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Body Acceptance for the 50 plus Woman

by | Jan 18, 2018 | Blog, Contributors | 10 comments

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!

 

It made me reflect why this should be- why women of my generation seem to be oblivious to the Body Positive movement and the Health at Every Size movement too

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!

Why?

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.

NOT TRUE!

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)

In conclusion

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.

About the Author: Anna Jones

Anna's mission is to help long term serial dieters make friends with their bodies so that they WANT to take the best possible care of them. She also helps them to unshackle themselves from diet culture. You can learn more about the work she does by looking at her website here>> https://timetosortit.com/ For a free masterclass to help improve YOUR own body confidence, sign up here http://eepurl.com/c2hYov

    10 Comments

    1. Erin

      I could not agree more with all your points in the conclusion. Many people are obsessed with their body and to the point they do not realize that the true beauty lies in the nature itself. Life is too short to spend energy on worrying about our perfect body to be not perfect, and I love how you address the importance to accept our body. Thanks for a great post!

      Reply
      • Anna Jones

        Thanks for taking the time to comment Erin! I think that in the western world we are trained to be obssessed by our external appearance largely by the media!

        Reply
    2. Maureen

      Thanks for this, exactly what I need to hear.

      Reply
      • Anna Jones

        That’s brilliant to hear 🙂

        Reply
    3. April

      Fantastic points made. As I am approaching fifty over the next couple years, I can totally relate to the negative self-talk I’m observing more frequently as my shape changes and curves abound. This was a wonderful wake-up call! Thanks for the reminder that I’m not twenty anymore and shouldn’t be striving for the body I had then – rather to live healthfully, joyfully and love the body my middle-aged self is lucky enough to have.

      Reply
      • Anna Jones

        Thanks April! And yay to loving your middle aged body!

        Reply
    4. Sian Rowsell

      Love this: “YES to talking to our bodies with kindness and respect, just as we would an old friend.” – a great reminder Anna, especially for those, like me, who are approaching 50. Sian

      Reply
    5. Pam

      I love this!! And your key conclusions are truly THE TRUTH! Life really is too short.. focussing on the positive and not worrying or comparing ourselves to impossible airbrushed media images is truly life changing and enables us to have more time to do what we need to be doing in this world!

      Reply
      • Anna

        Thanks for taking the time to comment Pam and high five for being on my wave length 🙂

        Reply

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