Who Am I – Part 3


I remember putting on t-shirts and immediately would throw them off again, as they clung way too much around my stomach or my back. Now the task of getting dressed each day isn’t quite a chore, due to the up keep of exercise but also choosing clothes that now fit my body shape. Thank god for the invention of stretchy light material that just flows and doesn’t necessarily suck to your body shape!

Many years back I did venture into the world of plastic surgery. I was sick and tired of my protruding pot tummy. (Hmm it was many years back, as I glance down to see it has returned over the last few years). Whenever I stood in conversation with someone, I’d fold my arms in front of me to disguise what I thought was unsightly. I wasn’t what you would call ‘big bellied’ but I was always so self-conscious about it (high rib cage perhaps). For anyone who hasn’t had a tummy tuck there are obviously risks involved and a great deal to think through, however l was very happy with the results.

There is the pain of the scar akin to caesarean scarring I would imagine, (though I have never had one so am not an authority) the bruising from the lipo-suction combined with the general uncomfortable stage after any major operation but at the time l took the plunge into the world of cosmetic surgery, l was extremely happy with the outcome. Now that I have ‘advanced in years’ and have noticed that my skin has loosened I am happy to report that so far I can still wear jeans without elasticized waistbands (though some days l wish l did). When I shop for summer tops I steer towards those with a little or cap sleeve to cover up the under arm skin, it’s wobbly and continues to wave even if my arm has. (Is anyone nodding?)

My hair that use to be shoulder length is now in a Vidal Sassoon original style Pixie cut , it took some while to get use to but it’s so much easier to maintain (and don’t they say us women should opt for the shorter styles as we get older anyway? They do say when one is older one shouldn’t go long (again what l have read) maybe length provides an optical illusion to disguise the drooping jowls? I visit the hairdresser for my colour/foils mainly to cover the few grey hairs that have sprouted on my head. I pluck the odd facial hair (yes some are even black) and notice a little fine down (sounds like a doona filling) along my jaw line. I don’t wear eye shadow that much anymore and if I do I am very careful not to be too heavy handed, as it now ‘falls’ into the creases and folds of my eyelids.

I’ve never been a huge water drinker, but of late drink more as my mouth and lips tend to dry more quickly. I use a magnifying mirror now when putting on my make up, especially eyeliner or mascara. I had always wondered why older women would sometimes have remnants of mascara on or underneath their eyes, or have crooked eyeliner applied. The reason was simply because like me, their eyesight was failing and if we can’t view this up closely, we simply don’t see it. I take Omega 3, Magnesium, Glucosamine  (when I remember) to try and banish the aches and pains of my old bones and help restore the memory. l realize how funny that sounded taking pills to help my memory, but then l forget to take them.

I am and always have been a sun lover, (hands up people of my generation, I’m not the only one) now of course we are more aware of skin cancer, but my years of continual exposure skin drowned in baby or cooking oil meant my skin has started to show signs of being more weather beaten. I don’t have skin like a horse saddle but lf l had been more cautious of the sun l would not have developed some Actinic Keratosis (or in laymen’s terms –small dry patches of raised skin and small age-spots).

Speaking of my memory some days are better than others- short term i.e one day not so bad, long term – well just give me a minute or several to think. My girls got to the stage of writing things down for me or sticking notes on the fridge of what they were doing, where they were going etc so I wouldn’t have to keep asking them continually.  The menopause hurdle was the next to cross over. It started just before my 50th birthday.  Some women breeze through without even realising they have had it, whereas others that I know are still putting up with it some ten plus years on.

I had the insomnia, the flushes (mainly at night when I was longing to sleep) and alas the change in body shape. For 5 years or so years this continued, then the flushes stopped. Then low and behold out of nowhere (after almost a year of being absent) the flushes came back as did the insomnia. Oh joy I hear you say (presuming of course you are not a male reading this).

My body has been lived in for 57 years – my body has changed, and is there a funny or bright side to all of this? Well I’m still here, still breathing so that’s a bonus! Maybe I should embrace growing old gracefully after all…I’ll work on it.