Welcome to my first series of 2018! Due to the aging process changes occur in our bodies, resulting in weight gain and redistribution, loss of muscle and skin elasticity and other physical changes such as varicose veins, foot problems and arthritis. The ability to deal with these issues starts in our heads. Frankly, we just need to accept the fact that we are getting older. We are no longer 25 and we never will be again.
While we need to take care of our bodies by eating well and getting exercise, the changes that come after menopause are not easily gotten rid of. Instead of obsessing over our bulges by trying to do millions of sit ups, or worrying over the veins that show on our legs or hands, there are other things we can do to cover our flaws and still look and feel beautiful.
As you can see by the title of this series, my intent is to share with you different ways of dressing that will cover the changes that age has brought about, so that we can still look fashionable and well styled. This week, I'd like to look at a few things we need to think about first before we start our under cover operation.
1. Accept what you can't change.
This slightly fat kitty seems to pay no heed to the fact that he/she is overweight. We have a myriad of articles and news stories available on positive body image, body shaming and self esteem. I think it is important that we create a culture of acceptance, while at the same time encouraging one another to be the best we can be. Health and self confidence are the key issues we ought to be pushing, not skinny or fat, tall or short, black, white or rainbow colored. I believe we are all created equal, by a Creator, so there is no room for bullying, body shaming, racism or comparisons based on external factors or even internal preferences such as religion or political affiliations.
I recommend taking an inventory of the things you don't like about your body. For the sake of this series, I am only going to discuss physical body issues, not emotional or mental characteristics. Stand in front of a full length mirror and look at yourself, preferably with no clothes, or with just your underwear. Look at yourself from head to toe. Take a piece of paper and make four columns.
Column 1 - Things I don't like, that I can't change
Column 2 - Things I don't like, that I can change
Column 3 - Things I like
Column 4 - Other
Column 1 would be things like a big bottom, or no bottom at all, long arms, knobby knees, small feet and so on. You may not like these things, but you cannot change them.
Column 2 would be things like pale skin, extra weight, varicose veins, breast size, or other issues that could be altered whether by using make up, exercising and eating better, or having some sort of surgery or procedure.
Column 3 should be the things you like about your body. My husband has always told me I have pretty collar bones. Some women like their strong shapely arms or legs. Maybe you have very pretty decolletage (a fancy word for cleavage), or you have smooth, beautiful skin. Write down all the things you like and don't say you don't like anything about your body. God made you beautiful, you just need to agree.
I added column 4 because for some of us there are things that could be changed, but perhaps at this point in time resources do not allow that particular procedure or maybe you are just not sure about having major surgery to help with weight loss or breast reduction or implants. I have bad varicose veins, but currently they do not bother me. Without a diagnosis of pain or necessity, it is doubtful that our insurance will cover a procedure to have them dealt with. However, I will put them on my sheet as something I would like to change in the future. Maybe you just had a baby and have 30 pounds of extra weight you'd like to get rid of, but right now, you are just trying to get to know your little one. Put that in this column as something you want to address at a future date.
Acceptance of what we cannot change or have no control over, is the first step to healthier, more confident way of viewing yourself and the world around you.
2. Accentuate the positive.
Look back at the list I had you write. More specifically look at the things about yourself you like. These are the things that you need to pay attention to when you are buying clothes, and getting dressed.
If you are a woman who has shapely, blemish free legs you can wear skirts and dresses, as well as cropped pants and shorts. Show off those beautiful gams. Maybe you have strong, well defined arms. Don't be afraid to expose them with sleeveless tops or even tighter fitting sleeves in the cooler weather. Perhaps what you love most about yourself is the color of your eyes. Look for make up as well as tops, scarves and accessories that will make those beauties pop.
In our information friendly world you can find all sorts of articles on line about how to dress for your body type, complexion and hair color just by typing in a few words. Check out a few of these:
You can find all sorts of tutorials, articles and advice on how to accentuate your positives.
3. What you can't change, camo!
I'm not saying that we need to cover up anything and everything that we are not happy with when it comes to our bodies. If that were the case some of us would be wearing a bag. What I hope to do over the next few weeks, is show you ways to dress that will cover up a few of those problem areas and make you feel more confident and put together.
Camouflage is nature's way of hiding. God gave critters an amazing ability to hide in plain sight and that is exactly what we want to do. We want to hide the things we view as flaws but still feel comfortable to go out and live life.
I hope you'll join me next Tuesday as we start looking at those problem areas and how we can put them under cover.
Until then, have a great week.
Be sure to check back Thursday for more Layering Love.