I had a comical moment with my kids recently. They suggested I might be getting a bit forgetful. I must admit that I felt a little defensive about that. After all, I was one week in to overcoming jet lag and switching my days and nights around. I had traveled from the Bay Area to the mountains—from sea level to 3,700 feet. And, I’d just changed my diet from having a carb fest in Italy to a low-carb Keto diet. There was just a tiny bit I was asking my body to acclimate to—don’t you agree?
At any rate, today I’m laughing out loud that just maybe, it’s ok if I was a bit forgetful. Now, on my bulletproof high octane coffee (a good remedy for getting the day off to a big bang), I can roll my eyes at my own “senior moment” and just accept it. It’s always easier to laugh at ourselves the day after, isn’t it?
I must admit though, that this time of life—this season we call “middle age”— is laden with change. I have engaged a whole host of new measures to describe my perspective on health and body awareness. It’s true that my concerns have evolved, and I’m shifting into a more practical way of life that focuses on health, rather than aesthetics.
Healthy and fit are my virtues. “Feminine, not fat” is how I describe my woman’s figure now. I strive for glowing, exfoliated healthy skin. (Ah, yes, there are new lines, but they speak character.) And my goal is to attain optimal health, versus being all-consumed by my appearance or what size I’m wearing. And I definitely appreciate higher-waisted jeans.
I more frequently leave the house without makeup and in my yoga pants these days; it’s a lot more comfortable that way. And, yes, it’s all about comfort with soft sweatshirts and t’s, as well as shoes with arch support. I still don my hot high heels now and then, but I’d rather wear Birkenstocks.
I think this kind of living is all about wisdom rather than age. I actually love this stage of life. I have time to myself for the first time in a long time, and I’m relaxed about a lot of things that consumed my energy in my thirties and forties.
The word “diet” means something different to me now. I’m not looking to go on a weight loss diet (although, I’m not adverse to losing weight), but that can’t be the focus; it’s just too frustrating and emotionally consuming. Food matters though. That I know. After a wonderful carb fest in Italy (where our tag line was, “More gluten, please!”) involving pasta with white truffles, white sauce pizza, and a lot of caprese salad, I’ve decided to shock my system and go Keto upon my return.
I’m all about tweaking my diet and waking up my metabolism, but I’ll say, this Keto diet is really a scientific endeavor and one that’s quickly opened my eyes to how many carbohydrates I ingest daily. It’s a bit shocking, really, to know that even veggies have carbs. It’s been a journey completely counterintuitive to the kind of eating I’ve always done. After speaking with the owner of my local health food store, though, I think it’s worth a try for a time. The big change is mental; it’s all about counting carbs rather than calories. Rather than burning glycogen for energy, you are turning your body into a fat-burning ketosis machine.
So far, I’d say my body is a bit Keto resistant, but I do think rather than weight loss, I’m losing inches with leaner muscle mass. I’m not at all for bypassing greens, however, or eating a ton of cheese—but the Keto plan encourages the use of healthy natural fats: avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and grass-fed organic butters, nuts, and meat.
Like many women, I gained some weight in menopause, and my body has changed. That’s to be expected. This time in my life is “tuck and pull”—and requires a real commitment to health as a lifestyle through intentional eating and drinking (or… not drinking wine often, as the case may be with a low carb diet.) The idea of food as fuel—delicious, pleasurable fuel—is amazing, as is the philosophy of food as medicine. I’ve read that cancer loves sugar and hates Ketones. The Keto diet is being used by diabetics and also for treating epilepsy.
I’m only two weeks into understanding how the Keto plan works, but I’m very goal-oriented and won’t give up until I get fully into Ketosis for a time. I’ll keep you posted, but please do comment about the program that works for you and why. I would love to hear!
What else is on my plate right now?
Besides spending some quality time with my grandkids at my retreat home in Mount Shasta to assist while our sweet Cambree recovers from her recent accident, I also made a trip further north to see my parents. My dad is also recovering from some post-op complications, and I’m praying he gets stronger to withstand another upcoming surgery. I’ve been so fortunate to have parents who stay on top of their health. My greatest hope is what we all hope for for our parents in their later years: that they have a high quality of life—as high as can be with aging bodies. I know how difficult the evolution to elderly is, for all involved. It’s a challenging time for the middle-aged children of aging parents, but it’s most challenging for those who are aging themselves—and living only because of strong will, strength of spirit, healthy lifestyle, technology, and God’s grace.
Ah, yes. I find I’m in the middle of a sandwich. But, one I welcome and embrace without complaint.
Much love to all. I’m with you in all of the concerns and care that is required at this stage of life. “Middle age” is a time defined by new concerns and yes, new adjectives. While we want to live fit and healthy lives with vibrancy, we also wish to see our friends and family—of all ages—live vibrantly too.