Photo by: Joyosity, CC Licensed

After much emotional homework and years of defying the media and popular culture messages that I must look slender and perfectly pert, I finally, after 30-odd years, learned to love the body I have, extra belly rolls and all. Yay, me.

And then it up and changes on me. Must I love this one, too? I’m trying but although i didn’t know it at the time, it was much easier to love the 25-year-old version than the one I have now after 41 years and twins and too many whoopie pies. Which are really good if you haven’t tried one. Kind of big round Devil Dogs.

I’m thinking loving this body as is (and it’s unlikely to change much without serious Dr. 90210 action) is a tall order. Maybe it’s more about not hating it, accepting it, tolerating it, perhaps. And appreciating it for not conking out on me or getting cancer.

I think telling women they must love their bodies–which am sad to say I did repeatedly, with the best of intentions, in my years writing about body image–is setting up yet another expectation for us to fall short of, no matter how old you are.

So if you look in the mirror and notice something nice about yourself (and your eyes don’t immediately home in on your bat wings or your ever-wider behind) you win. You needn’t love your body to be emotionally healthy. At least that’s what I’m working with.