You Know You're Middle-Aged When...
The other day, I happened to be watching Charlie when he sneezed. Nothing particularly fascinating about that, of course, but he was standing up at the time, and I saw him kind of bend his knees a little and hunch over.
“What are you doing?” I ask him.
“What does it look like I’m doing? Protecting my back.”
I’m thinking, that goes in the “you know you’re middle-aged when” category, doesn’t it? As in, you know you’re middle-aged when standing up and sneezin’ has the potential of throwing your back out. Or, you know you’re middle-aged when you wake up from your nap, stretch luxuriously and pull something in your neck. This has actually happened to me, and let me tell you, suffering a napping related injury is humbling! It’s taken me awhile to work up the nerve to talk about it!
I’m think I’m noticing these things more ‘cause, I confess, I put on some weight this past year, and I’m feeling more middle-aged than usual. I’m not fat, of course, I’m just too short for my weight. And carrying around an extra ten, well, twenty pounds on top of what I already had, takes “going stealth” to a whole new level. That’s the term me and the girls use to refer to how invisible women seem to be after a certain age. I mean, the only people who notice me are other middle-aged gals who look pretty much like me. “Cute sweater!” they’ll say, or “Isn’t that a nice shade of lipstick.” We recognize a kindred spirit and kinda feel compelled to cheer each other on.
Old geezers notice me, too. You know, them fellas looking for a younger woman to marry so they’ll have someone to look after them when the wheels start fallin’ off. They size me up, thinking, Hmm, cheaper than long-term care insurance, and by the looks of her, she can probably cook. Wonder if she’s single?
Anyhoo, this is a long-winded way of telling you, my sister Irene and me are back to Weight Watchers, or “the WW,” as we call it. She’s agreed to be my weight loss buddy. Boy, I’ll tell you, after my first weight in, I was rendered speechless. For the entire first meeting! (Hard to believe, I know!) I just couldn’t wrap my head ‘round how much I weighed. ‘Course, it’s never a good sign when you stop weighing yourself, and in fact, move the scale into the basement which, I confess, I did sometime last January. Along with the ol’ WW, I also started doing the circuit at Curves. Zumba starts up again at the end of January.
The good news is, I’m feeling less bloated than before, and I have more energy. And it feels good to be heading in the other direction, weight-wise. The bad news is, sometimes I’m so hungry I can hardly sleep. I find myself lying there thinking, If I gnaw off my arm, how many points would that be? With the exercise, I’m sore in places I didn’t even know existed. And when I sit for awhile, then stand up, and start walking, swear to God, I look like Walter Brennan. And you know you’re middle-aged if you know who that is!
I have two rules when it come to diet and exercise.
1. Avoid foods that say “fat-free” or “light” that aren’t designed to be that way in the first place, like fat-free half and half, light butter. Them things are abominations of nature, probably loaded with chemicals. Plus, they don’t taste any good. Eat the real stuff, only less of it. My only exception? The chemical “butter” they put on popcorn at the movies. I ask for extra of that (though not when I’m on the WW, of course!)
2. Do not attempt a sport with a capital “X” in the title, as in X-treme anything. If you’re middle-aged, give it up. You’re too old for that nonsense. Besides, you could break a hip!
As Mark Twain said, though, “All things in moderation, including moderation.” I’m thinking of splurging on a half cup of mango sorbet Saturday night. How’s that for walkin’ on the wild side?
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Listen to Ida's the Podcast here.