loving myself naked at 50!
Posted by Andrea Nakayama
August has been a month of highs and lows, peaks and valleys.
The best peaks were atop cliffs overlooking pristine beach and reef on the Hawaiian islands. The magical valleys were underwater with my son, Gilbert, communing with the creatures of the sea – fluorescent streaks, funny fish smiles and my kid’s flippers all within my immediate vision.
I ran on the beach, not for exercise, but to beat Gilbert to the towel or to hop over steaming sun-baked sand. I climbed lava rocks with bare feet. And I finished an entire book, from start to finish, laying on the beach while soaking up my vitamin D.
And I did all of this in a state of near-nakedness, in one of the three bikinis that quickly became my rotating uniform.
All the while, I started to ponder the concept of nakedness.
When do we feel most naked?
Is it when we’re the least comfortable in ourselves, inside and out?
Does it have anything to do with the way we look?
It’s possibly much more about the way we feel.
I turned 50 this summer and I have to admit that it’s easier to love myself naked now than it ever has been before. Sure, my body is changing as I age, and I can look back and laugh at what I criticized in myself when I was younger.
Yet now I have a different level of love and acceptance for myself.
By understanding my biology and the challenges that I might encounter in my health, (which often result for us women in changes in our form and function), I’ve been able to develop a deeper compassion for myself, inside and out.
I’m able to love myself naked!
What I ultimately realized while watching some naked children on the beach, playing in the sand and the sun without any sense of inhibition or vulnerability, is that nakedness is not in the eye of the beholder.
Nakedness is instead in the mind of the self.
If nakedness has less to do with how little clothing we’re wearing, but instead how comfortable we feel in our skin, is that level of comfort something we can move toward and practice every single day?
I believe so.
As a functional medicine nutritionist I certainly have a particular lens into this realm of self-awareness. For me, and for what I aim to share and teach people, it’s about truly understanding yourself at the physiological level.
Within that truth, lies your power.
It’s your cells, your genes, your organs and from my experience – both with myself and hundreds of clients and thousands of class participants – when those aspects of yourself are functioning more soundly, when your hormones are brought into harmony and your nervous system is properly firing and receiving the signals for gratification, your body becomes a powerful vessel through which you can truly shine.
Your back-to-school season homework: Consider when you feel the most naked. And love yourself in that state!
P.S. Be sure to check out the #wedrinksmoothies posts on the Replenish Facebook page. Get a glimpse into what Replenish team members whip up for their morning meal.
What’s in your smoothie? Let me know!
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