It’s practically become a Pinterest meme: to love our bodies just as they are. When I start doing that in earnest, it will be the first time in my life I’ve ever loved my body. Oh, I love that I am healthy, with no chronic issues except growing older. And that’s just life, not an illness. I’m grateful that my broken wrist has healed, and that my early stage melanoma is removed.
But as far as “loving” what I see in the full length mirror – meh. I do like being slim. I still have a waistline and a long neck and strong shoulders. It’s my (everyone’s?) tendency, however, to rest our eyes on the age spots, the loose crepe-y skin on my thighs, and – yeah, even thin women get it – the sagging butt. I give myself permission to accept my body, and treat it well, without loving every inch of it.
The latest Visible Monday link-up contained two terrific posts about size and shape, by stylish women over age 40. May I recommend them to you for motivational reading:
Susan linked a smart post about dieting, at her blog High Heels in The Wilderness. She writes about the stubborn five pounds that have crept up in the last few years. She doesn’t love the way her jeans are fitting. She wants to change it, without becoming hysterical or jumping on a fad diet train.
Sue researched the ineffectiveness of dieting, and concluded “I’m not going on a diet, I’m just going to make healthier choices more often.” Brava to her. No hard-boiled-eggs-only regimen.
Julia of When The Girls Rule has a style blog that’s subtitled “A Fashion Blog for Women over 40 With Big-Busts, Apple-Shapes and Style!” And she named her Visible Monday entry “Over 40 And Over Size 14, And Killin’ It.” I love that. The average American woman wears a size 14-16, so Julia is right in the norm with most of us.
Julia describes herself like this: “I am a 40+ . . . 5’2″ tall, confident woman secure in her age and size who likes to use fashion to her own ends. I found when you can actually find clothing that fits and looks good on your body, you dislike your body a lot less, you may even start to love your body!”
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I understand that this is a little similar to some posts that I have seen before. However, this actually makes a bigger impact. What a very inspiring post.
StyleSprinter Blog by Katya Bychkova
Love both these ladies and their blogs! My favorite bloggers are those who are real, and show who they are (including you, of course)!
Hats off to Susan and Julia , style comes in all shapes and sizes! Eating healthy is just smart !
And kudos to you too !
Patti! I am so honored that you featured me. Sometimes I forget that what I’m “preaching” is unusual or in the minority so thank you for helping to spread the word that it doesn’t matter your size or age, you can always look and feel good. I see you as a role model for living a life you love so thank you for that too. My heart is warmed! xx Julia
Both such positive messages and examples for us to be kinder to ourselves! Brava to both of these awesome women!
I don’t “love” my body (I’m experiencing too many weird aches and pains lately for that), but I am grateful that for the most part it does what I need it to do. Like most women, I look at photos of myself in my 20’s and 30’s and think, WHY did I not appreciate what I had then???? All that said, I like my body most days and try to dress it so it looks interesting and a reflection of my personality.
I appreciate the way you dress, it’s original and personal. Love your haircuts too! We all of us did not do enough appreciating in our 20’s and 30’s! xox
Julia’s gorgeous smile and her wonderful personality make her look about twelve feet tall! What a beauty!
Thanks so much for the kind words, Patti. Much appreciated. xo
P.S. Want to add that Julia is most definitely “killin’ it.”
My pleasure, Sue. xo
Oh I just found out that US size 14 is Australian size 18 but who really cares anyway if you are fit and healthy 🙂 Sam the Aussie
Right on, Sam. xo
I seriously believe having the right outfit, the right style of clothing and accessories, helps me so much in liking my figure more.
Totally agree, B. xox
I’m huge fans of both the women you featured in large part because they are so real and honest (and in Julia’s case, sassy!). They own where they are in life right this moment. It’s an inspiration to see their photos and read their blogs.
Thanks Sherry. I agree, authenticity makes the blogs so enjoyable. Another reason I love to read yours! xo
We don’t appreciate ourselves until we’ve aged into the next phase, and then we look back and say, “holy moly, I actually was kind of hot then, at least compared to now.”
Among the women I know, the ones who take it hardest are those who were great beauties in their youth. Those of us who were OK but not head-turners seem to have less far to fall.
Today in a park I saw a woman who looked a lot like a friend. But my friend would never be caught in public in shorts. My daughter, who was with me, agreed, saying our friend always “looks fantastic.” (Even when gardening, she is chic. She doesn’t wear expensive or formal clothes, but she has style to the tips of her fingers.) My daughter said my friend would have been somebody featured in Bill Cunningham’s street style photos. Yet this same friend (one of those outstanding beauties, with more than a passing resemblance to Catherine Deneuve) bemoans every extra pound that inevitably creeps up with menopause. I’ll just say: she camouflages it very well and she fights against it getting worse.
I agree, TOF, with your analysis. And I hope your stylish friend will accept a pound or two as part of life! xo
Patti, your post is a wonderful reminder to be kind and accepting of ourselves. This is no small task—since we are bombarded all day with images of “perfection” in the media and by negative, intrusive people. I was out walking my dog one morning when a group of 3 walkers passed by. The male of the group made a snide comment about my weight (5’4” and size 14). His female companion shushed him. Not long after that, in the supermarket (of all places), a young man who worked in a local gym/health club (he wore the uniform shirt of the gyms employee staff) walked up to me and offered me a discount on a membership at the gym. I politely declined. He persisted, and seemed astonished that a flabby, chubby woman “over 50” would not leap at the chance to slim down. So I politely declined his offer AGAIN, and he walked away. There were lots of other people in that supermarket; but he targeted me for his gym membership offer. I guess being a size 14 makes you eligible for public scrutiny and criticism.
These behaviors are rude, no matter who’s doing them! And you are an “average” sized woman, although the media would not allow that to be acceptable. xox