Fighting the numbers.

Fighting the numbers.

I went “natural” on my hair color a couple of years ago.

It was a combination of really hating all those chemicals on my hair and scalp tinged with a bit of laziness (every four weeks is a drag) coupled with the alternative — monthly appointments with a colorist which are e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e, especially if you go for double-process (color plus highlights!)  Not to say that I was particularly bad with coloring my own hair — I did make it look pretty good with out the tell-tale home-brew color of really dark ends or the weirdest shade of red you’ve ever seen — but after a while, the silvery flecks got longer and longer at the roots until one day I just screamed enough at myself in the mirror.

To enhance my marker of aging, I do admit that I primp a lot in front of the mirror when it comes to getting the silvery white hairs to shimmer just so as a way of counteracting any perception that the crop of white hairs nudging out the chestnut browns is in any way a factor of tired-old-age.  What I did notice in my recent experiment with growing it longer, was that the shimmer wasn’t quite so shimmery and those white patches were beginning to look as if they were definitely gaining the upper hand — something I am not quite ready to embrace just yet.  So this week I went back to really short hair with lots of product to bring out the shine.

I bring all of this up because the white hair on my chestnut mane (what’s left of it) seems to be indicative of other changes as I make my way through the latter part of my 50’s. As an example, I applaud my recent loss of 12 pounds thanks to low-acid-diet living, but I still have some serious kilos to go if I’m to become youthfully svelte again. And yes, I can actually run a mile and keep going — albeit slow and steady to save my creaky, crackley knees — even with months of fairly vigorous workouts at Gleason’s I still start to crash somewhere in the middle rounds before finding my way back to renewed stamina and energy. This last is interesting because I used to be able to get into condition much faster and easier.

If there’s a cautionary tale at all in this for my younger friends out there — it is to consider keeping fairly steady with diet and exercise over the whole of your life, and as for my compatriots of a certain age, keep at it! Whether we like it or not things do change, all we can do it mitigate what we can with things like eating healthy foods, keeping our bodies lithe and strong through regular exercise and strengthening, keeping ahead of ailments large and small, and perhaps most importantly, keeping ourselves feeling great with whatever it is that gives us that extra bit of shimmer.

6 thoughts on “Fighting the numbers.

  1. Margaret Reyes Dempsey

    Great post! I’m gonna harness my inner Shirley. Love that clip.

    Everything you say is true. It is harder to lose the weight the older you get, and to get into shape. The youngsters out there should pay attention and get their nutrition and exercise habits in order, even when it seems they don’t need to. Metabolism can be so fickle, no? 😉

    One thing made me laugh. I’m so used to seeing you in the photos you post of yourself at Gleasons. So, yesterday, I saw that really lovely photo of you and a friend on Facebook and I was like “Damn, she cleans up well.” ROFL.

    But today, I’m back here, looking at your sweaty, boxing stance and I’m like “Yeah, she rocks!” Kinda cool to have both those sides going for you. 🙂

  2. Lisa Creech Bledsoe

    This post made my whole day. The Shirley number was the perfect exclamation point, too. I’m trying to learn how to age — there don’t seem to be any manuals on it, only good (well, and bad) examples to follow. I never had the hair struggle because my mother-in-law has had the most beautiful silver-white hair for most of the 25 years I’ve known her. I remember thinking long ago: I want hair like that!

    The conditioning is another thing entirely. As the only middle-aged person in the gym I find myself frequently cursing that I can’t best the 20 year olds, rather than being massively thankful that I’m holding my own with them.

    I want to have your grace and gratitude, Malissa. (Note to self: repeat this daily…)

    1. Girlboxing Post author

      I heard Elaine Stricht talking about the song “I’m still here,” lamenting that fact that young “chippies” in their 70’s sing it! She’s a riot, but I can’t get over Shirley’s version! And yeah, there certainly isn’t a manual that I’ve ever heard of. I’m just so happy to be surrounded by amazing women who make it all seem easy — even if the knees are literally creaky!


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