I’ve been thinking a lot lately about happiness and being comfortable in the body that you have. Heather at Half Size Me has recently posted on FB about her success with maintenance and how in every decade of her life she was striving to find something better than the body she had. She has realized as she enters her 40s that she is finally happy with the body she has. I’ll admit my first thought was it sure is easy to love your body when you are at your goal weight and skinny.
Heather went on to explain that she no longer is a slave to the scale nor does she struggle with binge eating. Clearly she has come full circle. And, she has made a life that supports her weight loss and maintenance goals. That is a very powerful thing. I am proud of Heather for finally realizing she is happy and that she isn’t striving to change her body but instead accept it.
When I was in my teens I didn’t really feel like being overweight was a bad thing. I was told often and made to feel as if being thin was somehow better than being overweight. I tried a lot of diets and we finally found one that worked. Then I went back to my normal eating and the weight came back on.
During my college years the biggest struggle with my weight was meeting men and dating. I convinced myself that if they didn’t like me they were an asshole. I had a lot of friends and I loved my early 20s. My friend didn’t make me feel bad about my weight and already being overweight meant I didn’t have to worry about what to drink at the bar or how many late night pizzas were delivered to the dorms on the weekends.
I was 28 years old when I decided to get serious about losing weight and joined WW. I entered into my 30s having met my goal weight and losing 130 pounds. My early 30s were fantastic. I was thin, I looked good, I got a lot of compliments, I was active and my clothes fit so I didn’t have to worry from season to season. Finally it felt like I had come full circle with body acceptance. Or rather learning to accept the new body I had worked so hard to create. I honestly believed I could keep the weight off forever knowing that it was possible if I didn’t have a baby or if I didn’t get injured.
Six years later I have re-gained 50 pounds and that same body acceptance that I worked to create in my early 30s isn’t there anymore. I know I am still better off than where I’ve been and I know that accepting the body I currently have takes time. It is hard to fully accept it when you strive to have a thinner body. It is equally hard when I know what it felt like to be thin, super active, and get a ton of compliments.
I have several friends entering into their 40s this year and in a few short years I will be joining them. I am learning to accept myself the more I age. I have given up wearing foundation make-up daily and I have not colored my hair in 10 weeks. I actually think I might stop coloring my hair all together. I’m not afraid of gray hair like I used to be. I’m not afraid of aging like I once teased my parents. I have learned that life only improves with age and life is truly what you make it.
Happiness will come and I am in control of my own happiness. It is up to me to learn to accept the body I have and to keep it healthy for years to come. I need to be around so when I’m an old lady I can add a little purple to my gray hair...regardless of the size I am at that time in my life.