Body Acceptance for the 50 plus Woman
A few of months ago I took part in an online challenge called ‘Self Love Week’, run by Mel Wells who is a leading Self Love expert in the UK.
I myself, teach body acceptance specifically to long term serial dieters who have had low body confidence and self-esteem issues for many years, due to constantly worrying about their weight.
But you know how it is?
It’s like being married to a painter and decorator- your own house might not be in quite as good order as the customer’s! It’s the same for me; I don’t always allocate as much time as I should to my own self-nurturance- even though I constantly advocate it for my clients.
So I thought signing up to the challenge would be a great way to do some inner work and give my own body confidence a bit of a boost.
I have to say I was truly amazed at how many women took part in the challenge! There were 1,000s of us! It was a professionally conducted and a very glossy production! And Mel is vivacious and eloquent in sharing her important and inspiring message……but guess what?
There seemed to be many, many more younger women (in their 20s and 30s and maybe early 40s) participating in the challenge, and far fewer fifty plus women. I felt a bit like a duck out of water!
I’ve only just come across it all myself in the last couple of years; (and I must tell you, it’s been a HUGE epiphany for me as someone who has been at war with my body for 40 years and worked for Weight Watchers for 15 years. Blimey-talk about changing everything I had previously believed to be true!)
Part of why we haven’t heard about it might be that many 50 plus women don’t spend as much time on social media as younger women do. And there seems to be more awareness of body positivity in this arena.
Certainly, there is limited info to be found on this subject in magazines, newspapers and on the television, (where those of us with more ‘life experience’ might be gleaning our information.)The diet culture messages and the photo-shopped images of young women who represent the current beauty ideals on the other hand are everywhere!
They are impossible to miss! No wonder we have brainwashed into thinking we all need to be a particular size and shape (and age!) on order to feel worthy!
Warning– in this next paragraph I know I’m not demonstrating best personal Body Positive practice, but honesty is the best policy, right? Here goes:
As I watched daily videos which were part of Mel’s Self Love challenge, I couldn’t help but think….
’Well if I was 27 and as slim and gorgeous as you, wearing pale pink silk short pyjamas on a matching four poster bed, of course I’d find it easier to be more forgiving towards my body!’
I know, I know…. really, I do! Comparing ourselves to other women, is body confidence suicide! But that’s how I felt!
Accepting the aging process as well as accepting our ‘curves’ can be hard, especially when many of the body positive spokes-people are young and slim. However, let’s stop with the futile comparisons right now! Her message is a good one- we all are beautiful in our own way and deserve to feel good about ourselves.
So please hear me when I say it is SO important for us more mature ladies to embrace body acceptance, to learn to like, respect even love our bodies and QUICK!
Because we potentially have less time left on this earth to enjoy our bodies, of course!
And we can’t possible enjoy life to the full we if continue to obsess about our body size and shape, and constantly berate ourselves for not being up to scratch. Especially if we have spent years doing so already and it hasn’t made much difference!
Another thing that may be preventing us overweight fifty plussers from being comfortable with our own bodies is that we are constantly being told that being overweight is unhealthy.
Let me tell you that it IS possible to be larger of size and be healthy.
Being overweight per se does not create health issues; it’s certain unhealthy behaviours that do that. In her book Health at Every size, Linda Bacon makes an extremely strong argument for this, and shares lots of statistics from studies, which demonstrate the invalidity of making an assumption about someone’s health based on their size. (This book is worth reading if you want to learn more)
Life’s too short to NOT accept our bodies as they are right now.
Human bodies are diverse, they just are!! No matter what the media tells us!
Our bodies are so much more than mere ornaments. The REAL wonder of the human body is all the amazing things it can DO!
All bodies are good bodies!
So how about we start saying:
YES, to taking the best possible care of our bodies!
YES to allowing ourselves to enjoy nutritious food (and less nutritious food too occasionally, just for the pure pleasure of it!)
YES to encouraging our bodies to move more, for fun and because it feels good and because that’s what bodies are designed to do!
And YES to talking to our bodies with kindness and respect, just as we would an old friend.
After all, where would we be without our precious and amazing bodies?
If having read this you now feel that it is time for you to start to be a bit kinder to your body, you can sign up for my free video which will explain 5 simple steps to move you forward with this issue.
You are also welcome to join my free FB support group- Time to Heart your Body and Live your Life.