We’re all warned about it. No one should be surprised. Only a select few can hope to avoid it, those who are biologically immune to the inevitable. Although you should be prepared, it will probably start to sneak up on you, gradually killing your…waistline.
Yes, your metabolism will slow down!!! Oh, the (in)humanity!! How dare my body deceive me and decide to showcase the foods I eat and exercise I avoid! Long gone are the days pizza as a late night snack and/or breakfast is a perfectly acceptable idea. Long gone is the bottomless pit stomach or potential modeling career. (Okay, scratch that. I’ve never been THAT skinny and I’ve always loved grandma food, the kind with butter and salt.)
While you may not become a hard-core calorie counter or marathon runner, around a certain age, you start to recognize your choices have repercussions. Looking good no longer is a matter of simply sucking it in or “enhancing” your biceps by crossing your arms.
Another reason being a grown-up sucks. You start to feel the need to rationalize (or excuse) your dietary and exercise choices. “If I do this today, I get to/have to do this tomorrow.” “I deserve a treat.” “I’m not supposed to look the way I did at 20. Life has happened.” “But I’m working harder than I used to. This isn’t fair.” and on and on…
Over the last few years, my metabolism has slowed down, a steady decline. It was time. I was in my mid-twenties, a fitting addition to a quarterlife crisis. And now my body, the thing I just started to figure out and get comfortable with/in, is betraying me. From acne to muffin tops, some of us only get a few “good” years. After that, we start to the painful and annoying process of denying or excusing.
Personally, I’m an excuser. I revolt against the idea of not having the one food I’ve been craving for minutes, hours or days. My cravings are also rather intense. I’ll eat my weight in “healthier” avoidance foods, doing more damage than the original crave, only to give in to the original crave anyway. My only saving grace and reason I’m not currently three times my “ideal weight” is the fact that I don’t crave things often. And I like fruits and veggies. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are few things in the world better than fried potato products and ice cream but I believe that most of the time my brain is on my side, or at least on the side of vanity. Sure, health plays a small, pat-yourself-on-the-back part in it but let’s be real, it’s really about vanity.
However, while I am an excuser, I am also an adult, therefore making me a reluctant denier. There are (many) times something like tres leches or avoiding breaking a sweat sounds like an excellent idea. And then I look at my…slowed [body pick a part]. My wasted Gold’s membership is evident in the middle. Sugar and potatoes evident on the arms and legs. I’d even argue my lack of sufficient water intake could be seen in my face and skin. Add a few gray hairs and it’s official, I’m getting older.
In the grand scheme of things, I guess metabolism is as dirty a word as wrinkle or 30 (another inevitable occurrence quickly approaching). It’s just a part of growing up (Yay!!!). And every time I want to complain about it, I should try to remember the joys I would’ve never experienced if I had ceased to exist the day my body started to betray me.
Sure, I can get back in shape. My life’s not over. I can strive to achieve Michelle Obama arms again. It’s just going to be harder than it would’ve been a few years ago. And who wants to do all that work when you can just complain about it, opt for the turkey sandwich instead of the burger and congratulate yourself with a cookie?