What happens to the female body? 20s, 30s, 40s

Some time ago I read an article about what happens to a woman’s body during her 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond.  I can’t recall if it the article was in a fitness magazine or a vanity magazine, but by the time I finished reading it – it was in the trash.  This was not a simple one page brief description of the changes that take place over the decades, but it was a full six page layout of what changes take place, in what seemed like a day by day review.  It almost seemed as if the writer was an announcer at a horse race, “Coming up on her late 20s is Miss Adorable – freckling and squinting with the epidermis showing signs of aging … — Closing in on her 30s is Miss Who Am I – Lacking collagen and losing luster with sagging cellulite and definite derriere deterioration … — Rounding the bend is Miss What Happened to Me – Age spotting and gray hair-plucking with low hovering hormones …   Closing in on the finish line is Miss fantastic 50s …

I read and re-read this six page article as if it was, “Good Night Moon,” and I was reading to it to a two year-old who didn’t get it.  I was shocked to learn that collagen deterioration began in my 20s and women who put off having babies past 26 might just end up childless.  From the way this hormone information was presented, once I reached the age of 26 I only had 2 zillion eggs remaining in my ovaries and God knows that’s not nearly enough to conceive a family of 2.4 children!  Other than the hormone depletion, my skin would begin to lose its elasticity in my 20s – which I really never knew my skin had until this day of reckoning.

If I wasn’t depressed enough at the end of my 20s in the story, I turned the page and found my 30s to be much worse.  My hair was changing texture, my skin was losing its sheen and hormones might even be causing blemishes.  What kind of cruel joke was this?  Zits belonged to teenagers – not a woman in her 30s!  To make matters worse, there was an outstanding description of cellulite which completely disturbed yet intrigued me.  As I like to say, much like a train crash, I couldn’t turn away.  I learned cellulite had something to do with fat cells and something-or-other.  Unfortunately, after I saw the words, “fat cells,” I didn’t retain anything else I read.

The most depressing portion of the story was indeed the 40s.  Ironically I’ve always felt really good about my 40s – but since I read this story, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe (or butt cheek) to drop.  The 40s section of the article was, by far, the longest.  Apparently there are so many changes that take place during this decade that it took several pages (and pictures) to cover them.  Let me say, these are not simple, non-eventful changes either – they are more like,  “What the hell is that?” kind of changes and they made me want to run to my doctor and ask for an anti-depressant.

This six page twisted tale went on to tell me that my hair would begin to turn gray in my 40s – possibly up to 40% of it.  This was pretty sobering to read in black and white but even more disturbing was that I would be lucky if that’s all it did was turn gray, because many women experience hair thinning during the 40s!  After I cleaned up the coffee that I choked on and spit all over the table, I re-read the last sentence.  Seriously – could I go bald?  Could I end up like the nice little old lady I saw last weekend at the grocery with the hair dye painted directly onto her scalp?  Sweet fancy Moses! 

After that I almost didn’t have the guts to continue with body parts lower than my head, but at that point – as if it mattered?  I learned exciting facts like my rib cage could expand (outwardly) up to four inches, and my hips could expand up to seven inches as my skeletal structure continued to shrink.  All the while, during this balding, expanding, shrinking experience, my “hoo-hah” would be drying up from hormone extinction and massive wrinkles would eventually make their way onto my face like a fine linen shirt after a transatlantic flight.  As if these horrid facts weren’t depressing enough, I found out that my feet might grow, presumably from the additional weight they would have to haul around because my non-existent hormones would be confused as to whether I was a woman or man after my 40s which could result in a possible spare tire around the middle.

Yes, I was pretty excited after reading this little gem.  I was only 44 at the time and stood in front of the mirror trying to picture four more inches on my rib cage and seven more inches on my hips.  Of course I was in denial so I reasoned that I would continue to dye my not-yet thinning hair to fight off the 40% gray factor – problem solved.  Personally I didn’t believe that I would fall victim to the ribs and hips phenomenon, and literally said out loud, “Naah.”

Next I looked down at my feet and wondered about the expanding foot size in the event that I should “gain a few.”  Suddenly for the first time since I picked up this magazine I felt a glimmer of hope as I thought to myself, “Hmmm – new shoes!”

Xoxo  Shellitini

© Shelli Netko

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8 Comments

Filed under About Funny Stories, About Things That Bug Me, About Women, This 'n That

8 responses to “What happens to the female body? 20s, 30s, 40s

  1. Its like you browse my mind! You appear to know therefore a lot of about this, such as you wrote the book in it or something. I assume that you’ll do with some pics to drive the message home a very little bit, however other than that, this can be great blog. A great read.

  2. TINKERBELL511

    HELLO OUT THERE FELLOW 40’S. I’M GETTING THE BOYS READY TO GO OUT THE DOOR FOR SCHOOL RIGHT NOW, SO THIS IS GOING TO BE SWEET AND SHORT. FOR ABOUT A MONTH I’VE BEEN GOING THROUGH SOME CRAZY THINGS WITH MY BODY. I’M 43, I’LL BE 44 IN ABOUT 3 MONTHS. SO MENOPAUSE HAS BEEN ON MY MIND FOR QUITE SOMETIME. BUT BEING AS BUSY AS I AM, JOB, HUSBAND, 2 UNDER 16 YEAR OLD BOYS, I HAVE BARELY TIME TO FOCUS ON IT. EVERY NOW AND THEN AT WORK I’M REMINDED OF WHATS COMING FOR ME BY SOME OLDER WOMEN THAN MYSELF SPEAKING OF HOT FLASHES AND HER BODY CHANGES. THERE IS USUALLY A CURSE WORD AFTER EACH STATEMENT. THEN OF COURSE THERE ARE THE 20 SOMETHINGS THAT I WORK WITH THAT SMILE AND SAY THATS CRAZY, OFFERING ME THERE CONDOLENCE. MY RESPONSE “NO THANKS I’M NOT THERE YET!” NOW THAT WAS UNTIL A FEW MONTHS AGO, WHEN EVERYTHING STARTED GOING HAYWIRE. MY MEMORY IS LOUSY, I’M TIRED ALL THE TIME, EVEN WHEN I DON’T EAT MUCH, I’M STILL GAINING WEIGHT, I’M FREAKING MOODY ALL THE TIME, AND I SOMETIMES RECOGNIZE IT TOO. AND NOW MY PERIOD IS ACTING UP. FIRST IT SHORTENS FROM 4-5 DAYS UNTIL 3-4 DAYS. AND JUST RECENTLY I’VE SPOTTED BROWN DISCHARGE JUST BEFORE MY PERIOD WHICH MADE ME THINK “OH BOY IMPLANTATION BLOOD” ONLY TO GET MY PERIOD THE NEXT WEEK AND THEN JUST 20 DAYS LATER GET MY PERIOD AGAIN. I’M USUALLY EVERY 28 TO 29 DAYS APART, GIVING ME MY PERIOD TWICE IN THE SAME MONTH. MY HUSBAND THINKS BECAUSE ITS LEAP YEAR AND ALL THROUGH MY PERIOD OUT OF WHACK. I KNOW BETTER. AND JUST YESTERDAY I NOTICED BROWN BLOOD ON MY PANTIES AND TISSUES AS I WIPED, JUST A LITTLE BUT ITS WEIRD MY PERIOD ENDED LESS THAN 2 WEEKS AGO. STILL THIS MORNING JUST A LITTLE PINKISH WHEN I WIPE AND JUST ONCE, EARLY THIS MORNING. I’VE BEEN ON FORUMS LIKE THIS FOR THE LAST MONTHS TRYING TO FIND OUT MORE THINGS ABOUT THE BIG “M” MOSTLY I’M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THE CHANGES, BECAUSE ALREADY NOT LIKING WHATS HAPPENING. BUT WITH MOSTLY EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE I WILL TAKE IT AND SWALLOW AND TRY TO SMILE WHILE DOING IT. MY MOTHER DID, AUNTS, AND OLDER SISTERS AS WELL. STILL CANT HELP BUT WONDER WHY WE AS WOMEN GO THROUGH SO MUCH FROM ONE STAGE TO ANOTHER. I LIKE THIS ARTICLE MADE LAUGH, NEEDED THAT THIS MORNING, ESPECIALLY THE PART ABOUT OUR BODIES DONT KNOW IF WE ARE A MAN OR A WOMEN FUNNY STUFF, AND I AGREE, JUST NOTICING THAT THE WORD MENOPAUSE HAS THE WORD MEN IN IT. OKAY THAT’S CORNY STUFF, BUT I NEVER EVEN NOTICED THAT UNTIL NOW THAT IS. BUT THIS ARTICLE WAS FREAKING HILARIOUS HOPING I JUST CAN JUST GET THROUGH THE REST SMILING!

  3. charry queen caballes

    i had fun reading this and i cant imagine myself at 30’s im still 26, and i felt that i actually have wider hips compared to the last time i didntgive birth yet..

  4. Loved the post. It’s true that many of the fitness magazines depress instead of motivate you. They’re like reading a medical journal that causes you to feel every symptom and walk away scratching imaginary ailments :)

  5. Badia

    I just turned 40 in March & Im already going crazy. I feel funky, off, moody and just different. Thanks for making me laugh out loud. I needed that since it looks like its all down hill rom here!

  6. maria blough

    Love the comments. im 44 just became a grama and my body to is going through some changes I think the most werid thing was getting 2 periods whats up with that like one wasn’t enough, but you know what I loved the comment , my mother aunts and older sisters went through and made it so will I with a smile we are still beautiful its hard to get older but I will teach my daughters life is beautiful even when we get older god bless you all you are beautiful and you know u are embrace it your old when you die have a great week ,we are women we do so much we need to celebrate every age take care beautifuls :)

  7. Betty

    Thank you so much for this article an the responses! I’m 40 yrs old. and I started experiencing some changes in my body. About 4 yrs ago i went through a very hard time in my life due to depression. I had a doctor that told me I had a mild form of a nervous break down. So ever since, I started dealing with a lot of anxiety, depression, panic attacks. Life was just horrible!! and to add up to it, my husband and I had or are having major problems; we are now separated. So because of the bad depression and all of the other crazy stuff, my body changing added up more anxiety, depression and panic! I thought I was supposed to get better after taking care of the depression, but to see my body change and act up, well needless to say I went back to the depression again!
    So i decided to check on the internet what changes should i expect or at least find out that I’m not alone on this. And of course I got panicky again…..specially when I read about horrible sicknesses, because I was trying to find out about the symptoms I was feeling, the tiredness, muscle discomfort, breast tenderness, period changes, etc.
    But then “I found you! to know at least that I’m normal! it is of great relief!
    And let me tell you what i have acomplish at my 40’s! I actually took care of some weigh problems and took care of my diet for a year and lost 30 lbs or so! all in a healthy way. I also started my own bussines.
    Now, i feel sexier than when I was in my 20’s!
    It is funny how we can not find any researches on the wonderful things that can happen to a woman in her 40’s! But I just did!! thank you for all who have shared and giving hope to many of us!! Remember that you are beautiful!!!

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