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Mistake 3: Comparing yourself to you in your twenties.

The Health magazine article says that “few people look as attractive in middle age as they did in their younger years.” True but depressing. When I think back on how uncomfortable I was with my body I want to tell my twenty-something self that I look great! What was I thinking? So I had a little pooch in front. How easy was that to hide?

I long for the days when that little pooch was all I didn’t want showing. Now there are sagging breasts, spider veins, double chin—you get the picture.

Yoo hoo! Ms. Twenty-something. You are going to see much worse later in life so chill for now, will you?

Hope she’s listening.

Image of middle-aged woman with wallet

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mistake 4: Not spending enough on clothes. This one I can identify with. I was in the habit of buying cheap clothes so I could have more variety. But I learned that cheap didn’t wear too well. It wasn’t long before hems of cotton tees stretched out and seams began unraveling. Now I watch for coupons and sales so I can get better quality without breaking the bank.

According to the article, clothes off the rack don’t fit our bodies as well as they used to. Buying clothes designed to cover our flaws will require spending more money. We need to invest in more “constructed” clothing—clothing that contains Lycra panels, butt-boosting jeans, and Spanx.

There is not enough Lycra in the world to boost my tush into any jeans. I’ll take the Lycra in front please. And not as a booster but a flattener.

Image of middle-aged woman running

Image courtesy of Ariel da Silva Parreira, stock.xchng

Mistake 5: Skipping exercise. Never mind how bad you feel when you exercise, you need to do it because it can help stave off health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. I do exercise, but I know I’m not doing as much as I should.

Today, one of my young Facebook friends (early thirties) posted a video of an exercise class that she claimed had a guy that was hysterical. Ready for a good laugh, I started the video. The guy I was instructed to watch was borderline obese, wearing a Speedo. While the instructor and the other students within camera range were doing their moves, Speedo guy was over-performing—really getting into it, you might say. Did I laugh? Hell, no! I silently cheered him on. I know exactly what it’s like to hear a song that makes me feel like dancing and letting loose in my home. Now I wouldn’t do it with a camera running, but that’s me. I will bet this guy was expending at least as much energy as the others, including the instructor. Yeah, his big belly jiggled and his occasional “wahoo” made onlookers giggle, but so what? He probably knocked off the calories in that donut he ate for breakfast.

What motivates you to exercise?

What do you wish you could tell your younger self? Anything–it doesn’t have to be related to looks.