It’s funny how society reveres the young. I just read an article the other day about how it’s common now for all of our twenties to be a ‘gap decade’ where we have no responsibilities or commitment other to ourselves. I think I caught the front wave of that trend myself. My twenties were a very carefree time of no kids, just working on me and my career with no particular goals other than to get more, learn more, be more. Does it go without saying that I was completely adrift and miserable? When I look back at that time, I realize just how much mental and emotional energy was tied up in my weight. I have books and books that are nothing more than daily food journals. I don’t remember ever liking how I looked and yet when I look at pictures from that era, the times I was most obsessed and miserable about my appearance is when I typically looked the best (go figure).
Now that I’m the ripe old age of 43 I can honestly say I’m SO GLAD I’m not there anymore! I always joke that being over 40 and having had twins has lowered the expectation bar so much that I can just relax now. I can’t tell you how often I hear something like ‘You look so great FOR SOMEONE WHO HAD TWINS” or “IS OVER 40” or some other qualifier. And actually the qualifiers make me laugh because I think of my age peers in the Limitless Family like Kim, Michele, Barb, Marlene, apparently Linda (if she’s to be believed), and others who are totally SMOKIN’ HOT for ANY age and I realize that the lowered bar would not be so low if people realized that!
But I digress…Whatever the reason, I have a contentment and acceptance now that totally eluded me in my neurotic, ultra-competitive twenties. If I could time travel back, here is what I would tell angsty, twenty-something me:
· One day you’ll look back on your ‘fat’ self and wish you looked like that now!
· Don’t base your insides off someone else’s outsides.
· Don’t assume that just because someone is skinny they’re happy.
· Don’t do stupid things to get skinny because you’ll screw up your metabolism forever and really be pissed off about it in twenty more years.
· Decide to be happy regardless of the scale.
· Start strength training now!
· Save your knees! Save your knees!
· Lay off the sun tanning.
· Quit thinking of exercise as punishment and food as reward and we’ll all be better off.
· The skinniest people you know are also the sickest – be careful of how you determine success.
So that’s my life lessons as they related to body size. Since time machines don’t seem imminent I’ll have to settle for living this out for Grace so she’ll absorb it by osmosis because Lord knows if I tell her she’ll just believe the opposite.
What would you tell your 20-year younger self?
You ARE Limitless!