The Struggle is Real - Thoughts On Aging Gracefully with saggy boobs

"there is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. when you learn to tap into this source, you will truly have defeated age."

- sophia loren

For a really long time I thought I was never going to age. Seriously. I thought that I was going to be the one person that skipped the inevitable, and remain the youthful version of myself forever. I am not kidding here. 

I'm fortunate to have genes that grace me with a somewhat youthful look and leave me looking at least six years my junior. However, they led me down a road that confused me into believing I would be saved from the inevitable truth; that we all will grow old. Five months shy of thirty-six, I often get met with the wide-eyed looks of surprise and confusion when I correct someone who thinks I'm in my mid to late twenties. Flattered I am, but I often wonder if that has more to do with my, at times, introverted and immature nature, rather then actually looking younger. 

As I see it when looking in the mirror, the years are written all over my face. Battle scars from a life well lived, hard lessons learned and years of running "wild and free" in the sun, slathered not in sunscreen but baby oil, as I told myself, "I'll just deal with it when I'm older. Ha ha ha" I guess the joke is on the older version of me now. 

 I have aches and pains in places I use to roll my eyes at when my mom would complain of similar ailments and I find myself typing in "anti-aging night cream" in the Amazon search bar more often then I care to admit. My boobs, once perky and youthful, are slowly working their way south and I have images of them swaying closer to my belly button then my actual chest, sometime in the near future. And I've now taken to smoothing out the "ruffness" on my face with the more then occasional plucking of dark, course rouge stray hairs. I can't believe I just admitted that to you. The struggle is real. 

And then, there is dating which I think I'll reserve for an entire post of its own, however after being married and thinking my life was going down a certain path and now, navigating the dark waters of dating in an online dating world, where there is something more shiny and youthful and new around every corner, I find myself drifting off into thoughts of my fifties living in a little cottage by the sea with my litter of fur children and shelves of books to keep me company. All with the occasional visit from my niece and nephews. Someone has to look out for me when I'm older and they love their TT, no matter what I look like. 

This my friends, is aging gracefully. 

The funny thing is, I really do love aging. I was always wanting to hang with the adults when I was younger. I preferred real conversation over superficial talks of clothes and trends. I preferred curling up in my bed on weekends hanging out with characters in books to raging parties where everyone tried to act older then they really were.I mean, I secretly played with barbies until I was at least twelve. That doesn't mean I didn't succumb to the pressurel, I was, after all, an insecure and impressionable youth. 

However, I was young and did things because I desperately wanted to feel,"normal." Whatever that means. I wouldn't however,  want to go back to that time for anything. Sure, I wouldn't mind if the girls would solute me in the mirror rather then warm my waste line, but all jokes aside, I really love the person I am becoming as I step into this new chapter of my life. 

I find myself shedding old stories of what my life is supposed to look like and taking more risks as I become more aligned with the life I actually want.

I want to feel good from the inside out. 

What is most alluring about aging gracefully is this unusual newness of starting to not giving a f$%K what others think. That is a newness that I find intriguing. That is something I've never experienced before. 

This isn't to say that I don't want to feel my best or I'm just throwing in the towel. I think as we work on our insides, our outsides should match. As I grow into the adult I want to be, I want an outer shell that can support her. And so its give and take. Its balance. It's accepting that I can't change my past but I can shape my future however I want it to look. 

An old friend (no pun intended. We've literally been friends since age 20) and I were talking on the phone yesterday when the topic of aging came up. I mentioned how strange it was, the day I realized I was no longer that youthful twenty-something, and was actually closer to forty then thirty. We started laughing as she confessed that occasionally she walks by a mirror and sees her mother and how it sends her into fits of panic. "Man, where did the time go?" we laugh. And then we laugh even harder because we just said, "Man, where did the time go?" as we confess how we promised ourselves we'd never say that and start talking about all the other things we promised we'd never say, yet now find ourselves saying all the time. 

Aging is an interesting and extremely humbling experience. When I was living with my brother and sister-in-law, Henry, my five year old nephew would often ask me, "TT, when am I going to be a grown up?" and I'd always respond by saying, "Henry, you have plenty of time to be a grown up. Just be a little kid right now." 

But it got me thinking, we spend so much time when we are younger rushing to grow up and yet, here I am, "All grown up" and I can't help but wish that time would slow down, just a little bit, so I can catch my breath and really take it all in. 

As that cliche saying goes, "Life is short." 

And then all of this got me thinking that; man, life IS short so why do I waste so much time on things that don't matter? Like my sagging boobs and reading reviews on anti-aging cream on Amazon. And caring what others think. And being afraid of trying new things. And the list goes on. 

You can't erase your past and maybe that is what I'm trying to do with slathering on creams and lotions that tout gimmicks of restoring you to your youthfulness? There is no going back so you might as well buckle up and enjoy the ride going forward, saggy boobs and all. 

Aging gracefully, to me, is more about accepting your past and focusing on the here and now. Yes, another cliche but you gotta think that all these cliches have something to them, right? I mean, when they were originally quoted, you have to believe that who ever came up with said cliche actually, truly believed that what they were saying was one of their biggest "ah ha" moments in their life and they were just trying to spare us all and help pave the long and at times, tumultuous path. 

 I guess what I'm trying to say is I want to spend more time living, like, really living and less time worrying about aging because as I've come to realize, its inevitable. As my dad always said, 'we are all dying a little more every single day." Depressing, yes, but true nonetheless. We wake up thinking we'll get to it later, all those things we want to do, and then we realize twenty-years has gone by and we are left wondering, "Man, where did the time go?"

My friends, lets all let go of the should of's, the could of's and the would of's of our past and just cut to living. Truly living. 

As I embrace the sagging, the crows feet and the crinkles in my butt, I'm stepping forward into my second half of my thirties with a new fierceness and commitment to living well. I'm committed to taking care of my body, my mind and my spirit, not for vanity, but because I realize I deserve to feel my best. I deserve to feel that freedom within that only comes with truly living a life on purpose. 

Will you join me? 

I'll leave you with a song that has been circulating in my head ever since I started writing this post, one my mom used to sing to me as a young child that would send me into fits of giggles but has recently taken on a whole new meaning...

"Dooooo yourrrr...boobs hang low, do the wobble to and fro, can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow, can you throw them over shoulder like a continental solider, do your boobs, hang low?

And my friends, to that I say fucking celebrate your sagging boobs. 

feeling fit, free and thirty-five and what that means in this chapter of life

(Read to the bottom to here about a special offer for you)

I've never really been one to stick to one particular diet. Except for the three years that I choose, for ethical and health reasons, to eat a strict vegan diet, I've never truly committed to one modality of eating. I have however, been extremely interested in learning about the vastness that is health, wellness and nutrition and have learned to apply what makes sense to me and my life. My natural curiosity began at a very young age and I think I started eating quiona in 2001 before it became the superfood staple that it is today because I read about it's superpowers in a health magazine.

However, I was a bit of a conundrum. Despite my natural curiosity and love of health, nutrition, fitness and personal development, I struggled with body acceptance and the way I looked for a very long time. I spent about fifteen years trapped in a cycle of shame surrounding an, at times, crippling eating disorder. I've shared this journey here if you'd like to read more. 

Fortunately, through a lot of personal growth and discovery and coming to a deep understanding of where my body dysmorphia stemmed from, I've learned the tools to be able to reframe the way I see myself and how I feel in my skin. 

I've also, at a very young age, had my body betray me in the worst kind of way. Getting colon cancer at twenty-four, having part of my large intestine removed, developing a major complication/infection, having to have "The Bag" for three months, more surgeries, lots of recovery and THEN having to learn how to work with a new body that felt broken was to say the least, a lot. 

Learning to find a deep sense of appreciation for the body has been a huge journey. 

So naturally, sharing what follows feels a little superficial but, in my efforts to always being transparent, this is part of my journey too. With that being said, I've noticed over the course of the last few years, as I pass threw my early thirties and climb over that inevitable hill into my mid to late thirties, some new and interesting thoughts appearing about the way I look. I'm starting to realize the importance, now more then ever, to maintain a regular healthy diet and exercise routine and even more focus on acceptance and self-love. 

One of the stories I attached myself to at some point or another is that as you get older, things just don't work the way they use to and that is just the way it is. The damaging part of this story is the, "That is just the way it is." I discovered that I started using this as a way to be more complacent and as an excuse for not doing the things I once loved doing. 

It is true that as you get older, things change. Your body changes. Your ability to gain weight is easier and losing weight feels harder. Things start to droop a little and lines and creases form where you once had none. I remember right after my thirtieth birthday I looked in the mirror and saw the horizontal creases on my forehead and my jaw dropped. I guess I just never thought I was going to...age. I've always felt energetically and physically a lot younger then I was but its inevitable. We all age, we all get older. 

 So a huge part of my growing over the last few years is finding a sense of appreciation and acceptance for my body in a whole new light. Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of people will look at me and probably roll their eyes. I look a lot younger then I am. However, I think it's important to understand that everyone has their shit. Everyone has the stuff they are hyper cryptical of and we all have a past, that at times, can creep back up and start to tell old stories. 

I recognized that it was time to lay out all the stories I have about aging and revamp and redefine them in a way that is aligned to how I REALLY feel inside and how I will allow myself to feel moving forward. 

Then one day recently, as I was scrolling Instagram, I landed on a woman's page, a fellow health and wellness warrior and San Diegoan (is that how you spell it?), and I started watching the things she posted more closely. There was something about her that just really inspired me. Something that left me thinking, "You know, our lives are made up of the stories that we tell ourselves every single day. What stories do I need to reframe? What stories do I, Amanda, have the power to change and reshape?" Eventually I felt compelled to reach out to her and learn more about all of these workouts she was doing and she invited me to join one of her challenges and I thought, why not? There is no greater time then now to be exactly who I want to be or better put, exactly who I really am. 

So about a week ago I started doing the workouts and paying closer attention to what I was eating, careful however, to use the tools I've garnered over the years to not fall back into old, obsessive behaviors. This photo is my before. 

As I mentioned in the Instagram post, my goals aren't exactly to lose weight. My goals are to feel my absolute best, inside and out, as I move into my second half of my thirties. In all honesty, it's been something I've struggled with, especially after my divorce two years ago. With 100% transparency, my whole marriage and the end of it left me feeling broken and self-conscious in so many of ways. I had no idea it would take me so long to put the pieces back together and discover who I was again. My goal is, and always has been since the minute I walked away, was to rebuild myself and life from the inside out. 

So, the number on the scale doesn't mean much to me but the way I feel in my skin, that changes everything. Feeling good in your skin helps our confidence and inner spirit shine brighter. When we shine our brightest we inspire others to feel safe doing so too.

As we pull ourselves out of the darkness of winter and into the lightness of spring (at least in San Diego), I think its safe to say we all feel so much better when we are surrounded by brightness and warmth, am I right? 

So I ask you this, what is something you are telling yourself right now that isn't exactly the truth, is just a story you picked up along the way and made it your own? Now, how can you reframe it to be more truthful and aligned to who you are?


And for those of you that want to know exactly what it is I'm doing, here are the details. 

Workout

21 day fix extreme or 21 day fix
 

What I REALLY love about this workout, like the others I've done, is that I can do them from the comfort of my own home, they are 30 minutes and you walk away feeling like you got a killer workout. You can always add on another if you want a little more. Sometimes I'll add cardio or a 10 minute abs. What is really awesome is you feel and see results pretty quickly.

I love working out from home. I know this seems to be one of the biggest issues for a lot of people, they feel like they just aren't motivated enough, but seriously, the hardest part is putting on your workout clothes and pushing play. Once you are in it, you are in it and the 30 minutes goes by quickly. 

diet and nutrition

superfood shake: Vegan Chocolate

As I mentioned above, I don't really follow a particular diet. This program gives you a plan which is nice for anyone who needs more detailed guidance. I eat pretty intuitively, meaning, I listen to what my body is craving and ask why, then eat according to whatever answers I come up with. This isn't a freebie to eat poorly. If I'm craving junk, well, I know enough by now that I'm probably really craving more nurturing and love. 

I have added in a new superfood shake/smoothie. One thing about me is that I do not like a lot of over the counter shakes. They usually are way too chalky for me but this one is legit. I was a little nervous at first because I truly believe in getting our nutrition from real, whole foods but that is exactly what this is.  The ingredients in this are just that. 

The proprietary superfood formula was designed to provide you with vital nutrients to help you lose weight (if that is part of your goal), maintain healthy cholesterol, and support healthy blood sugar levels. A huge component of this shake is made up of super foods that I was taking already to support healthy digestion, energy levels, thyroid/adrenal support, and longevity. 

Look at these:

Protein derived from (helps build lean muscle and reduce cravings): Chia, Flax, Quinoa, Rice, Pea and Oat.

Super-fruit/antioxidants (immune support):  Camu-camu, acerola Cherry, Bilberry, Goji Berry, Green Tea, Luo Han Guo, Pmegranate, Rose Hips. 

Super-green and Phytonutrient Blend( support health and vitality): Moringa, Chlorella, Spirulina, Spinach and Kale.

Adaptogen Blend (helps body adapt and respond to stress): Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Ginkgo, Maca, Maitake, Reishi, Schisandra.

Pre and Probiotic and Digestive Enzyme Blend (help absorb nutrients and support regular healthy digestion): Yacon Root, Chicory Root, Lactobacillus Sporogenes, Amylase, Cellulase, Lactase, Glucoamylase, Alpha-Lalactosidase, Invertase. 


So, if you know me you know that all of these ingredients are pretty sexy to me and I bet they sound pretty intriguing to you as well!

So, now you are probably thinking, I've read all the way down to the bottom, what's in this for me? What is this special offer just for me? 

Well, I'm thinking that maybe part of my story resonated with you. Maybe, like me, you want to feel your absolute best, despite your age. Maybe you are ready to let go of some of those old stories that have been circling around your head and adopt some new, life affirming and life changing ones. Maybe you, yourself are ready to join a challenge with me? 

Together, we can, not only change ourselves, but change the way we feel inside and out by leading by example, that no matter where you are in life, no matter what you have gone through, what you are going through, or where you are showing up from today, you can begin by saying yes, signing up and joining in the movement to brighten the world. 

I just think that is so amazing that we have the choice. Don't you?

Want to know more? Email me right now and let's start a conversation on how you can begin feeling your very best. The conversation is FREE, the changes you'll make, well, those are priceless!