Growing Old Gracefully (or not)!

The alternative to aging is death, so obviously I’ll take aging any day over being 6 feet under but hello why must the process be so damn hard. A show of hands, please, from those who wake up every day to some kind of mysterious body ache or pain. Oh, not you! It might be only me, then. Well, I am not ashamed to say that within the past few years I feel like my body has been slowly breaking down. From no longer being able to just run up a flight of stairs, to holding onto the arm of the chair when I get up from a seated position, to that mysterious ache that has somehow, over the years, moved from my left knee to my right knee back to my left knee again and even more recently back spasms; I am here to say that aging sucks!

It took me years, (clears throat) who am I kidding? It took me decades to finally fall in love with my body. I’m sure, like me, you grew up bombarded with images of what the perfect body should look like from the perpetually ‘high school skinny’ female models to the muscular, rock-hard bodies of their male counterparts plastered all over bestselling magazines, it took me a while to accept my thick thighs, my not so buxom bosom, my huge behind, my very wide, child-bearing hips and of course my belly. However, as soon as I started accepting my body, all of it, even the cellulite; as I settled into being comfortable with my imperfect weight to height ratio; here it is that my body has slowly started to let me know in no uncertain terms that I am not young anymore.

Active Lifestyle

I’ll be 45 on my next birthday, which happens to be next month, and I have always lived a pretty active lifestyle. Do I run marathons? No, I don’t. I’m the girl who can’t run a full mile without becoming out of breath, but I can walk 10 miles without stopping at a fairly fast pace. Am I CrossFit / Insanity type fitness enthusiast? Nope, not at all. All that jumping coupled with the incredulous amount of burpees aren’t for me; but I can keep pace with the best of them in any regular aerobics, step, spin or boot camp class. I actually like to exercise and have been doing so consistently since I was in high school. Plus I have had always had a gym membership since I started College so, I can’t for the life of me, understand why my body has started to feel like someone who has never enjoyed the benefits of exercise. Isn’t it supposed to be that the more active you are the younger and fitter you will feel despite your true age? I was under the misguided impression that was how it worked. Thankfully, I look younger than my age but I’m certainly starting to feel every bit of the 44 years that I have been around.

Aches and Pains

It began with the left knee, a few years ago, that suddenly started hurting out of the blue. I went to see a doctor, had an MRI done and I was told that I had a torn cartilage. Alright, fine, that happens to the best of us. I followed the doctor’s orders and consistently did all the exercises required to strengthen the muscles around the knee in order to prevent joint instability and further damage. I can’t remember how long it took but soon I wasn’t feeling any pain, not even a minor ache; than a couple of years later the same pain came back again but this time the pain had mysteriously moved over to the right knee. Like, WTH?! I went through the entire process again with the doctors and the MRIs but this time I was told that the MRI didn’t show anything wrong. Really? Well, why does my right knee hurt then? “Age, perhaps!” was the response from the doctor. Wait! What?!

Over the years the pain in both my left knee and my right knee kind of just comes and goes. I will go months and not feel any pain in either of them and then out of nowhere one will start hurting for a couple of days, then the pain will switch to the other knee or just magically disappear. It’s the weirdest thing, but I suppose that as long as both knees don’t hurt at the same time I think I can live with it.

The Metabolism

It’s a known fact that the older you get the more your metabolism slows down. Well, my metabolism has not only slowed down but it has freaking stopped! It’s like I cannot lose that extra 10 pounds no matter what I do or how hard I try.

When I was younger, all I had to do was think of losing weight and the pounds would just miraculously melt away. Once, when I was in College, I purchased a dress 2 sizes smaller than my regular size (the store didn’t have my size and I just had to have that particul dress) to wear out the following weekend. I was confident that I could drop enough weight in seven days to fit into that gorgeous red dress, and guess what? I did! I went on what was called the Cabbage Soup Diet for a week and lost even more weight than I had anticipated. It was just that easy! Yes, it took tonnes of discipline to only eat/drink that horrid cabbage soup for an entire week but I hung the dress on the door to my dorm, where I could see it daily, as a way of motivating me and I did it. I was able to slide into that little red number on the very following Saturday night, despite it being 2 sizes smaller, just a week before, when it was purchased.

Now, I’ll exercise the same discipline I had back then by spending even more time, weeks on end, eating fruits, and vegetables, and drinking green smoothies; I’ll even amp up my workout at the gym and I still won’t lose a pound, not a single pound. If I’m not careful, I might even gain a pound or two, even on a strict regiment. Why? You guessed it; because of aging.

Doctors

For years, as an adult, I only had one doctor, and that doctor was my gynecologist. At the time, I only needed one doctor to maintain my health and vitality, just one. However, as I have gotten older my list of doctors has grown significantly and I now need a team of doctors to help me stay healthy and to assist in the fight against the aging process. It is truly a phenomenon that I have gone from only having one doctor that I would see annually to now having 5 doctors – an orthopedic doctor, a chiropractor, an internist, a radiologist and most recently a dermatologist – that I see on a regular basis; and I am a reasonably healthy woman. A team of doctors is now needed because I just happen to be getting older. I mean, who would have thought that having not visited a dermatologist in my entire 44 years on this planet that in recent months I would have had to go to the dermatologist, not once but 4 times. Apparently, there is something called adult acne.

The truth is I am healthy, and I am very lucky that whatever little bit of aches and pains that I may feel is minor; but I can’t help but think back to only a decade ago to the things my body could do effortlessly and painlessly without much thought. These days I won’t do certain exercise moves without first thinking about whether or not I might inadvertently pull something and, or, wake up with that brutal after workout pain that causes me to walk and flinch for the next 24 to 36 hours.

Having birthdays and aging is indeed a privilege but growing old gracefully, well, that is a matter of choice. What will you choose? As for me, I choose to fight the aging process. I will continue to cover my greys with Clairol Nice N’ Easy hair color, I will still wear my high heels, who knows, I may even go dancing in them too; and when I take my selfies, I’ll make sure to use a selfie stick and hold it as far away as possible, so that my laugh lines won’t show in the picture.

67 thoughts on “Growing Old Gracefully (or not)!

  1. Still gorgeous! My younger sister is 48 and she is having a lot of knee and foot pain. Even though it hurts she keeps up an almost daily walking routine. I won’t tell you about what this aging thing does to our skin, it’s too sad. 😦 Oh well, at least we’re still alive to complain about it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You look marvelous!!!!
    I can relate to so much of what you said. Im getting up there in years and all this is going on with me too and it really just started within the past year. The aches when I get up in the morning that just started out of the blue several moths back, the 10lbs I have been trying to loose that I gained this past year which I dont even understand how I gained it I hardly ever eat. My eyes too – I can’t see very good now, I have to wear readers. πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ
    Again….looking good girl ❀️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rakkelle, Oh my goodness. Where do I start with this post – I could relate to you on soooooooooo many levels until it wasn’t funny. I do know about the knee issue, mine happened when I was 16 (came down on a trampoline wrong) and as I’ve gotten older – it pains from time to time, either from gaining a little too much weight or the changing weather makes it act up really bad. Yes, aging is no joke and like you as well – I too only used to have one doctor but aging has brought on 3 or them and a specialist! Let’s give a cheer to AGE everyone!! Well, Girl, I don’t know what you’re doing now, but looking at you in that yellow dress – girl, you are working it out, honey. I couldn’t put on anything like that – my boobs and back fat will tell me off…lol lol lol. I do like exercising but I have noticed, since getting older that I don’t’ like the hard exercises anymore (like boot camp) I did do one last year and completed it a couple of times in different sequences, but realized that it had gotten boring to me and I really didn’t feel like pushing my body that hard every single day. I’m good with aerobics – and as far as Shaun T (Insanity) that would be an Insanity for me to purchase those DVD’s however, I did do his Hip Hop Abs and Rockin Body DVD’s and I have to say, those were really fun and entertaining…I guess I just don’t like bored because I get there very fast!

    Well Gurly, Good luck on your journey and I’m rooting for you all the way. xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ OMG Roshonda! Your comment made me literally laugh out loud!

      “Hip Hip Hooray” – That’s my cheer for age!

      Your comment was so wonderful to read. Your dynamism and humor come through not only in your articles but also in your commentaries. Your honesty is so refreshing.

      Sooooo, I didn’t know about Hip Hop Abs and the Rockin Body DVDs. Say what?! Lemme find out I’ve been missing out.

      Thanks, Doll. It’s always a pleasure to read you. 😘

      Liked by 2 people

      1. HaHaHa – Yessssss girl, you missed the boat of them two honey. As stated, I loved them – girl, we do those for about a month – we’ll have that 4 pack in no time….forget the 6…lol It’s a pleasure talking with you too gurly, I love your posts, I relate to them very well. xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You look fantastic, even though you feel old. Growing old is amazing, it may hurt from time to time, but looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Too often people attempt to escape getting old by β€œhaving work done” to peacock fertility, when all they want to do is get laid. Too often looks are prized over companionship. We all have our turn ons and turn offs, but we all are human and we all age. Embrace your life and the steps you took to make it this far.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love my life! I have fully embraced my “aches and pain”; when you think about it it isn’t all that bad compared to what others are going through.

      Growing old is a privilege. I had a brother who passed away a month before his 29th birthday (someday when my heart can take it I’ll blog about him) but Jason, that was his name, was denied the privilege of growing old so I will never take any birthday for granted.

      Thank you so much for the compliment. I’m actually pretty proud of the way I look. Not too shabby for 44, eh?! I’ll be stepping into 45 gracefully, laugh lines and all.

      Thank you for reading. I’m thrilled you’ve become a follower of my Blog. As a brand new blogger getting a new follower always makes my day. A big ole thanks! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you really? I would never have guessed, your skin looks flawless. Your dermatologist is definitely on point then. Thanks for keeping up the Blog. You have no idea how much it means to me. 😘

      Like

  5. I can relate!! I still hate my body though. Trying to lose weight…enter that slow metabolism. Ugh. I have severe knee pain, in need of knee replacements but Drs don’t seem to think it’s “bad enough” yet. But here I am, barely able to walk. I hate getting older!

    Like

    1. Isn’t it terrible, Debbie?! I hate hearing that you’re barely able to walk. I feel like a “feel better” soon sentiment will not suffice here so I’m just gonna say I hope the doctors take heed and listen to you much sooner than later. So sorry to hear of your intolerable pain, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much. All I ever hear is “lose more weight” as if I weigh 300 lbs or something….plus, “your legs aren’t strong enough” which is a DUH statement if you ask me. Of course they’re not strong enough! UGH! I keep chugging along…trying to make the best of things.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You are doing this first and most important step … zoning in on #selfcare and that is key! I Having a team of doctors is also a great decision, as it keeps us on top of everything regarding our health (all connected). Keep inspiring with your truth!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. πŸ™‚ As a matter of fact, I read the entire thing. You said that you are unable to run a marathon.

    The word “Fleetingly,” refers to something or someone that moves very fast; which is why I used the example of those Chinese martial artists (They tend to age gracefully).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww, gotcha… I can’t run a marathon (not right now anyway without training) but did you note that I have been working out for decades consistently doing aerobics, boot camp classes, spin, step, and pilates? Anyway, thanks for reading, Renard. I consider you part of my Tribe. πŸ˜‰

      Like

    1. Renard, sweetie…Did you even read this post? If you did, you would realize that I am, in fact, fit…My fitness hasn’t stop the inevitable aging process though. πŸ˜‰

      Like

  8. Racqs…again you are spot on! This aging thing is no joke. The grays have started at my temple…i too have a knee issue and just last week I had to do an MRI because of the almost unbearable pain in my lower back and then I now have to do physiotherapy. I have also since earlier this year visited the dermatologist. So I can definitely relate! However the alternative as you rightly say is being 6 feet under but as that’s not where we intend to be anytime soon (unless the good Lord deems otherwise), we will happily accept aging and do our best to manipulate it as much as possible. Great writing as usual and boy are you rocking that yellow dress!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Betty! We are living similar lives, huh?! Yes, we shall, we will accept our aging while at the same time trying to “manipulate” the process as much as possible.

      Like

  9. Lovely written and yes I feel like you , even though 12 years older, knee pains come and go, others do too. Google it, do exercised and they go. Some are stress related or emotionally too. My doctor said to me you only come when you are pregnant….. also healthy but little things do come now. Let’s not panic but enjoy life to the full!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I just shared it with my friend… regular conversation with her today and she said “my feet hurt, not sure why.. I’m getting old” she enjoyed reading it…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for sharing my writing, Deb! That means so much to me. Will your friend like to subscribe to my Blog? If you send me her email address I can send her an invitation to subscribe.

        Like

    1. Awwww, Gillie! I love that word “slay”. Thanks, Doll….I’m glad I’m not the only one “growing old gracefully”. I have no words to let you know how much I appreciate you following my Blog, while reading and commenting weekly.

      Like

  10. One day when I was around 50, sprinting to cross the street before the light changed, I realized there would come a day when I could no longer do that, and I thought how sad that would be. I’m now 63, and there are times I run for it and times it’s not worth it. And when it’s not worth it, it’s because on balance catching that light isn’t that important, and I don’t really care, and, in fact, it’s not sad at all. I’m pretty sure I can’t do a cartwheel anymore and I’m totally fine with that.

    Yes, one of the hallmarks of aging is inexplicable and wandering aches and pains! And one of the beauties of aging, to me, is that while our bodies change and inevitably lose strength and ability, our minds change in a way that allows for acceptance.

    Racquel, you look fabulous.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. FF (Favorite Frame) – “One of the beauties of aging is that while our bodies change and inevitably loss strength and ability, our minds change in ways that allows for acceptance”. So very true, my friend.

      I also believe wholeheartedly in the old adages that says (and I am paraphrasing here) that “youth itself is wasted on the young” and that as “we get older we get wiser”. 😊

      Thank you, Lynn!

      Like

  11. I am going through something called β€œMale Menopause” which means my energy level and hormones are not what they used to be. I am not the same person I was a few years ago. I don’t talk incessantly like I once did. Granted its not the same as what women go through but we all age to where we aren’t the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed, Tony! While writing this piece I was thinking of aging from a ‘human’ perspective, not just a female perspective. In fact, my husband is the one who inspired my writing because only a few hours earlier he had been complaining about his knees. Mind you, my husband is 4 years younger than me. So it just goes to show that it happens to all of us.

      Thank you for reading, Tony. I’m a big fan of your Blog and I’m honored that you not only stopped by my page but took the time to share your ‘aging’ experiences, as well.

      Like

  12. Bwahaha – a team of doctors! I just say I have people – it sounds cooler. πŸ˜‰

    It’s true that we don’t bounce well as we age – injuries and wounds are easier to collect and take FOREVER to heal. I, too, suffer from adult acne and have been since I was pregnant with my son 25 years ago. I also got a bonus mama tummy, stupid big boobs and blingy stretch marks to add to the overall package – the sacrifices we women make with our own bodies is endless!

    There are so many things that slow down with age but, while I can continually bemoan the loss of my youthful kickin’ body with the perky tatas, I am most sad about the loss of energy and the ability to function on little to no sleep. My life is BUSY, yo!

    SELFIE PRO TIP: Angles, lighting, cropping and FILTERS – these are the tools I now can’t live without so that I only resemble myself in photos!

    What an awesome and delightful surprise to behold that vision in yellow at the end of the post – KAPOW! You, my friend, are definitely killing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Some of this stuff just isn’t talked about. Mostly, us women talk about menopause and hot flashes and that’s it for aging.
    Thanks for keeping it real… especially at the end re: the laugh lines.
    Sizzling in that yellow dress!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Rakkelle I can see you are one to look after yourself. I tried but failed and now keep the Health Care Field working. I will say you look great in that yellow dress Rakkelle. Keep doing what you do and stay healthy. Great writing as well. I enjoyed this piece !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, James! I do try…There are so many things to do in life, e.g. keep the lights on, raise the kids, etc. We sometimes forget to prioritize ourselves. And, sometimes, even when we do, like I did, we can only slow down the process just a bit. Just a tiny little bit. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

  15. Love it. As usual, you make me feel normal. πŸ˜‚. Love that you ended it with that picture. All of your exercises and discipline are paying off. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh yes, the knees. And don’t forget the vision. Thanks for sharing. You’re killing that yellow dress though. Giving 25 year olds a run for their money! ;o)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s