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How can I look nice again : marriage ending, 40s and feeling fugly

(94 Posts)
strongurgetofly Mon 30-Dec-13 06:25:19

Hi all I'm a regular name changer!
My marriage has come to an end and may self esteem is on the floor after years of neglect!
I'm 41, perimenopausal, other health problems which cause chronic pain plus two small children and working 3 days per week.
I have coarse curly/knotty dry hair which always needs root touch up no matter how often I dye it.

I have age spots and wrinkles, the beginnings of jowls and a crepey neck and cleavage. People always tell me how tired I look, I'm still sharing a bedroom with my 'h' (but not a bed) and I stay up late every night until I'm sure he's asleep and I have trouble with insomnia.
My upper eyelids are very puffy which is a byproduct of my illness but makes me look older and more tired.

I have a grey front tooth following root canal surgery and no amount of cosmetic bleaching can change it.
My boobs are saggy little sacks and my belly is an overstretched mess.

The chronic pain and inflammation makes waxing /epilation difficult and I rarely have time or energy to pamper myself.

I am at least half a stone overweight and only 5 feet tall so every pound counts., my arse and thighs are huge and my feet are dry and cracked.

I have much younger sisters who are stunning and I work with some very beautiful women. I used to be a 'headturner' and pretty low maintenance. I just don't know where to start. I have no time, energy or money.
In short I feel like a dried-up snaggle toothed husk.

Please help me out with a starting point, I need to get out of this rut.

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 16:01:55

I am trying to give up sugar, it will help when I have eaten all the Christmas snacks and there's no more temptation!

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 16:00:55

Hi etainagain thanks for your reply. Currently my financial situation wouldn't allow for expensive cosmetic treatments. I used to be dead against them but we have moved on a long way and they seem quite acceptable now. I know a lot of people who have had something 'done'. I'm a very earthy type of woman (or I was until I started visibly ageing) but I wouldn't rule it out if money was no object
I never thought of getting that sort of treatment through a college but I guess nowadays beauty students news to know this stuff!

Etainagain Tue 07-Jan-14 15:09:56

Sorry, I haven't read all the replies to your post and I don't know your financial situation, but would Botox for the wrinkles and laser treatment for the age spots be something that you would consider? Maybe even surgery for the droopy upper eyelid? If these options are unaffordable, perhaps you could take advantage of cheap treatments offered by students on hair and beauty courses at FE colleges. Also, giving up sugar would probably help your skin. A friend of mine gave up all sugar in her diet a couple of months ago and she looks years younger. Wish I could do it, but I've given up fags and booze and not sure I'm ready to give up my sugary treats just yet!

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 14:40:10

KristinaM when I get the bit between my teeth I'm quite tenacious.
I tend to let things stagnate for a period of time and then I open the curtains and let the light in then when I'm brave enough I open the windows to encourage the fresh air to flow through.

Deep maaaan...

KristinaM Tue 07-Jan-14 14:25:53

Well done strong, that's a lot of progress in a few days. You are obviously a woman of action!

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 14:12:50

Thank you ladies. I'm just awaiting a decision from the landlords (shared ownership property) Once they've come back to me with a Yay or nay I can start the next phase.
Well done on doing the 5:2 OBehaveMaeve I hope it works for you, so many people rate it.
Onwards and upwards.

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 14:12:48

Thank you ladies. I'm just awaiting a decision from the landlords (shared ownership property) Once they've come back to me with a Yay or nay I can start the next phase.
Well done on doing the 5:2 OBehaveMaeve I hope it works for you, so many people rate it.
Onwards and upwards.

cloudskitchen Tue 07-Jan-14 13:00:36

Well done you. I'm pleased for you about your room. Space to breath smile

OBehaveMaeve Tue 07-Jan-14 12:46:05

Just saying I'm on the 5:2 today and I'm not finding it too bad. I have half a stone to lose. Ok, ten pounds! you see, I'm fatter than you are, and older too.

horrible situation you're in. that would suck the life out of you for sure. I hope you have your own place soon.

strongurgetofly Tue 07-Jan-14 12:39:11

Hi I just wanted to update: not much has changed in the scheme of things but I now have my own bedroom which is a blessing for however long we have to share our home.
I have dyed my grey roots, done a face mask and a fresh manicure as well as buying some carefully chosen basics in the sales.
I have been listening to meditation / relaxation daily and have counselling lined up.
My body is still a mess but it is a work in progress.
Thanks again all for your great advice.

PastaandCheese Sat 04-Jan-14 17:34:48

I can well imagine looking after your appearance helping. There is a lot to be said for it. I took a few bits of make up in my labour bag. It's the sort of thing people react to by going 'oh, don't be so vain. You'll never wear make up again once you have a newborn' etc etc.

I felt so utterly shit with my hormones / baby blues / tiredness after a hard birth I couldn't stop crying and my in laws were coming to see us. I wheeled DD into the bathroom, put clean clothes on, brushed my hair, washed my face and put a bit of make up on. Deep breath and all that and I felt so much better and just less 'vulnerable' if that makes any sense?

If that's vain then so be it. It helped me massively at that point and if you feel even a little bit better about the hard times you are having by taking care of yourself then that's great and very worthwhile.

strongurgetofly Sat 04-Jan-14 15:53:23

Yay for not being shallow and well fitted bras! I love mumsnet!

I have made a real effort with my appearance since posting on here and reading everybody's replies and comments. It has really helped to have people to talk about it with and not feel that I'm being a bimbo, I'm so not bimbo-ish , I'm quite natural with a teensy bit of hippy throwback but I like to look like I care.

I have felt much more confident the last week or so just putting on a bit of make up and doing my hair.
I haven't made great inroads yer but I'm doing little bits here and there. I will keep aspiring and will try to get on the eastern renovation thread at some point, I have all the tools already.

PastaandCheese Sat 04-Jan-14 14:58:25

Definitely not shallow!

polyhymnia Sat 04-Jan-14 11:00:30

No you're not shallow. If your bra isn't right, nothing else will look right either. That's why bras - together with haircut, which is also always with you - are top of my priority list for investment.

strongurgetofly Sat 04-Jan-14 09:12:48

Yes PastaandCheese I was wrongly measured on numerous occasions and rather than being 'frivolous' I have been wearing a variety of sizes, all of them too big and it hasn't done a thing for my shape and has probably made the poor buggers sag even more!

Once I started to come back to the land of the living postnatal lying and stopped breastfeeding the bra interventions were a godsend. I had been to several shops for fittings, some even had me as a 38 d/e I'm a size ten for goodness' sake!

Another specialist store explained that the copious backfat which appeared when I wore their bra was to enable me to move my arms around and If I didn't have it then I wouldn't be able to lift my arms!

I have become quite evangelical about the bra interventions, it's amazing that some people don't care at all, or maybe I'm just a bit shallow!

PastaandCheese Sat 04-Jan-14 07:35:56

Well done on buying more bras. It makes such a difference to how your clothes sit and how you look.

One bra is definitely not enough! All my bras are generally sale ones as the wonderful thing about the intervention is you know your size and get to know the decent brands that suit you so sale shopping on line is easy.

strongurgetofly Fri 03-Jan-14 22:48:47

yourehavingalaugh thanks, the general consensus seems to be tooth veneer. I already have the bleaching kit, trays etc from when I got married so I can start the treatment bleaching anytime. When we discussed veneers he seemed to say that it wouldn't last on this tooth (a front side one) I can't remember if it was due to the way I 'bite'. He has since left the practice and since having kids I can't afford private anymore and the bleach doesn't work on this type of greying.

I will bleach anyway just to brighten the rest up. I have been taking divorce /separation advice and was advised not to spend any unnecessary cash right now, there will be a lot of legal fees coming up.

I did buy three bras (two for daytime and one black multiway for all occasions to supplement my existing cream multiway) but they are all decent and in the sales. One bra is not enough for any woman!

yourehavingalaugh Fri 03-Jan-14 22:22:19

I am going to suggest a tooth veneer too. If your teeth aren't quite right, it makes you so self-conscious. After my separation, I had my teeth whitened and a couple of veneers which I had always wanted. It cost a fortune but has made me feel so much better about my image. A year or so on and my teeth are still lovely!

strongurgetofly Fri 03-Jan-14 22:00:06

Uh-oh I started off well on the sleep plan when I found out liz jones is in the big brother house and now I want to watch it but I'm starting to feel sleepy.

The best laid plans....

strongurgetofly Fri 03-Jan-14 14:29:06

MrsFlorrick consider yourself messaged.

Thank you

MrsFlorrick Fri 03-Jan-14 14:18:54


If you PM me with an email address, I can email over all the exercise sheets I have from my private physio. They were geared ttowards recovering from SI joint issues and building core stability.

strongurgetofly Fri 03-Jan-14 13:40:31

HoneyStepMummy thanks for your reply. I will check out the eye videos. Wrt being perimenopausal :does your GP acknowledge / support this? Do you take any supplements or follow specific nutrition guidelines?

mrsmarigold you are right, it's easy to be negative, I do try to keep positive but sometimes it's overwhelming. I'm very much looking forward to starting counselling though. I'm sure it will help my mindset. I am being very strong, I know a lot of women in my situation would stay married and just put up with the situation to keep the status quo but I just can't live a lie anymore. I'm quite proud of myself but at the same time I need some support. I don't have a conventional family, I have nobody I can run to and hide with I have to face it all alone, I have friends but they are all busy with their own busy lives and nobody is going out of their way to see I'm ok (self pitying emoticon)

I thought I should save my rings in case the children want them later on? one is an heirloom on DH's side.

MrsMarigold Fri 03-Jan-14 09:46:24

Believe in yourself a bit more it seems you are constantly seeing hurdles and justifying why you can't do things - look at what you can do.

I reckon you should make the tooth and hair a priority - go to several dentists and get quotes or get a veneer - even if you have to sell a few things (wedding and engagement ring could be sold to contribute to the tooth fund). Wear make-up even if you are just going to the corner shop.

My mum has spine curvature but has short hair and always wears collars which make a difference. Short hair could be worth it - cropped close to thew head if you have a good bone structure.

strongurgetofly Fri 03-Jan-14 09:26:55

Morning MrsFlorrick. I don't know why I thought taking 3 was recommended, I think I read it on somebody's Amazon review. I took one in the early hours of this morning when I was wide awake.

Fortunately H is on nights the next few days so I can practice The Sleep Plan! I can listen to relaxation stuff and read etc without fear of bothering him plus when he's finished nights I'm going to reclaim the second bedroom and put the littlies in to share. Unfortunately I need his help for the room swap because I can't physically do it on my own.
I spoke to housing people yesterday they will consider buying more shares of the house but need to decide whether I can afford to stay here with the children once they've decided then we can start orally rolling. Woop woop!

I have pilates this afternoon the classes were shut from 18th Dec until today n, I don't know how long I can continue going as I have to rely on him to watch the children and if he's not free I can't go plus it's very expensive so I don't know how much longer I can afford it. I really struggle to do the exercises at home alone.

MrsFlorrick Thu 02-Jan-14 22:45:26

Strongurge. Commiserations on the SI issues sad.
There are lots of physio (ie clinical Pilates) moves/exercises which help.
I will go and find some linkys and post them later.
If you do them every day, it makes a massive difference.

The Kirkland sleep aid. I think you're only supposed to take 1 at a time. I actually break them in half. Half is enough to get me off to sleep.

I'd feel hung over if I took 3 of those as well!

Also "plan" your sleep. It sounds stupid but it works. Ie take your Kirkland sleepaid very early ie 8pm so long before you go to bed.
That way by the time you get to bed you sort of collapse into bed rather than that unpleasant tossing and turning.
It also gives the sleepaid time to wear off so you feel fully fresh in the morning.

I know its hard to plan ahead but if you plan to take the sleep aid say for a week to catch up on rest and go to bed reasonably early. Then do take it at 8pm and you're ready to fall asleep long before 10pm.

It's boring but it works.
Back later with exercise linkys.

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