Do you ever look at yourself in the past and wish you’d appreciated your body more at the time?
You see pictures of yourself and remember not being happy with the way you looked, but now you wish you looked like that again.
When I was younger I was thin with curves. I wore a 10D bra with a tiny waist and a perky butt that meant my jeans always gaped at the back of the waist. I would love to have that problem these days. It was a bit annoying at the time but I could get away with just wearing leggings and tight stretchy clothes so it wasn’t a problem.
I know I’m getting old because I see teenagers these days wearing the current fashion of cropped tops with shorts so short you can get a glimpse of their butt cheeks and think I would never have worn that. But not because it was the 90’s and cords didn’t come that short, but I don’t think I was brave enough to. I see teenagers with wobbly tummies and cellulite legs and think good on them for being confident enough, and it makes me wish I’d loved my body more back then and been happy with it. Mind you as a dancer I felt fine to wear tiny tops and show off my body on stage, but off the stage I was me and I wouldn’t have dared. I wish I was braver at the time.
My body has done pretty well though over the years. I’ve had 2 gorgeous boys and although my tummy will never look the same I have the energy to still beat them in a race, (though I’m not sure how much longer for, they’re growing up fast). Last weekend we went exploring an old abandoned army barrack and as we hoisted our bodies up and over a chest height wall I said to my 11 year old “aren’t we lucky that we’re strong enough to be able to do that”. I know plenty of people of all ages who wouldn’t be able to do that, they’d either find a way around or just miss out.
How terrible would it be to miss out on things because your body was letting you down? Chances are if you were in that situation you’d just accept it wasn’t possible and move on, but it makes me wonder what do I pass on because it’s in the too hard basket and I don’t know how great it could be because I’m not willing to put in the work.
Speaking of my 11 year old, we’ve recently started working out together on a Saturday morning. We’re not there to lift big weights, it’s more about body awareness, good technique and Oscar and Mum having a thing to do together without his younger brother tagging along. One of my clients is often at the gym at the same time and commented on how lucky it was that he has a Mum who can do that sort of thing with him. I know she didn’t have that sort of childhood. I thought, yes, I am lucky to be able to do that with my son and pass on the joy of what your body can do, rather than resenting it for what it can’t.
I am starting to feel my age though. My body doesn’t bounce back the way it used to. A carb blow out or a night of drinking now shows up in a puffy face, the niggles and pains are more frequent, and a bloated, uncomfortable stomach isn’t uncommon if I stray from my usual diet. I’m not that old, but I am on the other side of 35 and my body is starting to regularly remind me that now is the time I do need to look after myself more.
It’s about balance, it’s about self-care and remembering to love and appreciate what I have now.