The Woman in the Mirror

It’s time to check off another item from my “A Pre-Apocalyptic Bucket List for the Soul.” In case you missed it last week, my challenge to you was to create a list of the top 10 things you would like to change about or accomplish for yourself before you die — a sort of bucket list for the psyche.

Here’s my item No. 2:

Love and be proud of my body. I’ve spent 45 years on this one so far, and I haven’t made much progress. I’d like to learn to look in the mirror and at photographs of myself and see the good parts instead of the bad. (Disclaimer: I don’t voice my body image issues in front of my daughter. It’s not healthy for me to force my saddle — I mean, emotional — baggage on her, and I recognize that.)

Do you remember the moment when you first became self-conscious about your body? I do. I was 10 years old and already had curvy hips and was wearing a bra. Frankly, the bra was far more embarrassing to me than the hips — until a boy teased me about them on the bus, that is. From that moment on, they became all I saw.

As a teenager, I tried dieting, but the weight never disappeared from my problem areas. I wasn’t overweight; I was just proportioned like a bowling pin. I never worked out back then, aside from an occasional ill-fated aerobics class, but my weight stayed pretty much the same into my mid-twenties.

When my metabolism slowed down and I packed on 20 pounds, I knew I had to start exercising. That was right before my 30th birthday, and I never stopped. These days I run and I strength train with Jillian Michaels DVDs (“Extreme Shed and Shred” is my current favorite). I try to work out 45 to 60 minutes a day, five or six days a week.

My body may not be perfect, but whose is? I am proud of how hard I work to stay (relatively) fit, and I think I am sending a positive message to my daughter about the importance of exercise. This is the body I was given; how I see it is up to me.

2 thoughts on “The Woman in the Mirror

  1. Being healthy is the most important thing you can do! I’m almost 49 and it’s harder and harder to fight gravity but I feel healthy, and that probably matters more (still, I’m working on losing the muffin top before I’m 50 😉

    • So true. Being healthy is most important. I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t have something about her body she’d like to change. I guess the good thing is it motivates us to keep exercising, which in turn keeps us healthy, right?

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