Tuesday, May 10, 2016
We had our two kids when I was in my 30s, and my body never shrunk back. I could blame it on juggling work and home with no family help nearby, I could blame it on biology and hormones, but the truth is I didn't make it a priority so I morphed into what I called the stereotypical "mom-blob". I stopped tucking blouses into my jeans, I started wearing flowy tops. I spent an entire year dreading turning 40.
And then I turned 40 and the world didn't end. But in my 40s I spread a bit more. I stopped looking in mirrors. I started avoiding cameras and the scale. I started wearing dark, baggy sweaters. I regretted not appreciating my 30s, when I was thinner. Why didn't I enjoy life more when I was younger and thinner? I spent an entire year dreading turning 50.
And then I turned 50 and my body rebelled. I had spread enough to develop a lot of the common chronic middle age health issues: high blood pressure, joint pain, bouts of mild depression. I was deep in denial; I stuffed myself into pants I could barely manage, generating epic muffin tops. I was uncomfortable all the time. And then, at my annual physical, my doctor read me the riot act, and told me I either had to start taking all those common middle age medications or try to fix my body. And I regretted not appreciating my 40s, when I was younger and thinner, and my body hadn't started breaking.
So here I am, with my body partially "fixed". I've still got a bit to go, but the joint pain is gone and the blood pressure wanders a bit but is sometimes low enough to be normal. If I could just stop snacking, I would get there faster. So I'm not at my target yet, and moving there slowly, at a near random walk. It's like a dance, with my brain trying to go in one direction but my feet taking me in another. But I've decided to be less critical of myself, to be less judgemental and a little more accepting. I don't want to spend a year dreading turning 60, and looking back and regretting wasting my 50s hiding in my own skin.