Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ode to Aging

Ahh youth...  Such a wonderful thing.  I'm here to tell all of you spring chickens to take note.  Cherish your youth!  Revel in it, enjoy it, appreciate it, LOVE IT!!  Things change when you get older.

I used to laugh when my mom and my aunts would warn my sister and I about the changes they had gone through with aging.  Now, everyday I am reminded of what they were saying.  I'm in my 30s and I deal with aging on such a small scale compared to others.  Even though I have just a few gray hairs and no wrinkles, I can still tell that I'm going through changes.  Not THE change, (menopause), but changes.  lol

Some examples:

My stomach jiggles.  My stomach has always been big, but pretty stationary.  Now it jiggles, like a bowl of jello type jiggle.  It never did this before.  When I lose weight, the top of my stomach shrinks inward, but the bottom seems to do what it wants.

I have cellulite.  My legs in high school were like steel.  I had Beyonce's legs.  A bit thicker, but very muscular.  I could probably do lunges from Philly to DC in heels with a grown man on my back.  Cellulite wasn't happening anywhere.  It wasn't even in my mind.  It came out of nowhere.

Here's more:

My face wasn't this chubby.  The sides of my face were not as shaded as they are now.  My eyesight hasn't been great since the 2nd grade, but every prescription gets stronger.  My hearing isn't as sharp as it used to be.  My feet are bigger and wider.  When in the hell did hair start growing over my top lip and under my chin?  The Girls are singing, "Swing low, sweet chariot..."  Losing weight is not as easy as it used to be.  But you know what?  I am becoming okay with that.  These are simply my observations, not complaints. 

I tell you this, because when you're young, you don't think about how your body will change.  You don't appreciate your body at all.  You pick, prod, poke, and complain.  You stand in the mirror hating the way it looks and wishing it was more like *insert celebrity's name here*.  You spend your time hiding your body, not realizing that one day it will be different.  You have children, your metabolism slows down, gravity takes it's toll, and / or life happens.

It all changes and that is when you wish that you could go back to the days before the stretch marks, saggy boobs, gray hairs, wrinkles, jiggly or jigglier parts, and so on.  Back to when you could drop it likes its hot and not regret it in the morning.  lol

For those who are young and still have vitality and good "snapback", you need to end the war with your body.  For those who are not as young and the "snapback" isn't what it used to be, you too need to end the war with your body.  Stand in the mirror and admire just how beautiful you are.  Stand in amazement at how wonderful your body is and how great it has been to you.  Give yourself a hug, profess your love, and say thank you for all that your body allows you to do.  Do this everyday!  We are bombarded with images, commentary, and commercials whose sole job it is to make us feel like we are not good enough exactly the way that we are without whatever it is that is being sold.  A kind word or a number of kind words can do wonders for the psyche.

So what we could probably stand to lose a little weight.  Yeah sure, we could be healthier, but this is not about neglecting our health or putting the blinders on to our body's signals to problems.  This is about loving our bodies unconditionally!  This is about forgiving ourselves for the choices that we've made in regards to our bodies and our health.  This is about letting go of the pressure that we put on ourselves to fit in this perfect little box when it isn't possible.  We are perfect now! 

When you love yourself and your body, you treat yourself better.  You make decisions based upon what is truly best for you.  You pamper yourself and you give your body what it needs to be well.  No guilt.  No pressure.  No criticism.  No worries.  Hakuna Matata!  *Please, don't make me sing it.* 

I found two great body positive mantras.  Below are portions from both.
i will realize that everyone jiggles. EVERYONE. thigh jigglies, stomach jigglies, arm jigglies, EVERYONE JIGGLES. i am not the only one, and i should not shake my pooch and then count the seconds, mesmerized, until the jiggling stops... this body is my body, and it is a blessing. i will appreciate it for what it is, reward its strengths, accept its shortcomings. i will strive to wake up each morning feeling good about myself and thanking it, and god, for all it has done for me, today and in the days to come.   - Oh Honey.  No. 
Second one:
My shape is unique to me, and is not meant to look like anyone else. There is no “perfect” shape, and there never will be. The human race will not eventually conform to one appropriate body type, so neither should I. Energy spent on “if I were only”s will always have been better spent elsewhere. My thighs are not a curse, they are a reminder that I am strong. My soft stomach is not a sign of sloth and gluttony, it’s a sign of fair hedonism and proof that enjoying life is not less important than being “beautiful” in the eyes of the media.

I will not hold myself back from trying things because I’m worried about how my body will look or act. I will not skip dessert solely because I do not want the calories. I will treat my body as a temple, and there’s no rule that says “No Dessert in the Temple.” I will exercise my body because it needs it to function well, not so I can look like someone else, or obtain someone else’s figure.  - The Demoiselles
So stand up and say this out loud like you mean it!


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