It’s been so interesting to see the immense amount of feedback I’ve had from this project and although I typically think I’m writing for my patients and readers of Ultimate You, the other day I got an email from one of my best friends from college. She’s been following the posts on Facebook. We were inseparable for years. This is the girl I not only had a ton of fun with, but the girl I ran with, took aerobics with and bitched about my thighs with. What she said to me in the email is something I think every day – damn, I wish I would’ve appreciated the body I had in my early 20s! At the time it didn’t seem nearly good enough, but I look back and think that I looked great…..why didn’t’ I just enjoy that? I’ve probably had body image issues since I was young, but they really kicked into high gear when I got to college. I grew up in a small town and at a big Pac 10 school I was suddenly a tiny little fish in a very big pond. Couple that with being at an age where I was a total stranger to myself and I ended up feeling pretty insecure and spent a lot of time (time I probably should’ve been studying!) worrying about how I looked. But you know what? I look back at photos from that time and I can’t believe how hard on myself I was. Here in my mid thirties, I wonder: will I feel the same when I look back at 35 from 45? Well chances are… Well as of today, I refuse to spend the next 10 years bashing this or that about my body – what a fantastic waste of energy. I feel confident that I know exactly how to eat and how to exercise to be in great shape, the harder battle for me is not let body image issues rule my life, to be present in the process and to not miss out on life for an extra trip to the gym. So while my thighs still are my trouble spot, I no longer utter the insanely ridiculous things we did while stretching after a run “I’d love the shape of my legs if I could just cut off my inner thigh….” True story. Sad, but true story. I’m definitely not saying that I won’t continue to work on those inner thighs but I’m not feeling like crap about them anymore and I haven’t thought of lopping off any body parts lately. I definitely do not subscribe to the idea that we have to get old, flabby and fall totally apart, but I’ve decided to be grateful for what I’ve got because as we all know keeping lean and toned up just gets harder as we get older. She also thanked me for being so honest with these posts – and I’ll admit the honesty part was a little scary at first but the truth is I’m just like my readers and my patients: a real woman, in the real world trying to do my best and feel good more often than not. And none of us should be afraid of the truth. So Lori, thanks for the email! It was so nice to hear from you and I am so grateful to know that this project is making a difference for women.