11 08/07/2012 parenting

My Body, Myself

Ahhh, summer. Long, hot days stretching out in sixty days of leisure, travel, food and wine. It’s a great time of year for me and my girls. Two months of togetherness and agenda-less days, hours at the beach or by the pool and wonderful meals shared with friends and loved ones. It’s bliss.

Summer is a great time of year for me and my girls. Summer is a great time of year for me and my girls.

I love it. With all my heart. And I embrace it, knowing the days are all too fleeting and the daily grind of the school year will soon be upon us again with its routines and rush and the fullness of the days with – stuff. And when September comes again, and my hours are filled with lesson plans and marking, with driving to activities and making lunches, with bedtimes and alarm clocks, well…then I’ll have these summer memories to look back on and cherish. And when the days are so full of obligations that I can’t imagine how I’ll be able to meet them all and still get a full night’s sleep, I’ll have another summer full of toe-gazing days to look forward to.

So yeah. I love summer. And it shows. So yeah. I love summer. And it shows.

No, I don’t have a dark tan (when your mom dies of melanoma, you tend to be a bit more careful about covering up).

What I have, is a summer body. Looking at me, you can tell I’ve been relaxing and eating and indulging. In a way, I hate it. Look, I’ve never been skinny but my struggles with weight are no secret either. But as I make my way through my forties, I’m beginning to wonder…when is enough enough? When will I be able to embrace myself as I am, and see this body as a reflection of all the good times I’ve had and the wonderful people I’ve spent them with? When will I finally begin to feel comfortable in my own skin?

No, I don't have a dark tan No, I don't have a dark tan

It’s a question that is really important to me as my oldest daughter heads full-bore into adolescence, with all the body insecurities that come along with it. How can I authentically support her through this time, and try to help her feel comfortable with her changing body, when my own relationship with my shape is so insecure?

Could this finally be me saying, “what the hell…I love myself as I am”? I don’t know, I’d dearly love to, but I’ve had such a conflicted relationship with my body for so long, can I really let it go?

  • Sara

    Kath you are SO getting in touch with yourself lately – what an amazing few months it’s been to see this from a far. This is such a struggle isn’t it? I was actually featured in an article about ‘loving my body’ – I think it was more about accepting my body. I get that I’ll never be skinny or small – but lately, I’ve been having issues watching my body morph into my moms (because I know she was never happy with it). Lately i’m at peace with mine though – I know the summer of exercise is helping. I think it’s a battle we can fight forever. BUT I was goign to say exactly what Tracey did – when I see that pic of you I’m like – ‘the smile, the glow – that’s one happy babe’. LOVE IT!

  • Kath

    So true, Julie. I found a cool post on the same theme:
    http://www.curvygirlguide.com/self-body/self/what-fit-actually-looks-like/
    Check out the picture comparing six different athletes on the US women’s Olympic team, ranging in weight from 287lbs to 105lbs. Yes, you read that right: TWO HUNDRED EIGHTY-SEVEN POUNDS. And an Olympian.
    Thing is, I think that’s where my current discomfort is stemming from: I find it hard to devote time to exercise (out of busy-ness and laziness, I’ll own that) and so it’s not even just the size and shape of my body, it’s the stiffness and random aches and pains that are getting to me as well. Could be aging, but I think I need to get moving more, either way.

  • Kath

    Aww, shucks. Thanks Tracey! That means a lot.

  • Kath

    You know, Erin, I loved my body both times I was pregnant. But other than that, no, I don’t think I would use the word ‘love’ to describe my relationship with my body. Even at my slimmest and fittest, it just felt like a stop on the way to some ideal that I’m pretty sure I could never attain, unless I had oodles of money and could afford to live on the Biggest Loser ranch full-time or something.

  • Kath

    Wendy, it’s so true what you say, “I have absolutely no desire to do what it takes to keep the weight off – pretty much no treats. Ever.”
    I am 43 (and proud of it!) and I feel like just maybe I’m in a place where I’m grown up enough to decide to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, or a dessert or even just a nice big bowl of cereal at breakfast instead of a small cup of low-carb, low-calorie, high-protein food substitute in order to lose a little bit of weight. I remember being so frustrated while on various different weight-loss regimens thinking, “how can carrots and oranges be BAD for me???”
    Unlike you, I’ve never been a runner (tried and failed many times though) and I also can’t see myself heading to the gym for 3 hours of punishing workouts just to earn the privilege of eating a cupcake.
    Maybe I feel like I’ve earned the right to eat a cupcake in front of my own TV watching Netflix if I wanna!

  • Kath

    Thanks Heather. Wise words! I think I might be getting there…slowly…

  • Julie

    i guess that’s a question that can only be answered by you and by how you feel, not how you look. i can use the olympics as an example…i’ve seen some curvy women there who are excellent athletes and very healthy but if you were to look at them out of context they wouldn’t be “ideal” (stupid word). i’m sure they feel great and can kick the arse of the skinny waif model who looks awesome (read a bag of elbows and knees).
    i guess if you can be healthy, reach your fitness goals (however minor) you’re just fantastic the way you are. we all need to look away from the mirror and into ourselves :-)

  • Tracey

    Summer looks beautiful on you, Kath… you wear it well. Enjoy yourself. xoxoxox

  • Erin Little

    I so know what you mean. Will I ever love my body – I think the only time I have is when I am fit (and thinner as a result).
    It’s pretty hard to love our bodies when we are surrounded by the photoshopped images of models a actresses. Even though I know they are photoshopped it still seems like an ideal.
    Sigh. I’ll keep on trying with you. On the plus side, we’re enjoying our summers, imagine counting calories…no thanks.

  • Wendy

    To me, you look so happy and well-rested. That glass of wine looks delish. Do you need to trade that in? Is it worth it?
    I think I am the same age as you, Kath, and I’m faced with the same dilemma. I used to run to be able to indulge my eating habits but now have Plantar Fasciitis so can’t run. But I still like to eat well and drink wine. I used to diet fanatically with great results. The results are very slow these days. And now I have absolutely no desire to do what it takes to keep the weight off – pretty much no treats. Ever. I don’t like the way I look and hate the way I think people who know me are noticing the weight gain (about 10 pounds). Time to make peace with my body? Or fight the miserable fight?

  • http://hometoheather.com Heather

    The size of our bodies has NO relation to our awesomeness or our intelligence or our worth. Those things come from a vast many other sources. Be happy. You deserve it.

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