The Countdown to Forty
On Thursday, I decided that I had some poor eating habits. I woke up that morning and it dawned on me that I would soon be going on vacation and didn't quite feel like myself. I sat at the edge of my bed before getting ready for work and I felt slightly pudgy in the middle. Not too long ago, it was December and I had a whole two months to get this body in order. I was mentally committed to the potential new regimen and meal plan. I was mainly mentally committed to feeling and looking fabulous by forty (think Angela Bassett as Stella). Somehow, my body never got on board and this wasn't fabulous. I was sure of it. Sitting there, i felt like what I imagined a folded towel felt like to itself; slightly fluffy and a little too wide. Being a woman of a smaller size, everyone expects you to never complain about your body. Don't be annoyed about one thing, unless there was some REAL reason to complain, like if your arm was falling off or something. Therefore, I tried my best to suffer in silence.
So, while I'm sitting in my bed feeling sorry for myself, I'm wondering how in the natural fuck am I to feel and look good in seven days? I peered sleepily at the slight sag of fat above my panty waistline. My thighs also looked soft, this I'm sure was due to my lack of really moving them in any form of exercise. I took my pity party of one to the bathroom and did about twenty squats in front of the mirror. I'd just do a few each day before the shower. This was stupid I thought promptly after I completed two sets of ten. I stood still under bright light and examined myself. I had all that time to slowly get myself together and I'd wasted it. I looked at my tummy. Not so bad standing up. I still looked soft to myself, but not bad. I knew that I couldn't stand in every vacation photo though. Upon closer examination, I saw a few greys and tired ass eyes staring back at me. In true Jasma fashion, I began looking at the best of me. I looked at my mysterious eyes and my sarcastic smile started to spread across my face. It was still me. I was still there. Not too many facial lines; there was still smooth brown skin with lots of teeth. I just have to remember to use my whitening strips and take my hair vitamins from now until next week to make me a better version of myself. With that my smile faded. So, I showered and put on something loose and warm. I fixed my hair, put on my regular dose of mascara and a bright matte red lip. I looked like a yes and by the time I got to work I hatched a plan to have a yogurt and tea for breakfast and salad and water for every meal everyday until vacation. I got to work and there were donuts from Dough. My friend, Jenn brought them in. Maybe I'll start after I try a small slice of each one. I shamelessly cut a piece of six donuts made some tea and ate them one by one at my desk. Ugh...This was not a good start.
And it wasn't really a miraculous ending my friends. (insert smile) That was last Thursday, it is now the following Wednesday. I was so taxed from a day of bad eating (e.i. dinner was two slices of pepperoni pizza and three honey chipotle wings) that I promptly went to sleep. The days that followed I ate a bit better, but not much. At least it was food that I mostly prepared myself. What can I say? It's just a hungry time for me right now and I've decided to embrace it with moderation. I've come to the decision that I'm going to enjoy myself. I may not be everyone else's version of healthy, but I am mine. Honestly, for a soon to be forty year old broad, I'm pretty hot and I'm happy about it. I am blessed to have a healthy child, a loving family, a good job, great friends (even two that are willing to fly through the clouds and over miles for me just so I won't go at it alone). I have so much food in my world that I can afford to be choosy about what I eat. That's a huge blessing within itself. I have not only a warm place to live, but it's also extremely cozy, just for me and mine. It's safe. I'm safe and there's so much more to be happy about and I'm grateful for the realization.
Fast forward a little over another week still...and vacation is over. While I was in a foreign country with foreign and domestic bodies alike, I realized that no one really gives a shit what they look like while they're away. It's all in how you feel. I laid on the beach with my cellulite thighs and allowed them to get darker and glow under the sun. I had all the meals, snacks and drinks that my heart desired. Now that I'm home and settled in New York City, I'm back to feeling comfortably me. However, the summer is on it's way. A summer in a forty year old body. What does that even mean? I think this is around the time that everyone either looks at you and says, "Eh, she's a middle aged woman. That's what they look like" or "Damn, she looks great for her age." I was seeking the latter. Lately, (well really over the last five years) my body has been going through a series of aches and settling like a house does over time. I needed to keep up maintenance on this old thing. This means more fruits, more veggies, more water, regular vitamins, exercise (more than 20 squats a day) and just pure balance. I'm going to try my best to get into some sort of routine that is conducive to me feeling and looking like my best self even outside of a pending vacation or every summer after forty. In my mind I'm still 22 year old Jas with improvements. I just have to keep them up.
Pray for me.