It has always been my dream to create a platform that informs and genuinely helps us navigate through aging with positivity and relevance. I believe in the strength of women supporting each other to experience our full-potential at every stage of life.
But first, here’s my story:
I’m on Instagram. Yes, at 67 I’m on Social Media!! My page is @the.pro.age.woman and over the last year, it has transformed into a Lifestyle Brand of 19K followers. Honestly, I have absolutely no idea how all this came to be! Well, I guess, let me start at the beginning…..
In my early fifties, I worked as a fitness and wellness professional with clients that were midlife and beyond women. I always had the inclination to coach women to be the best that they can be. I then began scouring the internet shops for activewear and street styles geared toward my age group. That was when I came to the realization that there was not much out there for the stylish, sophisticated older active woman. What were all the fashion companies thinking?? We are a huge market!! Anyway, I did find things here and there; but, even now there’s not much targeted to us. There began my experience with invisibility and I certainly didn’t like it! Well, moving on, I retired in my late fifties although I did continue a lifestyle of fitness and wellness.
Then in April of 2017, out of the clear blue, I was diagnosed with Marginal Zone Lymphoma. If you don’t know what that is, it’s cancer of the bone marrow and lymphatic system. I had been void of energy for a few months prior; but, never dreamed it was cancer. I was 65 years old, t, strong, playing tennis or working out almost every day. The diagnosis came as a total shock! After months of the doctors trying to determine the next step, I began monthly IV infusions for the next six months. Trying to keep up with my weekly routine was daunting; but, I kept trying. I’ve never actually talked about all of this in public; but, I am getting to a point here….and here it is….
This was the impetus for what was to happily, as well as surprisingly, come from that moment in time. In April of 2018 while recuperating, I remember thinking “how can I turn this difficult life event into something positive. I thought, there’s got to be a reason why this happened. I need to find its purpose! Well, after a short time, it hit me. I would create an Instagram page to provide inspiration, fashion and fitness tips, to the woman fifty years old and beyond. There’s a feeling of invisibility, and a not-knowing what comes next, for many women at this stage of life. I know, for me, there was a sense of “if not now, when!!” The thing is, honestly, this is the perfect stage of life to move forward…to dig deep and recognize our passions and act upon them…we have more wisdom, as well as a care less what you think attitude. We can be free to grow, transform and evolve. So, I started working on my new passion and purpose. I did what I could on my own, but I really had no idea what I was doing; so I began working with an assistant to help me bring my vision to life. She not only does that beautifully, but she teaches me what I need to learn. It’s been fascinating and fun at the same time. So, as I grow, my page evolves. There’s no telling where life can lead if you just go for it; and, if you don’t know all the answers find someone to help.
So, originally, my page was created to help women locate cool, edgy studio to street fashions for those wanting that. My feeling is we’ve earned the right to wear whatever the heck we want! Those “old rules” of what to wear and how to wear it is just simply “old news”. As time passed, I needed my mission to be greater than I originally thought. This is when it really took off. I started building a community of like-minded women; that is, midlife and beyond women that want to live with positivity, growth, involvement, learning and not just sit back and watch the world pass them by. As I encourage them, they encourage me as well. It’s been a gift to me that I never expected. I began reframing what this later stage of life can look like, and wow, did this resonate with my peers! I call it Pro-Aging..no more anti- aging or age-defying for us! I’m so looking forward to watching where the Pro-Age evolution takes us. It certainly has been and will continue to be an interesting ride!
If I could tell you one thing…
Just take the first step, the first step is the hardest, you’d be amazed at where that can take you.
“The tough stuff: Disordered Eating in Women 50+”
Recently, there was a Washington Post article about what is called “disordered eating” amongst women of our stage of life. I found it so interesting and honestly it hit home. I know that I can be obsessed, with what and how much I’m eating, out of fear of gaining too much weight.
I had learned, in my former life as a Fitness and Wellness Professional, that as we age we lose muscle mass resulting in burning less calories than earlier. At this point, I don’t claim to be an expert; but this I know, working out aerobically along with resistance training can really make a difference.
Also, I’ve learned that eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re satisfied can have a very healthy outcome; although, this is not always so simple to do.
I would love to hear your thoughts, stories, and strategies regarding your relationship with food. Let’s get real…. aging is not always an easy road through which to navigate. My desire for this publication is to create a safe space to have these very pertinent and important conversations.