One of the many “joys” of being single at 39 is online dating. The other day I invited a guy I was messaging on a hike and when he got out of his car I was disappointed to see “dad bod”. First I was angry at myself for being so shallow and judgmental. Second, I was annoyed at him because his pictures were clearly NOT current, so he just wasted both our times. I have always been attracted to tall and lean, and attraction matters when you’re talking about dating someone so unless there was something amazing hidden under that physique this was probably a nice hike but nothing else. (for the readers that care, nope, no sparks there; totally different life goals and phases).
On my drive home from the hike, I was thinking about my knee jerk reaction to seeing his beer gut and my judgement crappy reaction could be an avenue for personal growth. When it hit me, I have the female equivalent. I didn’t have kids but I sure don’t have the size 6 body I had when I was in college. I have the body of fairly fit middle aged woman (holy F I’m middle aged now…oh my god) who had three major surgeries and two serious injuries in the past six years. Life happened. I’ve invested as much as I was willing through life and this physique is where I’m at.
This got me thinking, how many of my friends look like they did when we were in our 20s. Very few is the answer; most have a size or two bigger version of the same body. A version that is a little rounder, a little plumper but is overall similar-ish. My friends that have retained their 20 year old body and size are few and far between and have great genetics or have made serious commitments to prioritize their physical appearance in their life throughout the entire journey. Good for them. I haven’t prioritized it. Being healthy and active has mattered, but I didn’t focus as much on size until I just had this epiphany that if I reacted to him that way, men I’m trying to date probably react to me that way. Well. Crap.
So now I have two choices:
- Make (and commit) to diet and movement changes (mainly diet for me) to change what I see.
- Accept where I’m at and then work towards loving my body where it currently is.
Spoiler, I’m going to pick option three and do both.