Monday, July 25, 2011

Today's Woman - Facing 40 - Part I

The Today Show is doing a really good series (2 parts, maybe more), and after watching this first segment I couldn't agree more!!!

Watch here:  Celebrate 40 and Fabulous!

I was not one of those women who feared 40 at all. 

I have been lucky enough with good genes to have been able to ward off most of the signs of aging I believe (and told repeatedly).  I have also, contrary to many years of self inflicted bad things as drinking, sun worshipping, smoking, drugs, days without sleep etc., always been on the healthier side of things, still caring about my weight, and working out (always was the gym rat, no cardio for me!). 

I had my ebbs and flows of abuse (but it was over a period of 20 years) and would go through long stretches of maybe not quite so harming things (usually the drugs and drinking would subside a bit)...but even when I was at my worst, I still tried to watch what I ate and exercise.  Weird right?  A junkie with a health conscience. 

I know that I am just now starting to talk more about my past, but I figure its time.  Besides parts of it will be in print probably sometime this year (more on that later), and people are going to find out anyway.  Not to the degree that I will eventually get to on this blog, but enough to probably send some shocks through some people.  Since I am being edited in that publishing, I figure I should just tell it all at some point you know...

Anyway It wasnt until 41 years of age that something 'changed' (I had been relatively clean but still drinking and smoking).  I was having health issues:  sleeping 16 hours out of 24, loss of hair, gaining weight rapidly, loss of reflexes, blacking out after 1 drink...I of course only really concerned myself with the weight gain and to counter that I took the advice from a runner girlfriend "that I needed more cardio" (and the rest is history there; a runner was born)...later after self diagnosing, then going from one to 3 doctors, I finally was (correctly) diagnosed with hypothyroidism and now will be on meds the rest of my life, but at least my body on the inside is regulated, and I live a full rich life. 

I am getting off track here, but I will revisit hypothyroidism in a later post (because statistically women are higher risk, it will occur generally just past 40, is typically genetic and often goes undiagnosed because women just 'expect' to gain weight and all that mish mash!)

What I really wanted to write about was that while all the years and relationships that had come and gone, it would appear to most that I lived a fabulous fun life, but it was all smoke and mirrors.  Inside I was pretty much dead, full of self loathing, secrets and just pretending.

It wasn't until just past 40 that I really started living!  I became the person I always wanted to be and more

I have less than I ever have, am happier than I have ever been, and clearly healthier than I have ever been.  Sure I have my sadness .. we all do .. thats unavoidable once you begin to get older (like losing your parents etc), but I was right in not fearing entering my 40's!

I think attitude has a lot to do with it, and yes 40 today is not the 40's of past generations for sure...but it can be if you go into it thinking 'wah wah. life is over. wah wah'.

Remember to take time for yourself...if you are younger and reading this, start now. 

Wear sunscreen, quit drinking so much, apply moistureizer, get sleep, exercise and try to eat healthy but enjoy life too (or maybe 3 out of those)!!! 

If I think of what I could have possibly done differently and how that might have made a difference in my appearance, I dont I said I'm pretty lucky that I didnt end up with what I probably should look like at my age after all I put it though, but others wont have that luxury! 

Begin good habits (and good attitude towards life) now, and they will follow you well into your 'golden' years...because I will say this, if there is one thing I do know for sure, is that despite hypothyroidism, its true about metabolism slowing, harder to lose/maintain after 40.  I gotta say if you don't nip that in the bud in your younger years leading up to that stage in life, you will have problems. 

It only gets harder trust me on this...

to be continued...


K said...

Know wonder I love you... we have very similar lives...

Anonymous said...

I love your honesty!! It's so refreshing. I always enjoy reading all your posts.

I agree attitude is key. I try to keep a happy face and while I might complain on the blog.. most of it is sarcasm.

Keep up the awesome posts!!!

TX Runner Mom said...

Great post. Can't wait to go home and watch that segment. As someone who turns 40 in just a few short months, it's great to read this...honestly, I am not afraid of 40 at all. I think it's going to be an awesome decade. Hell, most of the women runners I know get faster in their 40's and look better than ever, so I hope the same holds true for me. :-) Anyway, keep up the great work!