April 3, 2024
learning to love your body


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As a senior, you’ve probably watched your body descend due to gravity.

Each year brings a new innocent brown spot. You raise your arms and crepe skin appears.

You are not comfortable with all this.  You might even feel this way right now. You might wish you could look differently, and you may tell yourself that if you could just try a new dermatologist or a new skin cream, perhaps you would feel more comfortable in your own skin.

And then you will find the clothes and makeup that make your heart radiate happiness and confidence in this super-aging process. While this is a feeling nearly all seniors can empathize with, our reasons can—and do—vary.

Having examined thousands of “senior” bodies over the years, I will tell you that no one felt comfortable undressing, getting into a gown, and then having me a stranger, come in and peek into all crevices and parts.

Some of us might struggle because we always take great pride in our appearance. We get the feeling our children see us in another light now. They are looking at “old”, and not at us. We see them watch us as we sit, get up from a chair, walk, or even eat. This “watching' is wearing on us.

Some of us struggle with our weight. That belly protrudes and we now wear waist-less tops that flow out and stretch-waist pants.  No bra seems to fit us anymore. What used to make us throw our shoulders back with confidence doesn’t work anymore. Some of us wonder why we didn’t get a bust reduction 20 years ago.

For men, it’s the uncomfortable way we sit. Nothing seems to “adjust properly” anymore. Our bellies weigh down everything below and our lower backs hurt because of our weight. With all this, it makes it difficult to feel good or just plain…normal. We find ourselves concerned about our bodies when we never did before. Regardless of the reason, that feeling of awkwardness is something that all of us know.

Although no one wants to feel like this, it isn’t always bad.

It all starts (and ends) with YOU.

Identify exactly WHAT is bothering you and causing you to feel off or uncomfortable. Notice when that feeling comes up for you—where are you, and what are you doing? Are you looking in the mirror? Trying to get into a pair of pants you used to love to wear? Watching a younger generation? Taking a shower? Shopping for clothes. Is your spouse watching you while you eat? Do you admire your friends because they are younger, healthier, less weight, or richer?

The best way to approach these feelings of “yuk” is by writing them down. You are basically criticizing yourself emotionally. You are saying something to yourself you most likely would never say to another human being. So let’s stop saying these things to ourselves.

Are you comparing yourself to others?

Start with external factors.

  • Know that our advertising industry gives us false narratives. They write a product for seniors over 70 and then show pictures of someone in their 40s. We know better. 
  • Social media is constantly plugging a new cream, vitamin, routine, or food. (I just heard an ad for eating more sprouts. Not sure what that’s all about.)
  • The news tells us what’s best for seniors and it’s written by who? 

I remember my mom showing up at the “Activities Committee” at her senior community. She asked them why they were not getting any input from the residents. They sat there stunned looking sheepish for they were all in their 20s and 30s.

Use internal factors. 

Now start from within. Let’s face it. When we are mad at someone we can’t stay that way very long when we start appreciating them.

  • We place a hand in theirs. 
  • We hug them.
  • We see a light in their eyes.
  • We know how hard they work to love us on our bad days. 

Our gratitude shines through. Let’s do this for ourselves. Let’s give ourselves some gratitude and appreciation for all we accomplish. We are kind, we are thoughtful. We are wise. We have a good heart.

Start there. 

And then appreciate your body. It will usually heal itself. It’s one of the beauties of practicing medicine…watching the body fix itself. That pain you had yesterday isn’t there today. Your muscles are getting stronger because you are moving more. That walk outside makes your feelings of joy sing. Your eyes can see those you love, your ears can hear their voices. We have so much to appreciate.

Who cares what a mirror says? It can’t see inside us. It can’t know how spectacular we really are.  

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  • About the Author

    Hi, I'm Suzanne. My passion is creating working knowledge to well-informed, well-prepared seniors and their families so they may enjoy the later years with health, wealth, and happiness, I've helped over 10,000 patients, seniors and their famlies like yourselves do just that through my courses, eBooks, the Senior Freedom Club™, and in my physician assistant medical practice.


    This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your healthcare provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that has been read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately. The opinions and views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, health practice or other institution. Nor does this material constitute a provider-patient relationship between the reader and the author.