Finding 40

featured on the essential life

FINDING THE HARD TRUTH

Finding 40, what does this mean? It’s just an age. You can’t find it, you turn it, right? Late 2015 into early 2016 I was nearing this “big” birthday, a new decade & of course reflection started to set in. When I say reflection, I mean that in every sense of the word. This started out as a physical reflection bringing me to my hard truth. Passing by a mirror I was saddened at the woman looking back at me. What happened to her?

I am a mother of 5 beautiful children. My 2 daughters ages 18 & 21, my 2 sons ages 8 & 10, and my stepdaughter age 8. They all bring me such joy & I am so proud of each of them! I have a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally, the kind of love we are lucky to experience. I have a good job that I enjoy, a beautiful home & a great life. So why did I feel burnt out, like I had nothing left to give? Oh, & I am a giver down to my very core so this felt like defeat.

I had little energy but I didn’t understand why. I took another look in the mirror & I saw a woman who looked sad & like she was wilting away. I was embarrassed & ashamed as I was at a work training & I knew that this wasn’t me. In that moment, I knew that I needed a change, but what?

It’s easy to think that we need a new job, new relationship, new house and so on to make ourselves feel better. It’s hard to accept especially as women that we need to take a step back & take care of ourselves first. I think it’s natural to think of this as selfish. Pulling myself together & walking away from that mirror I found a little courage & set out on my new journey. A heath journey for me. Little did I know then how this would impact every aspect of my life!

A friend had told me about an online fitness community full of nutrition facts, recipes & at home work outs. A community full of supporting women along the same health journey. I had no idea what I was getting into but I signed up!

In the past I would start my day with a can of coke and a hostess cupcake followed by a cup of coffee full of creamer and sugar. And I wonder why I didn’t have energy! I would fluctuate with my weight over the years anywhere from 15-40lbs. I would exercise hard & think I was eating healthy but quickly give up at about 3 weeks once I stepped on the scale not seeing instant results. But this time was going to be different.

I threw away my scale and decided to gage my journey by how I felt & not by that number. I quickly felt amazing with new energy & vibrant looking hair, skin & nails. My confidence was radiating, a confidence that I had never experienced. And this was all in the first 8 weeks! I was realising that taking care of myself 1st wasn’t selfish at all, it was needed.

FINDING THAT LIGHT

Over the following year my confidence kept growing along with my friendships. I had stepped out of my comfort zone many times in search of exercise classes, women to meet up with for walks, friends to help motivate & inspire, new healthy food options & new found interests. I began going to Yoga classes & practicing at home.

I went to a spin class, barre classes, HIIT classes all while making beautiful friendships. I have been so blessed to recently do my 1st unsupported handstand on the beach on the beautiful St. John. WHAT?! That was such a full circle proud moment. My strength from the inside out had carried me through from that moment looking in the mirror to doing a handstand on the beach in the Caribbean!

I was at a work meeting a few months ago when a coworker said, “I don’t know what it is but over the past year you have changed, it’s neat to see, it’s like you have found your voice”. I felt so honoured & grateful. And you know what, without feeling selfish I thought to myself ‘he is so right’! I had found a new light within myself that I never knew I should be looking for. Honestly by taking care of myself 1st I didn’t have to look for it, I found this light by becoming it!

So, what does “finding 40” mean? As I turn 41 in a few days I leave you with this, age is only a number this number just happens to be the one when I turned to reflection to find my way. I have learned that the possibilities are endless once you start from within & that opportunities are around every corner. I found 40 by finding myself throughout this past year. I pass by the mirror today & stop to take a long look. Who is she?! She is ME!

I wish you peace, health & happiness. May you find your “40” however that is meant for you!