Sophie’s Choice in the dermatology office

My dermatologist makes me laugh with the same question whenever I bemoan my weight and aging: “Ass or face? Make a choice, Kristine.”

Allow me to explain. The sign above her desk shows two words: “ass” and “face.” When “face” has a smiley face below it, “ass” has a frowney face. And vice versa. Meaning–a few extra pounds might not help your ass but it sure will help avoid that sunken face/wrinkled look as you age.

I’d answer her if it didn’t feel like Sophie’s Choice. “Why can’t I have BOTH?” I wail. “A good ass and a good face? Is that so much to ask?”

In the interest of said ass, I recently began working out again. I hesitate to say it because my local readers may start checking my ass and my face now to gauge my level of persistence. So, just know I’m taking one for the team in sharing this with you.

My inner talk is probably similar to yours when exercising after a long hiatus. “Hello, treadmill, you S.O.B. You don’t like me and I don’t like you but can we call a truce for the next 45 minutes?” I think I may need to work on my workout self-talk.

Seriously, I’m finding working out at my age really should be different than even what I was doing five years ago. I used to hit it hard. Now, hitting it hard means I ache and creak and don’t feel so well. So, I turn to yoga, pilates, the elliptical. I work out for 20 or 30 minutes versus 90. I eat humble pie each and every time. It’s hard to accept limitations. But, I think my body loves me the more for it. And it is responding—albeit slowly. After a couple of year of thyroiditis, I still have to be careful. But, at least I’m putting a toe in the water. As my mother used to say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I work out now to have energy, clarity of mind, feel good in my own skin. There is no grand plan to be bikini ready or rock a sundress. It’s for health that I exercise now, not ego.

But that doesn’t mean I like my dermatologist’s question any more than I used to. I may be sanguine about being gentler with my body, but trust me—if I could change the sign above her face to show sunshine and roses for the Northern and Southern hemispheres of my body, I’d move with the speed of a superhero.

If only I could apply that same determination to the treadmill . . .



38 Comments Add yours

  1. Go with the few extra pounds meaning less wrinkles and contrary to a marketing guy’s ageist ‘weightist’ (not a word but suffices) and and sexist theories, not withstanding all of those evils, men like women with a little meat on their bones!

    1. candidkay says:

      R, and there in lies the rub. While I am just vain enough in weak moments to care what a man thinks, I would prefer not to care what a man prefers :-). And be comfortable in my own skin, regardless of my weight.

      1. 🙂 Exactly, we have to be happy with who we are because that’s all that matters ( 😀 jeez I’m sounding like Oprah).

  2. Good luck, dear girl. It catches up with all of us, sooner or later, but you are taking care of your health and that’s a very good thing.

    1. candidkay says:

      It is! Trying to keep focus on health rather than vanity. Not easy with messages society sends aging women!

  3. Great humour in this Kristine – it hides the despair 🙂 Good luck with the regime!

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Hit the gym yesterday:).

  4. Aunt Beulah says:

    You wrote this for all of us, Kay, who wrestle with the same dilemmas. I, too, have learned I can’t push my body the way I used to, but every so often I forget and pay for my forgetfulness with aches and pains unknown to me when young. Like you, I have always exercised for the increased energy and ease of living that results; I’ve never pretended to myself that it will turn back the clock and gift me with both an unblemished ass and face both. but then, I didn’t have those things when young either!

    1. candidkay says:

      You hit upon the humble pie bit–the not being able to push. Today, I was lifting weights with a machine I haven’t used in YEARS. And even at the lowest weight, I was struggline–as a beefy guy across the aisle watched. I just put on my blinders and go:). As it sounds like you do. Applauding you from afar!

  5. Why can I picture you actually calling the treadmill an SOB? Probably because I have the same conversation with my bike. The goal, I always say, is to keep my ass and my face from sliding. It is honestly slide control at this point. Great post.

    1. candidkay says:

      Here’s to slide control 🍸🍸👟👟!

  6. Amy says:

    I warm my hands to the glow of you.

    On the chance you’re uncertain, I’d like to remind you that worth trounces the flimsiness of image ten to one.

    Thank you for making me smile, my lovely. xoxo

    1. candidkay says:

      Nicest words I could have awakened to this morning:). Thank you, friend! And the reminder? Priceless.

  7. srbottch says:

    Kristine, you must read my recent story, ‘Let’s Face It, You Can’t Fight Gravity’. I enjoyed this one and it works for both makes and females. 😉

    1. candidkay says:

      Just checked it out–I had missed that one! And it made me laugh. Six-pack abs, eh? 🙂

      1. srbottch says:

        Maybe a can or two, but never six! And it’s getting harder trying😉

  8. Very funny and wise, as ever. You made me remember that I always expected to be a roly poly old woman like my grandmother Mim, and that could still happen. But I lost the tummy tyre for health reasons (blood pressure) and now I laugh as I see a scraggy old face in the mirror… like my other granny.

    1. candidkay says:

      Well, I don’t see a scraggy face in your pic! But I’m glad you laugh at aging. It’s a refreshing change from our filler/tanning lotion/facelift culture. Ugh.

      1. The scraggy face is a work in progress—Nature’s work.

      2. candidkay says:

        I see a beautiful face that has lived well!

      3. That is just too nice. I feel all funny 🙂

  9. fritzdenis says:

    We’re going to a church with a disproportionate number of folks in their seventies and eighties. I’m pushing 60, and my wife has already crossed the line. The snowtops refer to us as youngsters and think of us a smooth skinned wonders. I feel almost sprightly when I walk among them, and the creases and furrows on my face no longer look all that deep and numerous. I suggest that when you feel a bit down about both regions mentioned above, that a walk amongst the ancient might do wonders.

    1. candidkay says:

      I like your thinking:). My sister always told me not to bemoan how I look in pictures because 10 years later, I’d wish I still looked like that:).

  10. I, too, am much kinder to my body now. Even with my practice of yoga, I’m no longer drawn to ashtanga and prefer less physically demanding sequences. Like you, exercising is for me to ‘feel’ good, for the happy hormones to kick in. 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      With age comes not Only physical limitations, but luckily, also wisdom :-).

  11. bostonterrio says:

    Exercising for life here not beauty but I wouldn’t mind if some beauty fell on me.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m right there with you!

  12. Anne says:

    I love this & it is sooooo true!

    1. candidkay says:

      Sad, but true😉

  13. lol…your amazing Kristine, at least you have the wisdom to know that to get to that cute ‘ass’ you have to use your feet, whether walking, running, yoga’ing or even just looking at it (you have to stand up to look in the mirror 😀 ).
    So my friend, forget the treadmill conversation, become allied with those twinkly toes and soles to heal one of Sophie’s choice’s, for the other is fine as she speaks from her heart, and a hearts health is very beautiful indeed ❤
    Great post my friend, may your choice be the acceptance of both 😀

    1. candidkay says:

      LOOK at it? In the mirror? Oh, not yet:). Maybe a few hundred workouts from now:). Seriously, Thank you as always for the wise, kind words.

  14. KATIE Claypool says:

    So true! Love it. I like to think the extra 10-15 poinds I hate came from Mother Nature filling in my wrinkles

    1. candidkay says:

      Right?! Makes you a little iffy about the final 5 pounds :-).

  15. Bernadette says:

    LOL. I just quoted that truth to my husband about a week ago after seeing someone extremely thin not get good results from a facelift.

    1. candidkay says:

      It’s So very true and something I did not realize until she pointed out to me at a certain age :-).

  16. You speak for all women Kristine! Not an easy task to keep fit and look young ha! 🙄 but I agree, as I get older, I’m much kinder to my body and my thoughts about it and now I exercise because I appreciate my health and each moment I’m here! 💃🏼💚

    1. candidkay says:

      Yes! Far kinder to our bodies as we age–at least the sane among us are:). But why do we not learn that in youth?!

      1. Too busy trying to be perfect that’s why!

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