We have another great giveaway coming your way, but an article I read this weekend pushed my “must write about” button.  Let me first say that I love Jennifer Weiner’s writing and I’ll even admit I appreciate her Bachelor live-tweeting. I didn’t enjoy  “One Day We Can Stop Trying,Right?” I may be in the minority because multiple Facebook friends posted the link to it.
If you didn’t catch the piece, JW starts out with the observation that magazines tend to stop focusing on women after 60.  “It’s as if, for the purposes of good looks and sexiness, older women cease to exist.” Ouch I thought but JW takes comfort in the notion of being cut off as “a finish line, a point at which you were no longer expected to perform what sometimes feels like a woman’s major duty in life- looking good for men.”
Though “perform” and “duty” made me cringe, I used to wonder about what Jennifer describes. Will I care about my skinny jeans, bathing suit body and scale surges and dips when I’m older? I’ve learned from clients in their 70s and even 80s that answer is I probably will. I hope I do. My older clients are doers. They’re traveling, socializing, exercising and they want to feel (and look) good in the process. For them, there isn’t anything onerous about it, and they definitely aren’t trying to look good for men.
The article isn’t just about aging. Jennifer Weiner seems to have joined the “we’re above dieting, caring about our looks and weight” brigade. There are now anti-diet books. The words skinny and thin are taboo as if to be truly evolved means you need to wave a “looks don’t matter” flag. I’m not waving the flag, neither are most women or most men for that matter.
 It’s not just a matter of looks; Carolyn and I just finished the first of our January “Whipping Weeks”. We asked participants to describe how they felt before they started and we asked again last night. After a week they said things like, “energized, motivated, healthy and proud.” Trying can leave you feeling a whole lot better than not trying.
JW also pokes Oprah. I agree with her (and wrote about) that there’s something inauthentic about the Oprah/Weight Watchers ads. However, Weiner decided that Oprah is too old and accomplished to care about weight. “Oprah, of all people, should be open to the possibility that she already is the woman she’s meant to be. And when you’re 61 are you really still expected to be fretting over whether you’ve got your best body?” I say, regardless of prestige or personal growth, you are allowed to want to work on your body AND you may not feel your best until you do.
Weiner quotes one expert and concludes that any time you lose weight you gain it back. Again, she’s padding her case that you may as well not try.
The conclusion of the article is what had me cursing at my Sunday paper. First she says, “Women are encouraged to measure out our lives in 55-minute barre classes and four-ounce servings of chicken.” She suggests that we donate our dieting dollars to charities and add new things, new skills, new classes (just not barre classes I guess) versus always taking things away. But she saves the most judgy for last,“in 2016, let’s look beyond the superficial and all resolve to make more of ourselves, not less. Really? We have to choose? You’re either charitable and interesting or weight-conscious and superficial? If that’s the case, it’s amazing someone like me even reads The New York Times. I don’t know about you, I enjoy “trying”. But I can’t type any more, I have to go measure my four ounces of chicken.
So, do you envision or hope for a time when you will stop “trying”? Why do you think it’s frowned upon to care about appearance or weight? Do exercise classes and mindful eating indicate you’re superficial
And the winner of the Young Living, essential oil giveaway is Erin. Thank you to those who entered and tweeted etc.


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