I think folks’ perception of what post 40 should look and feel like is wrong.
If I earned a dollar for every time someone asserts my physique to genetics (and they don’t even know my parents), I might not have to get my tail up at 4:15 every morning.
While I cannot deny that me and my brother’s bodies are carbon copies of our father’s 5′ 10″ thinly framed body (veiny arms, legs and feet included), but daddy’s DNA is only going to take us but so far. At some point the age factor kicks in.
Many times I have shared that since the age of 14, I’ve worked out in some way, shape, or fashion. I have kept it movin all my life.
Ahem… (Clearing my throat) Likewise, even when I did not know better and ate two big macs, two large fries, and sucked down a large orange soda, I still worked out and ate my share of fruits, veggies, and drank water.
Though I ate this ish, I was running like 35-50+ miles per week.
Back then (I sound old right!?), you couldn’t pay me to move the scale past 128 pounds. I gained a measly 20 somthin pounds with my daughter’s pregnancy. Weight gain just wasn’t on the radar for me.
Fast forward some 30+ years, and that just ain’t the case anymore. As some point, estrogen levels decrease, the metabolism slows, and menopause kicks in. Add an unhealthy diet and no exercise, medication and other health factors, and bam! That’s a recipe for disaster.
Speaking of recipes, this is a typical lunch for me. The chicken, kale and brown rice is satisfiying and nourishing. Best of all, I don’t feel sluggish and tired after eating processed foods like hoagies, french fries, and cheese steaks.
As we age, our bodies change and function differently. It’s no different from a car, a house, or a kitchen appliance. We have to care for it well or it’s going to fail us terribly. Heck sometimes, even when we do all the right things, the body still fails us. So what am I saying? What’s the point? The point is to increase the chance of a long and healthier life by taking better care of yourself.
By the way, I can gain weight. I repeat… I am very capable of weight gain. However, knowledge, discipline, and lifestyle changes keep me tight, trim, and slim. Lol!!
About five years ago, I had surgery. Recovery time was eight weeks. During the eight weeks, I was sedative (Doctor’s orders) but ate very well. Guess what? Sista still gained weight! I was devastated that I ballooned to a size 12. Now hold on! 12 is not large by any means, but for me, that’s huge. I was literally busting out of my pants and skirts!
The facts are that you can eat well but don’t exercise and you are not going to get the results you want. Finding a realistic balance between the two is key.
Age ain’t nothing but a number. When I was a kid, I thought 50 was old as dirt! But when I turned 40, I realized that my age didn’t mean squat! Age is a mindset.
If you want to be old… Go ahead and be old. Where old ass clothes, fill your head with outdated and unfounded old behind myths about how you’re supposed to act, eat any darn thing you want, sit instead of dancing, stay home, and live your life based on BS philosophies about how others say you “should” live after your 40th birthday.
My point here, is that I look and feel fantastic for a number of reasons:
- God has blessed me. Every day I thank him.
- As I learn better, I do better (in all that I do).
- I eat well (avoiding processed, unhealthy, and sugar laced food & beverages)
- I drink alcohol in moderation. Yes, I drink.
- I minimize stress by eliminating whatever or whomever causes me stress (people, environments, etc…)
- I help others (try to improve their life) and I don’t look for or want anything in return.
- I purposefully compliment and encourage other women (no reason to hate on one another, especially sistas).
- I say what I mean and mean what I say.
- I live within my means.
- I live a simple life, by avoiding keeping up with the Jones’s & don’t indulge in trying to impress people.
- I do more of what makes me happy (work out, read, dance, travel, cook, spend time with the best of my friends and family).
- I don’t worry, care, or give two sense about those who don’t “get me” or like my style. I LOVE being different. J
- I laugh AND smile…. A LOT! Lol!!! I really do. J
The bottom line is that we are adults and have choices. I choose to stay on my grind of cherishing my mind, body, and spirit.
By continuing to educate myself, I improve my diet and overall lifestyle. Whatever I learn, I apply to my life, and whenever possible, my family’s life. If I learn that a certain food is bad, I give it up and find an alternative. Likewise, when I discover new food, I try it. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t.
Genetics may contribute to my physique, however at 49 years old, a lot more has to do with my habits and lifestyle.
Keep it movin!!