I’ve been trying to find a way to talk about it that doesn’t sound preachy. I like to think that I’m kind to myself, but over and over again my children, my husband, and the reflection in the mirror reminds me that I have a long way to go. So, full disclosure: know that when I talk about “accepting yourself,” I’m mostly talking to MYSELF.
This week I was chatting with one of the ladies at the gym before class started. She was telling me that her 22-year-old daughter has a fabulous figure but she doesn’t appreciate it. “She’s always counting calories because she thinks she needs to lose weight,” she told me. “It’s crazy.” Then I told her I definitely didn’t appreciate how I looked at 22. It’s a shame, really – my husband met me when I was probably in the best physical shape of my life, but I was so busy focusing on my ever-present cellulite that I didn’t embrace what I had at the time. And now we don’t have enough money to pay a doctor to fix what gravity and 3 kids has done to me, which is unfortunate.
That exchange caused us to share quite a laugh before making fools of ourselves in Zumba class. Do any of you Zumba? Something about having kids has made me not give a schmidt about looking crazy. My pre-kid self was not a dancer and would never have Zumba-ed unless I’d had a few shots first, but apparently my mom-self loves to work it gangnam style. Yikes. Just writing that makes me cringe. I don’t even want to know what I look like when it’s happening — all I know is that it’s fun and burns a ton of calories.
(I just looked up “gangnam style” on urbandictionary.com to make sure I used/spelled it correctly and an example of correct usage is: Who needs food when you got gangnam style? Indeed.)
The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve learned a valuable lesson: I’m never going to be any better than I am right now. Today. I need to embrace my current self, because one day I’ll look back and regret not appreciating THIS more. I’ll miss my not-all-gray hair and my not-all-wrinkled face. Also, I can joke about gravity, but my body has served me well and I try to take care of it and love it even when it seems unlovable … which is often.
I am a big fan of goals and self-improvement, but there is something to be said for embracing what you’ve got going on right. this. minute. I don’t want to waste another day wishing anything about me was different. What a time-sucker! What a bore! What a WASTE. When I think back to my 22-year-old self, self-conscious about wearing shorts in the thick Louisiana heat, I’d really like to slap her. Truly, life is too short to be wrapped in that kind of worry.
As the holidays approach, I’d like to encourage my fellow Baton Rouge girls to enjoy it. Enjoy your life, your food, your family. Don’t worry about whether or not you’re going to look fat in the pictures … YOU GET RIGHT IN THE FRONT, lady. One day, you’ll miss your 2013 self, and you’ll be mad at her for not getting another helping of that turkey and dressing while she had her teeth.