Middle Age is Here. Time to Embrace it.

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Am I really Middle Age? I looked at a picture of myself the other day. What were those huge lines doing in between my eyes. Why were my jowls drooping? And what were all those silver streaks doing in my hair? Could I….no….I mean, not me? Wait, could I be a middle aged woman? According to Webster’s Dictionary, MIDDLE AGE is simply defined as the period of life from about 45 to about 64. Gasp.

Hi. My name is Rhonda and I am a middle aged woman.

I ran to the bathroom to check my facial products. Just as I suspected. All antiaging. My hair products? Color enhancers. Every counter space of my house? A pair of reading glasses. (I can’t go without them). Add in the lower back aches, the weird changes in my monthly cycle, and the slow decline in my fitness levels, I feel my body changing in subtle ways. Some more obvious than others. But I cannot deny it. Marked by all the symptoms, I am officially in my middle age years.

middle age woman on sofa

Am I middle age? Yep. I am. But is it really that bad? Despite the increasing amount of gray hair, the need for 1.75 strength readers, the scheduled mammogram, colonoscopy, and MRI for an aching shoulder, getting “older” does have its inevitable drawbacks. But we can also approach middle age with a positive outlook. Growing older is all about having the right attitude while making simple tweaks in our exercise and nutrition to develop a healthy and loving relationship with ourselves in this next beautiful stage of life.

With a shift in how we look at things and how we approach taking care of ourselves, middle age can be our best years.

Attitude and Mindset During Middle Age

Pro-Aging Over Anti-Aging

Do you ever wonder why all the products we use are labeled “anti-aging? Why must we be so against the inevitable fact of life. The ‘anti’ prefix suggests we are opposed to something. Therefore we must battle. We must fight. We must not ever surrender. We will conquer these lines, jowls, saggy this and mushy that. Let’s strap on our Frownies and spread on the moisturizer like war paint as we prepare to take down any aging combatant that stands in our way.

Why are we fighting? Battling? Why not be pro-aging? Gracefully approach getting older? Can we be okay with taking care of ourselves, without being so resistant to change? Let’s not judge ourselves for choosing to get Botox to fill in those lines, but let us also be okay if we choose to accept that those age pattens are a part of who we are.

Accepting Ourselves in a Filtered Culture

Do you ever spend a little bit of time on social media and instantly feel badly about yourself? The filtered perfection and deception, aimed at our aging insecurities have led us to believe that we need to purchase a miracle moisturizer or cream that will make us look 10 years younger or claim to rid us of the cellulite we’ve had since we were teenagers. Thus our own true reality has become distorted by vague perception, unrealistic perfection, and unnecessary comparison.

As part of my own mini experiment, I checked out some filters on Snapchat recently. I instantly was able to create an image of myself with flawless skin, sunkissed and chiseled cheeks, and lips so plump, I became unrecognizable. Makes me wonder who is really behind the images that are causing us so much aging insecurity. Yikes!

Filtered Image

While we cannot escape the images, ideas, and messaging that bombards us daily making us feel less than or not enough, we can stop comparing our 40-year old self to a 25-year old influencer. We have the ability to control and manage what we choose to view, who to follow and what we believe about ourselves and middle age. Let’s choose wisely.

Nutrition & Exercise

Be Willing To Change

Just because it worked for you when you were 25ish, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you at 45ish. This became very evident for me in the past several years. Years of running and high intensity workouts in my late 20s/early 30s kept me in the shape I desired, but the side effects of it all have been evident in my 40s. Our bodies change and therefore, we must also be willing to allow ourselves to adapt to these physical changes.

Try trading in the high intensity workouts for a lower impact cardio session, or strength workout. If running is still your thing, then keep going. If it’s causing you more aches and pains than physical fulfillment, consider swapping that long run for a a brisk walk. Changing our mindset about the outcome versus rate of exertion is a necessary shift that helps us adapt our bodies easier through all all the physical changes during the middle age years.

Perhaps you’ve discovered that one of your favorite foods is causing a negative result in how you feel or your once favorite dessert is leaving your bloated and gaseous for days. Be willing to make tweaks in your nutrition choices. Consider adding more variety of fruits, and whole grains, vegetables. It may be just what your body is craving. Adopt a preventive and healthy approach to your nutrition rather than an all or nothing mindset.

Move Your Body Daily

This is really simple. Take some time every day to move your body every day. Whether it be a short 20-minute yoga session to increase your balance and coordination, a brisk daily walk to support brain function as well as to build cardiorespiratory endurance, or strength training to build muscle and combat the loss of bone density, moving your body daily in some capacity is especially important during the middle age years.

If you need incentive, consider getting a watch to monitor your activities. Set daily step and calorie burning goals. If you’re competitive in any sense like me, this is a great way to both monitor how you’re doing and give you incentive to keep moving.

Garmin Watch affirmation

How you approach middle age is going to be vital for how you live during this next stage of life. Now is not the time to try to crush the same goals you had in your 20s, but it is the time to continue to take care of your emotional and physical self more than ever. Aging is a sign of a beautiful life you’ve lived. You’ve been through a lot and you have grown even more. Stop the unnecessary comparison. Give yourself grace for a few wrinkles, love yourself immensely through any pain you’ve endured, let go of who you were (do you really want to be 25 again anyway?) and accept the beautiful version of who you’re becoming.

You have a lot of life to live. You’re just getting started.

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