I found it amusing the Starts at 60 editorial staff would put this topic on the list for potential discussion.
Most of the over-60 folk I know are roughly the same shape as me. We discuss our lives regarding our aches and pains, what our GP said to us on our last visit and what restrictions and or demands have been put on us, diet and exercise wise.
Of course, I do acknowledge those among us who are still able to run around like two-year-olds. Good for you I say. Go for it, enjoy life but consider the loss of conversation when you don’t have a heap of ailments to whinge about with your friends.
I was born into a sporting family. My mother insisted we all learn to play tennis from an early age. So, sport was prominent in my life.
In my teenage years, I fell in love with squash. I’d play it several times a week, socially, training and competition. As a result, I was about 50 kilos wringing wet.
My mother would complain that for all the food she fed me I’d go out after and run it off on the squash court.
But all that came at a price. Marriage and children didn’t allow me to play as often as I once did. When I did venture back to play, I found my body wasn’t as happy as my mind about the whole physical deal and as a result injuries occurred. Especially my wrist, which eventually forced me to give up playing.
When you stop playing sport, you still keep eating and before you know it extra kilos appear.
Middle-age-spread becomes a part of who you are. You become aware you are visibly slowing down, you need a new wardrobe, you take longer to get anywhere and do anything, and food becomes the love of your life.
Over the past twenty years I have taken to walking in the mornings, but to my disappointment, I don’t think I’ve shed a single kilo. It does make me feel better, and I don’t huff and puff as much climbing staircases.
As I have discussed in other posts, age has brought with it health issues I have had to deal with. Diet restrictions are part of my life now. Low sodium, low potassium, low sugar – I feel at times I have reduced my food intake to zero.
How we see ourselves is always important to our self-esteem. I have never been a beach goer; I think I would be encouraged to keep my clothes on should I decide in a moment of rashness to sun bake.
I can’t say how other people regard my body. I’ve never been asked to strip off apart from my doctor and my massage therapist. They are always polite, civil and courteous I have to say.
Most people keep a good distance from me; it could be my aftershave, I always laugh that in the past any woman I have taken a shine to has found cause to run off into the distance.
That being the case, I do try to keep my mind active, writing things such as this and maintaining my blog have been more than gratifying experiences for me.
Our bodies are ours, and we have a responsibility to care for them as best we can.