What's Goin' On with my body?
For women over 40 from my experience
Hitting the big 4-0 may seem like a major life milestone. You've most likely heard about how women’s bodies undergo big changes after 40. Personally, I could never have imagined how much our bodies change. And then came 50 and a pandemic! If this is you, keep reading.
Now you're wondering why it seems so difficult to get a fitness routine, find the right class, feel comfortable and be motivated. And you don't even know what the hell happened to your body through all of this. Let's get REAL and talk about WTF is goin' on!
Before that, I must say there is a light within each of us and we can do really hard things.
Back to WTF is goin' on?
I believed I could age gracefully, by keeping a healthy lifestyle, by cooking and eating healthy, that I could get outside every day, keep working out, keep my house and my space, nice, clean and relaxing. Right? But, then there's LIFE, stomping in to your mind and body, to let you know that the hormones come on strong through many stages of our lives. I gotta tell ya’, I fought hard. I fought so hard, so many times, with mental health challenges and hormonal changes and I was just exhausted. My body had been working so much over-time to keep my mind going that they both went on autopilot. That's the brief version.
There's more to WTF is goin' on?
You all know the pandemic upheaval in our lives. So covid, isolation, adults working from home, kids in home schooling with parents supervising, music lessons etc. with everything online. It was ok at first, as if we were all having a little extra vacation. We started house projects that we now had time for, hiked and rode bikes a lot, cause all our fitness was outside and we loved it! But then it went on and on and on. The eating, drinking, lounging/ living in pjs at any time of day became a way of life, with vacation days, weekends, weekdays, seasons all intermingled. We were living one long global pandemic with mental health issues on the rise. I am speaking from my experiences and many around me who have shared theirs.
Taking care of our bodies, as women, is challenging in the best of times. We have so many stages of our lives in hormonal flux from teenage years and up, that before we know it, we're into peri-menopause. Some ladies will start before 40 and may even be in a post-natal stage at the same time. So now ladies, let's add the pandemic to our hormonal flux and we have a whole strange, new beast before us. We are in January 2023 and still under a year since covid mask restrictions were lifted. The world is adjusting to what just happened, getting back into many different social settings again, and experiencing the fall out of these past 3 years. So many small businesses shut down. So many relationships didn't make it, including my own. Many folks were living in survival mode these past 3 years. Women and self-care for our changing bodies wasn't on my list. You are totally validated in saying WTF is goin' on with my body?
You are not alone. Ladies need social circles to feel understood, to learn from other women about our bodies, to feel safe to be themselves. Through connecting with other women, we can learn to connect with ourselves, feel validated and motivated to put our mental and physical health first. Too often, we don't even realize we've lost our sense of self and the strength in being a woman. We are so busy, especially over covid years, taking care of everyone, that we forget about ourselves. I am sure many of you have been feeling this way. Women need women to lift one another up to rise again. Our bonding is how we take back our strength to learn self-care, self-love and find healthier choices to get our bodies moving, to get back to fitness classes, to figure out what we want and need right now.
As I was on my way to hitting rock bottom during covid, I blamed everything on getting older. I didn’t know how to get motivated again. What’s worse, I knew, as a coach, I was supposed to be motivating others, but couldn’t do that either! I found myself lost in a big dark tunnel with no end in sight, mad at myself that I just couldn’t workout, couldn’t find the inspiration to cook like I had always done, couldn’t be present with my spouse, then the guilt of not being the mom I wanted to be for my child, my most precious gift in my life. My skin was changing, I lost strength, energy, my face was drooping. I really didn’t know what to do or how I could get help to get out of this. Did anyone else feel like that?
We are all here now, finding a new way to be, to live. We have changed globally and women still have changes going on in their bodies. Women over 40 need as much acknowledgement and awareness as the hormonal changes in younger years. Women over 40 right now, need even more support and awareness of what's goin' on in our bodies as women in post pandemic. It’s time to support one another and talk REAL about WTF is goin' on and reach out for help. This is how we will be free of blaming ourselves and learn we can do hard things, really, really hard things. Women need women to lift one another up, get back out there, get moving and smile again.
So WTF are we gonna' do now?
The Journey to a Healthier Me
Here's a Facebook post to show you where I was in November of 2021 and where a lot of fucking hard work got me in November of 2022. I wrote this once I grew the strength to start talking about what I was going through, to get it out there, stop feeling ashamed of it, stop wasting energy on hiding it, so we can talk real shit and help one another. <3
I will be an even healthier me with 1 year alcohol-free January 31, 2023!
This is a huge pivotal moment in my life right now. After hitting rock bottom during the pandemic, losing myself to past trauma, nearly losing every single twinkling star left inside of me, nearly losing my loved ones around me and so close never climbing out of that big, dark hole, I survived and have another chance to dance again. Through this heartbreaking experience, I did lose my spouse, my best friend, for over 15 years. It is difficult to watch couples grow apart, yet completely understandable with what we've all experienced. That I understand and believe it's extremely important to honour and have compassion for one another's challenges through it all.
I choose to now share how compassion, caring, love, patience and the proper therapy can save lives. I now get to spend every day with my beautiful son and teach him how important it is to find our own voice on this journey. I'm so grateful his closet is full of too many t-shirts and not too many demons. I wish all of you, who have struggled with mental health, a path to your twinkling star of hope. I now get another chance to dance again and with true compassion from great friends and family.