While waiting for a doctor’s appointment, just prior to my fiftieth birthday, I read an article in a health magazine titled, “Over Fifty, Proceed with Caution.” Choosing to ignore the ominous warning on the cover, I dived right into the article, unaware of the “terrors” ahead. One of the first items I read was how women 50+ can expect to gain one inch around their waist every three years, without so much as an extra potato chip in their diet. Oh, say it isn’t so. Already thick-waisted, ( I believe apple-shaped is the correct term), I found this tidbit of information quite alarming. According to the article, I’ll have to call out a search party in order to locate my waist in a couple of years. In fact, that’s something I have in common with Scarlett O’Hara–no, I don’t have a seventeen-inch waist, but I do have a waist that has “Gone With The Wind”. According to the research, and given that my grandmother lived to be almost 102, I can expect my waist to grow to roughly the size of a tire–an airplane tire. Being a wise shopper, I have already begun preparing for the coming girth by stocking up on elastic whenever it’s on sale at the fabric store. Just because I have a big waist, doesn’t mean I have to be wasteful.
In addition to cornering the market on elastic, another delightful effect of turning fifty is the loss of most of my eyelashes. Apparently, we are born with three rows of eyelashes. By the time we’re fifty(that seems to be the magic number) we lose two of those rows. They just fall out. That certainly explains why more mascara ends up on my eyelids than eyelashes these days. To resolve this, I’ve contemplated wearing false eyelashes. With my fifty-year old eyesight, however, the eyelashes would probably end up on my cheeks, instead of my eyelids. Not exactly the effect I’m looking for.
Not only eyelash- deprived, hitting the half-century point often results in a slower metabolism. After fifty, our metabolism hovers somewhere in the neighborhood of your average tree sloth‘s. Basically, the only way that I can maintain my current weight is to cut my caloric intake from 200 to 500 calories per day(I guess that means the leftover Halloween and Christmas candy are out), while simultaneously training for a triathlon. And, speaking of the tree sloth, they have one major advantage over us human sloths. Their elimination schedules are in sync with their slow metabolisms. Meaning, tree sloths climb down trees but once a week to “do their business”. Ironically, we human sloths “go more” the slower we get– and, at the most inopportune times. Nature inevitably calls at 3 A.M.
So, aside from purchasing my underwear from an airplane factory, my eyelashes from a costume shop,( or, in the alternative, settling for scary naked eyes), and being jealous of tree sloths, I am negotiating the aging process as gracefully as possible. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of becoming a woman of a certain age is the ability to laugh at myself, which is supposedly good for my health. In fact, I’m down right hilarious. Considering the amount of laughing I’m sure to do at my own expense in the coming years, I should be very healthy, indeed. Besides, it could be worse. If I were a dog, I’d be over three hundred and fifty years old in human years. On the other hand, in doggy years, I’m a young pup!
Are you aging gracefully? If so, how? Let me know…I need all the help I can get!