Aging Gracefully…It is what it is

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Aging Gracefully…It is what it is

One Monday morning as I was pumping away in my three times a week, hour long stretch and muscle class, I noticed that the class, primarily women (a couple of lucky guys), had an average age of around 66.  Later, while listening to some of the chatter that goes on before the class officially started, I observed that many of the women (me included) were almost as obsessed with flabby arms (triceps) and belly fat as some younger women.

In this class, our routine consists of numerous repetitions (reps) and moves directed at triceps and belly fat. Sometimes, it feels as if my arms are going to fall off; and my ribs have been run over by a truck. Yet, no matter how many reps I do, my triceps still jiggle; and my belly is still fat (I am talking mini muffin top). 

The instructor works the hell out of both. She has been teaching this class for over 20 years; and many of the same students have been taking the class for that long. I often wonder what her triceps and abs look like.  I don’t know. No one I have spoken to has ever seen her triceps or her abs. Why? Because while we live in Florida, she always wears a loose fitting shirt and long sleeves (no matter how hot the exercise room gets). Some of us have concluded that either she has “killer” triceps and a six pack (hard abs); and, she doesn’t want to flaunt them for fear of making us even more self-conscious. Or her triceps and abs are just as flabby as ours. Whatever the reason, I am beginning to think that for those of us pushing 60 or have moved beyond, belly fat and jiggly arms are here to stay – no matter what we do or how much we do it. Therefore, it’s time to STOP obsessing over them. It is what it is.

Now, here’s an interesting tidbit. I am the only African American woman in these classes. When I am with my African American women friends, belly fat and flabby triceps never enter into the conversation. My African American sisters are not concerned. They don’t go around hiding their arms in long sleeves and binding their bodies with tight fitting undergarments (think spanx). They proudly go sleeveless and let it all hang out. They graciously accept the fact that they are no longer 30; and after a certain age, stuff happens.  By the way, I love that attitude. However, just as some women, regardless of age, are not ready for gray hair (I was ready for it in my early 50s), I am not quite ready for giggly arms and belly fat.

How about you? How do you feel about jiggly arms and belly fat? Let me hear your thoughts.

No Electric Slide

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No Electric Slide

It has been well over 2 weeks since posting. But, I am still meeting and noticing people who are aging beautifully. Some actually make you look forward to getting older. There are some benefits; many, in fact. For one, you get a free pass on some things when you get older. For example, older people, especially after a certain age, can say whatever…and get away with it.

Last week, while attending the wedding of my beautiful niece, I had the pleasure of chatting with another over 80 year old diva – my sister-n-laws mother. She was full of life, energy and opinions. Have you ever noticed that some older people have lots of opinions and really don’t care whether you agree with them or not?  They sit, observe, and notice things. And, sometimes they comment. I love being around seniors who keep up with current events and have some knowledge of pop culture. For example, after the wedding reception (where we had loads of fun), my 80 year old diva (and she looked the part) remarked that it was the first wedding reception she had ever been to where they didn’t do the electric slide. Apparently, her only dance of the night (even though she walked with a cane) was to be the electric slide. And, since there was no electric slide, she didn’t get a chance to dance. She, again, reminded me that “age is only a number”.

5 More Nuggets

I am almost at the end of my nugget – just a few more to go.  Again, the nuggets are based on my upcoming book, 101 Nuggets for Women Who Want to Age with Dignity and Confidence. Here are five more.

  • Manage your stress
    “Stress is the confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out of some jerk who desperately deserves it.” – Unknown
  • Don’t smoke.
    “The best way to stop smoking is to just stop - no ifs, ands or butts.”  -Edith Zittler
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.
    “Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff.”  -Richard Carlson
  • Keep learning.
    “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” –Henry Ford
  • Stand/sit up straight.
    “A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.”  -Morihei Ueshiba

Send me your nuggets. I am open and receptive to anything you have to say.  And, I am still looking for women who are aging gracefully (with dignity and confidence). Let me hear from you.