(or how I lost 50 pounds, turned 50 and then told age 50 to fuck off).
When you get into the world of Personal Growth and Self Help, you hear the word "intention" a lot.
Like all the time.
But before I knew anything about consciously setting an intention, I was having a mini breakdown about an impending birthday. Remember Meg Ryan in “When Harry met Sally?" There is a scene where she is crying to Billy Crystal because she doesn't have a husband and she’s going to be 40. He asks her when and she says “…someday!" Well that was me before I turned 50, except I already had a husband and a couple of kids. I was 47-years-old. I was overweight, overtired and overwhelmed. Someday was 3 years away. I did not have a plan but I knew one thing: I was NOT heading into 50 quietly. No fucking way.
Except at first I was quiet.
I was quietly freaking out.
But as my panic got louder, so did my thoughts.
50? How did I get here?? How can I actually be 50? Really?? 50 means 'done.' 50 means 'old.' You can't hide from the term "middle aged" when you are 50. My own grandma was 50 when I was born (and I did not think of my grandma as a vibrant sexy lady)!
I had a LOT of things I was making 50 mean and none of them felt good.
Plus I had no idea what I wanted to happen next in my life.
People would ask me:
"What do you want to do now that your kids are getting older?"
"What are your plans?"
Um, I don't know?
That was usually my answer and I thought it was the truth.
Turns out none of it was the truth.*
Turns out 50 rocks!
Between our culture, the media and even our families, there is this myth that it's all downhill after we hit the big 5-0. But the truth is that it is indeed a myth. It's just another story, and one that we can learn how to stop believing.
The secret? Paying Attention to what we think and how we feel in a whole new way.
That's pretty much it.
Paying Attention reminded me that I want to feel awake, peaceful and energized as I hit 50 and beyond. Paying Attention helped me to slowly create new habits in the way I eat, the way I exercise and the way I show up in the world.
With the help of some simple tools that allow me to question long-standing thought patterns and belief systems, I have been able to renew my sense of optimism and fundamentally shift my overall general outlook.
I changed my story and it changed my life.
Remember being in your 20's and feeling like anything was possible? That feeling?
I have it back. And so can you.
*the part about my grandma was actually true.