I regularly hear people complain about their body, they see wobbly bits, wide bits, cellulite or stretch marks, they want to be more toned, or they miss the body of their younger years, and as we age it seems even more prevalent….
I get it, having identified as ‘athletic’ for the last 20+ years, to see my body changing in ways I don’t always particularly care for feels like a bit of a betrayal. I work hard on my strength and fitness, I move for the love of it, I love how it makes me feel mentally as well as physically and honestly up until a year or so ago the aesthetic side effect was an added bonus that I took for granted. However, since my body started transitioning into perimenopause I’ve noticed an extra bit of warmth around my middle, my limbs are thicker, my breasts bigger and my clothes don’t fit the way they used to.
I usually have very little issue with how I look, in fact when I see myself working out, I see athleticism, I see shapely bits and muscle definition and I can see the commitment and determination I put into it, which I usually feel proud of. However, yesterday I had a wee moment…. Spring has sprung here, the sun was shining and the area outside my studio was perfect for my interval workout, and as I worked my way through it I got hot, so off came my top and I happily carried on, enjoying feeling the sun on my skin. Then when I looked back at the video (I film my workouts to send to my awesome coach) I HATED what I saw, my middle was so thick and wobbly, Muffin top tights and overhanging jiggly bits around my bra, I looked awful and even contemplated not sending the video. Of course I knew she wouldn’t see what I saw (and that wouldn’t be what she was looking at anyway), but I was quite shocked at both what I saw and my reaction to it.
But oh how 2 days can be so different..
Today I dressed for work (workout gear) and caught sight of myself in the mirror and my thought process was entirely different, I saw my shapely bottom, strong arms and shoulders and looked forward to seeing what my body would do for me later when it was time for todays workout. And when that time came it brought its A game. My body shows up for me, I put it through a lot, but always within reason, I treat it with respect, I listen to it and am often wowed by what it can do.
I know I need to look at my body with more self compassion as it morphs its way through this next phase of life. It may continue to change shape but I’m learning to see it less as a betrayal and more about what it does for me. I’m lifting heavier then I’ve ever lifted before and I feel awesome knowing that the ‘current me’ is creating a stronger ‘future me’. I'm not exercising to become a smaller me, in fact I’ve bagged up the clothes that no longer fit, I even bought bigger jeans and man does it feel good to wear clothes that fit your body rather than the size clothes you think you should be! I will happily continue to work on the elements of wellness that will serve me well into this next phase of life and I will always try to put my own positive spin on it. We all have bad days, and yesterday’s body hating wobble was clearly one of those. Today we are on fire, wobbly bits and all.
Health + Happiness