Friday, January 4, 2013

Nourish & Strengthen Series No. 1

It is with much enthusiasm that I introduce this new series of posts on my blog, as many of us focus on renewal and new beginnings at the new year.

 I've already written these posts before, in my head, (does that count?) over the past 10 years as I've taught yoga and pilates and worked with my clients.  I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to actually post them on my blog.  But I do know - I feel compelled to share my experiences with nourishing and strengthening the mind and body and spirit here with you . . . my dear readers, hoping that I can help anyone out there in a practical way.

I've just celebrated my 40th birthday, which is quite a milestone in and of itself. With turning 40, I've noticed all sorts of changes occurring.  Some of them are a welcome relief, such as not being bogged down by what others think of me so much anymore.  Other changes are a little more tricky for me to come to terms with, such as my metabolism slowing down, my face looking more haggard in the mornings, etc.   It's important we have as much helpful, positive information on hand about body image. 

*** What I'm interested in ***

 the topics of
   healthy living, 
    aging gracefully, 
   loving life at every stage.  

These topics include, but are not limited to : exercise, nutrition, body image, mental health, hormones, supplements, expectations, acceptance, cravings, setting goals, recipes, workouts that work, well being, and lots more.

Over the years, we've shared valuable insights and tips with each other via email and social media, and it is my hope to share these pearls with more of you and offer up support in the form of these posts. . . full of tips, recipes, advice and validation.  I truly believe we are all in this together. 

*** Topic No. 1 is Body Image ***

Body Image can most easily be defined as 
how we envision ourselves. 
both inside and out.

With Love . . . 
    With Loathing . . . 

When I look at pictures of myself in my 20's and 30's, I wonder why I was so hard on myself.  Now that I've been 40 for about two weeks, I've caught myself thinking, "Gosh, I'm 40 now. I don't know if I'm up to . . . . . . ."  Isn't that strange?  Then I remember my grandmother's words. She said, "My life began at 40."  She lived life to the fullest, skiing at Vail when she was 74, having a sparkle in her eyes, doing all of her own gardening and always taking good care of herself. In her 80's she was in a lot of pain with her back, but her mind didn't focus on the pain or stop her from accomplishing and working right up until the end of her life.

I realize it is my mind, not my body, saying I don't know if I'm up to . . . . As we get older, we have to be very careful of the tricks our minds can play on us.  Sometimes your mind tells you to be careful for good reason, but sometimes it's telling you that your body can't do something that it can do.

Here are some characteristics that come to my mind I've noticed as positives in people whom I admire and who have a healthy body image with getting older :

*The tendency to feel gratitude for all their bodies still enjoy. They focus on what they still can do versus getting bogged down with limitations. They don't take their bodies for granted.

*More mental freedom. For some, as they get older, there is a much more expansive way of seeing the world and people versus in their younger years.  There may have been a tendency to be judgmental and critical - even narrow minded when younger, whereas as they've gotten older, things roll off their backs more easily.

*More contentment.  Not having that obsessive thinking or cling to things mentality that can get in the way of seeing the bigger picture.

*Telling the truth.  When we're younger, we're so focused on perception, we make small allowances with our authenticity sometimes.  They don't think about whether they should tell the truth; there's no choice, they just do it. And they allow other people the freedom to be exactly as they want to be. 

*Not basing their lives on contingencies.  When I was younger, I would think, "When X happens, I'll be happy."  When, when, when.  At a certain stage, you realize that you can't base your happiness on what will happen in the future.  Things can change at any moment.  Why not be happy now?

Love her crows feet.
Can I have hair like this please?

Love the sparkle in her eyes

As always, please add your thoughts on the comments if you'd like to chime in and share your ideas.  All of us have different perspectives to share and I love learning from each other. These are just the beginning of what I'm hoping is available to me as I envision myself growing older graciously.  

Love you all! 

Take Care of each other out there! 


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