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