Friends, can we please stop saying “But you're still beautiful” when your girlfriend tells you they gained some weight?
It seems we are so obsessed with societal standards of beauty and an ever-growing emphasis on physical appearance as standards for health or happiness. I would like to challenge you to reshape the narrative around body transformations, particularly during significant life phases like perimenopause. For me, sharing the journey of gaining 40 pounds in just four months due to perimenopause has been an eye-opening experience - both positive and negatively. While I greatly appreciate the well-intentioned reassurances from friends that I am still beautiful, I do feel it's time to shift our focus from associating beauty solely with body sizes. What if we allowed ourselves and others to embrace the discomfort of physical changes without judgment, creating space for open dialogue and genuine support?
Like I mentioned, I have been openly sharing this last year that when Perimenopause hit I gained 40 lbs in 4 short months. Since opening up about these struggles, I repeatedly get comments about how I am still beautiful, or how the extra weight doesn’t make me ugly, or less desirable. I know, I also know that these comments are meant to be caring. Here’s the thing tho, what if we allowed each other to be "not ok" with the perimenopause weight gain or weight loss. What if we didn’t associate weight with beauty, what if we just listened to each other struggles. What if we stopped making it such a huge issue when you bestie wants to do something for herself and starts a program to help her feel her best? Because here is the thing about all this; Yes I gained 40 lbs, yes I still have it. Yes I still feel like a beautiful goddess, and yes I am uncomfortable with the weight. I can be both at the same time. I have come to understand that my inner goddess is not attached to the size of my body, she’s my inner spirit. The same goes for you! You can be uncomfortable with the hormone weight gain / loss and you can be a fierce sexy woman all at the same time. You don't have to choose one or the other!
A huge part of my learning this last couple years has been to learn how to love this body, no matter her size. I have also learned that at this size my body is not as comfortable, or metabolically sound as it would like to be. My back hurts, my knees get tired and I become fatigued faster than I normally would. Again, these are observations, feelings and well my personal facts. Both these feelings and facts can be true at the same time. I am able to work towards better health and a more comfortable weight at the same time as LOVING this body for all she has done for me.
When my hormone shut down hit, and my adrenal fatigue was first diagnosed I was angry at myself for gaining the weight. I felt so off in this body…. Like I was not sure who I was. Emotionally I was exhausted, and my spirit was struggling to stay afloat most days. You know those memes where they talk about perimenopause symptoms smacking you around outta no where? They are actually really true. So much was changing and so fast that I was having a hard time keeping up. I bet there are many of you that can relate to this, right? I wasn't sure who to talk to about it all, and I wasn't sure where it was all coming from either. Like I talked about last week in I'm Going to Talk Pandemic.... much of what I was experiencing was DIRECTLY related to how long I had been living in an overwhelming stress response with PTSD and panic attacks showing up whenever the fuck they felt like it. I first had to find some compassion for myslef, and learn how to step BACK from constant burn out, over doing and people pleasing (this is still a work in progress). I had to create routines that allowed nurishing and understanding my body and it's changes. I also had to be ok with the up and up of the weight, and understand that many others DID NOT understand that this weight gain didn't mean I thought I was uglier....
So here is what I am proposing, Let's start to take these steps to finding space to be BOTH.
Beyond the Scale: Redefining Beauty:
While I understand that compliments about still being beautiful are meant to be supportive, it's essential to break free from the societal notion that beauty is contingent on body size. What if we detached our self-worth from the number on the scale and instead celebrated the diverse forms of beauty that transcend physical appearance? Let's encourage each other to redefine beauty by focusing on the strength, resilience, and inner spirit that make us unique.
Acknowledging Discomfort and Seeking Self-Improvement:
Yes, I've gained 40 pounds, and yes, I still feel like a beautiful goddess. It's okay to acknowledge the discomfort that comes with physical changes while simultaneously embracing your beauty. What if we allowed ourselves the freedom to express our struggles openly without the fear of judgment? By creating a supportive environment, we enable one another to embark on journeys of self-improvement without attaching guilt or shame to our bodies.
The Dual Existence: Uncomfortable Yet Fierce:
The dichotomy of feeling uncomfortable with perimenopausal weight gain or loss while remaining a fierce, sexy woman is a reality many of us face. It's crucial to recognize that these feelings can coexist without negating one another. Embracing this duality allows us to navigate our journey with authenticity, acknowledging the challenges while celebrating our strength and sensuality.
Learning to Love Our Bodies:
One of the pivotal lessons in my recent years has been learning to love my body, irrespective of its size. However, it's also important to recognize that self-love doesn't mean turning a blind eye to our body's needs. For me, this involves addressing physical discomfort, such as back pain and fatigue, while still appreciating the incredible feats my body has accomplished. Striving for better health doesn't mean rejecting our current selves; rather, it's an act of self-care and love.
Navigating Emotional Turmoil During Perimenopause:
Perimenopause is a transformative phase that often brings emotional turmoil. The sudden onset of symptoms, coupled with significant physical changes, can leave us feeling adrift. It's okay to admit the struggles and uncertainties. Sharing experiences and relating to others who have gone through similar challenges can be immensely comforting, fostering a sense of community and understanding.
As we collectively navigate the uncharted waters of perimenopause post insanely overwhelming pandemic and its impact on our bodies, let's agree to be more compassionate listeners, allowing each other the space to express our discomfort, seek self-improvement, and redefine beauty on our terms. By dismantling the societal pressure to conform to narrow standards, we empower ourselves and those around us to embrace the beauty of our evolving selves, acknowledging that we can be both a work in progress and a fierce, beautiful soul simultaneously.
What do you say sexy LADY?