Are you over 50 and grieving for your former body?
A dear friend asked me,
“Did you ever think about how unfair it is that we had beauty in our youth when we didn’t have the brains to go with it?”
I laughed at her question at that moment, but I’ve thought about it a lot since then.
As I reflect back, I had a great body when I was younger. I proudly wore my Daisy Dukes, mini-skirts, and teeny bikinis.
Yet… as a teenager, I ignorantly also smoked cigarettes and drank too much. Yes, I did.
One day recently, I looked in the mirror and felt disbelief.
Is that MY butt!?
Wow, I’m active and I’ve worked out my entire adult life. I eat well, also. But, I can still feel sad about the body I presently have if I allow myself to feel that way.
Is grieving for our former bodies similar to losing a loved one, including the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance?
Most days, I guess I’m in denial, but suddenly a glance in the mirror hits me hard.
Some people tell me I’m lucky to be in such good shape “for my age.”
Whatever. Then, I feel the anger!
I’m still mourning my “old” body, the perfect one I used to have with perky breasts and tight bottom. I used to lay down on my bed to zip up my jeans, but when I stood up there wasn’t even a muffin top. Now my stretch jeans give me a muffin top that I choose to hide with a loose fitting longer top.
I have a SECRET muffin top!? Who am I kidding?
I negotiate with myself and say that I WILL workout MORE… starting tomorrow. And maybe then I’ll be able to get my former body back!
Am I alone?
I know I’m not alone. I’m just writing about what most of us over 50 years old are secretly saying to ourselves.
We have our s@!# together with all this life experience by now. We made ridiculous mistakes and learned from them in the past. We are wiser now. We have more patience with ourselves and others. We’ve even mellowed. We tend to be less judgmental. Compassion for others and forgiveness comes more easily. We have strength of character, commitment, and fortitude.
We may feel pretty darn AWESOME actually.
Still, you may be grieving for your former body, whether it’s when you’re sitting, walking, running, swimming, dancing, yoga or having sex. And, we’re not always patient and compassionate with ourselves, as we’ve learned to be with others.
My older friends tell me to just get used to it because they’ve reached the stage of “acceptance” and they say it’s a better place to be.
I’m not there yet. How about you?
Share your thoughts in the comment box below…
Are you still grieving for your former body or do you get frustrated with your present physical self?
What do YOU do to feel better about “looking your age?”
Does society put more pressure on women than men to look younger longer?
Or, do women do it to themselves?
Stuck living in regrets? Don’t do that! Check out the next Challenge with 12 Secrets where you can get the encouragement, accountability, and mental tools you need to really accomplish what you want!
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy reading Prioritize A Healthy Weight for a Full Life.
6 thoughts on “Grieving For Your Former Body”
I just saw a picture of myself in the water with my only child. She was nine months old then- today she is 15. I was 40 then. I’m almost 55. My face looks basically the same. But my body has changed so much.
I still have curves, but I’m more saggy.
I know I can’t control time, but I don’t feel any less sad. And I’m not giving up my two-piece bathing suit.
Anyway, I remember my mother and her mother talk about how they were growing older- and they didn’t like it either. But, I do have my health.
I would like acceptance and peace of mind about this. Thanks for your blog.
Thank YOU, Martha, for joining us and commenting, too!
of course we all miss our former bodies with their youth. one day i must have said something regarding this to my daughter and she replied, “mom, you had your day” and she was right. i am glad that i did have my day and feel lucky. i also like your comment about being fortunate to grow old. my dad use to say “whatever you do , don’t get old.” i would reply, what do you mean, get old or die….i’ll take get old. one of my favorite movies is “shawshank redemption” and my favorite line in it is “get busy living or get busy dying” i prefer to get busy living
I know what you mean, Eileen! My mom used to say she didn’t want to grow old… and she didn’t!
Can’t help but want that 18, 28, 42 year old body I once had, but plus 50 brought changes that are harder to counter. I accept it, while I enjoy life keeping up with my active adult children, remind myself never to give up the fight for fitness and try to appreciate the good health I still have. (Even if it’s not what it once was) My body has served me well; no amount of complaining now can change that. It might be rounder, but I can still stretch it, run it, lift with it, and learn how to “baby” it more. I don’t want replacement parts so that’s just how it has to be!!! 🙂
So glad you are at “acceptance!” and I KNOW you stay active, Jane!
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