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Fifty Something

Contributing Author,

ome rather strange things have been happening since the big Five 0 has taken control of my life. In the mornings when I awake I’ve noticed that one of my legs may not. Next came the, oh so subtle formation of jowls and the dimples above my knees that just won’t go away, no matter how many weighted, leg lifts I do.

And just when I was beginning to accept the inevitable, “Middle Age”, I noticed that my 20/20 vision had vanished without a trace.

Adding to my anxiety, I spend way too much time deciding when, what and how much to eat because fat grams constantly seek-out my thighs and proceed to wreak havoc. My prime of life issues coupled with my constant struggle to keep my dress size in the single-digits (my sisters are anticipating me losing that war) have left me wanting. I tell my sisters, don’t hate me because I am committed, applaud me for giving you inspiration. When you’re the oldest you tend to say whatever you want and your siblings tend to ignore you.

Now that we’ve (you see I’m including you in this passage) been formally introduced to the onset of “life in its prime” – and because the health experts advise us to do so – I took a stab at exercising again. And what I learned is that “a well-rounded fitness program for adults includes activities that involve cardiovascular conditioning, stretching exercises to enhance flexibility and weight training increases muscle mass which helps you burn calories more efficiently and also fortifies bones, which helps prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures.”
Armed with this information I then enthusiastically began my exercise regimen, only to find that my knees and I were not on the same page. And my relationship with Leslie Sansone and her 20 minute, “1 Mile - Walk Away the Pounds” video tape soon came to a screeching halt.

Next I made an attempt to improve my diet. While in this healthy eating mode, I decided to check out the food groups recommended by the USDA. And this is what I learned. “The best way to give our bodies the balanced nutrition it needs is by mixing up the choices within each food group.

(1) Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs. Two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables per day are recommended for a reference 2,000-calorie intake, with higher or lower amounts depending on the calorie level. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In particular, select from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables and other vegetables) several times a week.

(2) Consume three or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general, at least half the grains should come from whole grains.

(3) Consume three cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products. And finally choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry, and prepare by baking, broiling or grilling. Vary your choices with more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.” Yada, yada, yada………

This is all good stuff to know, but I was quite saddened to learn that neither Ben & Jerry’s, nor KFC made the list of required food groups. Life is so unfair. However, there may be some good news on the horizon when and if the USDA makes their 2010 revisions.

With that said ladies, we (yes, you’re still on this passage with me) have our work cut out for us. We can become Pilates experts, or put on our running shoes and/or pump some iron. We can examine all food labels, buy organic and banish red meat from our colons forever. Or we can meditate any bad karma away. Better still, we can do nothing and just let nature take its course. What do you think? Well, I am going to try a little of each. I’ve already begun taking Pilates classes, and I must say it is rather easy on the knees.

And if all else fails you may want to keep this in mind. The word on the street is that 50 is the new 40 and 60 is the new 50. (If this is true many folks will have their AARP memberships revoked. But they can always renew once they have reached the “new 60”). Even though that theory may not be working for all of us, let’s keep hope alive. Remember age is just a number however, mine will be forever, fifty-something.

Jackie Rouse

I really enjoy writing about some issues that concern women in a slightly humorous manner. And I have 4 sisters, 2 grown daughters and 2 nieces to keep me inspired.


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