BEAUTY

The Long Running Excuse

It happened today. I suppose I should have seen it coming. I should have been anticipating its inevitability but are you ever really ready to see bra bulge?

It was warm today, so I had just a tank on (oh, how winter and a cool spring hide so much). I was working (not out, obviously) in my bedroom, rearranging some things and organizing a few others and I happened to glance at the mirror as I walked by. Surely it couldn’t be? And yet it was, what seemed glorious amounts of “skin” just hanging our…OVER my bra.

It seemed just yesterday I was running marathons and in tip-top shape!

But worse, its not like there is just one side of bra fat, nope it’s a “buy one, get one free” type of deal. There “they” were staring at me, “Esther and Edith~the duo back bulge, bra fat, bra bulge”…whatever term you are most endeared to, there THEY were, the bulge sisters!

The truth is that I am almost 49 (yet my mind still screams 30!) and I KNOW that shouldn’t be an excuse. If you just glance at the likes of Madonna or Gwyneth (yes, I know they have money, personal trainers and chefs but still….) you would know that you can still be fab in your 40’s and 50’s.

*Addendum: Madonna is 60! WTF? I am exercising as I am typing this (not really)!

The even larger truth is that I completely stopped working out about 3 years ago. Of course there were reasons, and I guess good ones at the time (although is it ever wise to COMPLETELY stop working out?). To add insult to injury, I started to “cheat” a lot more with how I ate as well. Its amazing how easy it becomes to choose a bagel over a piece of fruit?!

I would tell myself that I work-out. I mean, I do some yoga here and there, (actually it is more like I play yoga here and there). But the cardio, the strength training, the toning…all of it fell by the wayside.

When you first stop exercising, its hard because you do miss the adrenaline that a hard workout gives you. Then somehow, someway it starts to slowly turn the other way, to the point of complete omission claiming one good reason after another why “there is just no time for exercise” in a day.

So back to my bra bulge. I won’t lie, I had a moment of panic! I went straight to a yoga routine with Adriene (my personal yoga instructor (on youtube) and did a short routine. I felt better, “take that back bulge”!

Then I went to Costco and bought a cart LOAD of fruits and veggies. For supper I ate my burger in a lettuce wrap (that’s right! “again, take that Esther and Edith!”) and committed to another round of yoga with Adriene determined to delete “E&E” from my life (or at least my back!).

That was until I happened upon some chocolate. I mean, “you do only live once, right? Life is short?! I will do an extra 5 minutes of yoga…tomorrow…. I didn’t have a bun with my burger”…. blah blah….

And that is reality right there!

We strive for health hoping to avoid the pitfalls all around us! Some days it works well, other days…well, you just hope to get up and do better the next, right?

That’s where I’m at. I am not quite ready to succumb completely to “back bulge”, yet I know that time tends to bring everything south (so much faster in my late 40’s btw!), and me back to reality. A reality that screams that I am no longer 30 (do you hear that mind?). A reality that says that my 40’s have been “interesting” to say the least. In a way, my 40’s have been a cruel joke. I am at “this age” where I have enough life experience and confidence that one would think I would look forward to the idea that I have been slow-brewed, and that I now “know some things” and am wiser for it. And I do like that, and am looking forward to some more of that.

It’s nice, some of it. The idea that the older I get, the more I seem to just ‘go with the flow’ and realize that “not everything is something to worry about”. That is nice.

But this back bulge, this I don’t like.

Possibly, I have to accept that I am changing. My mind. My body. All of it is changing.

I understand my mother now more.

Many years ago, I was watching her get ready, and I couldn’t help but think she was getting older. Softer in places. More wrinkles in others. A little more droop to the tissue about her jaw. She saw me surveying her and said, “you know I still feel young. I still feel 30. People tell me often how pretty I am still…”. At the time it seemed so strange, almost desperate.

I get it mom. I really get it (now)!

The most interesting part to that story is that I know that she was younger then, than I am right now. I understand better her conflict at accepting her “advancing” age, while still trying to hold to her youth. The one that screams, “I am only 30 (physically) in my mind but my damn body is screaming that I am 20 years beyond that”.

At times I find myself wistful. I went to Target the other day with my nieces, Bella and Madi. As they walked beside me, I couldn’t help but be envious of their youth, and of all that they had to look forward to. I wanted to share all (okay some, the G-rated parts, maybe some PG parts..) of my wisdom in their growing minds and beg them to be good to themselves. To love themselves for all of their beauty, tangible and not.

And that’s when I stopped walking. I realized how hypocritical in that moment I was (to myself). I was wanting them to always love who they are, no matter what…because their beauty was “who” they are. Their personality! Their beautiful smiles! Sure they are both wrapped in beautiful packages but they are more than that! So much more.

Madi turned around, “dude, your gonna get run over by a car! What are you doing just standing in the middle of the road?” as she rolled her eyes and tossed her hair, ever annoyed at her “old” aunt, I am sure.

So, that brings me back to Esther and Edith. I still don’t like them. I am still going to commit to seeing Adriene more often. I am still gonna choose a lettuce wrap instead of a bun (well, unless I GO OUT to eat). I will continue to make healthy choices (most of the time).

But I will also eat some chocolate.

And I will (have to) accept if Esther and Edith don’t totally vacate the premises….and in the long run, I will probably be the better for the experience of “their” visit.

I need to take a cue from Jennifer Lawrence, “I know I have armpit fat. It’s ok!”

Just another life lesson on my way to what will undoubtedly one day be “cool old lady” status!

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