I distinctly remember the year leading up to my 30th birthday being filled with trepidation about the upcoming new decade. 30, ugh. That was like being a real, real adult. Our parents had been in their thirties when we were kids. Teachers, doctors, business people, you know, mature adults, were in their 30s. It just seemed so OLD. It was a bit ridiculous, looking back now on the whole thing. I already had 2 kids, a mortgage, car payments and bills, how much more “adult” could you get? So, 30 came and went, and then ended up being a lot of fun. There were ups and some pretty low lows, but overall, life was good.
And then 39 hit. And those old feelings of fear and anxiety surfaced. 40, ugh. It’s just so old. Honestly, the 3 years leading up to 40 hadn’t been as fun as the first half of the decade. At 37, I suffered a compound fracture in my right fibula and tibia, leaving me unable to drive for 3 months, and severely limping for 12. At 34, I had had our third child, and decided to stay home, so there I was, stuck with a toddler, with no transportation or the will to even walk. Every step hurt. I gained 25 pounds and for the first time in my life, I was scared of activity, and trying new things. Breaking your leg in such a fashion that the bone doesn’t heal for 9 months does something to you. And just from playing a game of friendly volleyball. (insert eye roll) My balance was off, my heart would pound when I wasn’t on steady ground, and I was truly fearful of injuring myself again. Not to mention, the loss of my income was starting to really affect our family financially.
In February of this year, just 2 months shy of the big day, something clicked. I was at a friend’s house, when one of the ladies started talking about Keto and how she had lost 16 pounds in 2 months. My ears perked up. I had started to get too comfortable with that extra 25 pounds and I knew that I needed to do something to change my habits soon. You know, 40, no one loses weight after turning 40. Literally, the next day, I cut most carbs out of my life. No bread, rice, potatoes, or sugars. I lost 3 lbs in 2 days. People will say that was water weight, but I’d never dropped like that before, and it was enough to keep me going. Strangely enough, eating low carb wasn’t as hard as one would imagine. I wasn’t as hungry, and losing the bloat did wonders for my body image. By my birthday, I was down about 15 lbs and today, I’m 5 pounds away from my goal weight. What a difference feeling physically like my younger self has made!
Around that time, I also ordered the book You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Sincerely, if you are looking for motivation to become your best self, this book is amazing. Funny, but no holds barred, this book quickly put me in my place about making excuses for the life I was leading. I started focusing on making positive changes to my attitude, and actively pursuing abundance. Physically, I was feeling good and my online business was taking off. My husband and I planned a kick ass trip to the NE and visited NYC for the first time. I continue to work on my anxieties with getting hurt again. If I know I am safe, but just scared, I’m pushing myself to try new activities. Like the ropes course on a cruise ship we were on over spring break. Or even paddle boarding on the 4th of July. Just like when I turned 30, I’m learning 40 is just a number. I’m sure when I’m 49 turning 50, I’ll look back on my feelings of being old and laugh. I may as well feel that way now!
Working on changing my attitude and habits have already made this year pretty amazing and I can honestly say that I’m excited to see what the rest of this decade reveals.
(And really, go buy that book. It’s awesome.)
Erika is the mom of 3 and lives outside Ft.Lauderdale, FL.