“I’m 50”…A few simple words transformed into a profound statement of change. I don’t remember if this is how I felt at 40 or 30, but I know I didn’t feel the changes I’m currently feeling during or before my 20′s. I am pretty sure I didn’t feel much at all about aging until the past decade. I sure do feel it now; good feelings, focus, calm, contentment, excitement and awareness all wrapped up into “50″. I have been on a journey of sorts for a few years as I went from the treadmill most working moms find themselves on at some point, to a new place of wanting more than the common rat race for myself. I should back up and let you know a little more about me. I’m a single mom; of twins along with two other unique and wonderful children. I am blessed every day that I have them. Being a mother has taken a lot of time and energy but the rewards cannot be measured. Second, I am retired from a 25-year career as an Aerospace Engineer working in aviation safety for the Federal Aviation Administration. I loved keeping people safe in the air. From the start, I have always been an athlete; kept myself working out to some degree through it all. Running and cycling, hiking and playing sports like tennis and softball. I learned to ski in 2008 when my real journey began and that experience taught me that I can learn whatever I set my mind to, even now, and I can feel as good as I did when I was 20, or better. I know I want to keep learning and living and doing whatever I want to do during this second half of my life. I don’t want to be restricted by my body. I know that I alone can control what I put into my body, and how much I do to keep my muscles working efficiently so that my entire system functions optimally. Over the years I have known I need to begin working out with weights regularly. I tried in the past but could never make it stick (too boring). I like to move, run, ride, ski and talk fast.
When I felt like I really needed help to stay fit as I inched closer to 50, I entertained the thought of getting involved in a boot camp so I committed my time and resources to doing this. I felt like I had to do something or I would continue to decline. I felt that my body wouldn’t stay strong if I don’t do the small things to support the systems that work so well to let me be free to do as I please. I felt like I had to do this for me. I deserved it after the time I put into my children for all those years. I know they still need me and I definitely want me around to enjoy raising their kids.
I am grateful to have found my way to “Victory Get Fit Club” and Alfred, my trainer. When he gently nudged me to write about my experience, I felt the usual sense of guilt over something I intended, and felt responsible to do. You see, we made a deal and I wasn’t following through with my promise to journal about my experience. He let me slide for a while to see if I would do it on my own but as usual, he was there to tap me on the shoulder, in his kind way, to get me on track. His presence that morning and what he means to me, caused me to pause and alter my perspective. I then decided to commit to doing what he asked in return for what he agreed to do for me: coach me to get to my desired healthy weight and fitness level, to see me do it because he knew I could do it and he cares enough to give this to me.
What he offered me is something so important. I want him to know this therefore I write to express my gratitude. Alfred is exactly what I needed. I’m seeing the results he promised me I would. I now know I just need to trusted him, R90 (reDesign in 90 Day Challenge) and be honest with myself. Being honest with myself is by far the hardest part.
So, here I am writing about it and maybe others can see that anyone can get to a place of health, no matter how old, or young, or from where we start because of our life getting here. At 50, I can say for sure it’s never too late to get in shape and improve the quality of your life. As women and mothers we often put others needs before our own and this program has reinforced what I have been learning since I began my personal journey 4 years ago, a journey that has helped me value myself in ways I never realized I did not. I can finally see and feel the fear of success that before kept me from completing my journey to well being. Understanding my fear is my victory. Letting myself acknowledge that I fear getting to my goal is a huge accomplishment for me. I think we all want to be strong, fast and ready for anything life throws our way. We want it but I think maybe we are just too afraid to go all in to get there. I’ve start on the way to better health, and slip a little. I know I slipped on purpose then gave up because it’s easier for me to stay where I am then to push for what I really want. I know I need to put in the work to get success. At times I feel like I am not good enough or I don’t deserve to be well. For some reason my brain is telling me I won’t sustain my results after working hard to acquire them. Is it that something is wrong with me? I fear failing and finding out for sure. Is it best to just think it but not to know for sure?
R90 and Alfred have helped me to understand that I can do this. I have learned to trust in myself, to take the leap and to just do it. Not try, but to follow the plan and DO. I want to succeed and I will. That is how I feel and at 50, this is a big change for me.
I started R90 with two others who are on this journey with me. Alfred told me how to track my food, and supported me when I said I could not. He was true to his word when he said he would be there no matter when I needed him. I called him the very first day looking at this array of supplements and asked him to tell me what to take. He didn’t treat me like a child, he simply offered direction and assured me I would succeed if I followed the program. To have him there to assure I was going to do this right kept me going. He knew I would succeed more so than I believe I ever could. This is part of the process. It’s not just losing weight. It’s the transformation in thinking that’s crucial, the small changes in our thoughts that make up the traps keeping us from losing weight and keeping it off. I needed to shift away from purposely sabotaging myself. R90 is teaching me that I am strong enough to let this be something that I can change about myself. I don’t need to sabotage myself because I am afraid. I don’t have to be afraid. I can do this. I know I can. Anyone can. Wow, prior to this program I could not have expressed my fears like this before.
R90 has taught me to adjust my eating so I don’t need extra food during the day or popcorn at the movies. Its hard and I have made mistakes. But the mistakes have helped because I am getting better at working through the hard times. I know what I am doing and I know what it means. The best part about it is, I know why I do what I do and now I value myself enough to do better next time. I am forming new pathways in my brain so that the desire to eat when I am not hungry is less or gone. I can feel this happening. I feel brave enough to make better choices. I sleep better, feel strong and looking better. I don’t want to discredit the fact that I have released 11.5 pounds and gained 2.5 pounds of valuable muscle. Losing weight and regaining lean sleek muscle at 50 are amazing but becoming mentally stronger, as a single mom, at the age of 50, in today’s world is beyond anything I could have ever expected.
To be honest, the fear of what’s next is in the back of my mind. What else will I have to do or be when I get there? Will this success drive me to be someone I fear I cannot be or to do something I can’t do? What if I fail even though I go all in? At this point in life I can finally say, “I appreciate my fears“. Strangely, I am glad they are present. It means I am being honest with me. At 50 it’s time to be mentally strong and honest with myself. So, for now, I just keep focusing on the next choice and the next day. I take it one choice at time. How often have I told my children: “You have the opportunity to make the right choice, regardless of what you did in the past”. Every day you have a new opportunity to make right choice. Now I get to practice what I preach. I get to show that I can do as I have said. I feel confident that I can continue with the help of Victory Get Fit Club, the support of the many friends who are brave enough to accompany me on this journey and Alfred, my coach.
Thanks for listening,