In Search of the My Youthful Self
At the age of a retiree, I did not expect to look or feel like my 25-year-old self. I guess it’s possible and if you have the right set of circumstances, even probable. Stars and athletes still look remarkably young so why not me. Betty White and George Burns are my hero’s. I want to be able to drink, smoke, (well, maybe not smoke) carouse and live to 100.
I was so close to getting there in 2009. After spending an entire year rigidly watching my diet and exercising at the gym and walking the dog twice daily, I managed to lose 50 pounds. I had no sugar or refined carbs and felt pretty good about myself.
Well, guess what? After two and a half years with Bells Palsy, the stresses that brought it on and all the changes that have transpired in my life, I’ve managed to find almost 40 of those pounds and it doesn’t feel very good. Bells Palsy affects only the face for most people and everyone says “it goes away, doesn’t it?” Well, for me it affected my vision, balance, hearing and thought process. So I sat down and stayed there except for some walks with a cane, gardening and daily chores.
My son had some get-in-free cards for the gym at his club where he plays tennis. He works really hard to stay fit. I don’t like to sweat unless it’s in the garden moving boulders. Being a good mom, I took him up on the get-in-free card and tried out the treadmill and weight machines. Surprise, I can do them as long as I hold on. That’s a lot of healing in the last year. So I guess I have no more excuses to be lazy.
Now, on to the food part of the problem. I have not been eating well. When life is stressful, I soothe myself with comfort foods. Divorce and all that comes from it brings on mega stress. Mostly, my comfort foods are sweet, salty or fatty. Why can’t they be broccoli and spinach? My all-time favorite food since I was eight is french fries though I have managed to substitute the sweet potato version to make myself feel better about the indulgence. Oh, how we deceive ourselves. Then it was on to organic coconut fruit bars. Some days I have some control, most days, not so much.
When I look in the mirror, there is a strange, plump, old woman with a bulbous nose staring back and using some not nice words at me. She should have her mouth washed out with soap. She needs her hair styled big time, but I’m not going to tell her.
My body is making its stand and refuses any more junk. Who would have thought it possible? It’s forcing me to be kinder to myself and giving it a rest from all but the minimal amount of food. This time I’m listening. Maybe I’ll be younger tomorrow.
So what constitutes youthfulness in the older person? How does one keep that youthful glow in spite of life’s trials? It’s a skill I have yet to learn. I think what I’m looking for is that young at heart feeling that expresses itself in the body. I’ve said before I was born 108 years old with tons of responsibilities very early in life. So I’m trying to age backwards. I think Benjamin Button had it right. I am so ready for playtime and toys. Any suggestions? I could certainly use them.
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” ~ Sophia Loren
From my heart to yours,