At 44, I am tired of hating my body. Or wishing it was smaller or didn’t have cellulite or stretch marks. Or I didn’t have my FUPA. I am so incredibly exhausted from the daily struggle. I have had a lifetime of being told by family, social media or strangers that there is something wrong with my body. That it is not the ideal. I am taking a revolutionary approach; trying to appreciate my body for all it has done for me so far. Saying I am going to love my body felt like a stretch after swallowing so much negativity. I can start with appreciation and build to love. After all, being a mother of a daughter, this is another cycle I want to break. I do not want my daughter to spend her life hating her body. My goal for her is the same one I aspire to: to love her body unconditionally. To think of it not in terms of a number on the scale, or a particular size, but in terms of what it can do for her and how strong it is.
This body has done so much for me. It has survived being run over by a three wheeler (only a fractured cheek bone!). Fallen off countless horses. Gone ass over tea kettle down a ditch in a wheel barrow (thanks sissie!). Been through multiple car crashes, including a rollover and hitting a deer, without so much as a scratch! This body grew a baby to full-term and then some, and then pushed that beautiful, perfect baby out. This body has breastfed for several years, creating an unbreakable bond with my child. This body has carried me to 40 states, 14 countries, with countless more to explore. This body has carried me over the finish line of multiple 5ks, and even one half marathon. This body has survived the loss of loved ones, including my dear father, and been able to pick up the pieces and somehow still manage to carry on, despite the hole left in my heart. This body is currently surviving a divorce, one where I have decided that above anything else (my marriage, my child, my security), I have chosen myself first. I choose me, above anything else. I could go on and on about what my body has done and continues to do for me.
In a radical step, since it is summer, I am starting with appreciating my body in swimsuit. An area so many women struggle with. I bought myself several new swimsuits, ones that a past version of myself would have NEVER! bought. And you know what? I am rocking them. I feel good in them. I feel sexy, which is an entirely new feeling I am slowly getting used to. But the best part? I am not hung up on any imperfection or what my body looks like, because I am too busy having fun cannon-balling and belly flopping into the pool with my kid. Women, I would encourage you to try this yourself. It’s been so incredibly liberating! I have dubbed this the summer of zero f*cks and am enjoying the hell out of it. I dare you to try this too.