When I turned 50, I was not in a good place. Like many of us, I was unsure about the right steps to take for better health, fitness, style, skincare . . . everything. Midlife can be a very confusing time, dictated by all kinds of change (thank you, menopause), making us anxious about our futures, which can cause a lot of women to put the proverbial blanket over their heads . . . and stay there. What’s more, when I was turning 50 there was very little information to guide me to a better place, which is one of the biggest reasons I started writing books focusing on positive aging.
I often say that turning 50 saved my life. I literally changed everything I was doing to more accurately reflect my new reality: postmenopausal, everything more dry (hair, skin, eyes, you name it), packing on a few extra pounds, losing confidence.
“Now, at age 63, I’m more fit, healthy and confident than I’ve ever been in my life, just by taking control of how I view aging and taking a few small steps in the right direction.”
But, no matter how courageous we are, how much control we bring to our lives, and how much information we have at our fingertips, sometimes it’s hard to be positive about aging — especially when we make the huge mistake of comparing our current selves to our younger selves — which can fan the flames of fear and doubt about getting older, stopping us in our tracks, and keeping us from living our best lives.
Based on thousands of conversations I’ve had with women, here are three of the most common feelings women have about midlife, and some actionable ways we can embrace positive aging and kick those feelings right out of our lives:
Feeling Invisible: Women in midlife are one of the largest demographics in the world and growing in leaps and bounds. Our buying power is tremendous, and we are a political powerhouse. Invisible? Hardly. But, when I first entered my fifties, I often felt pushed aside, ignored, and not young or interesting enough to have a voice in the world anymore. Luckily, I got a grip, and realized that we must visualize how truly big we are, how smart and accomplished we are, how much we bring to the table each and every day, ignore the noise, embrace our age, accept that change is happening, and figure out the best way to address those changes, forging ahead with health and vitality. It’s a lot to think about, but when you remember that you are not alone in this quest, you will feel powerful and prepared to move forward.
Fear of Aging: Fear will stop anyone from pursuing a dream, causing you to give up and give in, keeping you stuck in your comfort zone. It’s common to think that you’re not young enough to achieve great things anymore, and that is, unfortunately, one of the biggest myths that women carry around with them. It all starts with the first step, which is embracing your age, and then deciding that you are going to be the absolute best you can be at every age you are. Here is a simple concept I learned from researching, writing and living the advice in my books: we can’t control getting older, but we can control how we do it. If you know you are doing everything right for yourself — moving your body, eating well, getting enough sleep, keeping stress out of your life as much as possible — you will be fearless and ready to rock every age.
Overwhelmed by Too Much Information: Knowledge is power, right? So when I turned 50, I went on a quest to find the answers, searching the internet, bookstores and magazines, but it soon turned into information overload. Every expert had an opinion and most of them contradicted each other — eat more protein, eat less protein, take supplements, get all your nutrients from food only, you can wear jeans after 50, no jeans after 50, and so on. And too much of the information focused on losing weight, getting rid of wrinkles, and banishing gray hair. I was ready to throw that proverbial blanket over my head and stay there. Then one day, it hit me: I didn’t need a lot of information, just the right information to help me navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of midlife. So I cut through the noise, figured out what works for my body and life now (and what doesn’t), and made a vow to reassess every few years and make the necessary tweaks.
Embracing your age is the very first — and most crucial — step for getting on the path to positive aging. And that’s when the magic kicks in: you’ll feel powerful, beautiful, and anything but invisible . . . and you’ll celebrate this newfound freedom in ways you never imagined.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in an incredible event — a virtual roundtable to talk about beauty and aging. Moderated by Michelle Lee, editor in chief of Allure, a panel of experts who focus on healthy and positive aging gathered together to trigger an authentic dialogue about the experiences women have as we go through midlife. This amazing free event was made possible by SeeMe Beauty and Disrupt Aging®.
If you were able to join us, thank you for attending! If you missed it, please take a little bit of time for yourself and tune in to this valuable discussion right here which is sure to generate your own questions and thoughts about what it means to age well, with beauty, grace, and confidence.