Suddenly One Day...

It's something I've been mentally toiling with for a while now.  The image I'm seeing in the mirror, the number on my scale... it's something I don't recognize and I'm not entirely sure what to do about it.   I mean, yes, I know the extreme measures I could take to get back to my "old self", but those aren't really measures I've HAD to take in the past.  Have I let myself go that badly?  Or have I been so focused on building muscle that I'm finally seeing results?  I'd love to go with the ladder but despite my best efforts to turn a blind eye, my stomach has grown equally as chunky.  What. the. heck.  What is going on? 

Getting honest with myself, I wouldn't describe my diet as super clean, but I wouldn't call it terrible either.  Same for my workouts... not killing it but also not non-existent.  Bottom line, I'm no longer getting the same "return on investment" from my efforts that I've gotten the past 20 years of life.  And that's the moment I realize... damn. This is what 40 is gonna be like, huh?  

I guess I should have known.  Suddenly one day my body would stop metabolizing as quickly.  It would stop responding to dietary changes as rapidly.  It doesn't matter how much effort I put in, I'm not gonna feel like a spring chicken at 80, and well, I guess I'm halfway there.  

So what does this mean?  Should I throw in the towel?  Accept my fate and find a new, less physical hobby?  I don't think so.  At least, I don't choose to.  Instead, my overall goals and measures of success are taking a slight twist in this new life phase, and I think it's time that others my age start doing it as well.  

Measure #1: Do I FEEL good in my skin?  Have I found a suit style that I like and can I confidently smile for a picture with my kids in the sand?  I'm certainly not going around social media searching for moms with six-packs and I shouldn't hold myself to that standard as well. 

Measure #2: Am I able?  Able to carry the beach chairs down and back.  Able to climb around the playground equipment.  Able to carry my kids around year after year when they demand to fly superman style out of the bath or conveniently "fall asleep" on the couch just before bedtime?  

Measure #3: Am I sleeping well? Am I thinking good thoughts?  Am I ENJOYING the little things every day?  Ultimately, these are the rewards of a healthy life and maybe, just maybe, this is going to look different at various stages of life. 

I'll still keep working on my fitness. I'll do my best to make some tweaks (like added cardio... blehhhh).  There is always room for improvement and I do still believe in taking progress pics and tracking weight and measurements periodically.  But this idea of always trying to beat yourself... it has to be done under the understanding that yourself at 40 is not yourself at 25.  The most. fit, healthy individual doing the right things every single day of their lives is still not going to look the same as they age.  Give yourself grace and simply aim to do your best in the place where you are TODAY.  Let's embrace Fit and FORTY.  We're allowed to be both simultaneously.