Monday, March 18, 2013

practicing gratitude (for your amazing body)



Actress Julianne Moore; currently age 52

on the topic of aging:

“I’ve been asked about aging in Hollywood since I started, I think because I started making movies when I was 30 or 31. So the first question out of everybody’s mouth is ‘what does it feel like to be an older actress working in Hollywood.’ And I keep getting it. And my answer to it always has been that you can’t be anywhere except where you are. I’m 48. I’m going to be 48 until I’m not anymore and then I’ll be 49. And if I spend all my time at 48 wishing that I was 35, I’m not going to experience 48. And I’m not going to play parts I played at 31 either. It’s not going to happen. So I feel like as far as aging is concerned for anybody in their life, at any point… you have to go, ‘this is where I am today, and appreciate it.’ Because none of it lasts very long.”

‘This is where I am today… appreciate it.’


Wow. This is simply a wonderful quote to begin a post about gratitude.

That’s right. Today’s post is about living in the moment and appreciating the body you’ve got right now. Not the body you’ll have in a few months after you lose some weight or firm up that tummy. The body that’s yours right this second.

No more postponing your good feelings.

If that sounds like a foreign concept to you, you’re not alone. Because most of us women view our bodies with a certain detached judgment. In fact, as I write these words, a new survey reports that only 3% of the women in the UK are totally happy with their bodies. Think about that; that’s a lot of discontentment. But seeing our bodies with critical eyes is something we learn early on; our bodies very quickly become things to be pinched and tightened and manipulated by exercise and calories. Our bodies are something we glare at in the mirror, scanning for imperfections.

The sad truth is, most of us don’t feel a tender appreciation for our trusty, dependable body and everything it does for us. And even now after everything I know, I still struggle with this.

But I’m getting better.

In fact, I decided to write this post after I heard an amazing quote about our bodies that I immediately wanted to share with you. And you may find it interesting if:

1.  you’re sitting down right now

2.  you’re a blogger (lots of sitting)

3. you work all day at your desk

It’s a stunning quote I heard while I was listening to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria’s interview with Dr. David Agus. (You can watch the clip HERE. for his full comment).


Shown here on CBS

For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Agus is the former oncologist for Steve Jobs and author of “The End of Illness.” And his message is largely about preventing illnesses. One of his basic beliefs is in order to fight off diseases as we age we need to keep our bodies moving. A lot.

This is what he said:

Untitled-1cigarretes 2

I know. It’s pretty shocking. And you can decide for yourself whether you believe this or not.

But this comment was a powerful reminder that my body is like a high functioning machine that needs maintenance and attention in order to perform well. Whatever you might think of this quote, his larger message forces you to have a different perspective about exercise.

Exercise is no longer that dreaded thing-to-do in order to weigh a certain number on the scale.


Helen Mirren: age 67

Instead, we want to keep our bodies moving because we love how we feel inside a healthy, strong body. We want to feed our bodies fruits and vegetables because we love feeling energetic.

Do you see the difference?

Do you see how much easier it is to be nicer to your body when you’re not focused on how it looks?

But rather…how it performs for you?



Here’s my latest Gratitude List.

Four Nice Things To Do For My Body:

1. Start the day with a positive affirmation


2. Drink a delicious ‘green’ smoothie

3. Pick a parking space that’s far away

4. Go for a long walk or run –preferably with your dog.

These are four easy things I’m doing right now, feel free to join me.


600full-kristin-scott-thomas copy

Kristen Scott Thomas currently age 52

But do these things… NOT because you’ll look ten years younger or because you want to look like Julianne Moore or some other beautiful woman.

Do these things because living a grateful life means living in the present. It means focusing on what you have and not what you don’t have; it means making peace with the natural parts of aging so you can relish every gorgeous detail of your life today.

Here’s a personal example.

Recently I was sitting in my car at a stoplight when I glanced at my hands on the steering wheel. My first random thought was, “Wow, look at my hands. My fingers used to look so long and slender…no wrinkles around my knuckles. Nice, smooth hands…and now look at them. What happened?!”

But I caught myself.

And instead of staying in that mindset and focusing on how old my hands looked, I began to think about what my hands actually do.


That’s right. I thought of all the beautiful things my hands have done for me. I looked at them and I tried to imagine how many little shoelaces my fingers have tied in my lifetime. I wondered how many book pages my fingers have turned. I thought of the first time my hands ever held my infants at the hospital, and I flashed back on all those times I scooped my boys up and plopped them on my hips. That was a whole lot of scooping.

I thought about holding hands, and cooking fantastic meals and laying bricks and planting flowers. And suddenly I knew why my hands looked more worn.

And the strangest thing happened. The harsh judgment I’d felt just seconds ago?

It drifted off. And in it’s place was a tiny surge of tenderness for these valuable hands of mine. Funny how I immediately wanted to put lotion on, and take better care of them.

Rachel Weisz age 42

Although I also know this. I can sleep every night with my hands wrapped inside expensive spa mitts and slathered with creams and they’ll never look like my twenty-year old hands.

Because the simple fact is: I’m not twenty years old.


I hope you find time to do something nice for your body today.  Maybe even something on my gratitude list. A walk in the sun, maybe?

Right now I’m headed out with my jogging partner.

This is Stella, she’s waiting for me…


I hope you have a wonderful day, my friends!

If you get a moment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.





I’m linking this post up with these friends:




Unknown said...

A wonderful post, I read an interview with Julianne Moore just recently where she talked about the ageing issue - I'm sure she's asked about it in every interview she does!! I love her attitude...and I love what you say here too.

I'm really working on subtly getting my 11year daughter to love her body.....she's received so much negativity about it at school that her confidence is extremely's made me really aware of how just one negative comment from someone can totally change how we see ourselves, that's all it takes. And being bombarded by images of female "perfection" doesn't help either. It's a tough one.

That sure is an interesting quote about sitting for 5 hours a day, I'm still mulling that one over!

Great post X

Rachel said...

Great post!!! MANY of us can relate!!! PS- adorable dog! I have two German Shepherds!

Anonymous said...

Oh, if you only knew... or maybe you do. This post is near to my heart. As a women, we feel so much pressure in insidious ways to meet a societal standard of beauty that for MOST of us is unattainable. I don't see my mother very often as we live in different states, but to this day, when I see her (She is 66 yrs. old)she still points out very skinny girls to me and says, "Isn't she pretty?" I have clear memories of her telling me how much she hates her thighs. Well, I've grown up and inherited them. Should I hate them too? I am getting older. We all are. What if we started a beauty revolution and started doing crazy things like loving the bodies we were born with and embracing age as it comes? Julianne Moore is beautiful! I don't want to be 16 again. Frankly, being a teenager sucked! I want to rock this 43 year old body I'm in now! =) Thanks for this post.

Lori said...

Stella is gorgeous and the perfect jogging partner. Ironic that I was just talking to a coworker today about exercise and how much better I felt when I was active at least 30 minutes the 5 or 6 days out of 7. So why do I not do it again ~ we can come up with every excuse in the book and right now I have a list. Not good at all. We only get to go through this life once so I should get up off my butt and go for it ~ I know that ~ I do. I love what you said about your hands ~ we really need to embrace getting older and celebrate each and every birthday! Great post Leslie.

Gypsy Heart said...

Right on! Before I forget, I love, love your dog. She's gorgeous!

Being in gratitude is the only way to be I think. Yes, our hands change over time ~ just like the rest of our bodies. I look at my hands now, with a couple of fingers bending just like my mother's did and I think, "Now I have my mother's hands." :) They're not the prettiest but oh my, they're the best! I honestly don't think we truly appreciate our bodies until a little something goes wrong ~ a bumped shin, a broken limb, a little arthritis or just a twinge that we didn't have yesterday. All in all, we are so very fortunate!


Gypsy Heart said...

P.S. I just love Julianne Moore and Helen Mirren! Beautiful ladies and wonderful actors.

Calypso In The Country said...

I go through phases where I feel great and phases where I feel like I am getting old. It can be very frustrating. But now I am really going to remind myself to move more! I need to get into a regular exercise routine! Great post.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Leslie! Thank you. I actually love the age I am (57) but I could be a lot more grateful for my body. When you thought back on all the things these hands have done,I never thought of my hands that I'm scooping up my granddaughters!! I've already cut back on my coffee with half&half in the morning, so I'll get some almond milk and dry the "green" smoothee! Thank you for the inspiring post.

michele said...

it's all true. i know i have to make changes right now as far as the sitting. my organs, my cells, my circulation are depending on me. and it's all a part of being more kind to ourselves. not something that comes naturally for this girl.

i have a lot on my plate right now. some major stuff that feels like a hammer coming down on my head, announcing YOU HAVE NOW REACHED OLD AGE. and it's tough cuz inside, i am 16. i don't buy that there's a way to age gracefully. it's much more of a muddling through for me. and you're right. gratitude is the key. the serum that cures all sorts of diseased thinking.

smiles to you.


Cathi said...

To be totally honest, Leslie - aging really isn't phasing me at all anymore, I feel it's such a privilege denied to so many. I walk for 30 minutes 7 days a week and go bike riding as I want to keep moving. As the old saying goes " if you don't use it, you lose it" My mom is a prime example - she sits alot and doesn't exercise and due to that her health is declining rapidly and if I'm Lucy enough to get to her age, I want to be able to stay active and heathy. We have nothing if we don't have our health. I also want to thank you for your very kind words about my post today. It was a devastating weekend filled with great emotional pain but also so much joy. Your words meant alot to me. xxoo

Art and Sand said...

We have not been able to do our morning walks since daylight savings vega- too dark in the am. This morning I told Steve he was well enough for us to go back to nighttime gym workouts. It felt so good to get on the treadmill and use the machines for my arms. And, I had my Nook to do some reading. I feel much better when I exercise.

Great post! I decided a couple of years ago that this old body deserved to "just be". I will never win a beauty contest, but I could win a "living" contest for the body that pused itself to Live, Live, Live!

Your posts always make me think!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Leslie, This is such a fabulous reminder of the gift of life... that the signs of age means that we have made it to a "more mature" age. Getting old is fabulous, really. No we cannot do the things we did before... or we don't look the same. But age is a celebration of having BEEN THERE and the thrill of being where we are now!

I really love the age I am (late 50's) and look for the second half of my life to be better yet.

Beautifully written and so so true! Thanks for this great reminder that getting older is to be celebrated!

Unknown said...

Fabulous post Leslie...wise words from the beautiful's so easy to get caught up in the negativity and not be thankful for the here and now and for ourselves, whatever age we maybe. I no longer want to be 30...been there done that...just want to be the best 52 I can be and to be grateful for it.
You write so beautifully...have a great week.

A Few Pennies said...

I adore both your blogs (God and Coffee on my sidebar too); what I love about your postings--you're so inspirational; you hit home the very feelings and thoughts I'm sometimes are going through. I look forward to your posts every day. Blessings!

The Divorced Lady's Companion to Living in Italy said...

I'm 49 and I'm aware of time passing, illness perhaps around the corner, financial uncertainty and extended singlehood unless I decide upon a man. Also children gone and a shifting of roles, plus living in a country far from my original family. I figure, 49 is good. I'm good-looking and fit, my writing is moving, my kids are healthy. Sure, my skin is older, I have less energy, more qualms, but every single day of this is important, and has to be worth something. I'm not really bothered by ageing, but I work a lot on illness prevention and good eating, good energy, exercise. I drink green stuff, eat almonds and small fish. I agree with everything you say. We need strength, faith, love. I also think that Julianne Moore is beautiful!Xcat

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

So so true and I have been so very slack in moving this winter. Now that it has been warming up I am getting back out there. Wow, Helen Miren looks fabulous. I have never looked like that.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

What a beautiful positive post Leslie! I've had that very same hands on the steering wheel moment. I don't fret about aging all that often. But there are those moments that catch you off guard and quite honestly, they are a little scary. But I'm also very appreciative of a healthy body. And I actually really enjoy working out. I love that feeling of walking out of the gym feeling on top of the world!

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

Wonderfully written Leslie. There is a great ad on television here right now where they draw a parallel between an aging active man and an aging inactive man. It really hit home for me when I watched it the first time and as much as I detest the numerous television ads that bombard a TV screen...well, this one I feel will do wonders.
Thanks for this little reminder Leslie. I have a big walking buddy who would love to help me out.

Unknown said...

few things that I need to add here.
first: and in no particular order, I looked at my hands about a month ago-yikes! I have been slathering on every anti-aging hand cream out there. WHEN the heck did this happen and WHO approved this?? obviously happened somewhere between 20ish and uh, now!

second: could julianne be any more beautiful? just natural beauty that I would like her to share. is that too much to ask julianne?

third: I have been doing that morning green drink thing for awhile, will you email me your current fav recipe? when you have time of course. i'll wait, super patiently.
no hurry, really. please hurry! my "go to" is starting to make me gag!!

fourth: have a great day! :)

Monica said...

This post is beautiful Leslie, you are such a source of inspiration. Thank you for a much needed dose of perspective.

Anonymous said...

I love Rachel W. she is truly beautiful. And it's so awesome shes married to James Bond.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! I am a cancer survivor. I have a permanent colostomy bag. I have grown used to it being there, but it wasn't easy at first. My treatments were hard on my body. I also need a walker to get around. The chemo attacked my nervous system. I used to be self conscious going out in public. Some people do stare but now I tell myself, "they probably think I am a beautiful Goddess." As for the scars and colostomy bag, I finally told myself to get over it and be happy that not only did my body survive cancer, it survived the treatments. I am lucky to be alive and I am grateful my body is as tough as it is. I look at my scars as medals of honor now. Your post reminded me of that today.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...