Hey, I’m the champion of embracing aging BUT there’s some sh*t that happens in your 40’s that no one is talking about!! So you know what we ‘bout to get real.
Raise your hand if you can relate to the following:
Random Aches and Pains
Who knew the mere act of waking up would be a painful prospect?? There are some days I wake up with a random back ache that I know damn well I did NOT go to bed with. Or dropping your keys and while bending down to grab them you yelp in pain standing up. I swear the amount of noises I make standing up is too funny!!
How to help:
- Invest in a really amazing mattress and pillows. Remember when you could crash on the floor or on a sofa and bounce up in the morning?? Those days are long gone!! LOL!! So babes if you are waking up with sore shoulders or back pain it’s time to research the type of support you need while you sleep. I know this made a massive improvement to my waking up sore.
- MATTRESS – Adjustable mattress all the way!! Don’t laugh babes, adjustable mattresses are where it’s at. Mike and I love it.
- PILLOW – I am a side sleeper and have a fully adjustable Coop pillow. You simply remove the filling to your desired firmness.
- KNEE PILLOW – If you are prone to back pain ya’ll need to get a knee pillow!! Game changer, I love mine!!
- Strengthen your butt and core. It turns out that much of the functionality of the body is centered around the abs and booty. Naturally it follows that the stronger those areas are the fewer aches and pains you will experience throughout your body.
Can’t Read Shit
I have always been kinda proud of my vision. Super clear near or far. HOWEVER In the last year my reading vision has made a steady decline!! I swear with the amount of time I spend looking at screens it was bound to happen. OH and forget about low light reading – the WORST!! I’m that lady that has to use the flashlight on her phone to read a menu in a dark restaurant. My eye doctor says, ‘well you really don’t need glasses, it’s not even notable – you can simply adjust the distance of the item you’re reading.’ Sigh, whatcha gonna do?
How to help:
I bought a pair of low intensity blue light reading glasses on Amazon. Problem solved!! I use them whenever I’m on my phone or computer for hours. And you know those manicures I do – yep, I wear my glasses!!
Hair Loss / Thinning Hair
Over my lifetime I have experienced 2 major losses, both in my 30’s. The first one at 31 was rather severe, losing nearly half my hair due to neglect, stress, and poor eating habits. The second was at 36ish and was not as traumatic, was from over heat styling my hair. Now at 43 I have noticed my hairline looking a wee bit thin, which I’m sure comes from too many top knots over the years. But hair loss can be true for other parts of the body as well, you babes know what I am talking about…brows and lashes!! Please, if you are in your 30’s reading this, do not over pluck your brows. They just might not grow back!! I don’t even grow leg hair anymore. Shucks I have been shaving for 30 years, I guess the poor little guys gave up!! LOL. Fortunately there’s a lot we can do to help with hair loss. The effectiveness may vary, but hey I’m over here trying it all.
How to help:
- Take Supplements
- Adjust your diet
- Hair Products (here’s my current hair care routine)
- Avoid over styling and dying.
The 40 – 15
I know we’ve all heard about the Freshman 15, but no one talks about the 40-15. I know chatting about weight can be touchy. Please know that the most important thing is to love your body in all the stages of womanhood. I can say for myself as a mother of 2 I have seen my body change many many times over and it will continue to do so. I can also say that so far in my 40’s that ehhhh, it seems a lot harder to keep the extra pounds at bay especially around the abdomen. I’m adjusting to the new trend and TRYING to give myself the grace and love I deserve.
How to help:
- Continue to stay active and move your body in ways that make you happy and keep your metabolism going strong. While cardio is surely important, don’t skip on muscle building exercises. In our 40’s we begin to lose muscle mass so strength training and resistance training is so important to promote muscle gain which also burns fat.
- Make sure you are drinking water and eating plenty of veggies and fiber. Digestion is more important than ever as we age. Plus, be sure to add protein and healthy fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil, etc.) to every meal. These keep your body satisfied longer and you’ll have less random cravings.
- Make sure you’re eating enough protein. When you don’t get enough protein, you’re body will not feel satiated which leads to unnecessary snacking and over-consuming calories.
- Limit your sugar and alcohol consumption. I love sweets like the next person but they are a real mind f*ck in your 40s. That’s because we become insulin resistant in our 40s which results in higher blood sugar. In turn, our bodies are telling us we are hungry when we aren’t. The more sugar we eat, the more we want to eat and the less sugar we eat, the less we’ll crave unnecessary foods.
- Find healthy ways to manage your stress. Stress is another cause for weight gain. It literally causes your body to release more cortisol in your body which is known to make you want to eat more. Exercise and self care are super healthy ways that I manage my stress.
- And for me I have 100% stopped weighing myself!! Like it’s such a self-esteem killer!!
If you don’t have any whiskers entering your 40’s you are lucky!! LOL!! Chin whiskers are facts babes, go get a magnifying mirror and check your chin area…see any whiskers??? LOL!! I have the same 4 or 5 that ever so slowly pop out from beneath the surface of my skin and I’m like you’ve got another day or two before I can pluck you!! Ahaha. Sigh, from my side of the street I don’t know of any ways to prevent them. But I am a proactive plucker; I have super sharp tweezers that no hair can evade.
Patience is Out the Window
I’m an OLD 43, don’t trip lovies…I’m an old gal!! I have been adulting since I was a kid. Being raised first by 2 parents that worked full-time then by a single Dad from 11 on, you tend to grow up before your time. I became a mother just after my 18th birthday and from that point on I have tapped into my patience ‘well’ often and frequently. On top of that, I had a hysterectomy at 40, which pushed my body into an early menopause. So forgive me, but at 43 I have zero patience. I cannot suffer fools, laziness, or anyone bringing negativity to my life. I’m not sure if this is a full on “40’s” thing or just a ME thing. My BB’s are no longer babies so I have officially entered the FREEDOM YEARS!! Don’t get me wrong I still have patience but NOT heaps and heaps of it. Time is very precious to me so I would say I am in a phase of impatience, LOL!! I am ready to LIVE, experience and engage with the world. What I am truly saying is these days I find it challenging to be chill when I am in a tiresome exchange of any kind. I am more easily annoyed. I get frustrated over exasperating situations, when before nothing could shake me! I am more short tempered and can be very defensive. I was not like this 5 years ago. Truth be told, I like the Tennille I have become. I advocate for myself, vocalize when I don’t agree with a situation, and I most certainly demand respect. Now is that all because of patience, ehhh for me it is. Because NOW I don’t have the patience to tolerate shit that does not serve me or fill me up with joy. As I think about it, it also comes down to setting healthy boundaries.
How to help:
Clearly I could use a wee help in this category – LOL!! But seriously, here are some things I do to set healthy boundaries and manage my patience levels:
- Learn to say no. As someone who loves to please, learning to pushback on unreasonable expectations has been a challenge for me. BUT I’ve come to realize that saying no when appropriate is a powerful tool for my peace of mind.
- Practice not being reactive or defensive. Sometimes this means not responding to a situation in the moment. I find that giving myself time to calm down before formulating a response helps me respond in a more appropriate, positive way.
- Learning to pivot. Ohhh this is good behavior to learn. I thrive on routines and love to be on a schedule. So naturally when things don’t go according to plan, I have a tendency to lose my patience. I realize that I have a choice to either let that frustration fester and ruin my day or take the more productive approach which is to move on. So I give myself a max of two minutes to gripe, then I simply let go of what I can’t control and pivot – I force myself to move on to another plan or solution.
- Schedule Time to Decompress. If you don’t prioritize your mental health no one else will. I like to actively schedule some time each day to meditate, exercise, have a cup of tea, and practice self care (e.g. my daily skincare routine). Reducing stress makes me a much more patient, pleasant person throughout my day.
I’m sure there are a few more I’ve missed, but the brain fog is real LOL. How about you, darlings? What are some changes that you’ve noticed in your 40’s? Comment below.