Celebrating Our Uniqueness…..!
As it was international women’s day last week, I couldn’t help but feel inspired to write about my own journey of being a woman who is now forty (something!) and how I feel about the changes that I find myself going through.
When I was younger, I believed that as women we were all supposed to look the same and I would constantly compare my own body against other girls, mostly I would only see my (so called!) imperfections. This is probably a familiar story to most women.
Being a teenager in the 90s meant that the only look on trend was catwalk skinny. Looking back now, I cringe at my younger self eating a slice of ham on rivita during my college lunch break, not daring to eat anything else in case I put on weight. It’s a terrible pressure to have and I have to say that I feel the body confidence movement that has recently been promoted on social media, can only be a good thing in my opinion. I certainly do not want my almost eleven-year-old daughter to feel she needs to watch every morsel that goes into her mouth. I would much rather her focus on food for health.
It wasn’t until I grew up, I began to realise that there is no perfect body, only a healthy one and that is so much more important to me. After having my daughter at 31, my body changed completely (in my opinion for the better) and I had a real focus on good health, nutrition, and exercise.
During my 30s, I was diagnosed with stage four Endometriosis. Having this awful chronic, progressive disease made me realise how I must look after my body and health that I do have, because with Endo, it can take you down and become completely debilitating.
After two operations and the Mirena Coil, I now feel like a different person (even though I have lasting problems with my bowel but its a small price to pay compared to some poor sufferers). I am looking at my forties now as a new me to maybe grab back some of the energy that Endo stole from me in my mid to late thirties.
As women, the changes are never over. For me now and most of my friends, it is the peri-menopause years we are entering, and we know that this can last a very long time indeed.
But, bearing all that in mind, I have now finally reached a stage in my life that I am comfortable with how I look and feel. I do like to look after myself, I care about what I eat but saying that, I’ve cut down on a lot of the exercise I used to do. This did come as a surprise to me, but I feel it was the right choice.
I used to run long distance up to three times a week, do yoga daily, and high intensity workouts. After spending the best part of a year in physio for overuse of my feet, I’ve decided that walking my dog, doing housework and the school runs is enough exercise that my body needs. The crazy thing is, by changing this, I’ve lost weight and I don’t ache half as much as I used too!
Perhaps slowing it down is exactly what we need to do as we get older, don’t stop it completely, but take the pace down just a little so that we feel more in tune with our bodies.
I don’t see bodies as perfect anymore, I just see them as unique, the same as our personalities. Life is so much more interesting with different shades of beauty.
You cannot beat a woman who is confident in her own skin, no matter what she looks like, if her inner beauty shines through, to me she is flawless.
Until next time,
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