I suspect most post-menopausal women confront body image issues regardless of whether we're thin or fat or somewhere in between. In spite of our best efforts, the hormonal changes that take place during and after menopause change the way our body works and ultimately looks. Our skin is no longer supple and everything loses its shape. Hence, baggy arm flesh, saggy boobs, weight around the middle, and the rest. We've lost all control over that stuff and we don't like it one bit. Most of us spend a lot of time and energy fighting it and trying to change fate.
The fact remains, we will never be young again, at least in this life! But, we do have a choice. We can resist and struggle to change the things we cannot change and be miserable or embrace who and what we are and make peace with the aging process. Even when we can't change a thing in life, we can change our thinking about the thing.
In the book The Four Day Win, Martha Beck describes the different thought processes that we have when we are trying to lose weight (or change anything about ourselves). Our self talk consists of a "dictator", which is the voice in our heads that tells us what we should do and yells at us when we don't do it. We have the "wild child" that is rebellious and just wants to feel good and have fun. The dictator brings the wild child out in most of us sooner or later. When we're dieting and trying to lose weight we oscillate between the two. Our dictator beats us into submission for a while and then our wild child gets fed up and leads us on a romp of carefree indulgence. When we're finished romping, we come home to a dictator that scolds us. Hence the yo- yo diet plan!
There is another option. We can mentally step away from these two voices. Each voice is trying its best to help us with our problem. Each cares, in its own way about our health and happiness. Beck suggests offering these parts of ourselves our appreciation and love giving each a blessing such as: "May you be well, may you be happy, may you be free from suffering."
This voice, the one that speaks to the dictator and to the wild child is the place of thinner peace. Martha Beck calls it the "Watcher" . It is the voice that will effectively lead us along our path toward health and happiness, not only in our attempts to lose weight but in learning to accept the wise and wonderful women that we are.
FOR MORE ON WEIGHT LOSS AND DIETING SEE: "Why Are You So Damn Fat?"
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