Does Anyone Actually Feel Comfortable in Their Own Skin?

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aging gracefullyMamas, I need to know.

At what age will I feel comfortable in my own skin?

As a teenager, I had acne and braces. I couldn’t wait for the day that both were gone, and I would finally become one of the “popular” girls. Being beautiful, accepted, and at ease with my own body sounded so promising to my naïve mind.

In my 20’s, I was a mama to three little kids, frazzled, working, and trying to balance everyone else’s needs at all times. Stretchy pants and a baggy tee-shirt with my hair in a messy bun was my standard look. When “mom guilt” about not taking care of myself hit, I enrolled in aerobics classes, dragging my kids to the gym’s childcare day after day. I lost the baby weight, got in shape, and tried to dress more attractively.

During my early 30’s, I delivered another three babies and started to put on a little weight that accompanied back-to-back pregnancies and years of breast feeding. It seemed with each new baby, that last ten pounds refused to melt away. I promised myself as soon as I got past having young children, that I would dive back in and get my body back in shape. I knew it would be a few more years until I really had the time that it took to exercise, so I decided to just start eating healthier.

Then forty rolled around. In this new decade, two more babies were born, and shockingly, life didn’t slow down. I was 46 years old when I finished breastfeeding my youngest. That was the year I first noticed it – I noticed that age had really started to take its toll on my body. I started to despair! All these years, I had planned to get myself back in shape. I wanted to look attractive to my hubby, and not just saggy and tired.

But as I looked in the mirror, I could pick out a hundred flaws about myself that I wanted to correct. My hair was graying, first at the temples, but then evenly spreading around. My weight climbed upwards, even after baby weight could no longer be blamed. The skin around my eyes began to show fine lines and wrinkles. My body was failing me, growing older faster than I was prepared for.

I had always told myself that I would grow old gracefully, not begrudging something that naturally comes to all of us.

And yet.

I don’t know if I’m totally ready for that.

I tried dyeing my hair, but the gray showed through faster than I could touch it up.

I’m eating healthier, but not losing weight. I packed away my skinny clothes, my middle-sized clothes, and I’m now trying to find a wardrobe in a larger size that I feel attractive in.

Still, I am conflicted about how I feel in my own skin. I spent all these decades of motherhood not feeling comfortable in my own skin, and telling myself that I would later. Now I’m wondering if maybe I could have felt comfortable in (even loved?) my body a long time ago. And I’m wondering if I still could now.

At what age do I get to feel like it is okay to have grey hair? When does the extra body weight make me softer for my grandkids to snuggle? At what stage of life will I hear my hubby say he loves me just as I am, and truly believe that I don’t have to be thin and young to be attractive?

At what age is it too late to try again to arrest the time thief?

So, ladies, please spill the tea, are YOU able to embrace who you are and truly love it? If you are, do you have any tips for me?

Sincerely,
Growing older day by day

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