I have reached an age that, believe it or not, has not shown itself to me until the other day. I was walking the track at the gym with my trainer and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. At first I recognized myself, but almost simultaneously my mind was screaming, “Geesh! What has happened!”  Even when I stood full length in the mirror and obediently lifted the medicine ball up, squatted and repeated the motion I was aware that my upper arms have stretched like pizza dough hanging off the side of the pan.  Now I understand why so many people over the years have said that inside, they feel no different and are mortified at the outside.  I’ve had people tell me that they never look in a mirror because they just can’t…all for the same reason.  It’s not that people like me are vain, it’s just that we have been so busy building lives that our bodies have gone from a solid block of cheddar to a fine ripe brie….metaphorically speaking.  When the truth of aging forces us to see it for what it is, we take steps to preserve what is left.  So far, I have learned that I need to put cinnamon on lots of things, eat organic oatmeal for breakfast, add more fruit to my diet, cut back on meat, no carbs after 7:00 pm or, better yet go gluten free.  Drink lots and lots of water, starting with a glass of warm water in the morning to jump the metabolism. Don’t eat potato chips as it will age your face, don’t drink diet soft drinks because they make you fat. Stay away from processed foods as hundreds of toxic chemicals are in the ingredients themselves.  Chicken or eggs are best if they are living naturally and not fed anything to artificially make them grow.  There’s harmful dyes in powdered drink mix, some supplements can give you heart attacks, foods that are labeled low fat really aren’t low fat as the good fats have been removed and icky stuff added.  Fast food is a sin, and let’s not talk about “pink slime” in ground beef, or even worse, horse meat.  I need Vitamin D because I live in Maine and lack enough sunlight, fish oil for joints I think, depression/anxiety medicine to keep me from slowly falling apart like a snowman in the sun.  Spandex is good, wear your Spanx every day, chicken cutlets in your bra keep things elevated, as opposed to drooping.  Salt is a killer, salad dressing too.  After even writing this, no wonder I am weary at the end of the day!  It’s all time consuming, and I am not convinced that remembering all these details will make us any happier.  I realized this as I watched a smiling, happy woman working out this morning with me………she danced and I just knew that she did not care one bit if her socks matched, if she had the most stylish workout gear, or special sneakers.  She was simply loving and living in the moment.  Watching her caused me to think of the six homeless people I saw yesterday; the apartment building that burned to cinders Thursday and left people with nothing…..all reasons why no matter who we are, how young or old we are, it’s important to look for joy around us and spend far more time being grateful for what gifts we have been given, the love that we have shared, and truly see ourselves and the world around us with fresh eyes.  Rather than preserving, or worrying about preserving this human body so much I would much rather radiate something from within that is uniquely wonderful just to me.  What’s that song we sang in kindergarten? “…this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”  What I know for sure is that this is a much better way to walk through life…..or better yet, SKIP  🙂

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