I recently had a birthday (end of January) and turned 42. I scheduled a full physical with my doctor because at my age it is important to keep up with pro-active health and early detection of medical issues. I learned some important things about women’s health while I was there. First, breast cancer has far less to do with genetics and more to do with individual luck. The causes known to modern science so far are linked to being female and getting older than 40. (We REALLY need to keep funding that research.) I personally think that the cases of cancers and allergies and autism growing at alarming rates each year is due to chemicals in food, chemicals in everyday products and chemicals in our outside environment. (We have to be green and clean up or act.) Second, I learned that menopause begins at the average age of 51 and is mainly determined by genetics, following maternal relative’s same average age. But GET THIS. . . menopause is directly tied to ovarian health and the worst possible thing that you can do to harm your ovaries is smoke cigarettes! (I had no idea! Thank goodness I don’t smoke).
I still feel in my head like I am 28 (which was my personal prime) and it scrambles my brain to look into the mirror at a body that has changed so significantly. Bigger in the hips where hipbones used to protrude, a pouch where a flat tummy was, and everything a bit softer and saggier everywhere from my eyelids to my knees! I don’t recognize the body in my mirror and weirdly it feels like I am wearing something that is not myself. I was an exercise addict until we moved to Illinois and my life changed dramatically.
Now I sit and work (not work out) and rarely go outside because of the weather and being busy. I had a knee surgery last year that has left me unable to run, or even walk down inclines, and causes daily chronic pain. This makes exercise a wish not a reality. At least I have my healthy diet to keep me fit and a sense of humor to pretend that I don’t care (even though I really, really do.)
Although even my silly sense of humor looks more weird and inappropriate on an old lady than it does on a young, fun hottie. It sucks getting old and tired and “unattractive” in the eyes of society. My husband is not immune to the societal pressures and standards and has lost interest in me altogether unless it is to make a suggestion on my going to the gym or to wear high-heels once in awhile. (I am quite fashionable, in clothes that flatter my middle aged figure) and I do wear heels (only on special occasions because of my knee surgery – not on a normal 15 degree day around the house).
The 40’s are a nice place in life to be personally secure and confident, even proud of who I am as a person and what I can do as a strong, intelligent and insightful woman. (If I do say so myself)