By Amy Anderson
Here I am, 47 year old me. I’m a little weirded out by that number, but mostly not. Turns out, this has been a transformative year, I’m starting to realize. Like so many women out there, I have a tendency to fall into the pits of self-doubt, self-worth and self-criticism. It’s how we’re conditioned and it takes real work to avoid it sometimes. But I’m noticing that I’ve crossed a threshold and the mindset shift is easier now.
As a health coach, I’ve had my moments of feeling like a fraud. Not because I don’t know what I’m doing or what I’m talking about, but because I’m not “skinny”. I don’t have a “bikini body” and I’m not much of a fitness buff. I'm a health coach with muffin tops and cottage cheese, how can that be? I am a human woman.
I know that skinny sells. Summer bodies sell. Hot mom contests sell. But I’m more aware and much wiser now. Those are not important to me but being healthy and happy are. Sharing the secrets, methods or products to achieve "skinny" or "bikini ready" are not what I'm about. It's never been. I just want to help people give a shit about themselves, want to take care of themselves and feel really good about themselves. That, to me is way more important thank skinny will ever be.
I might not "look like a health coach", but I am very healthy (ask my husband who I brag about my lab results to. I’m a total nerd, I know). I eat really well the majority of the time. I exercise (almost) as much as I should. I have mechanisms for dealing with the stress, the disrupted sleep (always a work in progress) and all the feels. I do not need to be skinny to be healthy and I certainly don’t need to be skinny to be happy. I wish more women were feeling this too.
Over the past few years my body has shifted just as my mind has shifted. The body part can be frustrating for sure, but here’s the thing: I’m in my mid (late?) 40’s, who the hell knows what my hormones are up to these days. I’ve had two beautiful, big babies and I don’t love to exercise (but I do love food. A lot). So why should I beat myself up when my clothes aren’t fitting just right? (The clothes I've had for 4 or more years mind you). Yes I’m about 8-10 pounds heavier than I am when I’m most comfortable, but also, things are shifting and settling in new places. It happens. We age. We shift. Rather than get all judgy and hateful on myself, I choose to accept it as a new phase, a mindset shift to match the body shift. That doesn’t mean I just stop living a healthy life and let it all go, it just means I don’t say negative things to myself. It means that I accept the body I have for all that it’s been through, all it's capable of and and treat it lovingly (a.k.a. keep feeding it healthy food, moving it purposefully on a regular basis and practicing self-care).
My number one takeaway is this: Healthy living is an act of self-love. It’s not a punishment because you’re fat. It’s not something you do because you hate yourself or because there’s something wrong with the way you look. You do it because you love yourself, because you deserve to feel good in your own skin.
That’s where I am as I embark on my 48th trip around the sun. I’m more excited than ever to keep living into this shift and helping others to do the same. That is, if they’ll be brave enough to love themselves and give it a try. I really hope they (you) will. ♥