Many moons ago, one summer I had a moment when I believed my body was perfectly acceptable, normal and maybe even beautiful. In any case I felt as if I won the “I’m normal, young and attractive” lottery. I want to emphasize that this was a fleeting moment.
It was August, 1976, and I was visiting an almost famous older gentleman who thought I was attractive and said so. He thought my nose and chin were an asset and showed strength and character. I thought he was crazy and believed I had lots of evidence that these were liabilities and showed a freakishness.
In any case, I was intrigued with his line of thinking. He was smart, kind, educated and he had a house on Martha’s Vineyard.
The plan was a weekend away fishing and swimming. This meant bathing suit. Not my strong point. I was in a thin stage – that was good.
I decided to get a wax job as to make me appear normal.
Funny thing is I had this absurd idea that waxing was an easy hair removal system, as it appeared lots of women did it all the time.
Little did I know that this was going to be ripping the many dark hairs out of their hanging-on-for-dear-life roots! Pain, droplets of blood and $50 later, I was bathing suit ready.
I remember the suit: high cut on the thigh, low cut in front in a teal leopard print. Wish I had a photo to share with you. For that one afternoon, before the little hairs started growing back, I displayed myself as if I was care free and confident. What a friggin’ sham!
There wasn’t an ounce of care free in that summer or many others.
Ah, the lazy days of summer for young women who struggle with body image, excess weight and comfort habits of eating to sooth the soul from the onslaught of negative thinking.
I was convinced the war on my body image was a war I could never win -- to become a normal, thin, hairless, small nosed, desirable woman. Now, that hardly sounds appealing!
Fast forward 40 years. Summer is approaching. Body is right-sized for height and age. I no longer eat emotionally and am pretty damn happy with the whole package. I now have my own business and I seek adventure in meeting new people. I am confident inside. Outside things may be askew. But, purpose is exhilarating. Healing relationships with those I love is invigorating!
Offering freedom from self-critical, debilitating, unhealthy eating and thinking habits to women approaching 60 is damn fun.
Why? Because, Ladies, the brutality of how we compare our bodies against air-brushed perfection is as devastating as ever. To our children and to each other.
The I don't give a damn hormone.
Curiously and gratefully, when we hit our 50s and 60s we discover the I don’t give a damn hormone raging through our bodies. This is a good thing as everything starts to fall, square off (that is my formerly round butt!), thin out and creak a little bit.
We have a choice to make (as always). Using this new feeling can serve us or take us down a familiar negative path.
If the I don’t give a damn hormone is driving us to continue on a path of self-destruction because we feel hopeless and falsely believe we are losers, we are not serving ourselves again! Versus, the I don’t give a damn hormone driving us to ignore what others think, take pride in self-care, self-love and learn to be on our own side. Not to mention loving and lifting each other up.
I am all about maintaining weight loss from self-love. Eating healthy foods that taste delicious and nourish our body is sustainable for the long term. I’m telling you, it is true.
Here comes summer! Are you ready to choose a happy, healthy body and mind?