"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Curse of the Middle Aged Woman

Do you ever reach a point where you are sick of feeling fat?

Stupid question, I know.  I generally feel that way right after I've killed a bag of milk chocolate dove bars.  If only I felt that way before I started. 

At any rate, I was up and down all night, too fat to sleep.  My knuckles felt fat.  I would get up to go to the bathroom and feel so fat I could barely get my legs to move or my back to straighten up.  And Evelyn was asleep with her head pressed against the toilet and refused to move so I had to do some gymnastics while fat and bleary eyed. 

I am one of those fortunate people who doesn't suffer from achy joints so this hideous stiffness cannot be from old age.  It must be because I am too fat to bend. 

I have always had a flat stomach.  Not anymore.  These days, I am looking like a whale.  A whale that died several days ago (and don't forget it is July).  In the past four months, my waistline has gone from tight, to soft to gone.  My face is getting wrinkles.  The skin beneath my eyes hurts because it is going so thin.  I am afraid I will get a bed sore in the folds.  I am growing a mustache, I sure of it.  If only I could see well enough to check.

I suspect this is hormonal.  The only other option is that I have been cursed by the almighty.  I think I would rather he sent boils or locusts.  Sigh. I am fairly certain this is perimenopause. 

In considering this, my first thought was that since there are over six billion people on the planet, at least a billion women have been through this.  Then I recalled that, although life expectancy has expanded in first world nations, the majority of the current earth's population are young so perhaps the numbers of menopausal women are not that high.  For all I know, I am the first woman to go through this nonsense.  Probably not, but that is how I feel, this morning.  And it is also why I am thinking that, despite my lifelong commitment to natural living (I refuse to dye my hair and had natural childbirth), this menopause stuff is unnatural.  It is not right.  It is against god.  It is a freak of nature.  I am a freak of nature.

Self portrait:

I can't imagine how I would feel if I actually suffered from hot flashes or night sweats (which I don't).  I just feel like I am going through a metamorphosis.  Only in my case, I am going from a butterfly to a caterpillar.  Or a larva.  A fat larva.  Even my knees are fat.  Disgusting.  I wonder if I am getting arthritis in my hands.  Husband showed no sympathy because he says he has had arthritis for fifteen years.  How is that possible?  

I don't really think I have arthritis.  I think I have water weight that is making my knuckles hurt.  How repulsive.  I have been flying back and forth between 132 pounds and 142 pounds for the past several months.  Okay, okay, I know you bigger ladies have lost sympathy for me at this point and I probably deserve it, but I might be up to six pounds heavier or lighter from one day to the next.  It HURTS!  (ETA that is nearly 5% of my body weight in a 24 hour period - and it has happened repeatedly!).   Besides, I have small bones not meant to carry around this much tonnage.  And it didn't used to be this way (sob).

I HATE the way my clothes fit.  Or don't fit.  I am going to start wearing my pants backwards because my butt is now flatter than my stomach.  If some sweet young thing starts winking at my husband, he is going to drop me off on the curve and I wouldn't really blame him.  And if you tell him I said that, I will call you a &^#$@^! liar.  No reason to let the man think he has such options. 

Sigh.  I will just soldier through it.  Still upper lip (which is growing hair) and all that.  Just like every other woman going through the change, assuming I am not the first.  But I don't have to like it.  I don't know what God was thinking when he came up with this. 

Anyway, the girls decided they needed to go toad hunting this morning at 5:30.  Pearl kept jumping on my head to give me kisses (I used to think she loved me but she probably has just confused me with a tub of butter) and Evelyn kept yodeling the way she does when she wants us to wake up.  Husband pretended to be asleep but I could tell from his breathing that he was playing possum.  Sigh. 

So I rolled out of bed, let the girls out, rescued two toads, tossed down a few swallows of coffee and decided to go take a walk to drive up my metabolism in hopes I would come back looking like a sweaty glowing thirty year old who has never had children and runs marathons.

It has been really hot but this morning was quite pleasant.  The grass wasn't wet and the humidity wasn't too bad.   I threw on my "fat" shorts, a Hard Rock Chicago tee-shirt with dried paint on it (no bra), left my glasses on, pulled back my greying hair and slipped on my smelliest sandals.  A veritable Aphrodite.  I left the girls in the house and went out to watch the sun rise.  Evelyn was hurling herself at the front door, screaming barking, as I walked down the driveway.  She has separation anxiety, big-time. 

I love our neighborhood.  It is semi-rural, restricted to five acre ranchettes and most of the neighbors have cattle, horses or both. 

This is our barn and pasture from the road that runs behind the house:
Neighbor's horse barn:
I can see these beauties from my back yard:
Another neighbor:
I took the following photos around the corner to the west.  The arrow points to the front of our barn:
A close up of the previous photo (who says we don't have trees!):
If you squint, you can see our barn:
One of the neighbor's mailbox:
Requisite photo of wildflowers:
Several of the neighbors have cool gates over their driveways:
Here is one of our next door neighbor's cows:
Most of the neighbors take very nice care of their property.  However, one neighbor, who lives across the street, doesn't.  She is an elderly lady and I suspect it is just too much for her to handle.  Either that or she has died in there.  Here is her driveway:
It is overgrown and the fence is sagging. 
She's got some nice cows, though:
There were three mamas (with udders that look functioning) but only two calves.  I don't know if she sold one or it died.  I don't know much about cows.  Maybe the third cow is an auntie cow who is helping to nurse.  Do they do that?

When I got back to the house, after about an hour, Evelyn was still hurling herself at the front door. 
Notice instead of comforting her, I first took a photo. 

I don't deserve to have nice dogs. 

In fact, I stopped to take some pictures of our tomato plants while she continued her fit, inside.
Our tomatoes are not looking that great, this year, but are finally getting down to business:
Husband was NOT happy that I'd left Evelyn in a state of panic.  Despite the fact that I'd left a note, he claimed that he was afraid that something horrible had happened to me, based on Evelyn's behavior (menopause?).  Evelyn apparently refused her breakfast and cried and yodeled and threw herself at the front door the whole time I was gone. I didn't think she'd do that. I figured she'd fuss for a few minutes and then give up. 

From Husband's demeanor, I'm thinking the walk didn't transform me into a sex goddess who would mesmerize any male.  Perhaps if I took walks for a few weeks I could work up to that.    We decided that the next time I left in the morning I would slip out the garage.  She doesn't get so upset if she thinks I am in the barn or something.  But if I go out the front door, she wants to go, too, because usually when I go out the front door I am in the yard doing cool stuff like pulling weeds and she wants to be with me. 

Husband just came by and said I looked cute.  I was in the middle of writing this and recalled my earlier line so I told him I looked like "a veritable Aphrodite."  He  threw back his head and laughed, the bastard.  "Something like that," he said. 

I am going to go take a shower and shave.  I wonder if it is time to start using Old Spice. 

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


BitnByAQuiltingBug said...

Oh my! You've made me so happy. I just found your blog today. I thought I was in this alone. Here's a tip I've recently discovered. Look for the mustache when you're in the car. It's the only time I can see mine. Also, it's handy to carry tweezers in your purse now. I prefer to "pluck" in the privacy of my own driveway as opposed to the mall or grocery store parking lot. People tend to notice ....
Thanks for the giggles!

katiemedarlin said...

Oh Penny, welcome to the club! Just stinks, doesn't it? This whole growing older is NOT for sissies, is it?

Gotta say, that whole utterly FAT thing inspired me to lose a ton of weight. Still have a bit to go, but the joints finally stopped hurting.

Hang in there, darlin. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. Okay, not THAT light! LOL! But you will come out on the other side, happy & sane, assuming you were that way when you started. I, of course, was not.

Penny said...

Not THAT light!! Hahaha!!

Ladies, I needed that.

And Bitn - EXCELLENT suggestion! I will sure take your advice.

South Jersey Quilter said...

Penny, if your weight is that much up and down, you may be retaining fluids. You might want to ask your doc if you need a diuretic.

Love the whole post!

Another middle aged (57) woman,

tisme said...

Oh Penny, what a wonderful post! I am 52, finished up menopause about 4 years ago. It still sucks!! hot flashes on occasion, but the worst is the feeling, that fat thing, I got that big time!! I weigh about 135, but the fat keeps moving around, some days my butt is fat, and some days it comes to the belly.
I think it depends on what pants I want to wear that day. :)
And for some future thought, get a few bras in different sizes, the fat goes there some days too.

I do know one thing, I know understand old lady nightgowns, they are great, easy to put on, and if you are really hot, just take off your undies and you are in heaven. lol

Anonymous said...

Oh My Dear! How much do I love this post? More than my luggage as the Pioneer Woman would say! I adore the way you write. Only found your blog a short time ago, and I have been reading your archive. Feel like a kindred spirit, in some ways, with less drama over here I also have the flat bum and the fluffy tummy and I hate that! Now that I have found your blog, I look forward to many more posts . My 59th birthday is July 26. Can't wait to read more!

Anonymous said...

Awww, Penny, you're still just a baby.

It sounds like you're retaining water, so drinking more water might help. It doesn't make sense but it works for me.

I decided about 3 years ago that I wasn't going to be that fat lady anymore, so I started watching what I ate, and walking fast every day for 30 minutes. It worked, and the benefit beyond weight loss is feeling good about myself - I'm a menopausal lady who doesn't look like one. Well, okay, you have to ignore the hank of grey hair and a few wrinkles, but I sure don't feel like one.


Miriam said...

Ohh dear!! Welcome to my world....except I have the "personal tropical moments" as well!
Two weeks ago I joined a gym. This feeling fat business is not good!!!!

Penny said...

You ladies came to my rescue, today!! Thank you for your moral support!

piecesofpatti said...

Love your post! Bitn is my bff and we are going through this together......it really sucks!!!!!!!! But still glad we are not alone! Hang in there.......it has got to get better...right?????

Florida Farm Girl said...

Penny, girl, I'm laughing my butt off here -- or at least I wish I could get rid of it that easy!! You boosted my day considerably!!! I had the madness at the ripe old age of 41, so most of the crap is behind me, but I still now have those power surges occasionally. And, don't get me started on the body morphing that has taken place!!! Remember that old saying? When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!! You've got lots of company hanging around!!!

Elaine said...

Penny, I loved your blog today, had me smiling and laughing all the way through!! Just like a good Janet Evanovich book.


luvmysamoyed said...

Penny, I have been an inconsistent follower of your blog but just adore your stories and your photography. Plus I love your dogs!! They were the original draw for me. :) This particular post had me howling with laughter. Thanks for being so candid. My mother-in-law says the first 100 years are the hardest. After that, it's easy! Hang in there; you are not alone! Hugs!

Sherry said...

With the new job I haven't been able to read my fav blogs. Thank you so much for the roll in the floor laughing so hard that I couldn't catch my breath. And, yes, I am at work. ;o)

I didn't have trouble with the actual process. It was almost POOF! Menopause! Yippee! Then end of the monthly mess is sooooo worth the rest. No more risks of the late in life child. 2003...at the ready to live life age of 50!

Just an occasional heat wave. I was told that 3 things cause the heat waves...they all start with "S"...stress, spicy food, sex. I was willing to give up only the first one. ;o) I had to add a fourth though...alcohol. I can't count the number of times I would be standing around with a glass of wine and a fan in my hand.

Yep. Drink lots of water to get rid of water. Cut down your salt consumption for a while. Soy is good...but I don't care for the watered down taste of soy milk so I ate a handful of soy nuts (LOL salted soy nuts) while I was cooking supper.

Weight gain though. Yep. As you read in my blog, I am battling that battle now. When I turn 80 I am going to drink chocolate milk for breakfast with a slice of 3-layer chocolate cake. Lunch will be a glass of milk and chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven. And for supper...one OR two of those little chocolate lava cakes. The day WILL come when I eat everything I want to eat whether it's healthy, fattening, sugar-laden, salty, greasy, or not!

Stephanie D. said...

I think you've got your birdcam trained on me.