Have you ever looked in the mirror or seen a picture of yourself and not even recognized the person you see? It happens to me a few times a week. I have mornings when I think I look pretty cute after giving myself a blowout and trying a cat eye, only to look in the mirror and look like I just got into a cat fight with several people at a seedy bar after three appletinis.
Also, I hate it when I see something that’s literally sprouted up over night. I once woke up to a varicose vein that was blossoming out of vagina, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t there the night before when I fell asleep.
My point is, our bodies are wonderful and we put them through a lot. We can’t treat them like a temple all the time, because eating french onion dip and staying up late are fun activities. This means they are going to change whether we have kids, eat an all-organic diet, or have that one glass of red wine every night because it’s supposed to keep us young.
Your weight will go up and down and up again.
This is so normal as we age and our body’s hormone production shifts. When I was 24, I noticed I grew more cellulite. It came out of nowhere and parked itself on my buttocks and upper thighs.
Since having kids, my weight has been a rollercoaster just like a lot of people’s, but there are times I swear my body simply holds onto weight for the fuck of it. Even if you exercise and have a well balanced diet, things like hormones, genetics, and stress play a huge factor — not to mention we naturally lose muscle mass with each passing year.
Your pores may grow.
There are days when your skin may be glowy and look great, and days when it has a grayish hue and it looks like someone used it as a pincushion while you were sleeping.
A good skincare routine can only take us so far, though. As we get older, our skin loses elasticity, which can make those pores open wide. I never had large pores my whole life — until recently. Let’s just say as a woman in her mid-forties, I don’t leave the house without a nice coating of poreless primer, and those magnifying mirrors can fuck right off.
You’ll get gray hair — and not only on your head.
This happens at a different time for everyone. In my thirties, I had zero gray hair and had friends who had to go to their salon every three and a half weeks for a touch-up because they were mortified to have already gone completely gray. Now, I’m right there with them (I hoard the root touch-up kits) and have completely shaved my bush, because guess what? I’m personally not into having platinum love hairs poke out of my bikini bottom.
Your sex drive will not always be the same.
You’re wet, you’re dry, you are in the mood to get freaky, you will punch anyone who tries to so much as sneak a kiss. Our sex drive can feel like a ping pong ball, and that’s okay and completely normal.
After having three kids, all the lust was sucked out of me in my 30s. Then, as I neared 40, I felt like I could never be satiated. Our sex life changes as life changes. Hormones, lifestyle, stress, and our partner are all contributing factors and we need to normalize that fact that the frequency, what we like in bed, and who we like in bed, is going to change.
Veins are everywhere.
Are you starting to feel like certain parts of your body look like a road map, and the veins on your forehead don’t only pop out when you are angry? Unfortunately, age is the culprit here. Our skin begins to thin out as we get older, making those veins more visible.
You may develop food sensitivities.
I used to be able to eat anything and everything. In fact, friends and family called me “Iron Gut” because nothing fazed me. I once ate seven tacos with zero side effects.
Now, I get heartburn if I so much as look at a piece of pepperoni or eat within three hours of going to bed. Flour makes me constipated and swollen, and I have an egg allergy.
What we eat has an effect on our body and how we look and feel. Just because you could eat shellfish last year doesn’t mean your body won’t reject it now. This happens because our digestive systems age just like other parts of our body, which can make it harder to break down certain foods.
Then there’s the hair loss.
Hair replacements supplements are everywhere for a reason: 80% of women notice hair loss by age 60. As we age, our hair can get thinner, and for many people this is devastating. Most women notice hair loss, or hair thinning around age 40. This is due to shifts in hormones. Not only do we not have as much hair, the hair we do have may change in texture or become thinner.
As we all know, as soon as we notice that our hair isn’t as full and lustrous as it once was, we begin sprouting chin hairs … so that’s another thing to look forward to.
Bouncing back (from anything) takes so much longer.
Our bodies stop responding to a glass of water as a hangover cure. It hurts to get out of bed, and if we are sick or have an injury we may not bounce back as fast as we used to. It’s frustrating and depressing, yes, but this is something that happens to us all.
My friends and I talk about the days when we’d be out all night and look like a fresh daisy the next day. Now, we have one glass of wine and our stomach bloats so bad we know to only wear stretch pants and we might as well wear sunglasses too, because even our eye bags have eye bags.
Everything heads south.
The boobs, the butt, the underarm “bat wings” — it’s all going to drop a few inches. We lose muscle mass, our skin loses elasticity, and this causes the body parts which used to stand at attention to be overtaken by gravity.
This has happened to every woman I know, and while you can do certain exercises to keep things a bit more lifted, certain body parts just want to droop.
You get loose skin.
Sun exposure is the biggest enemy here. However, even if you take extra great care of your skin and load yourself with sunscreen and wear a hat everyday, we all have a life to live. Also, there’s not much we can do about genetics.
Pregnancy, lifestyle, hormone shifts, diet, collagen loss, and weight loss are all skin-loosening culprits. It happens to everyone at different times in our lives.
I’ll be honest here, I’ve never wanted to age gracefully — but I’ve realized I’m a lot happier when I don’t compare myself to women who are younger than me, or those who are filtered on social media, and run myself ragged doing all the things to stay looking like a 30-year-old.
The fact is, we are all going to go through changes. Good old-fashioned acceptance — and doing the things you can that make you feel good, like getting enough rest, or a kick-ass skin care routine — are key.