|This one was taken by a photographer hired by London Health Science Centre's Inside Magazine.|
This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that I talk about my body. Specific parts that do not look or behave as they used to. It's was yesterday's topic of discussion at my therapy session. My belly. I know in the past I wrote about it being warm and soft, but now it's just there, sticking out in a way that is not pleasing to my eye. Body image is something that everyone struggles with at some (or many) points in time. Too fat, too thin, no butt, too big a butt, no muscles, crooked nose, dark circles, fat ankles, ugly toes, thin hair, too many freckles...pick your poison.
But here's the thing that I learned yesterday. You're going to have to live with it. Changing your body is not really an option. Well, you could go super disciplined with diet and exercise for a certain amount of time - but that is not a sustainable lifestyle choice, in my opinion. We all will give in. So what do you have to do? Give yourself a hug and say I love you just the way you are? Do you trick yourself into loving your flaws? Pretty hard. Or do you recognize the truths. Age - you only get older - cells regenerate more slowly. Work - usually sedentary - consumes more time, meaning less time for exercise. Babies - they change our bodies forever.
Then, in my case, it's physics and biology. No neuromuscular activity means no abdominal wall to support the abdominal organs. So my gut is intestines just "hanging out" instead of being tucked in, in a lovely organized fashion. My posture sucks too, which doesn't help. No muscles below my chest activating postural support without serious conscious effort means that my girls don't stand out like they should either.
So what is one to do? Positive self talk is a start. Reminding yourself about biology, you can't trick genetics, physics or time. Your 14 year old self is gone. Love the 40 year old self instead.
Or do what I did. First, go shopping. Now I am not normally one to promote consumerism, but sometimes, well, you need something new. Or eight things new. You can spend $80 on a new dress, wear it to four different events (with different people of course) and boom - it's a $20 dollar dress. Or you can spend $80 at the second hand shop and get eight new things (like on did on Saturday). Next, put on some makeup and get your hair done. Then get an awesome picture taken so that you can see past those flaws with your own eyes.
LHSC wanted to share my story with the general public, share the good work that happens there. Here is the link to the article and the video that goes along with it. LHSC Inside Magazine Summer 2017