It seems to me the older we get, the more foreign our bodies become to us, like aliens have taken over and we become victims of the elusive “body-snatchers”. We start to rethink those trappings of the young and lithe. Belly rings that once looked really cute, now resemble a rogue earring that has been dropped into a bowl of rising bread dough and is peeking out with the dough rolling around it; those tattoos of cute little cherubs done on the butt cheeks when you were 18 now look like giant malformed gargoyles with wings spreading over the vastness of the now perimenopausal buttocks- (true story; happened to a friend of mine. Those are some BIG cherubs now).
I remember the halcyon days of years gone by, where wee little crop tops and low-rise jeans were nary a problem to put on. I remember the days where bikini shopping was actually fun (and yes, occasionally I would also see Unicorns in the dressing rooms; those days are no more – haha!).
Since the advent of perifeckingmenopause (hereafter called PFM), this has all changed, and rather abruptly I may add.
All the early bloomers I knew in Junior High School were in full bloom by Grade 8. They were all aglow in the wonder of their newly found C and D cups and hourglass figures. As adults, they sometimes found it difficult to manage weight, and therefore learned by necessity to manage with diet and exercise earlier than late bloomers.
Late bloomers often, as I did, coast on their gene pool to get through life. It is not always a blessing to be smaller, as I never really had to work for it until everything hit the fan with PFM. We never really learn how to deal with it, when the mid-life hormonal hijack comes with a vengeance and we find ourselves rather unrecognizable. Then it is when we start the difficult path of making good diet and exercise a habit.
Life seems to kick us all in the behind at some point, doesn’t it? You either get to have your heyday early in life, or later in life, but eventually we all have to face that change is inevitable, and how we deal with the changes is critical.
It seems once I hit my early forties, my seemingly endless fast metabolism came to a screeching halt.
Each morning after my shower seems to be an endless episode of the Discovery Channel, looking at myself and thinking, “Well, what the hell happened there? Hmmm…that wasn’t there yesterday,” and “Really? A rogue nose hair? Bloody Perfect.”
Every single day seems there is a new unfamiliar thing that has to be dealt with, depilated, deodorized, or skillfully cloaked in order to face the world.
Some days I certain I am well on my way to becoming a H.O.B. What is a HOB you may ask? A HOB is ostensibly that poor middle-aged female whose raging hormonal imbalances have caused her to become a Head…On a Box….with limbs of course, but the main trunk has essentially morphed into a square. No curves, no waistline. Just a head on a box, waddling about in tunics and tights to hide the square (Let’s take a moment to thank our Sponsor, Declining Estrogen) trying like mad to keep her sense of humour… It’s that middle-aged spread that seems to nail every viable woman at some point or other in their forties/fifties.
I know some amazing, beautiful, gracious women however, who are embracing mid-life head on. These women are my HEROES. Many of them are in my own family.
These are the women who maintain a wicked sense of humor, and are able to laugh at the days to come, indeed themselves, which I firmly believe staves off Father Time (A factor in maintaining said sense of humor is of course the imbibing of WINE, however I digress).
As much as I am fighting this aging process, (and am thoroughly convinced I am going to be one of those Senior Citizens who swears a lot and bites people) I am learning to try to do what I can to keep myself as fit as possible for my age. I am coming to terms (slowly, mind) with the idea that it is possible to maintain and be grateful for what God has given me, and most importantly: Try to be KIND to myself in the process.
Here is what I am working on trying to implement on a sustainable basis:
- Yoga/Strength Training combo classes
- Healthy eating of whole foods (cutting portions, mind)
- Avoiding processed food items (i.e. Kraft Singles…really, you could melt a few hundred of those suckers and create an instant tarp for your truck, or several make a nice plastic wrap alternative to storing leftovers)
- A goodly portion of wine, with friends, laughter
- Surrounding myself with people who can see the humor in life, laughter
- Did I forget to mention laughter?
How are you coping? What works for you in this time of life, to keep the laughter and the embracing of change as we navigate these new waters? I would love to hear from you!