My co-author, Image consultant Janna Beatty, has worked with women of all ages for almost 40 years. Over the course of her career, she will tell you the one thing she has found to be detrimental to women of every age. And it’s probably not what you think.
Janna has found the most damaging thing women do is compare themselves to their former selves.
The other day, I was at the dentist’s office when a lovely 29-year-old dental assistant showed me a photo of her beautiful 6-month-old son. Then she proceeded to tell me how her hips had spread during pregnancy and her waist was never going to be the same. (“Oh, honey. You just wait.” I was tempted to say, but, of course, I did not.)
This all goes back to the question we raise in QUINTESSENTIAL STYLE–Who are you…Today? The 29-year old new mom is not the same person she was even five years ago.
Janna stresses, “Women’s bodies change to accommodate the original biological purpose of life. As teenagers we change; then in our twenties, women accumulate fat stores needed for childbirth. Afterward, it is not uncommon for women to gain 10 lbs. per decade until their 70’s. Following that, they may begin to lose 10 lbs. per decade.”
Knowing these facts may make it easier to understand our bodies, but that’s not where the disappointment comes. The disappointment comes from never being satisfied with ‘who we are.’
It is inevitable that as we mature, our skin, our hair, and our bodies will undergo change. Why can’t we keep a more charitable view of ourselves? Janna’s advice: “Let’s set the bar high on one thing–SELF-APPRECIATION.”
We have no identicals. (Even identical twins aren’t exactly the same.) We are unique in all of time. We do not have the same blueprint as anyone else on earth. Why should we compare?
Let us continually evolve in the direction we choose. And evolve in a way that enhances the essence of who we are. Because when you become so full of your own essence, you forget about inadequacy. And you can focus your energy on contributing in ways that only you can contribute.
Hi Sharon! I am woefully behind in reading your wonderful posts, so I jumped on this as soon as it dropped into my inbox. I love it! I’m fifteen pounds heavier than I was as a teenager, and even though I say I accept it, there is a part of me that feels like I ‘should’ get back closer to my skinny self. Then I remind myself how important it is to have a few extra pounds on board to fall back on should disaster strike. And I have a snack!