Skinny Girls and Over-50 Girls

You know what I really don’t like? Women who post pictures of their food and it’s pancakes piled high with syrup dripping everywhere, bacon, eggs, and a slab of ham for good measure, and that woman is a size 2. And then, later that same day, she posts pics of her peanut butter pie with chocolate sauce on her face, captioned, “Peanut Butter Pie!!” As if we can’t see that. It’s all over her social media. You can’t escape it.

I’m sorry. I’m 56. The word metabolism left my vocabulary just like it left my body somewhere in my mid-40’s. Listen it’s a 19 year old’s world (and girls, enjoy it now), because once you’re over 50, unless you’re fasting the other 6 days a week, there is no eating like that. If there is, something ain’t right.

On our first snowy morning, I delighted Micah with French toast, eggs and bacon. I watched him devour whole pieces of bread in one bite, while I sat with my Greek yogurt and walnuts, blueberries and pears. It was a sad, bitter breakfast for one of us. The other one (22 and into the whole extreme workout thing) wolfed down 1/2 loaf of bread, 1/2 lb. of bacon, and 6 eggs. You’re wondering why didn’t he just go for it and eat all of it? He wanted too, but I held him off. We can’t get to the store until Mr. Muscle shovels our driveway, so I’m conserving resources. Plus, I don’t have a cool snow shovel like my neighbors, and well, I am going to look a little stupid out there with my trowel shoveling 2 1/2′ of snow. I’m waiting until they go to bed, you know, when the snow turns back to ice.

Unlike my neighbors, whom I have new found respect for, I did not park at the very edge of my driveway, leaving me about a 1/2″ of 2 1/2′ of snow to shovel. I parked all the way down the drive, by the garage (it’s full of my gardening gear, so I can’t actually park in it), leaving me at least 20′ of the pure white driven stuff to shovel. It’s doesn’t looking promising as Mr. Muscle is presently doing pull-ups on the pull-up bar that’s wedged into the door frame between the kitchen and living room. He can’t be bothered. If he needs to go somewhere, he’ll just put on his ski gear and jog there. No biggie.

At 56, soon to be 57, I want to say that my early years of bike riding 36 miles round trip on a Saturday up to Mt. Mitchell, running marathons over tree roots through the woods, hiking up mountains, or heading to the gym when everyone else was heading home, has allowed me to rest on my laurels, but it has not. I did think, silly me, that all that crazy exercise would insulate me when I got older (as in, my current age) from the dreaded weight gain of a mid-to-quickly-becoming-elderly-lifer.

But, food is no longer my friend.  

I’ll be honest. I didn’t work out for my future health. I worked out so I could eat that plate of pancakes, bacon and eggs, and not gain any weight. It was with sheer pleasure that I gobbled down red meat, french fries and yes, a salad, basically, whatever I wanted, then finished it off with a bag of Cheetos, and remained a size 2. I was that woman who would have if she could have, posted pictures of her scrawny self alongside pictures of her heart-attack inducing food. But that was 20 years before the internet. I’m thankful because that time-lapse ensured I still have girlfriends.

Now, my food choices are based on my grandgirls, ages 4, soon-to-be-2 and 9 months. I think, as I am picking up the bag of M&M’s, do you really want to die of a heart attack and miss one of their weddings? When did my food choices become my life expectancy choices?

My daughter-in-law and I were chatting about the girls getting bigger and how fast they’re growing and when they leave for college (since they’re not even out of pre-school yet), and I realized I would be 68 when that happened. My response? “Oh good. I could still be alive then.”

Woah. When you start determining your RSVP choices based on how long you think you have, what is going on? 

I know. This post just went dark. From pancakes to mortality in 700 words. Don’t blame me. If I were in charge, pancakes would be health food.

All of this is to say, come on women over 50 who manage to stay a size 2. Are you really gonna post another picture of pancakes and peanut butter pie?

Please join the conversation!