Zoe Saldana’s ‘not thrilled’ about turning 41: ‘My knees hurt, my circulation isn’t as sharp’

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Just five years ago, I genuinely believed that if I took care of myself with diet and exercise, everything would be a breeze from an ageing standpoint. I’ve grown less vain as I get older, so I don’t care so much about laugh lines and wrinkles and such. I thought, well, I use a good night cream, I work out four times a week, and my diet is somewhat okay, so I’ve got this whole “ageing” thing taken care of. But as I came closer to a big birthday last year, that sh-t started falling apart in ways I did not predict. I gained some weight in my midsection that won’t go away. I still use a good night cream but I can still see the lines around my eyes and they bug. But the worst thing is that my body is just… not the same. I can’t work out the same way or with the same intensity. My feet hurt (arthritis), my shoulders hurt (sitting at a desk/big boobs) and the worst thing is my knees suck now. My knees are a suckfest. Why didn’t anyone tell me that I would waste so much brainspace thinking about my knees at this point in my life? Well, Zoe Saldana and I are the same. She didn’t believe this sh-t could happen to her either, and her knees are a suckfest too.

Zoe Saldana is celebrating her birthday this summer, although the actress isn’t exactly looking forward to it. The 40-year-old Missing Link star turns 41 on June 19 and jokes to PEOPLE she’s “not thrilled about that.”

“You know, my mother said once when I was growing up, she goes, ‘I blinked and I was old,’” says Saldana. “I was like, ‘Ew. It’s never gonna happen to me.’”

The star, who is now a mother of three boys, admits she looks back at her mother’s comments with more understanding.

“I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s what that blink meant. That’s what she meant she when she said, ‘I blinked,’” she says. And as for what she feels reflects her age? “My knees hurt,” Saldana says laughing. “When I squat to pick up my children and I’m there for longer than a minute,” she says. “I don’t just like bounce off like, ‘Hey!’ If I bounced off I’d pull a charley horse.”

“My circulation isn’t as sharp. I drink one glass of wine and I hear voices,” she adds, laughing. “It’s not OK.”

[From People]

She speaks the truth. I would say everything before 38, you’re like “I’ve got this sh-t figured out.” And then sh-t starts falling apart and it doesn’t even really matter if you kept up with fitness and diet and all of that. Your body has other ideas. Your body just starts to break the f–k down in big and small ways. The youths are always like “omg, I was so stressed out about turning 25/30” and the conversations are so much about appearance and confidence, but we’re lacking the conversation of just how much it sucks when your body just starts to fall apart naturally because your ass is getting old. UGH.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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23 Responses to “Zoe Saldana’s ‘not thrilled’ about turning 41: ‘My knees hurt, my circulation isn’t as sharp’”

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  1. AG-UK says:

    Hahahah just wait until you turn 50😄/60 my mother use to say oh well what’s the alternative?

    • Esmom says:

      Yeah, that was my thought. 40 and the whole decade, really, was a breeze for me but once I hit 51 (not 50, interestingly), things really started to nosedive. Good times.

      And it’s true, there is no alternative. I suppose it might be tempting to dial back on the health and fitness as results seem to decline, at least visibly, but I gotta believe that it’s helping in unseen ways. My mom is in her 70s and has had quite a number of health issues in recent years and I think a sedentary lifestyle has played a bit part. Gotta keep moving, methinks.

      • Mgsota says:

        I’m 43 and I feel like things have quickly started going downhill. I look at pictures of myself just 4 or 5 years ago and my face has really aged in that time span. I feel like my face has aged 10 years from age 38 until now. It’s really shocking in a horrifying way. And don’t get me started on my body. My damn hips hurt.

  2. Monicack says:

    So much this. I’m turning 45 Sunday and I now realize that I’d better switch up my attitude quickly or I’ll be going down the aging freak out rabbit hole – nope. Ugh. I used to work out to look good. Now I work out to *not* get fat while eating smaller amounts of food. It’s a darn goid thing exercise puts me in such a good mood smh.

  3. Skyblue says:

    Amen! I’m fifty-two and my youngest brother is forty-five. We were laughing/not laughing about how strange it is to have sore knees and less flexibility. And then to experience the sudden end to movements that were once so natural, like jumping off the tailgate of a truck. My mind still feels fourteen but my body…ugh.

  4. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I’ll be 39 in June and yea to all of this. My body feels like it’s falling apart. A lot of it is due to life stress but some of it I know is because I am getting older. My knees went bad years ago – after years of high impact workouts which really do *uck up your joints. Now I will get up from a CHAIR and my knees will hurt for no reason! I pulled sometning in my hip over the winter that isn’t getting better so now I have to go see an orthopedic specialist to find out what the hell I did and fix it. Looks wise I feel vetter about myself now than I did at 20 or 30. But in the words of the late great Bernie Mac: “My body weary!”

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t want to sound simplistic but I was plagued by aches and pains and a couple years ago (I’m 52 now) a trainer told me it was because I wasn’t stretching enough. I wanted to dismiss him but damn if he wasn’t right. I cannot believe what a difference it has made. When I stretch diligently, hardly anything hurts. When I stop doing it, serious pain, especially in my lower back and hips and even my knees sometimes, comes roaring back. Just a thought.

      • Coco says:

        Stretching really is key. My husband and I stretch every night while watching a movie or tv show. We also use lacrosse balls and a foam roller to work out tight muscle groups. I have chronic hip issues from tight hamstrings and if I don’t roll out and stretch, I’m in serious pain. I’ve learned over the years that what hurts is usually affected by tight muscles elsewhere that pulls things out of alignment. Last year I was having major knee issues. After difficulty walking for over a month, I figured out the muscle group covering my shin was tight. I started foam rolling that area and could walk normally within a day. It’s really quite interesting how much we need stretching!

      • Esmom says:

        “I’ve learned over the years that what hurts is usually affected by tight muscles elsewhere that pulls things out of alignment.”

        Yes, exactly. When I mentioned to the trainer that my lower back hurt so incredibly much sometimes when I was running he immediately said, “you need to stretch out your glutes.” I honestly couldn’t imagine the connection between tight glutes and back pain but he showed me rolling with a lacrosse ball and certain stretches, which have eliminated that pain completely. I also follow a guy called Joe Therapy on IG who has tons of great stretches and mobility exercises.

  5. BlueSky says:

    I’m 46 and I can relate to knee pain. I work out 5 days a week and I find myself having to use my foam roller more. I still do the exercises PT gave me several years ago for my knee pain and that helps. Aleve has become my best friend.

    The worst part is getting up in the morning and hearing everything crackle and pop!

  6. Ali says:

    This is 100% true. I turned 40 and, boom, needed glasses to read tiny print.

    So many aches and pains and my joints crack all the time. Even if I didn’t look as old as I am you’d know as soon as I started to move.

  7. Cali says:

    I’d rather age than take the alternative 😎 And I will not add to any of the above ageist comments by mentioning that upon turning 39 I stared to notice changes in my mood, body, etc that only seemed to get worse and when I turned 40 ( a few months ago) My thyroid said F U B and I had a swollen neck which a blood test revealed was hypertension that explained my anxiety, insomnia, erratic weight loss/gain, thinning hair, digestive issues, etc. so now I’m on a host of medications (all natural though) and my former Venti Vanilla Iced Latte days with light ice are behind me as I also cannot have sugar, gluton, dairy, or stress😑 but I won’t go as I don’t want to scare the young women😆 the good news is that my vision and knees were done at 25 and 30 so no change there😁

  8. Tanya says:

    I remember talking to my friend’s orthopedic surgeon dad about hating running. He told me “Just stop! Your knees will thank you!”

    • WTW says:

      I do elliptical now instead of running outside or on the treadmill, not so much b/c of my knees but because I have really flat feet, which means I don’t have the natural shock absorbers that arches provide. I’m 42 and my feet can no longer take the constant pounding on the pavement, so elliptical it is.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      I absolutely LOVE running. But my knees are starting to dislike it. I’ve cut back and added more swimming.

  9. babsjohnson says:

    Well, there goes me having figured it all out at 36 I guess…

  10. lynn says:

    it really does suck. the feeling in your body is different. Its not an “im out of shape” its a resistance like trying to swim upstream. So the 29 yr olds can save the meme’s on how they cant handle hangovers anymore. lol

  11. ravynrobyn says:

    I’m 59 and lost 117 lbs through gastric bypass surgery last year.
    Although I do feel a hell of a lot better than I used to…my body hurts a HELL OF A LOT MORE than it ever did, or that I imagined it ever could. Doctor told me a lot of it was from losing a lot of weight so quickly that my body needs to adjust to my new center of gravity. OK, but why do my knees hurt so much more when it’s supporting so much less, lol. My “texting thumb” has severe osteoarthritis with tiny spurs (wtf?!?!). I refuse to get cortisone shots, so I’ve been icing it. Going to check out some cannabis pain relief.

    Would NOT wish this crap on anyone (well, except Mango Mussolini and his whole crowd), it helps to know I’m not alone.
    I think?

  12. Dazed and confused says:

    In my family, we joke that the warranty on your body is up at 40.

    One of the most frustrating changes is how when I walk across the room in the morning, it takes several steps to work out pains. I hobble across the room at first. WTH?!

    • CL says:

      Sounds like plantar fasciitis. Google it and you’ll find lots of helpful advice about stretches to help. I find wearing shoes with a slight heel (even 3/4”) helps a LOT.

  13. Lindy says:

    This. 100%. I’m 42, had my second baby last year (he turned 1 today, in fact) and I swear this year is the year I got old. My ankles are the weak link so I can’t exercise as intensely as I used to. Weight takes forever and twice as much effort to get rid of, even 5 lbs. And it creeps on so much faster. I finally am starting to get wrinkles. Roots going gray at a shocking pace. I just feel so blah. It really is hard, even aside from the superficial hit to your vanity. It’s just this feeling that most of your life is behind you.

  14. Karen2 says:

    otoh Shes got the guy the family the career the beauty the wealth. So puhlese talk about your contribution to making the planet a better place to live for those less fortunate rather than the me me focus.

  15. Sophie says:

    I’m 36. Up until last month, I considered myself to be in perfect health. I felt about the same as I did in my 20s. Then within the span of a week I developed a pinched nerve in my left shoulder that’s created a chronic pain situation throughout my left arm (like, keeping my up all night kind of pain), and I was diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma on my nose.

    All of a sudden – BAMN! – my youth is behind me. I’m in chronic pain and I have skin cancer, and that is my new reality.

    I went from running and hiking and cooking and loving life to like, WTH is happening?!?!

    I thought I would at least get to 40 before things fell apart.