I lost it – my right to bare arms. Or at least I thought I lost it. And I blame the whole thing on the Beatles. You know, the ones who sang, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m sixty-four?”
You see, I am sixty-four. And the Beatles wrote this song when I was eighteen. So somehow I had it in my head that sixty-four (gasp, horror, shock) was really, really, REALLY old. Like basically dead.
So here I am. Sixty-four, going strong and feeling GREAT! Or so I thought. Until I saw them – my bare arms on a high def video camera. I was like, “Wait a minute, who super-imposed that old person’s arms on my arms?” Those aren’t MY arms!!
Oh, but they were. And after I saw them the conversation in my head picked up speed – the conversation between my Evolved self (E-Linda) and my Wimpy self (W-Linda) – and it went something like this:
W-Linda: OMG! You can NEVER wear short sleeves again in your LIFE!
E-Linda: Come on now. It’s not THAT bad. I think I look pretty good for my age.
W-Linda: Pretty good for your age? Are you kidding me? That’s like saying you don’t look bad for a dead person.
E-Linda: I am NOT defined by my arms, bozo. I’m defined by my character and the difference I make in the world.
W-Linda: Excuse me while I laugh my ass off. How can they focus on the difference you make in the world when they are mesmerized by flapping triceps. You probably started a tsunami somewhere on the other side of the globe.
E-Linda: Listen. I happen to LIKE my arms. They have been good to me. They serve me VERY well. I will not let YOU disparage my arms, or my less than perky butt, or a single wrinkle on my face. So shut up. Go away. I don’t want to hear from you anymore.
The conversation did keep going for a while – and E-Linda did ultimately win. And I walked away with this awareness. If we are human, we will more than likely not LOVE the aging process. In fact a recent survey determined that 75% of women were not happy with their “flabby arms.” Of course, if you are under 30 you probably canNOT relate to what I’m saying. Just go have another milkshake and get back to me when you turn 50. But if you are a person of a certain age, then you may find yourself in my above mentioned conversation when you see something happening to your body that you don’t love. And when that happens, you might want to consider the following:
1. Just keep working on yourself. Be the best version of you that you can be. Do the things that make you feel good about yourself. High self-esteem isn’t a given. Do what I do and following the blogs of someone like the fabulous healthy life-style expert, Polly Pitchford.
2. Know that you WILL have doubts about yourself and times when you look in the mirror and aren’t thrilled with what you see.
3. When that happens, just talk yourself down. Give a BIG voice to YOUR Evolved Self. Don’t stop talking until she wins.
4. Practice (and this DOES take practice) sending love to EVERY part and aspect of you, from your gorgeous eyes to your wrinkly hands, appreciating them for all they do.
I almost abdicated my right to bare arms. But not any more. I’m going to follow my own advice and right now go work on myself (does the term “triceps extension sound familiar?)
From your sixty-four year old (and damned proud of it) motivational speaker, Linda Larsen