My body has become a frenemy. Our relationship could be described as on again, off again. Sometimes I hate it, but other times, I, well, like it. It’s not surprising that my feelings are erratic given that my Jewish mother would offer me cookies before asking, “Have you put on weight?” Getting older doesn’t help most relationships… except maybe the one with your gerontologist. Am I imagining that my dog is looking at me and thinking, “Wow, now we both have nipples on our stomach!” But, enough sexy talk.
Now, in the third act of my life, I’m focusing on self-improvement. I was inspired by my friend, director/actress Cathryn Michon who appeared on movie posters in her sports bra in her hilarious movie, “Muffintop: A Love Story.” After see her inspiring story, I made it my goal to love my naked body.
Here are some steps that helped me to see my body and give it another chance:
NEVER STAND STILL while looking at your body. You’ll find faults with any body, even a un-photoshopped picture of Beyoncé. That’s why athletes’ bodies look so good to us – they’re in motion. So, when you’re studying yourself in a full-length mirror, keep moving. Imagine you’re a wind-up doll. Do side bends, Tai Chi or hula dancing and you’ll be surprised how much better you look.
No looking at yourself in a room with FLUORESCENT LIGHTING. That means avoiding department store dressing rooms. It’s the most unflattering thing you can do to your naked body, even if you’re young, firm and have a tight ass, you’ll think you’re looking at a Google earth shot of the moon’s craters. These stores will let you return anything so do your trying on at home
Go to Burning Man and WALK AROUND NAKED. Full disclosure, possibly TMI — I did it topless. It was a challenge, but I didn’t need a Trader Joe’s bag as I was able to hold things – spoons, straws, even a Styrofoam cup — under my 36 DDs. (See Step 1). Once I got over being self-conscious, I compared my body to others and saw that I’m well within the acceptable range of the general population. I don’t recommend doing this in a Hollywood Pilates class, just at Burning Man and maybe an emergency room.
Love the things YOUR BODY DOES. Being from LA, one tends to obsess about the body’s visual, rather than its functionality. Acknowledging your body’s abilities and talents will cause you to appreciate it, the way you do your dishwasher, electric razor and vacuum cleaner. Never mind if my legs aren’t as shapely as a pantyhose model’s, they get me down a mountain on a snowboard. I have a pain free back, a neck that keeps my head attached and arms that don’t create a breeze when I move them.