Those little cells that hold the fat in our bodies have been the bane of my existence since high school. I look back on how I felt about my body from the time I was a teenager and realize I’ve never been happy with it. There were always a few pounds I had to lose and I tried to manage it with some very extreme diets.
In my early 20’s I quit smoking and gained a few more pounds, then I had children and gained a lot more, while raising children, even more crept on. I’ve always been active but it was never enough to stop the constant upward tick of the scale. For decades I’ve had to monitor every little bite. Not just how much I ate but the quality of food. Every time I thought I had the right combination to take weight off something would derail me, usually my unmanageable thyroid.
I’ve never had an accurate body image. When I gained weight, I didn’t always realize or see it, when I lost weight, I was uncertain about how I looked. I spent more time hating my body than appreciating my good health despite the extra weight.
Last week, Patty Buccellato asked me to model on a local morning program in Detroit called the Style File. Patty owns Refined Images and works with people as an image consultant, she was asked to do a piece on how real women could adapt the current fashion trends. My first instinct was, “no”; not because I was nervous, but because I didn’t want to see myself on television. It’s bad enough looking in the mirror! Simultaneously, I began thinking how much fun it would be to have that experience. Fortunately, my love of adventure overruled my fears. The fact that I would consider turning down an experience because of poor body image, made me realize I needed a change of attitude.
In three weeks, I’ll turn 47. If I’m lucky, I’ll double those years. I want to spend the second half of my life valuing my body for what it can do. I’ll continue to take care of it by eating properly but I refuse to be hard on myself because of it’s physical shortcomings anymore. It is what it is. From now on, I will focus on enjoying every aspect of life, and I’ll forgive my body for seeming to work against my efforts. I want to embrace and value my full self for who I am, right now, in this minute. Thank you Patty Buccellato for helping me get there. And thank you to all my facebook friends who made me feel great about my decision – that was an unexpected bonus!