Best Mid-Life Crisis EVER!
There’s this challenge I stumbled upon on Instagram the other day called #WhatsYourNumber and it asks people to hold up a number and say why it is significant to them.
Some people give their lucky numbers, others list a dream weight or a dress size they don’t want to get larger than or the age they changed their life somehow.
Well, you know that got my mind racing. I like the numbers 5 & 7, ’cause those are the best ages ever for my kids (they’re cute and still like me.) But maybe my number is 107, the weight I was when I had five lines on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” You can see the clip here:[wpvideo fkNsHeIL]
For the longest time that was my dream weight, the standard against which all other weights I might be were judged.
But that number doesn’t really mean much to me anymore, not since I discovered bodybuilding in 2012. (Ooh! Maybe that’s the magic number!)
See, a lot happened between that clip of me on Buffy when I was 25, single and weighed 107 lbs. I got married to the love of my life, gave birth to two wonderful children, moved from California to Texas so we could start our own real estate business, and, oh yeah, I gained a lot of weight in the process.
I went from a size 3 to a size 14 (I’m 5’3″), my husband and I kept fighting, I kept gaining until I was 150 lbs. and my doctor informed me that I was borderline obese. And that’s when I opened the invitation to my 20th high school reunion, because God has a sense of humor.
Here’s another number I didn’t like much: 40.
It seems so old. It signified that I was at the top of the proverbial hill and was now going over it. *Sigh*
But 40 was a long time away when I entered my first bodybuilding bikini competition at age 38. I was told to enter the “Masters” division. (Masters is fancy for old chicks.) So I asked, “But isn’t that for women like ages 40-45?” “No, Masters starts at 35,” I was told.
35 is old???
OMG, I’d been over the hill for three years without my knowledge!?! I thought maybe it was a bodybuilding fluke, but then I saw an ad for a cougar cruise and it listed women ages 35 – 72. This really threw me off, because I was not mentally prepared to have my mid-life crisis yet. When did 35 become the new 40? And how come men don’t have their mid-life crisis until 50? Men don’t live till 100. Men’s mid-life crisis should be at 37.4 and women’s mid-life crisis should be at 42.
She’s Losing It!
Looking in the mirror, I began to lose it. Where did I go, and who was this over-weight middle aged woman staring back at me?
- I was losing my looks
- I was losing my husband
- I was losing my mind
But then I entered that bodybuilding competition. I had no idea what I was getting into, my only goal was to look hot in a bikini. (Not all goals are lofty.) But two weeks into the process I realized that training for this competition had nothing to do with a bikini and everything to do with regaining my own mental strength.
- I lost my excuses
- I lost the weight (50 lbs.)
- I gained back my confidence and repaired my relationship with my husband in the process
40’s are Fabulous
Louis C.K. has a very funny bit where he talks about being 42, looks down at his frumpy body and says something like, “It’s never going to get better than this.”
While Louis C.K. is funny and adorable, I don’t believe my own body is done improving. I’ve met too many women in the Masters divisions who earned their pro cards at age 50. So there is hope for us older chicks.
Turning 40 is tough for a woman. Some women decide to grow old gracefully, but since I’ve never been a graceful person, why start now? Other women have an “oops” baby. I did things my own way. I lost 50 lbs., started a fitness blog and consistently enter bikini and pole dance competitions. Or, as my husband calls it, “Best mid-life crisis EVER!”
It was fun being 25 and single, but it’s even better being in my 40’s, married and a mother of two. Today, at 41, I love my age, my life, and I love my body. I hope that you do too, whatever age you are!
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two. Her book, “She’s Losing It!” is available at Amazon.com.
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