We Are What We Repeatedly Do

We Are What We Repeatedly Do

Gail Gensler: BDC Manager, BluePrint Certified BDC Manager for a multi point automotive dealership in Miami. Acura Excell certified. Instagram: @boxingprincess22

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”

Athletics is one of the biggest parts of my life. It is what I have repeatedly done for the duration of my life, and therefore, it is what I am. My passion for physical activity began in my childhood. I was an active participant in tennis, volleyball, and tetherball.

Retrospectively, these sports all had one common factor; they were hands-on activities, where I was using the strength in my arms to exert my energy. It was no winder then, that when I took my rst boxing class in 1999, I was “hooked”. It was a remarkable experience to find a sport similar to those of my youth, where I got to use my upper-body strength; but this time, this activity was more empowering. I felt that I had found what my passion would be for many years to come.

That was why, when a local boxing gym opened in my area, I promptly joined as a member and continued to grow as a recreational boxer. I was overjoyed when I had the chance to become the owner of this same gym.. the gym where I had been a member. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to bring both sides of me that is, businesswoman and boxing fanatic into one chapter of my life.

I never gave up on my passion for boxing, and I wanted to give others the same feeling of power and satisfaction that I feel whenever I box. At 55 years old, I taught boxing classes to inspire others, of any age, to pursue this exercise and never stop improving at it. Although I have other interests in exercise, such as CrossFit, Circuit Training and lifting, nothing compares to boxing. It makes me feel like a champion whenever I complete a boxing workout; and it is an activity in which age is never an obstacle. Age is only a small afterthought when I box. It is only when I finish my workout that I think about my age, and how regardless of it, I am able to empower myself, inspire others, and complete phenomenal workouts.

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting a comment below.

Gail Gensler

It Starts with a Healthy Mind

It Starts with a Healthy Mind

Jackie Marshall is a Registered Nurse with over 30 years of clinical experience, now developing her own business Project Now for women over 50 who want and deserve a better life post-menopause. Project Now takes a Holistic approach incorporating education, prevention and play as the key pillars to healthy aging. Inspiring women in mid life and beyond to make the rest of their life the best of their life and in the process create a global movement of women celebrating the aging process and championing us all. Instagram: @jackiemarshall_

Well here we are, over midway through January already. How many of you had great intentions at the start of this year and have slowly fallen back on your promise to yourself? You know the promises a lot of women make in January. We say to ourselves this year is going to be different. This is not only a new year, but a new decade, so this time I’m doing it. No more excuses. It’s time to make myself a priority and take back my health. I’m going to lose weight, start hitting the gym and my nutrition is going to be so perfect there is no way I can fail. How is it going so far?

Not too well?

If you are thinking negative thoughts about yourself for not keeping your promise and you believe those thoughts, then guess what? That’s exactly what is going to happen. Your negative thoughts are going to make you fail. This is what the entire weight loss industry is counting on. The big companies. The companies that have you count points, eat their meals or offer some magic solution. I’m not bashing these

companies because they work for some; but, these strategies are not sustainable and don’t work for most. They will have you coming back again and again; because they only focus on your physical issues and never address the most important issue of all, your emotional state. Your mental health. There, I’ve said it because it’s true. Until you get your mind right, the cycle will continue to repeat itself. It has for decades. The industry claims to be about your health but they prey on your insecurities. This is a gazillion dollar industry that markets to women promising that they have the answer for you. They show you incredible transformations of women just like you, who struggled their entire life with weight issues. I should say, body image issues because that is the problem for many. Sure, there are women who truly do need to lose weight for health reasons; but, many women who are looking to lose weight are dealing with body image issues and are not aware of it. One look at how women are marketed to and it’s no wonder mental health is the issue it is today. Now with Instagram’s perfect, filtered images and stories of young girls doing the hair ip on point, we see millennials striving for perfection at the risk of their mental health. Seriously, it takes them hours to post one perfect image of themselves. What is not seen is just how many filtered images were taken, then edited for that one perfect look that will get them “likes”. There is an epidemic happening and no one is talking about it. We need to be better for us. We need to do better for them.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and feel great in a new pair of jeans. There is also nothing wrong with being in the healthy body weight range for your height, stature and age.

There are wonderful programs for women that focus on health, not just weight loss but the whole self. The problem that we have in our health care system and weight loss clinics is that the root cause is ignored. We are constantly looking at symptoms and how to treat said symptoms without looking at the why. I encourage finding a program that fits all your needs. Education on prevention should be at the top of your mind when it comes to healthy aging. We are living in a very exciting time; but, also a very stressful time where anxiety and

depression have become normal. A healthy mind will take you to where there is no limit.

When you understand how your body and mind work, it’s easier to take control of them. What you focus on expands. When you pay more attention to things and thoughts, that are normally on auto pilot, you start to spot patterns. These patterns may have been developed long ago and no longer serve you well.

Do you have thoughts of never being good enough or unworthy? Have you lived your life feeling something is missing? Our generation had put a lot of pressure on women. We were expected to look good, be good and do good for others, while ignoring our own needs. We were told to follow the path that women have always taken. Even if you had an education and a good job, the expectation was to get married and have children and at a young age. What if that wasn’t who you were? Did you do what you wanted to do or what others wanted you to do? Have you lived your life authentically?

Self-sabotage, self-doubt and fear debilitate women every single day. Anxiety and depression follow and soon we are engaging in all kinds of behavior we know isn’t good for us. Many women use wine, shopping and food to cope. This leads to feeling bad about oneself and then leads to more self-sabotage and it never ends. Is there something you’re struggling with and trying to get over? Where does it hurt?

Takeaway:

• Practicing self-care and self-inquiry helps you not only understand yourself better; but also sheds light on your shadow so that you can begin to heal from within.

• We have come to this stage in our lives where we can thrive. I know I want to. I bet you do too.

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting a comment below.

Jackie Marshall

Une Femme d’un Certain Age

Une Femme d’un Certain Age

Charlotte Livingston runs Style with Charlotte, where she helps clients, primarily women in their 5th and 6th decade of life, transition from the corporate world to entrepreneurship and live their best life in the second act. Enhance your style through changing your attitude. Change your attitude, change your life. Follow her: @stylewithcharlotte

It is said that style is forever and fashion is a constantly changing sequence of trends. You can see how lines are blurred, as using these two words seems synonymous when speaking about our expression of self through clothes. Style isn’t subject to changing on a whim in the way that fashion is. Style is an attitude and your attitude creates your life.

Having arrived at the second act of my life, I know I don’t do things on a whim. I want to engage in the moment and fully live in the present. My life experience has brought me to a place of relishing who I am. I am proud to feel that “I’ve still got it”.

The “it”? It is my style. Where did my style begin to take shape? A fond childhood memory is my Mattel Twiggy doll. I spent my allowance on her tiny dresses and tall boots. Colours and sparkles galore. I dreamt of wearing her gold sequin dress (with boots to match) on stage. My dream did come true at age 50.

Another chapter of developing style through fashion was learning to sew with Butterick and Simplicity patterns when I was 11 or 12. My mother had made gorgeous Barbie doll clothes for my sister one Christmas. I began to realize the potential of wearing unique and beautiful clothes; which made dressing more personal while mimicking high-end designer clothing at a fraction of the cost. One meaningful experience I had, was when a traveling fashion show came to junior high school so that the school girls had the opportunity to wear the Butterick clothes.

In my early 20s, I studied at The Fashion Institute of Canada and received my fashion merchandising diploma with honours. I did some fitting model work for a bridal wear manufacturer for my co-op work semester. The company had been recently started by three women who had worked for a major Canadian dress manufacturer for many years. This was the early 80s and I became the sales rep for eastern Canada. The designer was very forward thinking. She included jumpsuits in the bridal collection and expanded into maternity bridal wear that was featured in Canada’s major newspaper. When I was 7 months pregnant I was photographed for the shoot to accompany the story.

In the book Women in Clothes, a conversation is created about the subject of clothing, and how the garments we put on everyday dene and shape our lives. A main point included in the book is the following, “Even our most basic clothing choices can give us confidence, show the connection between our appearance and our habits of mind, express our values and our politics, bond us with our friends, or function as armor or disguise.”

Being bold about most things in my life, I took up motorcycling in my fourth decade of life, and found that my riding gear, that matched my bike, became a visual statement to easily distinguish that I was a woman rider. How we show up in life depends on our attitude. Style expression is attitude.

Takeaways:

• We can use our daily ritual of dressing to reinvent ourselves.

• Style is an attitude. Change your style, change your life.

• Ageism is never in style.

The only thing that ever needs to be changed is your attitude and how you view yourself.

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting a comment below.

Charlotte Livingston

What’s the Big Deal?

What’s the Big Deal?

Maggy Mason is a Wellness Coach for Herbalife Nutrition. Follow Maggy on Instagram @coachmaggy where you can get her Top 5 Healthy Lifestyle Tips for free.

I don’t understand why women are embarrassed to admit their age. I’ll be 69 this November…at least that’s the plan.

Really, what’s the big deal? In my opinion, by evading the question or lying about it, we’re perpetuating the age-shaming of women that’s so prevalent in our society. 😊

What got me thinking about this was an ezine with an article by a woman who wrote that she was bravely admitting her age (51!) on social media.

It’s a number, people. And it’s 2019. Seriously.

Do I love the fact that at age 68, I have a bunch of wrinkles? Is this a trick question? No, I’m not crazy about it. But when I step out of my it’s-not-fair-I- can’t-even-believe-it shoes, I remind myself I’m not 25 anymore. At 68, it’s pretty normal to have my share of wrinkles..and smile lines too! I’ve earned each and every one of them through this roller coaster of life that delivers surprises at each turn.

When I was 25, I took my health (and non-wrinkled face) for granted. I also thought that after age 30, everything would start going downhill. Thankfully, I was wrong!

At 68, I work diligently to be the best and healthiest version of me. I choose my food carefully, exercise regularly, meditate twice a day, and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep. I’m extremely grateful that I’m t and have no real health issues. Just those few pesky wrinkles.

So I embrace my age and my smile lines and, yes, the wrinkles. I’ll even be thankful for the opportunity to acquire a few new ones along the way.

And I’ll remind myself of what Gwen Stefani said: “You’re not getting older; you’re getting more entitled to be your fabulous self.”

Takeaways:

Start now:

  • Choose more whole foods.
  • Get moving! Do what you can until you can do more. Reduce stress: Meditate, Do Yoga, Spend time in nature and stop multi-tasking.
  • Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night.

Will this make you younger? No. Will it make you feel younger? What have you got to lose?

The Tough Stuff of Aging..

I know this may not sound like a huge deal; but, I just don’t have the desire to jump up and out of bed the minute I’m awake. No kidding. More and more I’m feeling this. In my youth (my 50’s lol), I would run out to make it to my two hour workout at the gym.

Now, I enjoy just laying around for a while. Then, when I’m ready, I try to mentally schedule my day according to how I’m feeling. Too much in one day makes me feel totally overwhelmed. If I have a busy day, I won’t plan an outing in the evening.. and vice versa. Ugh!!!!

I know..I know..but this is my truth. Anyone else??

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting a comment below.

Maggy Mason

Face Up To It

Face Up To It

Karen Lockyer: Make-up artist, Beauty Professional, Nutrition and weight loss coach. Just about to launch Graceful Disgraceful Make-up experience for Pro- Age Women. You can find Karen at www.karen-lockyer.co.uk and @gracefuldisgraceful on Instagram.

Gravity has a lot to answer for, literally a weight on our shoulders. As every decade passes, we fight against the effects of gravity that little bit harder. Other than moving to the moon where a gravity free life could potentially reduce the aging process (which does seem to be a distant possibility; but, then the space helmet would make the effort pointless, I’m thinking!).

I’m talking about our face growing older, changing through the decades advertising to others who we are. Happiness, sadness, stress all our emotions on show for all to see. As a make- up artist with a maturing face of my own, I champion these changes and wish to help and motivate others, as they grow older, to feel positive and to keep evolving in order to reach that point where they are happy in their own skin.

There are many things we can do physically to help us feel more positive about ourselves as we grow older. I prefer the natural way, which requires a healthy mind, body and a positive outlook.

Skin will lose elastin and muscle tone over time and hormonal changes play their part. We should embrace our hard-earned wrinkles, even though an ageist society makes it tough to do so. Pro-age doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make the most of ourselves; and that we shouldn’t tackle dry skin-free radical damage, medication, improper skin care and poor habits such as smoking, drinking, poor nutrition, lack of sleep and lack of movement which can all effect our skin.

So, what can we do to naturally help ourselves to look and feel great? Vitamin E, it is a great skin defense and regenerator. Great sources of Vitamin E is avocado, nuts, seeds and broccoli. This added to a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water along with a good night’s sleep (which can be easier said than done as you get older) can all be beneficial. I slept through a hurricane in my youth; but now I’m faced with regular night sweats and a racing mind. How amazing a bit of mindfulness can be to soothe you into sleep!

Also, avoiding harsh chemicals on your skin and in your diet is very important as they can promote poor health and dull your skin. Face yoga can really help to keep the muscle tone in your face and they are great fun as well (making ridiculous faces at yourself in the mirror). Affordable skin products, cleansing, toning and moisturizing morning and night are all very important as well. It is not so much about what you use, but more about the action of massaging which increases the blood supply to the muscles. Another tip is to keep the skin supple so as to give yourself and your skin a bit of TLC. Throw in a quick Wonder Woman pose to start your day feeling strong.

Face up to it, age should bring us wisdom, confidence and hopefully a sense of humor. So, get exercising those facial muscles and put a smile on it.

Takeaways:

  • A great way to begin facial exercises is to start your day with a happy face.
  • Sit comfortably in front of the mirror and completely relax your face, neck and shoulders. Think happy.
  • Place your index fingers at the corners of your mouth and apply gentle pressure to slightly lift your mouth to a slight smile. Stick your tongue out and point up, then slowly move tongue along top lip from side to side.
  • Once the muscles are trained to engage and hold the very slight smile, remove your fingers and hold the muscles and repeat 10 times.
  • Once you can hold these muscles try holding throughout the day (without the tongue out ) This gives a lift to your face and makes you appear happy which has a knock-on effect with all around you.
  • This exercise lightly engages the Risorious and Levator Auguli Oris muscles, which are responsible to pull a smile lifting your face and subtly firming the muscles around your mouth.
  • Using the tongue intensifies the move and strengthens and aligns the jaw.

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting a comment below.

Karen Lockyer

Why I Became a Yoga Instructor at 63

Why I Became a Yoga Instructor at 63

Victoria Sheridan is a yoga instructor, photographer, educator, and avid bread baker. You can find her at http://www.yogivictoria.com/, https://www.victoriasheridan.com/ and @the_yogivictoria on Instagram

“Lift your foot to your shoulder and place that foot behind your head,” said the yoga instructor as she calmly slid her foot behind her head as though it were a smooth magic trick. A laugh spontaneously erupted from my mouth as I considered the reality that my foot had no intention of going behind my head. I looked around the room as my fellow yogis struggled to pry their legs into upright extension and push their foot behind their head. It looked extremely uncomfortable and definitely not empowering.

I became a yoga instructor because every time I went to yoga classes the instructor didn’t look like me and they often performed unattainable poses. When we don’t have role models that resemble how we see ourselves, or are sympathetic to physical differences, then their instruction can be less accessible. This doesn’t mean that younger yoga instructors are not good teachers; and I know this because I practice with a wide age range of yogis and have benefited greatly by their expertise. Age alone does not make us better teachers; but,

I wanted to be a yoga instructor that inspired people in my age range and especially one that encouraged those with physical struggles. I wanted to be that silver haired confident woman conveying the power of yoga to her students whether you can put your foot behind your head or not.

Yoga came into my life initially as a modality to cope with stress and anxiety. Confronted with physical challenges yoga gave me a path toward reclaiming myself through body awareness, acceptance, and self-empowerment. You could probably say that yoga saved my life and has been a consistent support system that has never failed me. The more I practiced the more I realized yoga’s potential to empower people.

Eventually the universe aligned and I took the leap to earn my yoga instructor credentials. My journey in yoga hasn’t always been easy poses, fluid back bends, nor graceful dancer poses. I was often the only older person in the class and my tree pose was more Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree rather than a Hallmark Holiday Tree.

My greatest strength comes from my students. A student recently sent me this message, “I just wanted to share with you that you are my inspiration with all your energy. It’s never too late. I exercise every day now and I’m eating more fruits and vegetables. Thank you!”

As for that foot behind the head pose? I doubt I will ever get there; but, that’s not the path that yoga has chosen for me anyway.

My core values as a yoga instructor are what drive me forward every day.

Takeaways:

  • Show up every day. Be consistent – show up for yourself first and use that presence to empower others. Tap into the power of consistency to strengthen your soul.
  • Acceptance – accept where you are at this moment as a solid foundation from which you will grow.
  • Practice Self-Empowerment – the power of the self, both mentally and physically, will get you wherever you are meant to go.

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting a comment below.

Victoria Sheridan