked, tight skin don’t apply to me. I save a lot of money by using fewer creams, lotions and beauty products.
For years I painted my fingernails religiously. This was before everyone was getting acrylic nails. I would spend hours either painting or waving my hands and blowing on my nails waiting for the polish to dry. Only to have the paint chip 2 days later. So frustrating!! All that waiting and waving for only a couple of days of pretty nails. I tried fake nails and had a horrible reaction to the acetone. Now when I look at my naked nails and my dad’s fingers, I remember how much I cried from the blisters and the burning from the reaction to the polish remover.
At 40 something (50 is just around the corner), my weight isn’t what it used to be. When I joined the military, I was below the minimum weight for my height. That’s certainly not the case now. It was easy to take being thin for granted. Now I have the menopause belly and the days of eating whatever I want, whenever I want, are behind me. (Read more about My Body After 40). And, don’t get me started on the bloating!!!!
There are women who have medical conditions or have battled with weight for years. They would probably love to weigh in at the weight I hate!! Everyone has something and I need to be grateful for being healthy.
Loving your body at 20 is about excepting yourself and not comparing yourself to others.
Loving your body at 40 is about recognizing the alternatives.
Loving your body at any age is not about perfection, it’s about loving the sum of all your parts.
Remember, if there’s a part of your body you hate, there’s someone out there who would love to have what you have.