Transforming My Life After 50: A Journey of Discovery and Renewal

By Alicia Gitlitz

Let’s face it—life before middle age can (in some ways) feel like a breeze. We indulge in what we want, look effortlessly good with collagen laden skin, and rarely worry about our health

But as midlife approaches, in what seems like overnight, the scales tip, and our bodies change. Everything changes! Suddenly, maintaining our appearance requires effort. A lot of effort. This was my reality. I never prioritized exercise, and sugar indulgences dominated my life. Yet, I managed to skate by maintaining the look of my youth. Naively, I didn’t grasp the significance of diet, nutrition, and exercise on long-term and overall health.

Everything changed at 50 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and prescribed medication that left me feeling depleted. Doctors emphasized the importance of diet and exercise, urging me to take control of my health. Taking on the role of the diligent student I’d always been, I followed their guidance. I adopted a diverse exercise routine, incorporating yoga, Pilates, walking, hiking, and strength training. Prioritizing my mental well-being, I deepened my meditation practice and discovered the healing power of sound baths. Immersing myself in nature became a grounding ritual, reducing stress and fostering resilience.

Though my journey has been arduous, I’m grateful that I now possess an arsenal of tools to navigate midlife with newfound vigor. 

Here are ten tips for women in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond:

  1. Stay Grounded: Amid life’s tumult, nurturing our central nervous system is paramount. Declining estrogen levels accompany perimenopause, heightening stress and anxiety. Prioritizing self-care rituals like meditation, aromatherapy, and yoga is vital.
  2. Prioritize Exercise: Movement is a game-changer. Research underscores its pivotal role in health and longevity. Whether it’s brisk walks or leisurely hikes, incorporating regular exercise into your routine boosts cardiovascular health, maintains weight, and enhances brain function. Aim for consistency, not intensity.
  3. Cultivate Connections: Surround yourself with positivity and support. Forge meaningful connections with individuals who uplift and inspire you. Embrace community, a cornerstone of longevity observed in Blue Zones around the world.  
  4. Nourish Your Body: Simplify nutrition. Focus on consuming a balanced mix of macronutrients from whole, unprocessed foods. Emulate the dietary habits of those in Blue Zones, prioritizing plant-based meals and minimizing reliance on packaged foods.
  5. Find Your Purpose: Define what gives your life meaning. Whether it’s pursuing passions, nurturing relationships, or contributing to a cause, having a sense of purpose fosters resilience and happiness.
  6. Embrace Aging: Celebrate the journey and embrace the changes that come with age. Practice gratitude for your body and cherish moments with loved ones. Shift your focus from external appearances to internal vitality and well-being.
  7. Ditch the Sugar: As I always tell my clients, there is no good that comes from sugar.  It has zero nutritional value, causes weight gain around our midsection as we age and puts us at higher risk for chronic illness such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and dementia.
  8. Adapt to Change: Midlife is a period of transition, and it’s essential to embrace change and adaptability. Whether it’s adjusting to hormonal shifts, career changes, or evolving relationships, cultivating resilience and flexibility will help navigate the challenges of this stage of life. Consider enrolling in classes or workshops focused on fostering positivity, mindset, or navigating the unique hurdles we encounter as we age.  
  9. Exhibit Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself throughout this journey. Accept that setbacks and challenges are a natural part of life and focus on progress, not perfection. Practice self-compassion and celebrate your victories, no matter how small.
  10. Create Your Future Self:  Decide where you want to be, who you want to be and who you want to spend time with in 10 or 20 years from now.  Where are you? Who is at your dinner table?  Dedicate your efforts to nurturing the person and relationships that you envision for your future self. 

Positivity is transformative. Armed with a nourishing mindset and a commitment to self-care, we can navigate midlife with confidence and vitality. Let’s embrace this chapter of our lives with open hearts and a determination to thrive.

RELATED: 5 Ways I Learned To Love My Body At Age 50

(Image: Unsplash)

About Alicia Gitlitz
Alicia Gitlitz is a board-certified Holistic Health Coach and a Nutritious Life Studio Master Certified nutrition coach. She works with clients on weight management, sugar detox, combating emotional eating and more. Alicia focuses not just on the food that we eat, but on the mind-body-spirit connection.

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