Friday, March 30, 2012

40 To 40 Day 11: On Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin

We have a select few reality shows we watch. The Biggest Loser is one of them. Actually we only began watching a few seasons ago, but we like it. I like watching the transformations, and I always feel motivated as well. Seriously, if a 250-300lb person is running on a treadmill at an 8 or 9 with a 10% incline, I just need to shut the hell up right? The things I do not like about the show is when they have to add the reality show drama for ratings. Whatever, I skip through those parts when I can. I also really do not like their makeover show either. I do get it, you lose all that weight in such a short amount of time, and hell, you deserve to get a new hairdo and outfit to show off the new you. Reality shows might be staged to a large extent and fake, but you definitely can't fake that sort of weight loss. But what I don't like is the need to transform them into something they might not be comfortable being

This season there is a woman, Chris, who is 42 years old. She is also as grey as I am. She looks pretty good now as she's lost so much weight. The next episode of the show is the makeover episode, and my very first thought was "I hope they don't dye her hair." I will be very disappointed if they do.

I stopped coloring my hair about a year ago. I never really liked doing it anyway. For many years prior I had been donating my hair to Locks Of Love, so I never made hair appointments or went and "got my hair done." I just go to Fantastic Sams and boom it's done. I always used the box color that would wash out after a month. Pre-running, I felt a great need to keep up with it. It was because I wasn't happy with myself. I didn't like the way I looked or felt, and knowing how grey I was underneath just made me feel worse. Plus, I had more time to do it, because I wasn't out being active. As I became more grey over time, it became harder and harder to cover, but I never wanted to go permanent. I also would never pay all that money to have someone else do it every 6 weeks. It's such a waste for such a short amount of time. To cover something that EVERYONE KNOWS IS THERE ANYWAY. A 60-year-old woman coloring their hair doesn't look 10 years younger to me, she looks like a 60-year-old woman who colors her hair.

So I stopped. That was the easy part. The whole process took about a year, and well, there isn't exactly any way to hide what you're doing. It looked awful for awhile (yes I do actually care about my appearance), and I looked like a skunk for a lot of months. I definitely wanted to give up and just color again. Two things kept me from doing it: having to start the process all over again, and my daughters. I don't want them to feel they have to hide who they are and look a certain way. I don't want them to think they need to look younger to feel good about themselves. I want them to be happy with who they are as they are, no matter what age.

I also know it won't stop them from doing it anyway. Allison all ready wants to dye her hair this summer, and I'm cool with that. This is just fun messing around coloring. But when they start going grey (and thanks to my genes they will, sooner rather than later), I want them to know that those who love them will still love them regardless of their hair color. There is no one you need to impress. Be comfortable in you own skin and that will shine through.

Sure, my grey might make me look older, but so what? Am I older? No. I'm still 39 for 29 more days, and my age will always be my age no matter how I look. What's important is that I don't feel older than I am. Eventually my age will catch up with my grey, and hey, it still won't matter.

Actually, even with all the aches and pains that come with getting older, I feel better now than I did even in my 20's. And I was skinny and dark-haired then, but not a very active person. I love the woman I have been becoming over the past few years, and if I were big on regrets, one would be that I didn't always have this lifestyle. But life is too short to look back, you have to keep moving forward or you are just going to be stuck holding that box of hair color and wondering where your life went.

So take that, getting older. I win.

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