For many people — women in particular — there is nothing more sacred than their age. We joke about age and poke fun in sitcoms. They are funny, when it has nothing to do with you. Try this one: A reporter was interviewing a 104 year-old woman: “And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?” the reporter asked. She simply replied, “No peer pressure.” Now that’s funny! We don’t want to be the brunt of jokes, but we like to poke fun at ourselves indirectly through these quips.
Even with the focus on aging there is one other number that is more sacred to people. That’s their weight. The measure of their body mass. In most people regardless of whether they measure pounds, stone, BMI (Body Mass Index) or girth measurements that number is something they don’t want to advertise. That’s an oxymoron, isn’t it? The number is evident when people look at you. You might be the only person hiding from that number, but dear heart, the world can guess what the number might be.
Why torture yourself with a number? Look for another measuring rod to determine what you need to do for your body. We understand the concept of size and when the clothing you wear has a higher number on it — that means you are large. As that number. . . Oh, dear! It’s another number. Well, we can’t use this as a means of measuring.
I feel these numbers are unreliable. Want to lose weight, measure on another scale. Your body fluctuates in weight from one day to the next. Get up close and personal and know your body intimately. Start with the exercise below. It will be the greatest gift you give yourself this holiday season.
Excerpt from Zen of Body Restoration by Karen Fili Sullivan, co-author Jeri Levesque
Take a Real Look at Yourself
“Once you have a report from your physician regarding your health look at yourself closely. We mean really look. Remove all clothing and stand in a well-lit room. You are not allowed to be critical of yourself. This process is designed to help you claim your health and fitness. Fitness starts with loving yourself where you are! In the privacy of your room, look into a mirror and see if you know the person staring back at you.
Is this the body you remembered from years ago? Does this body look like it’s going to be around for the long run? In the Appendix you’ll find a worksheet entitled “Taking a Closer Look”. Write your comments there. You can write one word or a paragraph. We want you to be sure to note all the little things about yourself. Things many come to accept as “old age” may be fitness related. Do you have stiffness and soreness in your arches when you get up in the morning? What about other aches and pains in your joints? When you look at your body have you developed excess baggage? Where are the bulges on your body, and how big are they? Karen had a client whose abdomen hung down and touched the top of her thighs. The day she got out of the shower and realized she could see the tops of her legs she was elated! If you don’t take the time to notice where you are, you won’t see the changes and be able to feel the sense of satisfaction that is the ultimate reward for hard work. You won’t keep going if you can’t recognize how far you have come.
So, take the time now to really look at yourself. Once you’ve written everything you can about how you look and feel as you look at your reflection, go on to the next page and write your long and short-term goals. For those of you who are brave enough, take pictures to document your starting point, wearing underwear is okay for posterity.
We propose you throw away the scale. For some people the need for measuring inches or pounds is central to their fitness program. If that’s your feeling then you do that, but we would encourage you to also use this exercise as a point of reference. We want you to begin to be comfortable with who you are.
Take that look often even if you become somewhat narcissistic. Spending time looking at your self can be a healthy way to keep track of your weight loss. This can only backfire is if you are a harsh critic of your body.
Try to develop a healthy acceptance of your body without remorse about how you have let things slip. Remember that at 50 or 60 your body cannot look as it did when you were 20. Unfortunately some 20 year olds have issues with comparing themselves to what they were or how they don’t look like friends or models/actors. Be the best you can be and celebrate life every step of the way.
We’re not suggesting you become complacent and comfortable with an overweight form either. However, if you are eating well, never cheating, and exercising you may still find your legs are bigger than you would like. Now comes the point where you decide on the fitness level you can comfortably maintain. We will discuss this in the next section.”
Have a wonderful holiday. Be Well!
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.