Making Changes at Mid Life

Last week I used the last shred of dough to hire a Health Coach.

Her fee was customary and not at all exorbitant for health coach services.

The coach quickly figured out that I needed to change up my eating plan:

I’m to cut out carbohydrates like any kind of grains. I’m to buy full-fat plain Greek yogurt instead of 0 fat yogurt. I’m to add protein and healthy fat to my breakfast and lunch meals.

Out, out will go the granola, and the pasta of any kind except only rarely as a treat (once a season as opposed to weekly.)

Eggs are perfectly fine to have for breakfast. I buy the organic eggs and scramble them with organic mushrooms, diced peppers, and broccoli.

At mid-life I buy and cook mostly organic food. It tastes better. It doesn’t have cancer-causing pesticides. It’s cheaper than paying medical costs when you become ill.

Alas, lifestyle choices are often the culprit in ill health at mid-life and beyond.

I’m lucky that as a young kid I always detested cigarette smoking so didn’t take up this awful habit.

In my Flourish blog I’ve talked about how the food we eat can impact our mood.

Emotional distress can cause physical fatigue too according to a doctor.

At 50 and beyond–even starting at 40 and younger–it pays dividends to make your health a priority.

Living in health and harmony can enable you to live longer if you ask me.

I also think that making conscious choices at mid-life is the way to go. Instead of acting or reacting on autopilot not aware of what you’re thinking doing or saying.

At 50 and beyond there can be a lot of stress. Some of us might be acting as our parent’s caregiver.

It can also be quite a shock when we realize we need to make changes to sustain our health as we get older.

In the Flourish blog is where I will continue to talk in detail about fitness and nutrition.

In here I would like to talk about practical lifestyle changes.

The coming blog entry will be devoted to managing your wardrobe better to ameliorate your health.

Who really needs 100 sweaters?

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Creating a Look Book

look book

I’ve figured out that creating a Look Book can help you figure out what pocketbook to choose and use with a particular outfit.

The photo album above holds 200 photos. I’ve also begun shooting photos of clothing items. You can use Pinterest on your cell phone or a device like an iPad instead if you’d like to create a Look Book.

I’m on the cusp of 54. A lot of woman at mid-life decide we want to do something new or at least change an aspect of our lives that we don’t like.

In this regard as I’m starting to reach the middle of my fifties I find that doing the things that give you joy can transform your confidence and give you self-esteem.

The point of creating a Look Book is that it can be fun to choose and use items in your wardrobe to make whatever statement you want to make on a particular day.

I would go so far as to say that style is the language of your soul transmitted sartorially.

Dressing well can spark joy in mid-life or at any time in your life.

Now that I’m leaving 50 in the dust and heading upward I can tell readers that you need all the help you can get when others in society–men and fashion editors alike–insinuate that a woman has an expiration date.

The goal is not to look like you’re 20 when you’re 50 or 60 or older.

The goal is to use your wardrobe to transmit to others that you like yourself and think you’re hot by your own standards.

Not by any other person’s view of what you look like.

I will end here by stating that creating a Look Book is therapist-approved. No kidding.

Living for Today

I’ve figured out that becoming happier is possible when you commit to living for today.

What you want to achieve could be far off on the horizon.

Having gratitude for where you are in your life in the present moment is the antidote to the holiday blues.

Again it can be as simple as going to a clothing store and trying on items that fit and flatter. This can put you in a good mood.

It’s possible to be happy right here right now.

Regardless of what your bank account balance is. Regardless of whether you’re single or part of a couple. Regardless of whatever pain you’re in.

You can still be happy even when your life hasn’t gone the way you planned.

I’ve figured out that living life on life’s terms not my terms is the way to feel happy.

Doing this it won’t matter that life isn’t fair.

Life can be good living in recovery. You can have a better life post-breakdown than you had before the illness.

In the coming blog entry I want to spread more cheer.

Enjoying being yourself is the secret to having a good life.

I’ll talk more about how to become happier.

Sometimes you just have to slow down and pace yourself.

Today is the greatest day. It’s the only one we have.

Obtaining Confidence

venus williams

Last week Venus WIlliams wrote an article in the New York Times about the 3 factors in obtaining confidence.

When you don’t feel good about yourself and your prospects it can be hard to have confidence.

At 53 I haven’t yet gotten what I wanted. My love and literary prospects haven’t panned out yet. Operative word in the last sentence: yet.

Venus Williams is on to something when she eschewed setting goals in favor of asking yourself: “Do I feel good?” This makes perfect sense to me.

The question “Do I feel good?” is relevant to whether you succeed.

The Dark Horse authors whose book I wrote about in the Flourish blog think achieving success doesn’t lead to happiness–it’s the pursuit of fulfillment that makes you happy.

Again, it’s the process not the outcome that counts.

Which ultimately reinforces my perpetual claim that fashion isn’t frivolous. If you feel good, you’re empowered to take on the world.

In terms of the fashion freedom I hinted at in a recent blog entry I don’t think you can feel good in ill-fitting clothes that aren’t becoming on you.

To know your style and flaunt it guarantees you will be a success in whatever you do.

If you don’t feel good–about what you’re wearing; about the people you’re working with; about an aspect of yourself or your life–you have the power to change this.

This is the truth: you can be happy even when you haven’t achieved the goals you set for yourself. Venus Williams is right and she’s a champion: the goals are irrelevant.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about living for today, which is the ultimate method for feeling good.

Do What Makes You Happy

The International Women’s Writing Guild used to ask its members in their newsletter: “Who are you?”

Who you are can change as you get older.

Your orientation to life can change post-illness.

Self-growth and even fun can be had in doing new things to shake up the doldrums.

I’m not the same person I was when I was 22. Heck–I’m not the same person I was when I turned 50.

Are any of us the same self we were in our twenties?

That’s the beauty of living life: we can change elements of who we are as well as adopt a new persona outwardly.

I’ll continue in this blog entry to talk about setting goals at mid-life to become happier and healthier.

My new favorite role model is an ordinary mental health peer who ran in and completed the New York City Marathon this month.

Even people in wheelchairs compete in the marathon and cross the finish line.

This gives me incredible hope.

I’m 53. My goal is to run on the treadmill.

To this end I was tested on a treadmill at a Jack Rabbit running shoes store.

I have a neutral foot stance so I bought a pair of blue Brooks shoes with light blue trim.

Though I don’t want to start taking an antidepressant you should not hesitate to pop a pill if you need to do that to feel better.

I will start to report again in the Flourish blog on fitness topics.

In here I want to uplift and inspire you that it’s not ever too late to take up a new hobby or sport at mid-life.

Exercise is rightfully an adjunct mental health treatment.

Why wait? The future is now.

Set a goal. Find a support buddy to help you achieve the goal. Be a support buddy to your goal mate.

You might think: “I’m too old to…”

Nonsense. I went to graduate school with a woman who was in her seventies. No kidding.

I didn’t start lifting weights until I was 46. Before then I hadn’t lifted one 5 pound weight.

So Just Do It:

Take up running, go back to school, remodel your bathroom, find the love of your life.

Do whatever would make you happy.

 

Acting True to Yourself

I’ve learned a life lesson courtesy of having interacted with the jewelry vendor.

It’s a lesson I’m reminded of because on my job I deal with books and people every day.

The life lesson comes after years spent trying to conform by working in cubicles in corporate office jobs.

Mid-life is the time to get this schooling right once and for all. You won’t ever be happy trying to be someone you’re not.

This is a FACT in my book of life:

Taking joy in being who you are is the greatest gift you can give yourself. To be who you are when others don’t want you to be this person takes guts and grit. The glory of being you lasts a lifetime. To squander this gift is the greatest tragedy.

 

Making the World a Better Place

Post-50, I find myself wanting to rebel what passes for normal.

The hate, the violence, the charade of a government ruled for and by the people, I find myself wanting to protest all of this.

I’ve become a Rebel and Political Protester at mid-life.

There’s so much you’re going through when you’re in your twenties and in your early life. Having a disability or some kind of illness you could first of all be tasked with keeping it all together just to get through the day. Managing your symptoms could be a full-time job.

As I got older and healthier it was imperative to me that I wanted to spend my life in public service. To serve other people not just focus on getting my needs met was my new goal.

For those of us who crossed over and have come back I submit that if you’re doing well that’s the time to think about making a difference.

It’s possible that our hardship will be alleviated when we’re older. The symptoms can attenuate. This gives us the second chance to have a better life.

We should not let this life pass us by. We should enjoy being ourselves and living our lives in our own inimitable style.

Yet most of all the quote is apt: Life is not a dress rehearsal.

The older I’ve gotten I’m aware that my life is getting shorter.

If I don’t speak out today when I have the chance I’ve just wasted another day.

Remaining silent isn’t something I care to do anymore.

When you’ve recovered, when there’s an ed at the end of the word recover, I say that you should think about helping to make the world a better place for other people too.