Needless to say, in my 30s my body isn’t the glorious calorie-demolishing machine it once was
Weird elbows? Clubbing injuries? Developing a sensitivity to beer? Check, check and check. Your body sure has some strange surprises in store for you–and you’ll never see them coming.
In leaving my 20s behind I realized just how much I was taking them for granted.
1. My drink limit is way lower.
In my 20s, I thought nothing of guzzling keg beer from my local dive bar. I can’t remember how many nights I’d put back six more drinks, thrash my heart out on the dance floor, crash at around 4 a.m. and then somehow get up for work, looking dewy and sparkly-eyed after literally an hour’s sleep. And what’s with how much more easily I get tipsy these days?
Sadly, the being-able-to-drink-your-face-off with no immediate health consequences superpower you have in your 20s does not last! Not only do I need way more recovery time after a night out in my 30s, I also can’t drink the same garbage I used to. It’s a modest glass of white wine and a splash of soda water for this lady now.
2. I can’t eat a whole box of Oreos dipped in frosting in one sitting.
I used to be the queen of snacking. I’d eat cookie dough from the tube. And I had a thing for dipping Oreos in Betty Crocker’s rainbow chip frosting. It was pure heaven. Seriously, savor it while you can because those days don’t last forever.
Now, I log every piece of rye bread with almond butter that I have into my Weight Watchers app, because when I deviate too far from my measly daily “points” allowance of 27 (to put things in harsh perspective, a Dairy Queen Blizzard with Oreo cookies is 29 points, whereas a banana is zero points, so you can guess what I’m eating) I always gain weight.
Needless to say, in my 30s my body isn’t the glorious calorie-demolishing machine it once was, and if I had a time machine I’d go back ten years and eat fries and gravy for days.
3. I don’t recognize my own elbows.
My elbows have become strange alien-like creatures. What was once skin has been replaced by strange wrinkly, leathery formations masquerading as elbows. I’d never really given my elbows any thought-I always took them for granted. But I caught a glimpse of my suddenly super wrinkly ET elbows in a store window the other day and almost dropped my iced coffee in shock.
For a while I lathered them in lotions and potions every night and prayed they’d return to their former glory. But, since they showed no plans of reverting to my old elbows, I’ve managed to make peace with them. With age, skin gets dehydrated, and that’s not always something you can stop with a few extra glasses of water.
4. My eyesight is not what it used to be.
I was in denial that my eyesight was getting worse for a dangerously long time. But when I was asked to be a field producer at a TV show, dusted off my license and hit the road with our talent and camera man, I had a harsh dose of reality. “That was a stop sign!” shouted one of the guys. I was so busy trying to read the road signs and figure out my turn that I hadn’t seen it-everything was blurry.
Needless to say, I’ve invested in prescription contacts. Getting contacts was game changing. Suddenly, I was actually able to recognize people who waved at me on the other side of the street, and I realized my house was covered in a layer of dust I’d never visually registered before. I was seeing the world in high definition for the first time in years. Thank you, 30.
5. My natural hair color sucks now.
I was always a bit vain when it came to my hair. A proud dye virgin, I’d smugly compare my locks to swatches of hair in the waiting room at the hairdresser, telling myself it was superior to faux shades like “Butterscotch Blonde” and “Golden Wheat.” Then something happened that I’d never mentally prepared for: When I turned 30, my hair started to lose its luster and lightness and could be described as nothing other than “dishwater brown.”
Finally, I swallowed my pride and spent $200 bucks getting it highlighted.
6. My quirky habits–like tooth grinding–finally caught up to me.
I’d get so annoyed by my dentist when he told me to get a bite guard. “Oh that’s not for me! I don’t need that,” I’d say. Exasperated, he’d finally warned me, “Do you want to have teeth like your dad?!” (My dad is British… ). While what he said was totally harsh and out of line, he was right-I was destroying my teeth.
I don’t know why I gnash my teeth like a deranged maniac trying to chew her way through prison bars in her sleep every night, but I do. I wound up having to repair all the damage I did on my front two teeth, which, according to another dentist, looked like the teeth of an 80-year-old man.” And it wasn’t cheap! Now I wear a bite guard every night, which isn’t the sexiest thing ever.
7. I get dancing injuries now.
At the risk of sounding like the oldest woman in the world, when I go out and get low on the dance floor, I sometimes wind up with tightness in my “bad hip.” Turns out, there are some ligaments in my body that seem to have an adverse reaction to my midnight brain’s conviction that I can actually twerk. But that still doesn’t mean I’m not going to try!
While my body may be surprising me with weird elbow wrinkles and painful hips, it’s a small price to pay for getting older. I am happier in my 30s that I ever was in my teens or 20s, and nothing can replace that older lady swagger that comes when you stop caring what people think of you. I fully intend on one day being the “inappropriately” dressed aunt at your wedding who gets in a dance-off with her great nieces. Bad dancing hip be damned.