I read an article this week aimed at mothers of daughters talking about what to do and not to do in order to pass on a healthy view of the female body to your daughter. It was a good article.
And again it got me thinking about my view of my own body.
And here are the conclusions I came to:
1) I am a product of my culture and therefore I think I weigh too much, I think I have too many round places, I think my legs and my arms (and other parts) should be thinner.
2) Being 40 has given me a peace (even if it is peaceful resignation) about my body. Here's the thing...no matter what I weigh, my hips and thighs will always be the biggest part of my body and I will never have slim upper arms (that's the genetic gift from my grandmother that just keeps giving!). And I've decided it's okay not to hate these realities.
3) I am comfortable in my body. Yes, even as I write this I am glad my laptop is sitting on my lap so I don't have to look down and see how far my thighs spread and yes, I am aware of the many times I'm sucking in my stomach (or at least trying) so that the rolls aren't so noticeable. But, this is the body in which I live and move and have my being and it's a pretty comfortable place to live. And, after all, this summer I have actually appeared in public in a swimsuit more than once - if that doesn't scream, "I'm comfortable here", what does?
4) There is much to celebrate about my body. I am rarely sick (not just major things, but rarely even have a cold). I have low blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar, etc. - just ask my doctor who recently ran blood work. I am able to get out of bed each morning with ease, to walk up and down the stairs in our house to do load after load of laundry, to chase my children when they beg me to be the Kissing Monster, to carry my five-year-old who still likes to be in his momma's arms, to hug my children, my friends, my congregants, my husband.
I wasn't built to be a model, but I was built to be a mom and a wife and a friend and a pastor.
And although the scales reflect a larger number than they previously have except when I was pregnant, maybe it's not about the number.
Maybe the freedom that 40 years has given me is the freedom to find joy and health and comfort in this body.