When my girlfriends were turning 50, they were excited and told me how great it was going to be 50. Really? If life begins at 40, what happens when we turn 50? Does life begin at another platform at 50?
My girlfriends had the best birthday bashes and I must say, I enjoyed every single one of them. We ate, we drank, we sang to the music that we remembered and we laughed a lot. We danced to the twist, the nutbush and the bus stop. Ah yes and we danced like dancing queens. We partied the night away.
When I turned 50 I had the big party bash too. We had a wonderful time and I celebrated with my family and friends and it was a great night. I felt like a young woman celebrating and living life at its fullest.
After that night when I reflected on my years, I realised how time had passed so quickly and how much I still wanted to do with my life.
I have a bucket list and a set of goals that I want to achieve and life was ticking away. I pondered about getting older.
What does this mean for my body now that I was heading into my 50’s? After I turned 40 the rules of being able to maintain my body got a lot harder. There were the obvious signs of aging with the dreaded wrinkles, the annoying grey highlights, sagging skin and my weight getting harder to maintain.
After I left my 30’s, it took more than reducing sugar in my tea to lose a kilo. I knew that my metabolic rate of burning calories was dropping and I was losing muscle tone. My body is very different from the one I had 10 years ago. What will it be in 10 years from now? It is clearly obvious, my body is ageing.
“I look forward to being older, when what you look like becomes less and less an issue and what you ARE is the point” – Susan Sarandon
Over the last 20 years, there have been events in my life that have presented challenges and upsets. It was during those times of mixed emotions, challenges and fears, that looking after my health and body made it pretty tricky.
My weight went up and down with each challenging event and I got weaker and unfit. Even though I was in my 20’s and 30’s, there was this ‘old’ lady in me that had me slowing down when life got a bit challenging. She would just say ‘why bother’.
I took comfort in eating food that just kept getting sweeter and sweeter. I was getting tired and exhausted as well as feeling unhappy with myself.
Fortunately the ‘old’ lady in me didn’t stay around me too long. There was someone stronger and louder that kept hanging around. This was the ‘young’ lady in me.
My ‘young’ voice continued to encourage me to keep taking care of myself. Take time for you she kept telling me and make sure that you continue to value your health and body. She would wisely tell me that being fit is by far more beneficial that being thin. She reminded me of the blessings of being alive, of being free to choose, to having possibilities and opportunities to create changes and continuously congratulated me for being a strong intelligent woman.
Just like most women, I have a busy and full life. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. I am also a business woman whose mission is helping others achieve a healthy, happy and abundant life. But I’m not fooled into thinking that keeping fit and healthy is easy. It isn’t. It’s not like when I was in my twenties when I could eat pizza at 3am in the morning and not put on an ounce. Nope, it doesn’t work quite like that anymore. However, staying healthy, fit and slim is possible.
It’s not your age that determines your success or failure; it’s about your effort. You have to keep putting in more effort as you age.
I maintain the belief that if I look after my body, my body will take care of me. I don’t believe there can be joy, wealth or freedom without health. I have put that high on my priority list. I have so much I want to do and achieve. There is no slowing me down. I feel proud to be in my 50’s and be healthy, strong and fit. As one of my girlfriend’s describes me ‘she runs on all four cylinders’. It makes me smile when she compliments me like that. I feel successful with how I maintain my body weight, energy and positivity.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear” – Buddha
So how do I maintain a happy and healthy body?
Let’s start with a healthy positive mindset.
I take responsibility for whatever happens to me and my life. I own my happiness and health and it’s up to me to succeed in it.
I don’t allow myself any excuse for feeling old or feeling over ‘50’ (whatever that’s supposed to feel like). I stopped listening to the ‘old’ voice in my head or other people’s voices telling me that I should slow down, take it easy or why bother.
I value my health and my body. I value who I am and what I can continue to contribute to myself and to others. I keep positive; I am open to learning and growing in creating a happy, healthy and abundant life.
Next, it’s about having daily routines that are regular and consistent in caring for the body. I make healthy nourishing food choices, I exercise on most days of the week and I make sure I rest and sleep well. My favourite recipe is to choose healthy food, have controlled portion sizes and exercise more. It sounds so easy and simple, yet it’s about being disciplined in keeping up good habits.
Having my body healthy and fit together with a positive mindset is a winning formula for having that zest for life, regardless of age.
Being active has given me stamina, energy and strength to lead my life exactly as I want it to be. I have no doubt as to whether my body will keep up with me. Of course it will. Ageing is a fact of life. Looking and feeling your age is not. I have the choice in how I think, feel and look. I consciously and skillfully design my life.
There is a saying that I love: “They are not grey hairs, they are my wisdom highlights. I just happen to be extremely wise”. Cheers to that!!
How do you stay healthy and active as you age? Share in the comments below.