Your body is always changing, so it’s time to stop having the same expectations you did 10, 15 or even 20+ years on. So please, stop beating yourself, and your body, up for failing to hide the passage of time.
As a woman, your body naturally passes through pivotal phases, linked to your reproductive system, which are often identified by a certain shape. Think about how your body looked when you were 10 years old, pre puberty, and how you looked at 20. Very different! And I bet that during those ten years, you didn’t just wake up one morning with a pair of perky breasts and a defined waist. No. Your body gradually merged from one shape to the next. As it has continued to do as you’ve transitioned through all, or at least some, of the stages below.
- Pre puberty
- Post puberty and during your reproductive years
- Peri- and early postmenopausal years
- Late postmenopausal years
Your logical and rational mind accepts that these changes are normal and you likely watched your mother change shape as she aged, your aunts, sister’s, cousins and of course, friends too. Yet, when it comes to your own body, your expectations can often become detached from what nature has intended will become your reality.
And you may find yourself clinging to an unrealistic and unhealthy expectation of what shape and size your body can, and will, be. Clinging so hard in fact that you start beating yourself up mentally, with your self talk and physically, in the gym, to achieve something that is quite literally unattainable.
If this hits home with you, can I suggest that it’s time to reframe your body standards and set some healthy, realistic expectations for yourself. To save yourself from living out the rest of your years in a perpetual state of self loathing and discomfort.
I’m not saying that it’s easy to do so, but I can tell you, from my own personal experience that it makes life a whole lot sweeter if you can. My body has carried and birthed two children, won a fight with breast cancer, sprinted through early menopause and battles daily with hormone regulating medication that keeps me safe from a cancer recurrence. And I would love nothing more than to have my 40 year old body back, but I know that it’s not possible, it’s unrealistic and it would be unhealthy to set that expectation.
Not because I had cancer or I take medication but because my body has naturally merged into stage 4 above. My body is still strong, still capable of amazing things and most importantly, my body is healthy. And this for me, is enough.
I hope that you too can find a way to love and accept your body. And if you’ve been beating yourself up for failing to hide the passage of time, cut yourself some slack. Be grateful for everything your body has done for you over the years, consider all the incredible things it still has to do for you and focus on being strong, healthy and accepting of the natural changes that time brings.
I promise, it will be worth it.