Fitness and the mature woman

Ageing with acceptance and gratitude

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November 14  |  Acceptance and gratitude for ageing, Fitness and the mature woman, Post menopausal women, professional single women, Self-Help, self-transformation, single women, Women ageing  |   Cynthia

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I’ve got a real “thing” about the anti-ageing movement.  Basically I can’t stand it. If it’s fake, botox, cosmetic plastic surgery, extortionate pills and potions claiming to turn back the clock – I truly believe it sucks.

And I’ll tell you why this is the case.  Ageing is something which happens to all of us, whether we like it or not.  Given that we all know people who’ve met the Grim Reaper way too early, I feel it’s downright wrong to transmit the message to our daughters, and granddaughters, that ageing is a state that women should be ashamed of.  On the contrary – we should welcome it not shun it. The more you try to stop it, the more addictive the struggle becomes.

It’s physically impossible to stop the clock or turn it back – no matter what the outrageous claims which are made by the proponents of the inauthentic look. You’re fighting a losing battle!  At what point do you give up the cause? When some guy taps you on the shoulder, you turn round and he goes into cardiac arrest, because you’ve had so much “work” done, you resemble an Extra Terrestrial?

These frenetic attempts to compete with our younger sisters is absolutely absurd.  Lines and wrinkles are something to be proud of. And before the Botox Brigade lambast me, let me point you back to Silver Vixen Principle Number One – happiness is an Inside Job. It’s not about the externals.  It’s not about the amount of toxins you ingest or loopy lotions you fritter away your hard-earned cash on.  It’s not about mutton being dressed up as lamb.

Bottom line – and no pun intended here – the only way you can really find inner contentment is to work on your inner life. Self-care yes – self-delusion – a big NO!

Come on girls – we have a responsibility to those who come after us, to lead by example, and demonstrate that there’s plenty of life post menopause.  It’s up to us in a society which has gone mad, to teach them that attraction and self-confidence are based on establishing and continually working on a rich inner self – not opting for trout pouts or a Widow Wildenstein mask.

We all mourn our lost youth – but only up to a certain point. Because – if we’ve played our cards right, we’ve come to the wise conclusion that resistance to ageing is futile – we simply have to develop self-acceptance and gratitude for our lives, and give more to others, as well as to ourselves in a nurturing, healthy way, so we move ourselves from a place of self-obsession and vanity, towards making a valuable contribution to our sisters.

 

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Sugar is s***!

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August 25  |  Fitness and the mature woman  |   Cynthia

8 days ago I decided to finally throw in the towel and give up sugar.  I suffer from musical addictions and despite my high levels of denial, and a massive dose of the “poor me’s” because this Saturday, it’ll be 18 years since I gave up booze, and I felt entitled to compensate with sugar, I’d finally given up the fight.

When I say I’ve given up sugar, I say that slightly tongue-in-cheek, because the wretched stuff is in absolutely everything – or so it seems. You can make a decision to never touch booze again, and as tough as that is, if you never pick it up again, you’re a winner.

However – sugar is another drug altogether.  And make no mistake, it IS a highly addictive toxin.  Bottom line – if you’ll pardon the pun – your body just doesn’t need it. The lawyer in me loves undertaking research and I’ve compiled a file entitled “Sugar Is S***” and I’m continuing to add to my findings and analysis on a regular basis. Knowledge is power, and boy do I need power to kick this mama!

This is hard.  I’ve had to kick booze, prescription meds, and compulsive spending, and have have a lifelong tussle with codependency issues.  However – remission IS possible from the disease of addiction.  To coin my favourite phrase of the moment, it’s a case of progress and not perfection.  I don’t kid myself that I’ll ever be addiction-free.  There is no cure as such, but a daily reprieve from its lashes.

To be dependent on any activity or substance, is an abomination to the human spirit. As I age, I want to be free of the shackles of dependency.  I won’t wake up one morning and be “normal”, whatever that word actually means.  But am I ashamed of having a compulsive personality?  Certainly not!  I spent way too many years of my life beating myself up.  If I had cancer or diabetes, would I punish myself mercilessly?  Nope! So why should being an addict be shame-inducing?  It just is what it is.  And there’s hope.  18 years of continuous sobriety, which has given me an incredible, joyous life,  is a clear manifestation of that.

So here we go again.  I’m seeing the face of the devil once more, and this time he’s sporting the “S” word – sugar!  But 8 days on, let me tell you that I’ve not had so much energy in years.  My aches and pains have greatly diminished and in less than one week, I’d shed almost 4 pounds, which reinforces that a) I must have been consuming one hell of a lot of sugar b) that, as always, the dis-ease of addiction is one of denial (I’m not THAT bad!)  c) that 13 years of futile attempted controlled eating of the dreaded substance has led to nada, save an ever-increasing girth.

The madness theory applies yet again – doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.  So now I’m taking action and doing something different. And it’s well-worth enduring the discomfort of sugar cravings, which are now subsiding.  My foot injury is much better and I’m now swimming 30 lengths daily as I resume My Silver Vixen Reclaim Your Body/Swim The Channel Challenge! https://www.justgiving.com/cynthiaspillmanaspire728/

I’m proud of myself!  I got through a very difficult week in my first 7 days.  Eating out 3 times and painful personal issues which would have previously got me reaching straight for the chocolates. Yippee – it works if you work it, so work it – you’re worth it!SugarPoison pic

 

 

 

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Shaken but not stirred – the phoenix shall rise again!

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August 13  |  Fitness and the mature woman  |   Cynthia

They say life happens when you make other plans.  Do I know that one well!

Yesterday I was all set to carry on with my Silver Vixen Reclaim Your Body Challenge. I was motoring, and was up with the lark, brought HM Peter breakfast in bed and set off to walk Lola and her boyfriend Bailey.  Three-quarters of the way round the park, I was suddenly felled by a large marauding hound who knocked me for six, sending  me and my glasses flying. I landed somewhat inelegantly in a heap – right onto my hooter, feeling a hideous “ouch” moment in my foot as I went down. Snap, crackle and pop! Just like the old Rice Crispies advert.

The offending mutt made off at  high speed with its owner, leaving me to find my specs, whilst contemporaneously attempting to manage 2 dogs and get up off the ground.

My very first thought was that this was going to ruin my swimming challenge.  I hoped the pain would wear off but I eventually ended up in A & E in the afternoon and am now hobbling about on crutches, with a hooter the size of a large potato. Beautiful, I do not look right now!

So it’s confined to barracks and no swimming for now. However, my previous vast experience of overcoming adversity, has taught me through the school of hard knocks, to turn a negative into a positive.  So I’ve dusted myself and my crutches down, and am determined to get over this obstacle asap without losing too much of my fitness momentum.

Notes to self:

  • When the going gets tough – the tough get going – and I’m tough!
  • When life gives you lemons – make lemonade
  • This will only derail me if I allow it to
  • Hey presto – plenty of time to work on my book!
  • The Swim The Channel Charity Challenge doesn’t start until 7 September
  • Si on veut, on peut – where there’s a will, there’s a way
  • There’s always a bright – and a funny side – to absolutely EVERYTHING!

Ouch!!

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No oil painting today!

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It’s Not What You’re Eating – But What’s Eating YOU!

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August 7  |  Fitness and the mature woman  |   Cynthia

The Silver Vixen Reclaim Your Body Challenge – Day 12

I can barely believe it!  I’ve actually stuck to my own challenge for 12 whole days, without slithering out of it – much as I’ve sometimes felt like doing.  Making it “public”is such a helpful mechanism.  I stick to what I’ve said I’d do – and hopefully I simultaneously encourage others to give it a whirl too.

Yesterday I had a really rubbish day.  The sort which would in the past have compelled me to head straight for the chocolate, biscuits, crisps and other such crap, and engage in a full blown-out binge.

Somebody hurt me deeply and despite the binge impulse resulting from the wounding offence, I chose to “mind the gap” between impulse and action, share the upset with a few wise, close friends – and not permit what was eating me to compel me to eat something really damaging.

This is the beginning of a new habit for me.  And it’s going to be a case of progress and not perfection in transforming it into a permanent change in my way of being.  I’ve been reflecting on how much we self-medicate with food.  Perhaps this comes from the early association of food and comforting mothers – for those of us who had a nurturing mother – which I didn’t!  Many of us were probably given food to soothe or reward us.  Perhaps this was because we did have mothers who just couldn’t give of themselves, so food was used throughout our early lives as a kind of dummy.

As somebody who’s battled multiple compulsions my whole life – mostly successfully over the last 18 years – I appreciate how tough it can be to choose wisely, when the addictive madness is upon us.  The “normies” just don’t get it – the fact that the compulsion will win hands down, over logic and rationality.  And for so many of us, once we’ve achieved some sort of reprieved status with one compulsion – up pops another and here we go again!

The bottom line is – we do have that moment of choice to choose another way of being.  At first it’s so damned tough. Then bit by bit, one minute, hour or day at a time – we make progress – but never perfection!

So – the painful moment is passing – as long as I don’t keep feeding it with more fuel.  Impulse has been restrained, just for today, so that a bad situation isn’t made worse, and can perhaps be addressed face to face later on.  I don’t self-medicate with food, booze, drugs, spending, compulsive internet surfing, look for my husband to fix me – because I’m here to tell you after 3 husbands – that the only one who can fix you is YOU! I focus on the gratitude I have for this amazing life which I’ve created and I sit with the discomfort, knowing that this too shall pass – and I practise self-care, albeit it by taking baby steps.

Have a great weekend!

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Silver Vixen Swims Channel for Charity!

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August 3  |  Fitness and the mature woman  |   Cynthia

Day 8 – and I’ve signed up for a charity fundraiser – swimming the English Channel! 

Before you drop off your perch – it’s a 12 week challenge, from 14 September to 7 December, whereby I swim 22 miles, being the distance across the channel, in the pool at my gym.  I now feel totally inspired and even more determined.  Peter suffers from back trouble due to an injury and I feel blessed to have survived several serious car accidents, with minor physical injuries.

To some this won’t be a big deal – but to me it’s HUGE!  Committing to it publicly and taking people’s hard-earned cash, means that I’m 100 percent determined to pull it off.  Whoopee!

Getting myself into gear to go to the pool today was hard.  Who likes Mondays anyway? However, once I’d pushed myself through the pain threshold, I was off.  This week I’m building up my lengths to 22 non-stop laps of the pool, which is 22 metres.

The importance of doing this, with or without the fundraiser to spur me on, was brought home to me this morning.  I was sitting in the jacuzzi and witnessed an obese middle-aged woman really struggle to climb out of the jacuzzi. In fact, she got totally and utterly stuck.  I had to help her out, as she stood there, rooted to the spot, mid-wobble, in a blind panic.

How sad is that?  Life can be so short and I’m determined to live and love life till I drop dead – hopefully at a very advanced age, after much disgraceful and raucous ageing.

Hopefully my bingo wings will soon be features of the past, thanks to my super-toned Silver Vixen’s swimmer’s body.  🙂

Watch this space for my next “trick” !

To donate please click here.

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