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May 29, 2010

A New Body

M & T - Alta Bates A I like my body. This feeling is new to me, having spent most of my lifetime despairing my cellulite and stretch marks on my thighs and butt (which came long before pregnancy for me). I look back at pictures of myself in my 20’s and I had a great body, but I couldn’t see past what I considered my big thighs. Ironically, I began to like my body when it was at its biggest, monstrously pregnant with twins. I think I was so enamoured with finally being pregnant (after 15 years of infertility) that I loved everything about my swelling body. Even my pudgy knees! After my kids were born and my body rearranged itself again, I looked fondly at my rounder, softer profile. I forgave my droopy breasts because I know they produced gallons of milk to nurture my kids. I didn’t mind that I now had new stretch marks to add to my old ones. I was saggier, wrinklier, and bigger than I had ever been, but I loved that those changes marked my passage to motherhood.
I am grateful that I had my kids later in life; it has given me a perspective on what is important about my body. I had surgery to remove a suspicious lump last week and thankfully it proved to be benign. That month of not knowing, worrying, and wondering if I was going to be dealing with a deadly cancer has made me really appreciate my good health. I am pretty fit, my body functions normally, and it allows me to do the things I want to do in life. I can make peace with getting less attractive because I realize how lucky I am to be this healthy in my 50’s.

That’s not to say that I am just going to go willingly into decline. I still buy face cream and shave my legs. I’m going to start Yoga to counteract the fact that I am getting a little creakier. I’ll still watch what I eat and try to burn off more calories than I take in. I’ll try not to be jealous when I look at my daughter’s dewy skin. But none of the effects of getting older can stop me from wanting to do the happy dance every time I realize that I feel good and I will very likely get the chance to be on this planet for many more years.

This is an original 50-Something Moms Blog post.

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