On Shame and Courage

A few days ago I posted this image of my 20-something self and my teenaged daughter on my Instagram.


photo of me by Alannah Avelin;  photo of Maya by Zach


I wrote this text to go along with it:

I’m sure it seems vain to post this, but I’m working on honoring my body – in all the various forms and shapes it has been in. I’ve found it helpful – as I look at the slim 20 and 30 somethings I work with (and listen to as they discuss their bodies and what they do – and do not – feed them) to acknowledge that I, too, once looked like that. My body had a spring, where it blossomed and grew towards the sun. My body also had a summer, where it was ripe and full of life – in fact, gave life to that gorgeous (she is even more gorgeous on the inside) young woman on the right. And now, my body is in the autumn of life – softer and warmer and comfortable. More interesting for all it has seen and done and been through. Not yet frozen with winter, still with gifts worth harvesting, but slowing down, nonetheless.

In the days since I posted I have thought about how, while sharing my thoughts and alluding to my struggle with body image takes a little bit of courage, it doesn’t take much.

And posting the photo of how I looked when I was in my early 20s certainly doesn’t take any courage – I looked good! 😉

What would take real courage, in my eyes, is to share what I look like now. What a body in it’s autumn looks like. What my body looks like.

On one hand, it is super scary to put myself out there like that – open to judgement, truly exposed.

On the other hand, other women (like Loretta, on Countdown to 60) have been brave enough to show themselves – their bodies – openly and honestly and I find that inspiring and empowering.


So, in the spirit of honesty and authenticity and in spite of the shame and fear I feel, here it is.

Here I am:

IMG_8085 3

In all my glory,


PS: I kinda love the way the filter makes this look like an old painting…

6 thoughts on “On Shame and Courage

  1. Wow! Amazing read but what’s more amazing is understanding that every stage the body goes thru makes you who you are today. As I like to call it, “Signs of life” is just that. The evolution of the body. The stages of the body. The life in a body. You looked amazing back than and you look even more amazing now. Seeing that photo makes any person of any sex admire it even more. You said it well, “ my body is in the autumn of life – softer and warmer and comfortable.“. I see perfection! I see nothing more than perfection! Pure Art!


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