Beauty

Aging Superpower: THE SHAPE SHIFTER

As we age, our bodies take on new shapes.

D’uh, I’m not telling you anything new. We collect some around the middle, boobs fall, asses drop, upper arms wing-out… it can cause a lot of grief, especially when you stand naked in front of a mirror and say WTF happened? The worst is when you droop-shame yourself. You got older, that’s what happened.  If you’ve ever had to get yourself out of some Spanx with a crowbar, you know what I’m talking about.

I signed up for some Art School.

Who would have thought that spending time in a figure painting class would give you a new appreciation of the human body? I want to sound like an academic painter here, but I’m not, so let me begin by saying:

Perky boobs are just not fun to paint.

If there is one thing I can take away from my art class it is that bigger is better because bigger captures light, creates shadows, adds dimension and is fucking beautiful. Period.

No offense to really thin models, but they make you feel like you’re in a medical drawing class. Pass.

The female body is amazing…shape shifting and all. We need to start a new movement. Our changing bodies are a superpower…at least on canvas.

 

 

Making The Middle-Aged Hot List

A few years ago, while building a humorous website targeted towards aging women, I filmed a short of myself trying on a pair of Spanx. I did it because I wanted to show our web developers that middle-aged women will do and share ridiculous things that celebrate a self deprecating appreciation of growing old. I really didn’t think it was that funny, but our 20-30 something developers thought it was hysterical. In fact, they encouraged me to launch the website with it. “No one will know it’s you” they promised…except of course, my friends who announced things like, “You’ve got balls sister” ,“Are you outta your mind?” and “What kind of hormones are you on?

Needless to say, we launched the site with MySpanx as our opening video feature and Kaboom, my ass went around the world. It really wasn’t the kind of share I expected. When I landed on a Danish car building site, I thought that having some “power-in-the-tank” was really misinterpreted, but that’s what happens when you release something on the internet for the public to see.

The true highlight came when BuzzFeed picked it up. I found out about the link when I received a panicked phone call from my daughter at work.

MY DAUGHTER: OMG Mom, YOU’RE ON BUZZ FEED! YOU MADE THE HOTLIST!

ME: Whaat?

MY DAUGHTER: YOU’RE BUTT HAS GONE VIRAL. I’M SENDING YOU THE LINK.

ME: Whaat?

MY DAUGHTER: You’re 7th on a list of 40 SIGNS YOU’RE ALMOST 40!

ME: Almost 40? I’m NORTH OF 50.

MY DAUGHTER: Who cares? You already have over a million hits!

I wanted to get excited about all the hits but truthfully, I just wanted to thank the BuzzFeed editor who deducted a decade.

Taking The Pledge

When I was little, this was dress-up of the highest order. With nary a rank, and absolutely no earned badges whatsoever, my six-month brownie stint made me feel like I was a world leader. Where else at the age of seven could you get a pseudo military outfit like that?

There was something very “Princess Grace” about those gloves and I remember that you had to wear them when taking the pledge or posing for troop pictures. This was the closest I ever got to the “service” and was probably my most favorite uniform (Isaly’s Ice Cream, not withstanding.)

Speaking of pledges, for all you nostalgia buffs, here it is:

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

I take my pledges very seriously as you can see by the expression on my face. Thank goodness this one emphasized the word try. 

Droop Scoop

“My boobs look great when I’m immersed in water.” 

Advancing age, weight loss and pregnancy can cause a condition medically known as Breast Ptosis, aka the droop. Did you know that there are different degrees of breast ptosis? All sags are not the same, so to speak.

Say whaaat?

Here is how you measure yourself. You need a 12 inch ruler (make sure it has centimeters) and a mirror.

Take your shirt and bra off and find your inframammary crease (the fold line just under your breasts where they meet your chest).

Place the ruler in the crease, directly against the junction of the breast and ribcage.

Let your breasts hang over the ruler, and look at yourself in a mirror. The ruler marks your inframammary crease.

If your nipple is slightly above or directly in front of the top of the ruler, you may have Grade 1 ptosis. This is considered mild.

If the central point of your nipple is 1 to 3 cm below the top of your breast crease, you may have Grade 2 ptosis. This is considered mild to moderate.

If the central point of your nipple and your areola (the colored area around your nipple) is more than 3 cm below your breast crease, you may have Grade 3 ptosis. This is considered severe. WAIT. WAIT. WAIT. WAIT. WAIT. I tend to disagree. Severe is when you can hold a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke under your inframammary crease and pour a few drinks.

My Grandmother (may she rest in peace) had severe ptosis. When I was 10, I was staying at her house one night. While she was taking a bath, she called out to me to come in and get her cushioned bath head pillow off of the counter. As I walked in, I saw her lift her breast out of the bubbles and wash underneath her inframammary area. It looked like she was playing the cello. It would be an understatement to say it made an indelible mark on me. On the plus side, it did peak my interest in the science of genetics and the importance of a great and who-cares-what-it-costs bra.

Like grades really matter.

 

Quasibloato

I love waking up in the morning. The air is crisp. The birds are chirping and my stomach is flat…until, of course, I start EATING. That’s a four minute window and it’s way too short.

Face it. We may be the superior race, but we definitely got ripped off in the perpetual flat ab category. I know its not fair, but women are just prone to bloating. That hormone thing, at any age, pushes all of our buttons. There’s nothing like bloating to make you want to hide in the nearest bell tower.

Well, F**k that.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of feeling sluggish and uncomfortable, so I uncovered a few anti-bloat tips that I wanted to share.

The bottom line is, our digestive system simply cannot process everything, (and yes, that includes the 6 french fries off of your friends plate) so you have to know the limitation of yours.  With that in mind, here’s a list of:

Bloating Dos and Don’ts

Don’t skip meals. 
Drink plenty of water (non-carbonated). 
Chew your food thoroughly. 
Don’t talk and chew at the same time. (it causes you to swallow air, which causes more gas). 
Avoid carbonated beverages, chewing gum, highly spiced foods, and too many sweets (I know…Total kill joy here). 
Eat only peeled, cooked seedless fruits and vegetables.
 Limit beans, corn (including popcorn), and nuts and vegetables in the cabbage and onion families, including broccoli and garlic.

And last but not least…
Avoid dairy products, BECAUSE a majority of people are lactose intolerant.

Since I eat almost everything that you’re supposed to avoid,  I tend to try this quick fix first which is an…

Exercise To Relieve Bloating

Lie flat on your back and bring your left knee to your chest while keeping your right leg as close to the floor as possible. Hug your left knee to the count of 20. Release and repeat with your right knee. Alternate knees for 5 times or more, depending on the severity of symptoms.

If you’re lucky, you’ll move the bloat up or out, (often embarrassingly audible) or to an acceptable place like your feet. Truthfully, when I’m not feeling too holistic, I’ll pop a Gas-X. Next to coffee, it’s my drug of choice.

Back-In-The-Day Boobs

For three hours every week, I stand in a large room full of artists, some accomplished, some not and paint with Pastels. I call it my serious group therapy. There’s very little chatter in the class, but the swell of everyone’s focus puts you in an unusual zen that’s tremendously supportive. In terms of group work-outs, this being a mental one, I find it refreshing not sweating and standing behind someone who needs to add more than lettuce to their diet.

When the instructor announces, “Next week we’re having a model”, I’m tempted to raise my hand and say, “Please get a woman cause I hate to draw dicks”, but I hold my tongue and go with the mellow flow of the class, hoping I can secure a rear view of the guy because I just don’t like staring at a dick for 3 hours. Wish I could share that with the class, but it’s so inapropriate and com’ on…it’s true.

Thankfully, we had a beautiful 20 something woman. When she disrobed to set her pose, I wondered what all the men in the class were thinking. When you draw the figure, you really look beyond what is in front of you. You focus on the light, the dark,the cast shadows, etc. but seriously, you do have initial thoughts of which you think, but NEVER share.

My initial thought was, I used to have boobs like that, which was followed by, I hope she wears a good bra when she exercises, and rounded out with, those molded-cup t-shirt bras are a godsend.

I call this painting, Back-In-The-Day Boobs.

 

Leave It To Cleavage

I was a big sun worshiper in my early years and as a result, my skin has some really weird things going on now that I am trying to correct.

Enter the peel.

I signed up for a series of facial peels that included a little instrument designed to get rid of “age spots”. I’m not sure what its called, but it looks like a pen and it fires a heat blast that burns the surface of the blemish. After a few days, it turns brown and then peels off and brand new skin takes its place. Your face looks a little beat up when the spots turn brown…almost as if you picked your skin with a furniture riveter, so you have to be careful about your social schedule when you do it because the healing process can draw unwanted attention to your face. (Anyone who does anything to her face knows what I’m talking about). So, if you have a busy schedule, it’s hard to find the perfect time to do it. Truth be told, there is no perfect time so sometimes you just have to GO FOR IT… but keep in mind the 3-day recovery.

The last time I did it, my 3-day recovery turned to 5 and I was left with the crusty spots and my friend’s big surprise birthday dinner in the city. OMG… I tried every bit of make-up I could get my hands on but nothing seemed to cover it well enough.

I called my esthetician at home in tears. “I look like I have small pox” I cried, “What can I do?” Like a calm psychiatrist, she simply said, “Show cleavage”. “ Lot’s of good cleavage and trust me, no one will be looking at your face”.

Best advice ever. Not once did anyone say anything about my unsightly spots. They did however; wonder if I had a boob job.