Even though I’m over 50 I still feel young at heart. When I think about my own mother at my age, I always saw her as someone who was “over the hill.” She let her hair go gray in her 50’s.
She had 6 kids, including twins when she was 41, and was married twice before she married my dad but I couldn’t envision her as being sexual or sexy. She must have had sex, right? I guess that’s just how most people see their parents, at least until we are “over the hill” ourselves. I’m sure my kids think the same as I did.
Our feelings about our body image are often emotionally skewed, especially when we look in the mirror at a store dressing room with horrid lighting. I know I think to myself, “Who is that funky-looking woman standing there half-naked in front of me.” That can’t possibly be me, right?” AHHHHHHHHCK!
Belly overhang, age spots, weird facial hairs resembling a mustache, flabby arms, cracked heels, skin tags, UCK!
We say to ourselves, “How could anyone ever find me attractive?
Then we go on the bandwagon trying to get ourselves back into shape and even risk our health to do it. We work out, cleanse, fast, and stress out. Then, we hide our bodies and slip into one of “Omar the tent maker’s” tent dresses.
Or, we go into denial and rationalize that “Being a super grandma is good enough for me and my days of having wild sex or getting whistled at are definitely over.”
It’s difficult not to feel over the hill when we see Jane Fonda looking hot or Helen Hunt taking it all off and looking like she did in her 20’s. Stars can afford plastic surgery, personal trainers, and other luxuries. Most of us would rather put that money toward being able to survive if we live to be 100.
It’s easy to say, “You’re beautiful on the inside and who cares what the outside looks like?” However, it’s hard to justify when we jump on the scale and want to SCREAM!
I think it’s especially hard for female Baby Boomers who grew up during a time when we let it all hang out, wore sexy mini-skirts, and didn’t trust anyone over 30.
How not to feel over the hill
Even though we will never be 25 again, we can take care of ourselves and have fun if we want to. There is no reason why we can’t have passionate romantic relationships, love our bodies, and experience life to the fullest.
- Attitude is everything and even though we may have experienced major life challenges such as death, sickness, financial troubles, relationship issues, etc., it’s how we react to those difficulties that count.
- It starts with respecting yourself and being good to your body.
- Eat nourishing and enjoyable foods to stay healthy and strong. Fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, whole grains, and plenty of spring or filtered water. Stay clear of processed, packaged, or other junk foods and drinks.
- Move your body every day in a way that you enjoy. Walking in nature is one of the best exercises, but if you have knee, hip, or other physical disabilities, swim or stretch.
- Be passionate about who you love. Nurture your relationships, be deserving of pleasure, and be open to new experiences.
- Pamper and pleasure yourself. Don’t feel guilty about it. Treat yourself to a massage, have a pedicure, buy yourself something nice, take yourself on a trip. If you aren’t in a committed and sexually active relationship, enjoy having sex with yourself. Why not? It’s okay to feel good.
- Don’t let toxic people mess with your self-esteem. If someone is putting you down, has substance issues, is abusive, either get rid of them or ignore them and make it your number one priority to work toward your own happiness. If necessary, get help from an outside source whether it’s a support group, psychiatrist, hypnotherapist, or spiritual leader. Events that may have happened in the past (in childhood) do not have to be played out in the present and can be overcome.
- Visualize in your mind’s eye what you want your ultimate lifestyle to be and how you want to see yourself in terms of health, beauty, and vitality. Imagine yourself in the present rather than thinking about how you would like it to be. What does your hair look like? How does your body look? What are you wearing? What kind of lifestyle are you living? Who are you in a relationship with? See as many details as you possibly can. Do this for at least 10 minutes every day and you will start to see changes in not only your looks and health but also in your entire mental attitude.
- Only buy clothes and accessories that make you feel wonderful about yourself. Be crazy and bold. Don’t limit yourself to stretch pants and figure-disguising smocks.
- Love yourself. You may not be perfect or look like a twenty-year-old anymore, but you are beautiful, sexy, and amazing.
What are you doing to not feel over the hill? Please leave a comment below.