As a 52 year old woman, I had convinced myself that my metabolism is now an enemy against me, that my aches and pains will only get worse if I work out too much and the list of excuses just goes on from there. Although I was not happy with myself and subconsciously knew that my relationship with food was unhealthy for many reasons, I did nothing about it. I tried to make myself believe that I am happy with my body and that my husband loves me regardless of what I look like. Besides, I had lots of co workers and friends my age who felt the same way and I actually believed they didn’t look as good as me so why should I change.
When Stephanie approached me about joining the challenge, I immediately started listing the excuses why it wasn’t right for me. The fear of being held accountable and being in a group with much younger girls was actually causing me anxiety. I really had to convince myself to take a blind leap of faith. Knowing Stephanie and believing that she would not ask me to do anything that she didn’t think I could handle or be successful at, was a huge compliment. I decided to turn my excuses into the exact reason that I should do this. The list went something like this…
- My age is only a number and will only hold me back, if I let it. So what that the girls in the group are younger…It will make me push harder to prove that women of any age can look and feel great
- Maybe doing a regular workout routine might just help the aches and pains
- Perhaps I should learn what my unhealthy eating habits are all about and how to choose better nutritional foods that are good for me.
- Prove to myself that I am better than an out of shape aging woman. I really want to turn back the hands of time and look as good, if not better that I did at 30. The more I thought about this one the more driven I became about this challenge.
January 30th approached and the excitement and anxiousness that had been building inside of me for weeks, was all but ready to explode from my body. The timer went off and I was running and not looking back. What I didn’t see coming was that this was more than just a physical challenge and that I was about to assess so many other things in my life.
Joining this group of beautiful women (of all ages) has made me appreciate that all women face the daily challenges and excuses and it’s not easy. It is a conscious effort to start each day and make it as good as can be nutritionally, physically and emotionally. It was not always easy but knowing that I had a community of sisters there each day that I could turn to for help and support made all the difference in the world for me. I never felt alone. We each brought different experiences and knowledge to the table and together we became a family.
We worked on vision boards, shared recipes and held each other accountable for what we signed up for. We talked about our goals and life challenges and what we could do to make it better. It was the most positive group of people that I had ever been part of. A place where you could feel safe and confident talking about the most personal things and know that there would be no judgment. We had some good belly laughs in the group and the little contests along the way sure did keep it from getting boring. I may never meet some of the women in my challenge but I will forever consider them friends.
I am proud to say that I have come to realize that the number really means nothing. I’m not only talking about my age but the scale. I have learned that I need to listen to my body and observe the direct correlation it has from eating clean and healthy food and proper exercise. I can also tell you that I not only feel much better and look better but I no longer have aches and pains. I now sleep a sound seven to eight hours a night and have begun to look at food as fuel for my body that I control rather than it controlling me. Don’t get me wrong, I love food, but I save those special “cheat” meals for a great dinner with family and friends rather than eat whatever I want, whenever I want.
Needless to say, I am completely thrilled with how the twelve week challenge turned out and am so pumped and excited to move to Challenge 2. My physical goals are being tweaked along the way as I begin to appreciate my new body. As for all my life goals, this too is a work in progress but I feel confident that I am in a better place to better handle change as I approach that challenge as well….. My life, “The Second Act”.