Accepting ourselves whilst ageing

I was under certain medications for three months – nothing serious, it looks like I’m fit as a fiddle.

Anyway, now that I’m gradually recovering from the mess this treatment made to my body and mind, I want to share with you what happened meanwhile! I think this is my personal message to try accepting ourselves just the way we are, and to accept the changes by rationalising them.

So here I am in late October and November, all bloated and with a massive water retention going on. (And yes, these are my first bathroom selfies ever, and yes, I’m sporting a Jetpack t-shirt). I’m not flexing or posing or holding the breath. This is just me in my worst shape ever.

accepting ourselves - stef bloated water retention

I gained 5kg in a month or so, about 15 days after I started taking those pills. Before these three months, I thought that the wrinkles I could see on my legs was cellulite. Then I found out what cellulite looks like for real because it popped out overnight whilst under this treatment. I also experienced tiredness, massive and terrible mood swings, headaches, legs soreness, and bloating. For a comparison, these are some pics of myself before starting the medication # – ##, and one week after I started with the pills (their effect kicked out 8 days after this photo).

I felt terrible. I couldn’t control all those changes in my body, not to mention the mood swings! Reducing the calories intake to minimise the weight gain wouldn’t make any difference, as it was clear that I didn’t gain fat, but just water. I excluded food with yeast and dairy from my diet as much as I could, and that helped a little bit to avoid extra bloating.

The psychological side effects were worse than the body ones, to tell the truth. I felt down and happy, I cried and then laughed, I was nervous pretty much all the time because I was feeling uncomfortable all the time.

I then tried to rationalise what was happening to me. It would last just for three months, and those were short-term side effects. Many people told me they couldn’t even notice the difference, a part from my tummy definition that was obviously gone. Someone noticed that I was moody and my waist got wider, though.

I also took these three months as a moment to realise that I’m not in my twenties anymore. I hate that. Despite I look much younger than I am, I won’t be (and look) young forever, and my fast metabolism will abandon me at some point. The greedy-eating-all Stef will have to start eating responsibly, doing more cardio (which I hate too) and, like all of us, start accepting ourselves the way we are – evolving, ageing creatures.

This is also why I’m sharing these pictures. I’m currently transitioning out of the medications timeframe and I have already lost 3kg. I don’t know if I’m going to be 48.2 kg again, but looking back at those past months I hope to have learnt the lesson to take it easy and be less tough with myself.

I will never stop fighting the ageing, though. I refuse to surrender. I see many people ageing and being in a great shape nevertheless. I’m thinking of Arnold Schwarzenegger or the lady at my local gym who I think is 80 or something and she’s still such a badass with kettlebells and dumbbells. Ageing will be never an excuse for me to get lazy and unfit.

22/12 Edit and pic update

Pic update, tranformation, get fit, water retention
Pic on the left is dated between October and November when I was under medications. Picture on the right is me 3 weeks off the medications. Note that the day before on the right picture I had a whole pizza and a £4 Italian gelato!

I lost 3,5kg of water retention; my tummy is more flat and I feel better now.

Still 1.5kg to lose but I’ll think about it after Christmas! 😇🍽

Taken at London, United Kingdom. Find more on my Instagram Stories too!


  1. If you’re active now, I’m sure you will stay active. I’m 54 and my weight has hardly changed over the years since I was a teenager (apart from when I was incubating babies!). I swam competitively till I was 37 and have always walked and cycled. Chris and I do at least 100km on the bikes each week. I have a friend a year older than me who does several triathletes a year, including an ironman. So you’ve got years and years of fitness ahead of you! And I’m absolutely certain you’ll always look amazing.

  2. I do feel for you Stef, but at least you only had to take the medication for 3 months and experience the side effects for a short while. To be honest, when I look at your photos, you look great!
    I have been taking meds for 26 years to prevent my migraines and I just seem to get all the side effects without the benefit.

    I have lost my ‘body shape’ when I hit 28 (20 years ago) and gradually my weight has increased. Most of these drugs cause weight gain and it’s hard to lose. I have been on the fasting diet for 3 years, all I managed was to stop the weight increase, but not lose the extra. I can’t do any cardio or aerobic exercise because it will trigger a migraine, so I do gentle walking or yoga (that is, in between attacks). As I also suffer with IBS, my tummy always sticks out, so I look pregnant even though I gave birth 7 years ago. I have to accept these changes in my body reluctantly, but I have no choice. It’s either that, or being depressed about it forever. Acceptance is a very important thing in life. My motto is: change what you can and accept what you can’t change.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Martina. That puts what happened to me in another perspective. What you said about acceptance is very true, and I’m glad you underlined it.
      I also like to think that there’s a thin line between acceptance and not giving up – this is where I am, and where people, in my opinion, should try to stay ;)

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