04/10/2015 11:32 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Psst: You Are Beautiful Today

I'm going to let you in on a big secret: You are beautiful today.

It's taken me 39.10 years to figure this out, but now that I have, I have to share.

Here's how I figured it out: As I prepare to turn 40, I realize I wish I was turning 30. At 30, I weighed 10 pounds less than I do now. I had no laugh lines on my face, there was no hint of a double chin, I shopped in the junior's section and had never heard of Spanx.

When I was turning 30, I was beautiful, but didn't know it.

I focused on the negative -- those extra five pounds, those breasts that were beginning to sag a bit from nursing a baby, that small belly pooch I had even though I was no longer pregnant.

I wished I was turning 20.

When I was 20, I weighed 10 pounds less, my abs were flat and fierce, my breasts were full and perky, my legs were toned, I didn't know it was possible to get dimples on one's ass and I wore a bikini.

When I was turning 20 I was gorgeous, but I didn't know it.

I focused on the negative -- the people who were skinnier than me, prettier than me, who had clearer skin and naturally straight hair.

I wished I was them.

Now that I'm turning 40, I look at photos of me at 30 and am blown away. I see a beautiful woman.

I look at photos of me at 20 and see a gorgeous girl.

I now know that when I turn 50, I will look at photos of me at 40 and see a stunning woman.

What does this mean?

It means I am beautiful today.

And so are you.

The author at 20, 30, and almost 40