When I hear, “my changing body,” I think of the time right before and during puberty (think period, new breasts, etc.). However, over the past several years, I’ve noticed a change in my now 41-year old body.
During my recent yearly exam, my doctor characterized this shift as a “redistribution” of weight. Common to those of us in our early 40s. This is true – my clothes don’t fit like they used to. But it’s also a gain I’m experiencing (like 15 pounds). On my 5’2’’ frame, it feels like a lot. I run and do yoga, I’m in shape, but my body doesn’t seem to slim. I just don’t like how I feel.
While doing Whole 30, Jen Hatmaker realized she still eats like she’s 16. Yes! Me too! There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to admit that my body’s metabolism is changing (hence I can’t eat like I used to), and there’s an even bigger part of me that doesn’t want to adjust my lifestyle. I like food and drink…I find comfort and enjoyment in it.
I have a little belly…some of which is the result of giving birth to a 9 pound, 13-ounce boy; followed by an 8 pound, 13-ounce daughter almost three years later. However, my kids are now 12 and 10. So if I’m really honest with myself, it’s more about how I eat and drink. I read that fitness is 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise, which means that eating healthy is super important (obviously). My exercise willpower is strong, my eating/drinking willpower not so much.
This post isn’t about feeling sorry for myself or complaining. It’s simply to talk about my body and weight in ways we don’t discuss openly enough. I don’t think many of us are satisfied with how our bodies look. It’s a sad reality. Many of us would be more willing to admit that we are satisfied with how our bodies perform. I have strong legs, solid muscles, etc. I am so incredibly grateful for my physical abilities, and I will continue to be grateful for this gift.
Throughout our lives, we have to adjust. We go through so many different stages, as mothers, as women. So, if you can relate to my situation, here are a few ways I’m going to more gracefully adjust to my new body, and maybe these tools can help you too.
- Continue yoga (and running). I read that slow reps with a weight of 12 pounds or more are the fastest way to build metabolism-boosting muscle.
- Hire a nutritionist to re-establish healthy eating and accountability for my body’s needs now. I’m trying a 4-week private nutrition program at the beginning of January.
- Meditate for 5-minutes/day
- Drink more water (like 64 oz.)
- Fellow blogger, Sarah Luden, has inspired me to eliminate alcohol (or at least reduce for now).
- Embracing 40 by committing to love my body as it is right now
- Awareness of my stress levels
At the end of the day, I have a different body than I did 10 years ago. It makes sense. I recognize and accept that my body is changing and what worked for me in my 20s is not going to work for me now. So here’s to being vulnerable and gratefully embracing my 40s and loving my body as it is right now, while at the same time being aware of the things that don’t make me feel good, examining my stress level and tuning into what works best for me now.