An Age-Related Moan

Some people do it gracefully. Grow old that is. Others fight it tooth and nail, refusing to admit that the years are marching on.

I'm in neither group. I don't like it but I feel powerless to fight it. I'm growing old - daily - but I'm doing it none too gracefully. At times the shock of seeing myself every morning in the mirror is too much to handle.

There are several things I hate about growing old but at the moment I'll mention two: my ever-increasing weight and those grey hairs that are springing up all over the place at an alarming rate.

I decided a number of months ago that I had to stop getting depressed over both and do something.

I've tried. Believe me I've tried. Stubbornly the numbers on the scale stay the same - or worse, go up. I've lost weight before and what I've learnt is that it's hard work to lose weight but even harder to keep it off. Become complacent and those kilos sneak back on and some more - and the next time they're even more determined to stay put. And it doesn't seem to matter what I do ... they're staying put. Even two days of tummy bug didn't dislodge them. Now what's up with that?

I'm not resigned to being this size for the rest of my life. I have two skirts that fit comfortably and that's about it. Even the 'fat' jeans that I bought last year are getting uncomfortable. So I'm going to persevere and hopefully I'll see some progress soon. Pleaseeeeeeee.

Which brings me to the other thing. Weight I can at least try to do something about but my grey hair is something different. I'm not too keen at all about putting chemicals on my head especially when some of those chemicals have been shown to be detrimental to one's health. Even that aside, the risk of allergy to said chemicals is high and I'm not about to expose myself to that. Furthermore, I've had my hair coloured once in a salon and those greys were like those un-budging kilos - very stubborn.

So if I won't colour I have to accept. Right? I guess so except that I can't accept. Forget that stuff about grey being another colour or the new blonde or that grey in brown hair looks like natural highlights. On me grey just looks wrong. Perhaps it's my skin tone (which incidentally I've never been able to work out but suspect I'm probably 'warm' since my skin often looks yellow to me). Or perhaps it's that my hair's long. Then again, it might be because while my birth certificate puts me at forty-six I still feel twenty eight so I should look twenty eight - shouldn't I?

DH is no help. He says both the weight and the hair are 'fine'. Just fine. Not gorgeous. Not stunningly beautiful. Just fine.

Fine.

So what am I to do? I can't turn back the clock but nor can I spend the rest of my life depressed over what are essentially two very superficial things. My worth is not measured by my dress size or the amount of grey hair that I sprout. I'm worth more than that ... and yet in this youth-obsessed, beauty-obsessed culture, I struggle to believe it.

Comments

Noel said…
I used to be in past generations, that age was a good thing - it meant you were wise, distinguished, honored; but things have definitely changed. I've been contemplating the whole weight-gain-with-age situation and have firmly decided it's because the loss of muscle women experience as we get older. Men don't gain weight just because they get older, in fact, they tend to shrivel up :) I'm experimenting this year with weight exercises to see if I can gain muscle and see if that helps. Good luck!
Noel said…
I totally agree, years past the "aged" were honored and respected, but today things have really changed. I've been contemplating the weight-gain-with-age issue and have come to the conclusion that for women it's because we lose muscle as we get older. Men don't gain weight with age, in fact, they seem to get smaller and smaller :) I'm experimenting this year with weight related exercises to see if I can build up muscle (muscle burns calories even while not working out) Good luck though!
busymomof10 said…
I understand your struggles! Forty-something women everywhere Moan with you!!

I am fortunate because I have very little gray hair and what I do have just looks like highlights in my blonde hair! But, I still don't like the signs of aging . . .

It is a Season that we must gracefully accept, like it or not! You do have the blessing of grandchildren to help ease the pain! :)

blessings,
Elizabeth
Mary R. said…
I feel the same way you do, Jules. I'm 58 this spring. I have a friend who looks really good and she is my age, but colors her long hair. She is Italian descended, and some nationalities age better than others (Italian being one). But, I don't like ageing either, I'll admit. I'm going to start walking again and that should help, I hope.
April said…
Lol.... Hi Jules :) Isn't it funny that we are both bemoaning this aging thing? And how our husbands don't seem to help much? I know one thing that doesn't help is the youth obsessed world we live in when even young women are getting plastic surgery and their lips and other parts of their bodies pumped up, etc. The world seems to be becoming more and more superficial as the years go by.

But I'm with ya! I do color my hair - which I don't like doing but will probably continue doing - but I'm toying with the idea of wearing it shorter - like maybe just below BSL with some layers around the face or something. I think I'll post some pictures on my blog of ones I'm attracted to - if I find any! I just think I need a jumpstart or little change with the spring right around the corner... I really am tired of wearing my hair in a bun all the time.

We can't stop aging, of course, but as far as aging "gracefully", I just don't know. It's tough on women. Plus, with me, I have the added rememberance of both my parents dying at age 64. I'll be 60 in March and I know that's affecting my outlook at least a little. Thoughts of mortality and all y'know...

Thanks for the comment on my blog; it's nice to know I'm not alone in this silly fret-fest over things in which we really have little control.
SchnauzerMom said…
I know how you feel. I don't accept aging very well either. We don't have much choice though do we? It's going to happen no matter what.
Jen said…
Wow, it really must be something in the air! I have been going through some of the same struggles. It seems like our society is so obsessed with youth and looking young. It really makes aging difficult. I'm also going through a time where I am seriously contemplating cutting my hair shorter. You just don't see people my age with long hair. I'm almost 40, and am feeling about as hip as my mother (who is a wonderful woman, but not exactly hip). I wonder if most women are content with how they look as they age, or if most are unhappy with it? For what it is worth, I think you are very youthful looking, and don't look your age at all. I think you look beautiful!
winterwren said…
Jules--

Saturday night I started writing you a comment about this post and then deleted it because it got way too rambling. I was going to write a shorter one, but got distracted by my cats and never did.

Anyway, I am sorry you are feeling bad. What is this weight problem you are always bemoaning?? You do not look overweight in any photo I have seen. I know, I know--you will say you only post your "thin pictures." But you do not look even remotely overweight, so there cannot be *that* much of a difference.

And your hair is wonderful, *that* goes without saying. Everyone knows *that.*

But yeah, I keep going back and forth on the grey thing, too--I have quite a bit already. I had accepted it and then more came in and I do not like it again. I already see this pattern repeating itself endlessly. There is no perfect solution, is there?

You are beautiful, outside and in.
Jules said…
What amazes me is that those of you who have responded are doing what I want to do: aging gracefully and looking beautiful at the same time. Okay, some of you are younger than me but we're all aging. Your responses have convinced me that perhaps none of us truly see ourselves as others do: beautiful women who have been created in God's image. I know I rarely look at myself in that light.

Winterwren, the weight moan is valid. According to the height/weight charts I am definitely overweight for my height. I'm short and with short legs so any extra weight really shows up. Sure I only show the pictures where I don't look as fat as in real life, but believe me, the weight issue is a problem. But the frustrating thing is that it doesn't matter how hard I try, I seem to put weight on rather than lose it!

As for the grey hair, I think I just have to learn to live with it. Sometimes I think I've reached a point of acceptance only to turn around and feel incredibly ugly again.

At least we'll have perfect bodies in heaven, right?

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