Nikki, our wonderful esthetician shared this story with us from #FamilyCircle Magazine and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
I want to make peace with my body. I want to love it. I don’t mean that I want to improve my body and then love it. I don’t want to weight train it into submission or lotion away my cellulite or train for a triathlon. I know these efforts are healthy for some people, but to me, too much improvement just feels like more war.
I’m nearing 40 and that seems about time to get over believing that I’m not good enough yet. It’s probably time to accept that the people telling me I’m not good enough are all trying to sell me something. A revolutionary workout! Miraculous cream! A new juicer! Improved cross-trainers! I have a friend who’s always running. Running, running, running like she’s trying to escape from something. Aging, maybe? Death? She runs for the same reasons I write, I guess. She tried to get me to jog with her recently by saying, “G, every mile you run adds five minutes to your life.” No thank you, I said. I’m not a mathematician, but I’d rather have 12 more minutes now than five extra minutes when I’m 90.
By making it to 40, we’ve earned the right to laugh at that “improve yourself!” advice and tune into a message that actually interests us. Forty is when we start running out of folks we have to impress, thank God. It may also be the year that I finally give myself permission to start thinking more about what I’m looking at instead of what I’m looking like.
So when I say I want to love my body, what I mean is that I want to learn to appreciate and honor this part of me—my body—that helps me do what I do and know what I know. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to lose myself in some of my life’s most astonishing moments: the smell of my little one’s neck after a bath, the reassuring touch of my eldest’s tweeny arms wrapped around me, the velvety sensation of warm ocean water lapping my toes, and the weight of my puppies on my legs at night making me feel so safe and grounded.
It’s amazing how wisdom sometimes starts on the surface of our skin anhen settles so deeply into our minds and hearts. It’s been good to me, this body. And so I want to take some time to make intentional peace with it, because I’ve not honored it in the past. As a matter of fact, I’ve abused, ridiculed and taken it for granted for decades. I need to make amends. My body is owed an apology.
Now I’m 37. My kids are growing up and away a little. I figure I have 15 years until I head into menopause and my body reinvents itself yet again. And so it’s time—now—to make friends with her. It’s time to get to know her before it’s too late. When you’re trying to get acquainted with someone, it’s best to spend some one-on-one time together. So, first, my body and I, we’re heading to yoga. I don’t know much about yoga yet, but it seems like a peaceful, loving way for my body and me to get to know each other.
I was also thinking that nothing hurts a new friendship like mistrust—I will do my best to avoid talking behind my body’s back. No more put-downs about height, no more jokes about leftover baby belly. There will just be gentleness and appreciation for all we’ve been through together.
Here’s hoping that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. It’s about time.