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Embracing Every Era of Your Life: How to Be Gentle with Your Body and Goals

Published on: October 11, 2023

A friend recently commented in a Sisterhood group I take part in about what era we’re in right now, and I thought it would be a good topic to write about, as today (the day I started writing this post) marks the 6th anniversary of my first (and only) bikini competition. In this blog post I’m going to give you an inside look of two of my very different life stages, and give you tips when it comes to comparing yourself and setting health goals when you find yourself in a new season in your life. 

This image is simply because after only hearing it a million times, I finally clued in at what the ‘Eras Tour’ means 🤦🏻‍♀️ (can you tell pop culture isn’t my jam).

Looking back at old photos, it’s nearly impossible not to make comparisons. I’m sure many of you have experienced this, thanks to social media’s constant reminders of past events. How often do you find yourself scrolling through old photos, yearning to look like your younger self – the same size, the same physique, with fewer gray hairs and fewer wrinkles?

Maybe you’re even going as far back as high school. But here’s a friendly PSA: your high school weight and body shouldn’t be your goal weight and body as a grown woman. Let’s put that comparison to rest right now. 

A Little Backstory on my Eras

Let’s circle back to my life six years ago. It was a different era, a different season in my life. I was single, responsible for buying my own food, and had no one else bringing groceries into my home. I had ample free time, enough to hit the gym twice a day, go to bed early, sleep in on weekends if I wanted, and even sneak in a nap – often in the large reclining chair we had in our prenatal nutrition clinic room (perfect for hour-long lunch breaks when you’re stuck in the office, right?).

While I occasionally reminisce about my time on stage and entertain the thought of doing it again, reality quickly sets in. I’m in a different era now.

These days, I wake up early to go to the gym because it’s the only time I can consistently carve out for exercise. I do buy groceries, but I can’t control all the foods that come into the house. Extra snacks and treats find their way in, whether I want them or they’re requested by E or J. Drive-thrus have become more familiar than I’d like, thanks to our frequent travels (mostly for sports), and restaurants are pretty common in our routine too. Meals are less scheduled, and often revolve around practices and sports. Supper can be anytime from 5pm to 9pm. Plus, wine has become a Saturday dinner staple, along with that weekly indulgence in garlic bread (it’s hard to resist!).

So, what’s my point in sharing all of this? For you to reflect on your eras. When you find yourself gazing at old photos or reminiscing about bygone memories, and you decide you want to transform into the person you once were, STOP and THINK about how realistic that is.

If I were to tell myself that I was stepping on stage in 12 weeks, I’d undoubtedly face a much tougher journey compared to six years ago. My life is different, my environment is different. If you’re setting out to reach a goal you succeeded in before, chances are, you won’t yield the same results if you pursue it the same way you did in previous years. There are new challenges you’ll have to face.

Letting Go of Past Body Comparisons

Life is a wild ride, and our bodies evolve with every era we go through. From the days of youthful vigour to the wisdom that comes with age, each stage has its own magic. While it’s natural to look back at the body you had in the past, comparing it to your current self can be a recipe for self-doubt and frustration.

It’s easy to reminisce about the carefree days of your youth or young adulthood, but here’s the deal: your body was tailor-made for that era. As time marches on, it’s only natural for things to change. So, let’s drop the comparisons and embrace the present.

I want you to consider the era you’re in right now in your life. If your life has changed, if your environment is different, can’t you see how your body, nutrition, movement, sleep, stress levels, and more – all of which affect your health – will naturally be different too? Give yourself some grace. Maybe this era is meant for maintenance, perhaps it’s your “slowing down” era. But keep in mind that in a few months, you might step into a completely different stage of life.

Just remember, this era isn’t the final chapter, and you possess the power to shape it.

Tips for being kind to yourself because we could all use a bit more kindness towards ourselves:

  • Celebrate the memories: Instead of wishing for your younger self, cherish the wild adventures and experiences that shaped who you are today.
  • Acknowledge your growth: With each passing year, you’ve gained wisdom, resilience, and a deeper understanding of yourself.
  • Prioritize self-care: Taking care of yourself, both physically and emotionally, is key. Realize that busier times in life may mean less time for your ideal diet and exercise routine. Rest and sleep is vital to health too. 
  • Focus on health, not appearance: Shift your perspective from chasing youth to taking care of your health and well-being. Engage in activities that make you feel strong and alive.
  • Cultivate self-love: Practice self-compassion and focus on the things that bring you joy and fulfillment.

The Bottom Line

It’s crucial to acknowledge that every era of life comes with its unique challenges and opportunities. Be kind to yourself, let go of unrealistic comparisons, and embrace the current chapter of your journey. Your body is your constant companion, adapting to your evolving circumstances. Cherish it, nourish it, and remember that your worth extends far beyond your appearance. While it’s only natural to reflect on your past self, comparing it to your current self can lead to unnecessary stress and self-criticism. Embrace the uniqueness of each era, and remember, your value goes way beyond your physical appearance and your weight. Be kind to yourself, appreciate your body, and savor the beauty of every moment in your remarkable journey.

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Kaitlyn is a registered dietitian and fitness enthusiast dedicated to helping busy women improve their health through sustainable habits.

She’s seen firsthand how difficult it can be to balance a demanding schedule with a healthy lifestyle. That’s why she is passionate about empowering women with the knowledge and skills they need to prioritize their health, even when life gets hectic.

She aims to spread the word about the power of habits and to make healthier living more manageable for busy women who are trying to do all of the things, like herself.

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