I recently received the invite for my 50th (gulp) grad reunion. Kinda exciting, really. I immediately checked out if I could fit the event into my schedule, and sneaked a peek at who was already coming. I was feeling the excitement and organizing to make it happen … All good, right?
My next thought was (you’ve probably already guessed it) “OMG I’ve got to lose 20 pounds before August!” Because of course everybody else will be there to judge my body weight. Such painful thoughts!
I have learned great empathy over the years for my teenage self, caught up in the angst of appearance – but not so much for my 67-year-old self, I discovered. And here I thought I had matured!
Yes, body image calculus is deeply ingrained in our social fabric. Our bodies, especially women’s bodies, have always been reduced to numbers. Height and weight, cup size and more. I have pride in my strong and active mind, so why why why is this sicko body image story still so stuck in my psyche??
After my first sense of horror at my own response to what will be a fun reconnection event, I am determined to reframe that nasty little story with a real, life-affirming reality for the real me.
What or who is the real me?
(A 67 year-old body with a 17 year-old brain? Nope. A 67-year old brain in a 17-year old body? Yikes! Not that either.)
The real me has lived in this body for a long time. I’ve taken care of it as best I could – differently, depending on the time in my life. I take GREAT care of it now. The real me loves to eat beautiful fresh foods & dance through life with my Nia classes. I love gardening & nature, and my passion for creating is showing up everywhere. I love to share all of the above with others. A few pounds + or – doesn’t change any of that at all.
My reframe for this reunion? It’s that I take great care of my self all the time anyway, so no need to ramp into some special gear, diet or clothing to appear to be other – somehow better – than I am. (Although a new pair of dancing shoes would be fun.)
I am good enough! Every day I am good enough, strong enough, healthy enough, flexible enough to flourish in my life. I will take these thoughts & realities with me to the reunion and know that nothing else matters. I believe it right now. I also know that it is easy to fall in to the trap of “not enough”. I’ll let you know how it goes …
Do you notice yourself being kidnapped into old stories that don’t serve you anymore? How do you reframe, lose the story & navigate your way through to a lighter, brighter place for your SELF? I’d love to hear your thoughts.