I’ve been thinking a Iot lately about the concept of age-appropriateness or what makes something age-appropriate, particularly in reference to me and my clothes. Three things have really brought the issue into focus for me this past week: 1) I have lost almost 25 pounds since starting my new healthy eating and exercise program, and I’m starting to be able to wear some clothes I haven’t been able to fit into for awhile; 2) Now that all the holiday catalogs are starting to come in, I’ve been thumbing through them and getting ideas about how to update my wardrobe; and 3) I’ve been invited to a steampunk-themed Halloween party this weekend and I need to rifle through my closet to see what, if any, of my costume pieces currently fit and what I can throw together if they don’t fit.
I’ve always had a fairly individual sense of style and have never been shy about wearing what I want to wear regardless of whether or not it is fashionable or “in.” My closet currently holds everything from flowy broomstick skirts to thread-bare blue jeans to cardigan sweaters to fitted sheath dresses, with a wide range of shoes and accessories that (sort of) coordinate. As an overweight, broke, stay-at-home mom, I’ve tended to stick with jeans, sweatpants, t-shirts and sneakers over the past few years, but now that I’m getting healthier and feeling better about myself, I’m ready to start expanding my wardrobe and dressing a little nicer.
This is where I’m stuck, though. I’m 46 years old and not getting any younger. I know that age is only a number and I really don’t feel old most of the time, but just because I will soon be able to wear the same size and style of clothes I wore in my 20s doesn’t mean I should wear those things. I’m not ready for elastic-waist, polyester pants and sensible shoes, but I think I’ll leave the mini-skirts and 4-inch stilettos to the younger gals. I’m not ready to be old or look old, but I don’t want to desperately cling to my youth either. I’d like to age gracefully and move into this more mature phase of my life with humor, style and good taste, and I’m not really sure what that means for me right now.
I guess what I really want to know is if the leather bustier fits, should I wear it to the Halloween party? And if it doesn’t, what should I wear (that I currently own and that currently fits) instead?
I want to write about some progress I’m making toward my health improvement goals for the year because I’m proud of it. I had a bit of a health scare about a year ago and ended up getting a complete blood workup and physical exam, the result of which was a diagnosis of obesity, menopause, hypothyroidism, elevated cholesterol, borderline high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome (which is fancy way of saying pre-diabetes). I’m happy to report that today, my hormones, cholesterol and blood pressure are back into normal ranges and I’ve lost almost 25 pounds, with more coming off each week. I am walking aerobically 3-4 times per week and will be walking in my first half-marathon in January, which is something I never thought I’d do. I’m sleeping better, I’m breathing better, I’m feeling better (physically and emotionally) and I’m looking better, and I really feel like the positive changes I’ve made over the past year are sustainable, long term ones.
At 46, I have a better change getting down to my goal weight and staying there than I ever have in my life. I’m looking forward to dancing regularly again and hoping to be able to start running as my strength and endurance increases. I may even get back into armor and start fighting heavy weapons and rapier again!
I’ve tried to improve my health in the past, and have done so on a temporary basis, but this time I believe it is permanent. So what’s different this time, beside new prescription medication (better living through modern chemistry, as Grif likes to say)? This time, I know I can do it. I didn’t really think I could do it before, but now I know I can.