10 Things A Boomer Woman Wishes She Could Tell Her 30-Year-Old Self

"The effects of gravity and of years of smiles will always be a truth of life."

By the time you hit your 50s, changing hormones amplify every little error you’ve made along the way. Body parts race to your socks and skin thins as wrinkles widen. Women make their way to, or back to, the gym to retrieve some things they need not have lost in the first place.

If you could have the wisdom that comes from life experience, this would be it. This is a roundup of my clients’ what-I-wish-I-knew then.

Lift More Weight

I know you think you’ll get bulky and your skinny jeans won’t fit, but it’s not true. You will gain more confidence from lifting weights than from pulling on a pair of slightly tight pants that pinch you can’t wait to take off. You’ll be stronger inside and out. You’ll be more likely to try new things and meet new people.

There’s a growing strength in women, but it’s in the forehead not the forearm. ~Beverly Sills

Eat More Fat

There is no proof that eating more fat makes you fat. It’s a myth. Focus on good-for-you food and enjoy it. Your skin and hair will thank you. You’ll be happier and less tempted to binge with fat in your diet.

When most individuals or most companies are trying to create healthy habits, the key is to identify which habit or habits seem most important.

~Charles Duhigg

Build an Exercise Habit

Even when you think you’re too busy or look pretty good, this is important. What you do now is what you will do forever. Exercise isn’t one of those things that you only need to do when you’ve gained a few pounds or want to fit into the bikini. The kids, your work, your love, or any reasons you think you can’t exercise are the reasons you need to do it.

The loftier the building, the deeper the foundation must be laid.

~Thomas a Kempis

Build an Exercise Habit

Even when you think you’re too busy or look pretty good, this is important. What you do now is what you will do forever. Exercise isn’t one of those things that you only need to do when you’ve gained a few pounds or want to fit into the bikini. The kids, your work, your love, or any reasons you think you can’t exercise are the reasons you need to do it.

The loftier the building, the deeper the foundation must be laid.

~Thomas a Kempis

Make Friends With Active, Health-Minded People

Don’t allow inactive friends and family to keep you from exercise. Surround yourself with people who are doing things you want to do and have energy you want to have. It makes it easier to do the right thing when others around you do it. It’s OK if your friendships change over the years to support healthier relationships.

I think still it would be a great mistake to go into a war without the support of our friends and allies. ~John Dingell

No Matter How Much You Love Running, Cross-train

I know you have that one activity you love. You’ll be able to enjoy it longer if you try new activities. Mix it up. Your muscles and joints need variety. Wear and tear from doing the same exercise all the time will mean you might have to give up that activity completely. The more activities you try now the more possibilities you’ll have later.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s about taking a bigger-picture approach. ~Ivanka Trump

Don’t Let Food Run Your Life

You have to deal with it. It’s like an alcoholic who bartends. If you’re not planning it and preparing it, you’re trying to avoid it. Don’t let food have power over you. This one is big. It will haunt you forever if you don’t make peace with it now. You’ve learned to celebrate, grieve, and soothe with food. Get pleasure from it and enjoy it. Just don’t get into an abusive relationship with it. Get some help if you’re overthinking it.

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

~Henry David Thoreau

Take More Time For Yourself

Take time to be you. Be able to answer the question, what do you want to do today? You’ll have far more to give to everyone else if you make time for yourself. Sometimes the best exercise is rest so you can hear your heart. It’s important that you have time to just be you without your titles of mom, wife, overachiever, or CEO. Reconnect with yourself regularly. It’s a must.

You’ve got to be original. If you’re like everybody else, what do they need you for? ~Bernadette Peters

Learn to Love to Cook

The drive-through on the way home is tempting. Going out is easier than making it at home. Keep those occasions to a minimum. Take your lunch to work. Cook once to eat multiple meals. What you put into your body determines your health now and later. When you go out you will consume more sugar, sodium, and alcohol than when you eat at home. If you buy packaged foods you’re going to find out that you pay for that convenience in health costs later.

Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed… I think food is actually very beautiful in itself. ~Delia Smith

Take Swimming Lessons

Learn new ways to stay active. Whenever you can, plant seeds so that even if you can’t fully pursue now you’ll be able to pick these activities up later. Learning keeps you growing in more ways than just the exercise. You’ll be braver and less intimidated by new things when you explore things out of your comfort zone. You’ll get to a place where it’s OK to ask questions instead of thinking you have to have all the answers already. It’s a relief.

A prudent question is one half of wisdom. ~Sir Francis Bacon

Don’t Rely On The Scale To Tell You That You’re Happy Today

The scale doesn’t tell the whole story. If you sleep well, wake rested, have energy, and have good health habits, believe you’re on the right track. Measure your habits and count them rather than calories or pounds. You may be changing your body in a positive way without it showing up on the scale. Losing five pounds doesn’t make you happier. It makes you paranoid about regaining it.

The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters. ~Audrey Hepburn

The effects of gravity and of years of smiles will always be a truth of life. The ability to change still creates possibilities as long as you have the heartbeat, the desire, and the courage to begin.

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