Body Acceptance at Any Size

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I’ll admit that I’ve always been somewhat critical of my body. The older I get, the more I try to embrace my flaws instead of always fighting them or being unhappy that I don’t look like a model on the cover of a magazine. I look different than I did in my 20’s, before having three kids, and before sleepless nights with newborns have left me looking more tired than anything else. As long as I’m healthy and fit, that’s what matters most. But I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have those days like anyone else where my imperfections start to bug me and I wish I could change things about my body. 
After having a baby, I always go through a period of time where I don’t feel very comfortable in my own skin. I’m kind of in that phase now, with my body still changing a few months after giving birth. I’m anxious to get back to that pre-baby state, where my body isn’t perfect, but at least it’s familiar. 
Growing up, my mom was always trying to lose weight through one diet program or another. I remember her weight being a source of frustration, because she’d see some success, only to “fall off the wagon” and gain the weight back again. That cycle continued through my childhood, and still continues today as I’ve become an adult. The funny thing about my mom is that she’s never really had issues with her self-esteem. No matter what her size, she’s a confident and happy person. Up to this point she hasn’t had any significant health problems as a result of the excess weight (which could be why she’s never felt compelled to lose it and keep it off). 
I wondered why it’s hard for me to accept my body and my flaws, without a lot of excess weight to lose, while my mom is very accepting of her body, despite having a lot to lose in order to be considered healthy. Why are we so different, and why can’t I be more like her?
When I asked why she wants to lose weight (and if it’s okay to blog about it), she laughed and said she wants to be able to fit into a lot of the clothes in her closet that she hasn’t worn in a long time. She said that when she looks in the mirror, she doesn’t see herself as she really is. She joked that she has a distorted body image, but it’s the opposite problem most people have: she sees someone who is thinner (and about 30 years younger) than she actually is. She wants to lose the weight so that her actual self reflects what she sees in the mirror every day. She doesn’t dwell on how she looks.  In fact, she’s able to look at the bigger picture of her life, seeing all of the things she has to be thankful for and all of the things that she does like about herself (physical or otherwise.)    
This conversation with my mom made me realize that accepting your body isn’t about being a certain size or seeing a certain number on the scale. It’s about learning to be happy with who you are. Whether you have 20 or 200 pounds to lose, I’d bet there are things you could say you like about your body. Focusing on the good during your weight loss journey can make the experience much more positive and enjoyable. Just because you haven’t reached your goal weight, that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace things about who you are and what you look like.
What do you think? What is one thing you can say you love about your body?

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it's a shame corporate america has influenced our society with what body image is perfect and all along using the trinity of salt, fat and sugar in a way that hinders that image. I think women as long as they are healthy should be happy with their body image. Report
I'm sure your mother is like I am at age 62 and realizes that people see us as OLD. I realized that when men began calling me "MA'AM" instead of Honey. LOL That was at about age 39. Report
I agree with the comment are as sexy and beautiful as you think you are!! Report
I have about 25 lbs of extra weight, but my upper abs are still pretty toned, so that is my favorite "part" :) Regardless of the extra pounds, I still feel that my body is amazing and I try to look at it with that thought in the front of my mind. I gave birth to twins almost 5 years ago and it is AMAZING to have your body nurture and grow TWO babies!!! I love my body, flaws and all. I am still going to keep on trying to be healthier by working out and eating right. Hopefully those extra pounds will be gone in 2012. That is my goal!!!

Peace :0) Report
Agreed with your mom - it's about being happy of who you are. I don't have a model body but after 4 kids love the curve that I have!!!! Don't matter what others think (including you hubby) You are as sexy and as beautiful as you think you are Report
I see myself the opposite way: Way too many jiggles and cellulite...and let's not even start on the muffin top, uggg. But as far as what I love about how I look, I'd definitely say my smile. Having a child hasn't distorted that, lol! Report
It's a relief to find someone with the body distortion that I also have. I am usually shocked when I see my reflection in doors & windows. For some reason my head still feels like the in-shape, 30 year old I was, and not the 55+ body I am actually in! Report
Love my eye (before the laugh lines started to set in anyway). I am working on accepting myself as i am - even though the finish line is a loooonnnggg way off. Gotta love the husband - he always tells me he loves how I look. Report
It depends on the day, as a little girl my dad always told me I was sooo beautiful so most of the time I still feel pretty. I like my eyes and my smile. still working on the issues. Report
That it can roll a capsized kayak back up, without a paddle!

This body can DO stuff. Report
I was like your mom at one time, but the older I get the less I find to like. My fingernails are looking pretty good these days. Report
my eyes. ther than that, I can find fault in my body. :( Report
Thank you for bringing this subject up! Your mom sounds like my mom! I like blue eyes and my shoulders. Report
HAHAHAHA!!! I see myself just the same way your Mother does! Maybe it's a generational thing!

I love my smile! Report