Body image for the young at heart

Body image for the young at heart

How do you continue to (or begin to) love and appreciate your amazing body as the years shift your physical appearance, and you no longer see a young woman in the mirror?

I recently wrote a post about body shaming, and received a wonderful comment from one of my readers, Ingrid, who wondered why I don’t write with tips specifically for women 50+. I answered as candidly as possible, that the only reason I don’t focus my topics for more mature women is that I am 35, and deep in the throes of balancing body, babies, parenting and business-building. The topics I write about are close to my heart and within my personal experience as well as my professional expertise, so I feel I am in a good position to give comment that would help. With this feedback in mind I would LOVE to cater for all those women who enjoy my work and would like to see their experience more accurately represented in the pictures and advice I offer.

So I went to the person who I respect the most and is my role model for joy, self-acceptance and looking after your health as the years go by: my Mum, Tricia. Luckily my Mum is a fabulous writer and I asked her to write a piece on her experience of body -acceptance through the years. My Mum has been an incredible role model for my insatiable love of learning, kindness (especially to animals and planet), and appreciating the small moments of beauty all around us. My Mum will literally stop and smell the roses.

I believe in our Western Society, there is not enough respect and appreciation of the wisdom that comes with more time on the Earth, and that the idolisation of the young, pert, and super-slim to the exclusion of all else is a big problem and a very important discussion (but that’s for another post).

Here are my Mum’s thoughts on her body image as she moves gracefully past 70 years…  Kylie 🙂

 

NYE-Black-dress
Here we are together at the Lord Mayors NYE Ball at the Opera House where I was singing in 2010.

 

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Body image for the young at heart.

by Tricia Penny.

Age does things, over which we have no control,
and it is the time when we ‘reap what we have sown’

My 73 year old body is doing OK. Age does things, over which, we have no control, and it is the time when we ‘reap what we have sown’, whatever that was. We can modify it and help reduce and repair some of the ‘damage’, but it is what it is. My body was doing better in younger years when I was able to work it harder and longer than I can now, but overall, I am still able to do what I want with no real pain or lack of strength. It’s shape or size is not who I am, nor does it define what I can do.

Age comes with some great benefits. Time is the BIG win!!! with wisdom a close second… When the workload is reduced, we can spend time thinking how best to use this reward period in our life. Taking our health as a serious issue is the MOST IMPORTANT way to ensure this time is spent in pleasurable pursuits.

Not having a timetable, and being able to keep our own hours, gives flexibility to the day. Family, garden, friends, charities, clubs, etc can all benefit from our input. Having goals to achieve, or taking on some of theirs, gives purpose to the day.

Not needing so much sleep is a bonus I have recently discovered. Rather than lie in bed, I have been catching up with books I don’t get the chance to read during the day. A warm milky beverage with a dog curled up beside me, can see me read till the wee small hours…… and I don’t have to get up early!!!! What bliss!!

Knowledge acquired through our life can be used to help others learn and achieve their goals. The wisdom we bring to any task is part of the passing on of skills to the younger generation. Being a part of contributing to their expertise is a satisfaction not to be missed.

Insight about what is REALLY important comes almost unnoticed. Things that used to stress or give us grief, seem, somehow, not to matter so much. Life has taken on a new rhythm and the ‘waltz’ goes on in a new direction. All the experiences we have lived through, the people who have been a part of it, the love we have shared and, yes, the mistakes we have made, are all verses of this new ‘dance’. It sings a new song without the crash of deadlines, appointments, targets and all the other trappings so necessary to succeed in business and family raising.

Being out of the ‘rat race’ does wonderful things to the mind. It slows down, and notices the little things we rushed past before. We have time to sit and let the world go by. The scents of the garden and trees can waft in, bringing the peace and enjoyment of the moment with it. The serenity that is there for all of us who seek it, is all around us, and now we have the time to find it……….

What a time it is!!!!

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