Why is it that women have so many descriptions for our bodies? It seems like men have two: Out of shape with a ‘beer gut’ and in great shape.
Women on the other hand, gain a little bit of weight and we are fat. We will lose our ‘girlish’ figure. Well, first of all, I am not a girl anymore. I am a WOMAN, married for 13 years and a mother of two children. I don’t want to be a girl or keep a girlish figure! I want to be a woman and I am a woman.
I see these labels have crept into the minds of my eight and seven year old children. I have two girls. One is a muscular build with a slower metabolism and the other has a very petite frame and can eat whatever she wants. They are constantly comparing their bodies with one another. I try so hard to let them know that every body type is different and it’s the way that we’re made. You can’t change it. The important thing is to be as healthy and strong as possible. We stress for both of them that making healthy eating choices will keep their own bodies in the best condition.
How can I shield them from the impossible labels in pop culture to describe a woman’s physique? More importantly, how do I keep them from believing that one frame is more superior than another? How do I prove to them that a woman’s appearance is subject to all kinds of opinions and the most important one is the one that a woman gives to herself?
A woman who is curvy, typically, is considered a ‘siren’ or ‘too fat’. A woman with a thinner frame can be seen as someone ‘with no breasts’ or perfect for runway modeling. How did these and other values come to be? Why does society hold these opinions as truths and continue this impossible fight to becoming something we’re not?
Right now I am a size 12/14. I feel good but need to exercise more. I have been a size five; even after having two children. When I was a size five, I had a very strict diet and worked out about 1.5 hours a day and had three hour dance/performance rehearsals four times weekly. I don’t have the time to commit to that right now. My girls are older and need more coaching, rides to activities, help with projects and more talking time. I don’t have to write about all those things moms do!
I should exercise more but right now my lifestyle will not be in line with a crazy workout schedule as above. I have to be happy that I have a curvier physique and promise to keep as much muscle tone as possible. I love Pilates, yoga and the New York Ballet Workouts. I find that when I do too much jumping and jarring, my back gets out of alignment. I listen to my body now!
Something yoga teachers always say is to ‘honor your body’. I think we need to honor our bodies outside of the yoga studio and into society. Accept that each of our bodies is designed uniquely and we are not a label. We are expensive iconic brands!
There is only one you. Honor and love that person and hug your daughters and give them the permission to honor and love themselves too!
Lots of Love,