for the 40+ woman!

I knew a girl from Banff many moons ago, when I worked there, who was from a good family and who had clothes to die for! She had amazing clothes, expensive, and she always looked fantastic. She knew how to dress, for sure, and how to layer, match, fit her body type (I was amazed because I have always wanted this skill, me, the shirts and jeans gal. Lazy, really).

Then I saw her at the lake, sun bathing, and all the mystery went away because for the first time, I could see her body, her almost-entire body, and I realized that she looked, well, average without clothes. OK, maybe less than average. OK, she was in really poor shape.

At that point (and this is me trying to make up for this because I just know what you are all thinking….”how judgemental of you”.., I wasn’t rally thinking ‘eghad, look how out of shape she is’, because I wasn’t really into fitness much then, or body image. My fitness level was likely the same as hers. Nothing special to be sure, but she had learned the fine art of clothes shopping and wearing that had eluded me all my life. It was a juxtaposition that has never really left me, some 30 years later.

Funny though, after that beach incident, I realized that I had sparingly dressed myself and make-upped myself all those years (and still do today) because I never felt comfortable with a facade, no matter how great it made me look. Guess I never wanted to undress or take off make-up and hear someone say, ‘wow, you look so different.’ To me, that would feel weird, false, uncomfortable.

Now I am not against make-up, as you know. I wear it, sure. But always minimal, just enough, because I don’t want to lull myself into a false sense of self, or shock myself when the clothes and the make-up comes off, and I realize that my fitness routine just might not be making the changes in my physique that I thought it was. ‘Uh oh, been fooling myself all these years…it wasn’t working! Back to the drawing board’…Nope. I never want to find myself in that place. Better to know up front, I think.

And there are many days when I would forget to make-up up, and leave the house face naked. But it doesn’t derail me, which is a good thing, and it don’t think it weirded people out. A kind of face commando. But admittedly, I do feel a tad better with some face armour on.

Today, my favourite wear is still t-shirt and jeans (it’s really just laziness, or lack of fashion skill), but I figure as long as I can still wear a slightly tight t-shirt and look ok, then I’m staying on track. (I will layer-up when I’m cold, and then I’ll make an exception). And when fashion shifted a few years back, and all the shirts went into long mode (you can almost pull that shirt down to your knees, can’t you? I figure it’s because sadly, so many of our young ladies are struggling with weight issues), I figured then fashion-makers had to keep pace with our changing, growing body shapes that so many younger people are struggling with, now more than ever. (So rather than change legislation so trans fats and sugars are minimized in our foods, clothing manufacturers and style trenders are having to shift their products, to literally, cover up for Health Canada’s messes).

Give me blue jeans and a nice form-fitting t-shirt and I’m off to the races (but I will always wear heels, to give me the illusion of a leaner body. Yep, even I’ll use a style once in awhile to add some fakery). But I figure the day I can’t get into my jeans or I’m bulging uncomfortably through my t-shirt and over my belt is the day I may just take a note from Miss Banff herself, and, well, learn to layer up.

She  did it so well….


The 10-Week Best Shape Challenge is here! We start January 12th! Sign up has begun! Join us! And wear your favourite jeans and t-shirt with pride!