I can absolutely relate, Cyanbobcat. I, too, have an extra 10 lbs that crept on over the past 18 months. Depending on what I wear, I can have the dreaded muffin top. Yuck. It's definitely harder to lose weight now.
As for the mental acceptance that I'm aging... Logically I know I am. Somedays my body certainly feels older - achy knees and back - but in my mind, I still feel the same that I always have. I can be totally surprised when I catch a glimpse of myself in a storefront window or - especially - when I see what my neck looks like when the mirror is looking up at it. When and how did THAT happen?? I still, and I hope always will, make some attempt to look good when I get dressed in the morning. Like you said, I don't want to just give up. But I also don't want to look like I'm trying too hard either. It's a balance. I'm trying to find that touch of grace so I can grow older gracefully.
2Poodles Southeast PA
fine, med porosity, normal elasticity
Currently using the following 2 - 3 x/week: CJDF, KCKT, argan oil and KCCC