The story of Fit, Fearless and Fifty is my evolving story of self-discovery, personal growth, reflection, and prioritizing health and well-being. Along the way, fears will be faced - fear of being found out, fear of not being good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough/thin enough and fear of being too old. And in the end, the lessons of my childhood - lessons of alcoholism, turmoil and never having enough money - will stop making me forever a perpetual low-wage earner and under-achiever.
My story of course begins 52 years ago, but for the purposes of this chapter of my life, I will start my story the day my friend Cori gave me a sample of "the pink drink" Slim. Cori had just had a baby and when she returned to work after maternity leave (did I mention she was my boss?), I could see that she was overwhelmed and exhausted. At the urging of her friend, Darci, Cori started using Plexus's Triplex which includes Slim. Triplex targets gut health and since a significant percentage of seratonin originates in the gut, it helps with mood and energy. Cori was happier and less anxious, she had more energy, and she shed her pregnancy weight fast. At least this is what she told me when she gave me a sample to try. I was skeptical. The weight loss was obvious - she looked great. But the rest? I loved the way it tasted, but did I want to spend money on some possibly-a-placebo pink drink? My frugality won out and I decided "no" and didn't give it another thought for another year.
But then, a year later, this past fall, I found myself feeling even more overwhelmed and exhausted than usual. I was working long hours, not really making ends meet at a non-profit job that fulfills me, with co-workers and an executive director who support me, but includes a one and a half hour commute to and from work every day, each way, I struggled to keep my eyes open on the long drive. Sometimes, I even thought it would be easier to just fall asleep and drive off the road I was so tired and stressed out. Instead, I would pull over, close my eyes for 5 minutes, wake up and continue on my way. Most mornings, I left the house at 7am and got home at 8pm after picking my kids up from work or swimming practice. I would make dinner and by the time I finished cleaning up, it was well past 9pm.
I was 51 with a senior in high school (Jacob) and an 8th grader (Chloe). My kids were growing up and becoming more independent. I missed them. This year was particularly hard in that regard. Jacob had a job and when he wasn't working or at school, he was out with his friends. Chloe was also developing a social life and when she was home, she was holed up in her room, texting her friends. With my busy schedule, I felt like I never saw them. I missed their physical presence by my side as my constant companions. I would drive by playgrounds where we used to spend our afternoons and choke back tears. I can't even write this paragraph really without welling up it is so painful to think back on how unhappy I was. I found myself crying A LOT. And I had gained back 10 of the 30 lbs I had worked so hard to lose just 3 years earlier.
I hate to admit this, and I actually lied to my doctor during my annual check up, but I am pre-menopausal which may account, now that I think about it, for a great deal of my angst. I have night sweats, mood swings, teary outbursts and hairs popping out on my chin.
I decided to seriously give the Pink Drink a try. If it helped Cori, maybe it could help me? I reached out to Cori and enrolled as an Ambassador so that I could buy the products at wholesale. (As I mentioned before, I am frugal and had no intention of actually selling the products.) I started taking Triplex religiously.
I suffer from anxiety and depression and have been on Prozac for 15 years. Prozac levels me out - "changes the subject" in my brain so that I don't obsess and worry so much. The addition of Plexus's Triplex took my anxiety and depression relief to the next level. I began to feel more optimistic and happier. I had more energy - I was no longer falling asleep at the wheel during my daily 3 hour+ commute. And I was pooping like a champ. (I always held stress in my stomach, hence the saying, "I have a gut feeling", and constipation was a way of life for me. But not anymore.)
The night sweats are also a thing of the past. I actually didn't lie to my doctor about pre-menopause. I simply forgot because I no longer have any of the symptoms he named when he asked.
In June, I traveled to a Plexus convention in Orlando, Florida, for 2 reasons: 1) to see if I wanted to become one of the women who I was hearing about who were not only changing their lives by using the products but also by developing a second income and 2) to have a vacation. Cori's friend Darci was one of these women I was hearing about. Darci was earning six figures as a Plexus Ambassador; she had quit her full time job as a teacher and she was living her dream; she was in charge of her own destiny. At the convention, I met hundreds of women like her whose health, well being and wealth had been positively impacted by Plexus. Women from all walks of life - women just like me. Actually. I'm not going to lie: they were just like me, but maybe the 2.0 version of me -the one I want to be - not the one that I write about in paragraph 3 of this story. One speaker in particular inspired me - Christy White. Christy's speech was all about "doing it scared". Her message resonated with me. I was scared (see paragraph 1) but I heard her loud and clear when she said, "If you’re not scared, than you are not living up to your fullest potential."
I thought about it - what would it mean to live my life to it's fullest potential? I took a good long look at my life's current state of affairs and I knew, deep in my gut (where so much good and bad originates as I have learned from Plexus!) that I could not continue to live my life just "so, so". I am 52 years old. I could live for another 50 years if I am lucky. To live my life to its fullest potential is scary. I left Florida with butterflies in my stomach.
What will the next stage of my life entail? Will I find more quality time to spend with my son and daughter? Will I lose those last 5 lbs? Will I run a half (or gasp! A full?) marathon? Will I challenge myself to do the things that I dream about, but am scared shitless to do - like playing my ukulele and singing on stage at a local open mic night? Will I parachute out of a plane? (Doubtful). Will I travel to India, meditate in an ashram and write the next great best-selling version of "Eat, Pray, Love?" (Also, doubtful). But who the hell knows?
This essay marks the very beginning of the story of Fit, Fearless and Fifty. I have no idea where it is going, or where I am going, but change is a-foot. I can feel it in my gut.
Going from 3 miles to 10. Training for a long distance run.
Confronting the Scale.
My mind says I'm thirty. My skin says different.