Today I turned fifty. I haven’t blogged for a while, but if this doesn’t call for a blog entry, I don’t know what does. I can’t believe I am fifty, since it seems like I was just 24. So, if you’re 24, here’s what you need to know about turning 50.
If you get to see fifty, count yourself blessed. I have lost friends and family who didn’t get to celebrate this magic number. You won’t feel “old” even though when people who turned fifty before you were celebrating this day you thought, wow, that’s old. Time really flies after 25. The older you get, the less you care what other people think of you and the less filter you have when your thoughts turn into speech. You get a bit more philosophical and hopefully kinder [I know I have]. You become more grateful for the little things like sunsets and nice fall weather and a good cup of coffee. You realize that you need to get to stepping, because really, this is not a dress rehearsal… this is your life and it will only be what you make of it. You realize that people are fallible and that they don’t mean to let you down any more than you mean to let them down. You might begin to understand and believe that you can do anything you set your mind to do. The only limits are the ones you place on yourself. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.
Last fall, I took up a challenge that I set for myself. I decided that I would be “fit and fab by 50” and I signed up for a free health coach and began using Take Shape for Life featuring Medifast. I had been feeling pretty squirrelly and I was blaming all of this on impending menopause. Really, look at my entries from last year. I was feeling dizzy and tired and my vision was becoming blurry [translation- I was developing diabetes and getting sicker and sicker]. I could literally not stay awake sometimes. I thought, wow, this is what menopause feels like.. and it sucks. I was already obese, but even weighing nearly 200 pounds I had still had always had curves that hinted at a waistline, but now that was even a distant memory. My belly grew so big, I named her Betty. I was pre-diabetic, and while my doctors had been telling me this for awhile, I had refused to believe them. Consistent morning sugar readings above 100 and a HbA1c of 6.8, and finally, I could no longer deny it. I decided to kick that b___’s ass before she could get in the door [so to speak], and I took control. I didn’t have a lot of confidence that I could lose the weight, because I had been carrying it around in various quantities since my 26 year old son was born and I had come to accept it. But, hot damn, it worked. Something clicked- my mindset, the plan, whatever… it was the perfect storm. I proceeded to lose 45 lbs in 5 or 6 months. My blood sugar stabilized and my HbA1c went to 5.2 in about 8 or 10 weeks. It was amazing and easier than I ever imagined it could be. So, over the past year, I feel like I have been transformed. But let’s back up about 20 years and then 10.
Thirty was painful at times. I didn’t feel fabulous. I put my time and energy into my kids and my home and church and neglected myself badly. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being a Mom to my kids and doing holidays and planning outings and spending time with them, but I was sleepwalking through life because I was putting off certain things to when I would “lose the weight.” I was also seriously lacking energy and getting more and more out of shape. Forty was hard. I was fat and my marriage was failing. It was just about to hit the fan. My oldest son went off to college and my youngest was left to deal with his parents’ marriage falling apart. The next few years were a blur of pain and anguish culminating in the death of my ex and my boys’ father in a boating accident. Some days I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. But I was pushing forward and felt like I had to fight the world a lot of the time. A few years ago, the tide started to turn and I began to find some peace. Flash forward to this time last year when I found Fit and Fab by 40 on You Tube and decided to steal her handle and quest + 10.
I started the day after my birthday last year. So, here we are one year later and I am not sure how fabulous I am, but I know how fabulous I feel. I feel healthier, more free, happier, and more energetic than I did at 30 or 40.
Today, I turn fifty. Over the past year I have lost nearly 50 lbs. This morning I had a 50-year roof put on my home. Powerful symbols for a day poised between a powerful year and the rest of my life.