This seems to be one of the most common themes of our time.
Accepting break-ups, job loss, death.
But our bodies? Accepting our changing bodies? This one we don’t seem to want to talk about so much.
Okay, I promised you a secret didn’t I?
Here it is.
My clothes don’t always fit.
One day I’m one pant size and the next day I’m a larger pant size or maybe a smaller pant size. Or sometimes this can happen in the same day.
Some days my pants fit loose and my bra strap needs to be tightened and other days my jeans won’t pull over my thighs.
And generally this is not the type of thing I like to talk about.
But when I do it seems like there is always a sense of relief because what I find out is that I’m not alone.
But I wasn’t always able to talk about this. There was a time when I hated this pant not-fitting situation. I would beat myself up about it, give myself the stamp of failure I knew I deserved every time my pants didn’t fit and then spend the rest of the day planning a more restrictive diet and more dedicated exercise plan.
But then I realized something.
Everyone’s bodies are changing. I am already older than when I started to write this post. My stomach is probably a little bigger then when I woke up this morning. And if I suddenly went to the bathroom for a bowel movement then my stomach might become a little smaller.
This is what I mean by accepting change.
What I have come to understand through pure observation is that my body changes all through the day and from day-to-day and especially from year to year. It changes with having babies and going on an exercise kick and then getting depressed and watching TV too much, and then shaving my head and then growing my hair in, and then having an injury, an illness and then getting better.
And slowly I have started to talk to other women about my shrinking and expanding body. And guess what? They all say the same thing: their weight and body shape aren’t steady, that they are extremely fluid and also that they are ashamed of it.
Because our bodies changing is a very different reality than what we’re being sold.
I’ll spare you the rant about why the multi-billion dollar beauty industry is failing us and instead let you know what I’ve been wondering.
Is it working? Are people losing weight? Are people becoming happier and healthier?
And what I see around me is people, especially women, losing weight and then gaining it back again. I see women feeling inadequate over a constant goal to lose 10 pounds, a goal that seems to always be there, for many people their whole lives.
And I just really have to ask, what’s the point?
We wake up every morning in an envelope our soul gets carried around in and then constantly desire it to be different.
Really, what’s the point of this?
What is going to happen when that envelope, the body, looks thinner? Is there going to be more love? More peace? More health?
Are our lives suddenly going to look like the end of a rom-com film where we are whisked up off our feet by the loves of our lives and live happily ever after?
I’m not saying we all couldn’t use an extra serving of vegetables in our diet and one less bagel and maybe a good long healthy walk in the woods. These are all great things in terms of feeling good and living a long, healthy life.
I’m just saying our pants don’t always fit and sometimes we just have to wear the loose fitting sports bra instead of the sexy, lacy one but not because we ate a donut or skipped a cardio class—just because everything changes, including our bodies.
So let’s accept it and then see if that acceptance just might bring that little bit more love and that little bit more peace and that little bit more health we were hoping for.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photos: Pixoto/Marc Madou