This is What 54 Looks Like?

This is what 54 looks like. 54 1/2 to be precise.

What does that mean?

I see woman post their bday pictures saying, This is What 68 looks like, bitch.

I don’t quite get it? Is there something wrong with being 68? or 54, for that matter?

And is there something wrong with being 68 (or 54) and looking old??? There’s a 16 year old kid, Joe, at my job who’s grandmother is my age.. She is from the old country and has lived a very hard life, including giving birth to 9 children and enduring poverty and pain. She and her late husband came to this county and worked their fingers to the bone, from very young ages, to provide better lives for their children and now grandchildren.

Joe has remarked that I look half his grandmother’s age. Perhaps, but I have had a very easy life. I am blessed and very, very privileged. I also have a friend at Clinique who gives me a lot of moisturizer samples.

Perhaps, when we look at Joe’s grandmother, we should say, This is What 54 looks like. And feel ashamed that we don’t carry the wrinkles and heartache that make that woman great.

To My Friend and Co-founder

Earlier today, I sat down to write about the woman, my friend, who helped me develop this blog. She died nearly a year ago at the age of 29. She has been much on my mind this past week as it gets closer to the anniversary of her death.

We two talked a lot about weight, body, self-esteem, bulimia, anorexia, compulsive eating and mostly, about the best way/s to get well. We always planned to start our own group and began researching our options.

Then she got sick. And suddenly our eating disorders seemed truly unimportant. In fact, they seemed like a luxury.

She died quickly after her diagnosis. Such a loss.

So, I planned to write about her earlier, but a friend who called and asked me to go to a 12 Step meeting with him. I wasn’t really in the mood – I’d always rather be home with my cat, reading a good book – and almost said no. But off I went.

When I walked in the door of the meeting, the first thing I saw was my late friend’s 8 year old daughter. She was there with her dad, who was celebrating 12 years. I hadn’t seen either of them since the funeral so many months ago.

Father and daughter both looked okay, although when he accepted his coin, he referenced what a rough year it had been. But he is okay. And so is his daughter.

I’m not one of those people who believes that everything happens for a reason and that there are no coincidences, but seeing them at a random meeting in an out-of-the-way town near me….?

Or maybe I am one of those people who does believe…

Rest in Peace forever, Abbey

Weight Loss; Good, Bad and Evil

This morning, I went for a regular physical. Waiting in the doctor’s office, I felt an old familiar thrill. I know I’ve lost a few pounds recently and got a little excited to see that reflected on the scale. Bending over, I started to unzip my boots – gotta get those babies off before getting weighed, right?

Then I remembered yesterday. Yesterday, I took my dear friend, Laura for chemo. Before treatment, she gets her vitals taken in a separate area. Well, she came flying out of that room, beaming from ear to ear. Yippee, she’d finally, finally gained some weight – 5 whole pounds from the week before. We high fived. Then I looked at her feet. Laura was wearing full-on heavy-duty hiking boots.

“You took those off when you got on the scale, right?”, I asked

“Absolutely not”, she responded. “I need all the help I can get. I’d put lead in my pockets if no one would notice.”


Sitting at my own doctor’s, I started to think about my current 5 pound weight loss and how it’s become just a little too interesting. And has gained too much space in my brain.

I love how my clothes fit now, and I’m having more fun getting dressed. Sometimes, I’ll catch glimpses of myself in a mirror and think, “wow, I look really thin. Cool.”

The weight came off pretty naturally – I run around at my job all day and night, as opposed to previous positions, where I sat all day. Also, there’s a salad bar at work, and I love salad. So I’m eating lots of greens and lean proteins.

BUT, I’ve noticed some old tricks moving back in. Why have salad dressing when plain vinegar’s fine? Why order a hamburger, when there’s turkey on the salad bar? Why have a small scoop of ice cream….if the scale might inch up?

Whoops. Not a good path. I’m course- correcting. But man – the lure of weight loss is surprisingly still strong. I need to be more vigilant than I thought!

What’s the big excitement about a five pound weight loss? To Laura, it’s terrifying.

Before writing this post, I called Laura to get her permission to tell this story. She was home making herself eat pop-tarts.

We had a laugh. Several years back, before Laura got sick, she and I battled middle-aged weight gain together. We complained bitterly about gaining weight even though we weren’t eating more. “Nothing fits”, we’d wail.

Today, Laura chuckled ironically at the prospect of now making herself eat anything and everything she could manage to keep down. In fact, even though she was exhausted this afternoon, she wouldn’t let herself sleep until she consumed as many calories as possible.

When I was seriously anorexic, I’d take Ambien to make myself sleep so I wouldn’t want to eat.

Back in the day, a 5 pound weight loss would make me thank God and jump for joy.

Today, I am so very, very grateful to have Laura as my dear friend. Now, there’s something to cheer about.

Dating and Body: Confession Time

I write a lot about society’s pressures on women to look ‘good’ and young and thin and pretty, and for me, particularly when dating. Shall I mention for the zillionth time the guy who told me I’d have a nice body after a half dozen abs classes?

I get annoyed that a lot of guys seem to be looking for younger women. And it sure gets tiring trying to always look ‘date ready’. I envy my married girlfriends who’ve gone gray, never wear make-up, have gained a few pounds AND don’t care if their teeth aren’t sparkling white, their nails are a little chipped, and in strong light, they look their age.

BUT, BUT, BUT, I have to confess when I am completely honest – I’m actually not much better than the guys.

Especially with online dating where a lot of it is based on pictures. If I meet someone at a party, I have a chance to really be attracted to their personality and charm. But online, there’s no way to really gauge all that. Some profiles are clearly prohibitive and some are very inviting, but let’s face it, I AM looking at the pictures.

AND, the men I pick are physically cute to me. And what is that? Well, given my druthers, they’re taller than I am (although I have dated shorter men whom I’ve met offline), they’re not too much older (although I’ve dated much older men who I’ve met offline) and they look appealing in a very and purely physical sense.

And guess what, given my druthers and picking from pictures, they’re all pretty thin. Hmmm.

Of course, I only continue to date them (if they’re interested in me) if they are kind and interesting and good.

But all 4 guys I have dated have been pretty lean and one even borderline skinny (the guy who had zero interest in food). What does that say about me?