I was a beanpole for most of my adolescent years and any black stretchy pants I wore, would literally hang off my chicken legs. After joining a gymnastics team and inheriting the disposition to develop a muscular physique like my mother, my waif-like figure turned into a boy like- body of steal.
After puberty, slight curves emerged and I could finally fill out the shelf bra of my workout top. I was still very ‘boyish’, but I had some hint of a developing womanly figure. I stared in the mirror the other day, and for the first time at age 27 I have hips. Like real woman hips. At first, it seemed as if I grew them overnight, but I think along with most women, our body goes through several transformations in a lifetime.
I don’t believe we go through just ‘one’ transformation after puberty and that’s it; that’s the body we will work with for the rest of our lives. I think our body shape adjusts relevant to our moods, environmental changes, and different ‘seasons’ of our lives. Besides the obvious factors like aging and eating habits, I think our body tends to transform in a healthy way to adapt to our current life phase.
My good friend Caron once said that she had a ‘little girls’ body until her mid-twenties(She was older then me at the time). I remember her telling me how much she embraced her curvy new figure. Still super petite, she possessed a new found ‘confidence’ with a cushier behind, and some meat on her bones. I remember thinking to myself; I am going to have a hard time adjusting when I go through these changes too.
I think having respect for your body and the various shapes it takes through different life phases, is key to possessing a positive self body image. Our body is our temple, and will carry us graciously through all of our stages as long as ‘acceptance’ remains in our mental vocabulary. Don’t hold back on adjusting your wardrobe to accommodate to new physical changes. Nothing feels worse then squeezing into your self proclaimed skinny pants and feeling like your are going to suffocate. Keep them stashed away in your closet, and if in six months you still don’t fit into them, give them to goodwill.
By accepting your body as it changes, it will not only give you confidence, but others will take notice too. Transformations can be beautiful. Now, standing in the mirror, I can finally admire the way my hips gloriously round out my new yoga pants.
How has your body changeed throughout the years?