Accepting our Aging Bodies

What? That was my reaction when I read a post by Margaret Manning, from Sixty and Me. She has been on a trip to Bali for 8 weeks, rediscovering herself and accepting who she has become. It was very powerful. See for yourself HERE .

IMG_5294My mind understands this is essential to acceptance of ourselves as older women. Changes in our bodies are the first sign we are no longer the young, pretty things we once were. They creep in and slowly transform us. I know that, but since changes come slowly or we are not paying attention, we just wake up one morning and we are older!!! It’s not easy for me to post this picture, but I thought it necessary.

Margaret, of course, is right. This is who we are today and accepting, loving it and moving on is the thing to do. Now, what each one of us mean by accepting is the difference between living in harmony with ourselves or fighting to stay young by any means. This would be hardly harmonious. The desire to hang on to our youth is powerful, I understand. Millions of women spend fortunes in beauty products and surgery to try just that. Who are we to criticize….. but is it worth it? For some it is, but more and more women are changing this view.

IMG_3555The most important thing we should remember: keep healthy, active and involved. Living in harmony with our aging bodies, accepting them, does not mean we are going to let go. Nobody is saying we should just stay home, gain weight, slow down in our activities, dress like our grandmothers did and sit and wait for old age to fully take charge of our lives. Absolutely NOT!!!

Accepting our bodies as they are today involves a lot of work, dedication and care. We should work at keeping our bodies healthy and performing at their best. Make sure you have your physical exams regularly, listen to your body and tell your doctor anything you do not like or understand. This is most important. If you need medication, take it and do not forget to take your vitamins and supplements.

Eat right for your age. I know, here I go again mentioning age, but it’s important. At this stage of our lives we need certain nutrients more than others. We cannot tolerate certain foods and certain drinks. Alcohol should always be taken in moderation, but these days it’s more important. Make sure you know what agrees with you and what doesn’t. There is also the fact that overeating or eating at certain hours could be upsetting to our bodies, pay attention.

If you are exercising, great!!! If you do not like to exercise, try yoga or tai-chi. Your body needs to stay nimble, it will help your aches and pains, your posture and your attitude. Walking tall is always a confidence booster!!!IMG_5828

Finally, and very important, learn to dress as you please. It’s our time, wear what you like, what makes you feel attractive, what feels good. There are no rules about how we should dress…..never mind what certain people say. If you Google this topic, there are countless articles. Ignore them!!! Best go online and look at older women’s blogs: Not Dressed as Lamb, The Sequinist, No Fear of Fashion, Style Crone and Idiosyncratic Fashionistas. You’ll be surprised in a most wonderful way.

Now you know: accepting our aging bodies it’s a powerful statement in a world obsessed with youth. Go out and make it with pride!!!

P.S. Header photograph by Alan Maduro at Caracasbaai, Curaçao. Thank you!!!

I am exercising more…….. and sweating a bit!!!

I have said it again and again: I do not sweat on purpose. No matter what people tell me, going out of my way to feel sticky and smelly would never be a priority for me. On the other hand, I have to accept that exercising can make a huge difference in our lives. Keeping active and nimble can help us stay healthy for many years to come. So, I have relented….I now exercise more and sweat a bit!!!

IMG_5270I have always walked. I could be because I lived in a beautiful place and walking was more of a treat than a chore…..or because I walked with dear friends and we talked and laughed while we walked. For whatever reason, I’ve always enjoyed it. I still do, but is not as fun. Walking on your own is not the same. Lately, I have taken my husband with me. We don’t talk much, but the company is welcome. The fact that we walk along the water, looking into Biscayne Bay, is an added bonus.

IMG_5268Weights are supposed to help with bone density, keep your muscles in working order and help your posture and balance, aid in combating depression and making you look better. So what’s not to like? I am not talking about anything too heavy, that would involve more sweating. My weights are 3 pounds and bright red!!! Believe me they do their job. I have no flabby arms…..

Stretching is another great thing to do for yourself. Start slowly, develop your routine and just do it. I start before I get out of bed, all the stiffness just melts away. A bonus for me:  you don’t sweat stretching and it feels wonderful!!!

Some days, I take out my yoga mat and do some poses for beginners. It’s not that I can’t do more, it’s that the simple poses get me relaxed and nimble in a few minutes. Feels wonderful. Everyone should try yoga, it’s a complete exercise that involves your mind along with your body.

IMG_3199I have discovered that sticking to your plan is what’s important. I am not an expert, but I can tell you that working on your routine on a regular basis is the most important thing. You decide what and how much you are going to do, then you do it consistently. My goal has never been to reach a certain level or to look a certain way. I never thought of exercising so I could eat more!!! My goal is to feel good about myself and do as much as I can. Once you see results, as minor as they might be, you will feel inspired to continue…..I have and that is a lot to say!!!