hadassah arms bat wings exercise My grandma had bat wing arms. Her arm jiggle fascinated us kids. My cousin Rachel would reach across Granny’s corset-clad girth, tap the wrinkled drape of skin and shriek with half-delight, half-horror as the bat wing came to life. Granny endured this assault with what seemed like good humor, and I was way into adulthood before I wondered why she didn’t clobber the first child who attempted such ignominy.

Unfortunately, I seem to belong to the same gene pool as the¬†zaftig¬†model for Rubens’ Andromeda paintings. My best friend’s genes are more upper arm-friendly. At her niece’s recent wedding, she wrapped her slender 62-year-old body in a green strapless gown, displaying smooth, well-toned arms that would not shame a 30-year-old. She’s a regular at her gym, but still….

I’m better off than Granny was at my age, having spent years doing weights, push-ups and Pilates. Nevertheless, I detect an incipient jiggle, and I’m facing a crepey-limbs future with all the aplomb of a homesteader watching a shopping mall rise where her garden used to be.

Arm flab says decrepitude in a way no other body feature does. Droopy breasts — there’s an app for that (see: brassieres), and droopy cheeks and eyelids can be plumped with gel fillers. Arm flab won’t be quick-fixed. With arm flab, it’s going to be long sleeves forever — or submitting to¬†brachioplasty, a surgical procedure that modifies upper arm wiggle. Unfortunately, the operation can leave a nasty scar that might rival the bat wing itself.

Bat wings are a heartbreak, but it’s hard to imagine they’d be a deal-breaker in the dating game, that a potential partner would say, “she’s smart, fun, beautiful, and loving, she’s a marvelous conversationalist, she’s great in bed, but it just won’t work — she has arm flab.”

Here’s some bad news: you WILL have bat wing arms — if not now, by the time you’re 65. Here’s more bad news: It doesn’t matter if you’re razor-thin or chubby, female or male; age-related arm flab is an equal opportunity affliction. The good news is that if you’re willing to work hard you can minimize the problem. You might try the excellent exercise¬†regime of the First Lady, whose toned arms are an inspiration to mid-life women everywhere, even those who disavow her husband’s policies. NOTE: These exercises will not work miracles. If you already have a serious dangle of skin flab, no exercise will make it disappear completely.

As for limiting oneself to long sleeves only — blouses, dresses, sweaters, t-shirts, coats, jackets, bathrobes, beach robes — I’m a coward, but you don’t have to be. Life is good. Get out there! Reach up, up, up and let the breeze gently rustle those skin folds! Bat-Wing Power!

Sienna Jae Fein blogs at www.datingseniormen.com.  This post previously appeared on the Huffington Post.

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