{06/07/2012}   Oh how my body changes

I ate Indian food last night and, as usual, it gave me a stomach ache (garlic and/or chili related).  I used to have a cast iron stomach and could eat anything.  My food intolerances and general body slump started about eight or nine years ago in my late 20s.  I might be rose-tinting slightly but I could eat pretty much anything without repercussions and I was quite slim and more fresh-faced than I ever appreciated.  I am not going to lament and whine about the cruelty of ageing … though as I write that I do wonder what positives I will be highlighting!

If I eat too much of the following, things happen that aren’t enjoyable or desirable: garlic, onions, bread, cucumbers, cabbage, peas, apple juice, strawberries … the list goes on.  I still eat all of the above but with a degree of trepidation.

As for the rest of my ageing body, being unfit doesn’t help.  But I find it cruel that weight is easier to gain but harder to shift, that gravity can be cruel, that most people in the pages of fashion magazines are younger and airbrushed, thus emphasising my perceived imperfections.  Despite my diminished memory functions, I at least am happier with my mind and how that works.  Why is it that as you get older, things generally get bigger, but when you get a fair few decades ahead of me now, while your ears and chubby bits increase in size, your height and hair decrease.  It’s cruel.

I very much believe in growing old gracefully and being fully accepting of your changing body, but it’s hard when it stops functioning as well, from illnesses to food intolerances.  Sometimes though I see women in their 60s and 70s and think how amazing they look (even including my neighbour in her 80s who looks distressingly good in her skinny jeans and knee-high boots – I believe she was blessed with a skinny gene).  Sometimes I look at myself and see someone a bit frumpy who doesn’t care about their appearance enough.

I guess it’s easy to feel a bit sorry for yourself because your body isn’t how it was or how you feel it should be, but I don’t think it’s that difficult to dress your age, dress to suit your body and behave however you want (!).  I think I get too hung up on appearances and on labels, in particular your age.  I sometimes dress like a chubby 24 year old, sometimes like a 50 year old.  I have possibly become a little bogged down with what I perceive to be the cruelty of getting older, but one day I will look back at, say, photos of me now and think how young I looked.  But then I will look at some of the clothes I wear or how I do my hair or whatever and think, “Oh, what a waste”.

So while my food intolerances sometimes cause me a bit of embarrassment or discomfort and I moan about being somewhat too rotund and wobbly, I really should just get on with appreciating that I largely function and I do have enough money to make a bit more effort to buy clothes that suit me rather than that sort of fit me.  There is a lot to be said for confidence and positive thinking.  And would I have been happier without a bit of a tummy ache and no fantastic food last night? No.  Instead of feeling fretful about being 37 and my graduation being 15 years ago (agh, that still shocks me, I need to get over that!), I need to just get on and enjoy things that are happening to me now, because really life is much better as I get older, it’s just the packaging that’s a bit crumpled.

This started off with no point, I am now feeling unexpectedly positive and perky!  Long may that last!


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