What my Grandma taught me about body image

As I paused from my little rant about how pregnancy had changed my body forever, my 80-year-old Grandma turned her head thoughtfully to one side.

“You know?” She said. “I remember thinking that way. I would feel so ugly, and complain and complain about how I looked. I couldn’t understand how my husband could be attracted to me.”

I nodded, leaning forward as I expected some sympathy.

“That was before I realized how stupid I was being.” she continued.

“At 30 years old I complained and hated how I looked.”

“Then at 40 years old I looked at the pictures of myself at 30 and thought about how good I had looked then. I was miserable about how much older I looked at 40 years old!”

“And then at 50 years old I looked at pictures of myself from when I was 40 and realized I was dang hot at 40 years old and hated all the sags and wrinkles I had at 50 even more.”

 “At 60 years old I looked at the pictures from when I was 50 and mourned how much uglier I had gotten in 10 years.”

“And at 70 years old I couldn’t believe how great I had looked at 60 compared to 70, and wondered why I had ever thought I looked bad.”

“And then I realized that I had wasted all those years thinking about how much older I was getting, instead of enjoying what I had right at that moment. So I decided to enjoy my body each day for what it is, and enjoy how beautiful I am right now. Because who knows what I’ll look like in 10 years, and then I’ll be looking back at pictures from now and thinking about what a sexy fox I was.”

Re-post: I am Not My Parents
Fundamentalist Approved Feminist Literature
Rather Dead Than Queer
Re-Post: Lies we tell ourselves about abuse
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01659200420621854710 Maggie

    This is so funny because I was thinking this exact same thing this past weekend. I was going through a huge box of old photographs and was thinking "Wow I was super skinny in high school!" Then looking though my college pictures I was thinking the same thing… but I remember in college lamenting over how skinny I was in high school and how I was so fat at the time. I've always had the problem of comparing myself to other people… now I have the problem of comparing my 25 year old self to my 15 year old self!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06489369133555827520 Maurisa

    Grandmas are awesome.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10254315970336710941 CM

    Such a great thing to think about! I'm glad you shared it; hopefully we can all learn from your grandma's experience!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14441368513494466628 Emily

    Grandmas and wisdom, they just go hand in hand don't they??!! What a great piece of advice, thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07363886412589745900 That Married Couple

    What great grandmotherly wisdom!

  • http://teasready.wordpress.com/ Haus Frau

    I love your grandma. And this was the post I needed to read today! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00345496310218224780 WhiteStone

    Yep. I've thought those same thoughts. Mine go even further back. Each year in school I hated my school photo! Now I look back and see that I was a cute kid. I'm 65 now, bald due to chemo, and, "Hey!" I'm not complaining one bit because I feel good and God is blessing me TODAY!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07017750776512480150 Kari

    Thank you for posting this! I love your grandmas wisdom. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07051821102578257785 Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations

    My belly is pretty flabby, stretchy and fat compared to 10 years ago and after 4 children. I used to fuss about it when I didn't have much of it. Not anymore. NOW when my husband touches it and caresses it I enjoy his touch. My children love to blow raspberries on it. My DD7 hugs it and puts her face against it and sighs and says how soft and cuddly it is. I have learned to enjoy my body. I have looked at my photos when I was 7, 15, 22 years old when everyone said I was fat and I have realized that I was gorgeous. I had a beautiful body, a glowing face and a bright smile, but inside I was dying because of what people said of me. Not anymore! Today I am beautiful, inside and out!!! :) Who cares what other people think!!!

  • http://anxiousfornothing.wordpress.com/ Melissa @ Anxious for Nothing

    I love this! Thanks for sharing!