Welcome to your 60s. This is the decade of authenticity and freedom. It is your time to choose YOU. Decide for yourself--with purpose and intention--how you want to spend your time. How do you want to behave toward yourself and others? Why? Coming to our 60s is an opportunity and a privilege as I see it.
Natural weight, right-sized body, healthy weight, thin – by any other name.
Natural weight, right-sized body, healthy weight, thin --whatever you call it -- when you’ve had a lifetime indulging an antagonistic relationship with your body and food as I did, and finally land at a healthy, right-sized, natural weight; it is paradise. Even if I had to wait until I was close to 60!
Heaven or hell?
My brain is changing and I follow a simple plan, it is weighed and measured. Food, thoughts and emotions. For some this may sound like hell, yet for me it is total freedom. Freedom to move on. Simply waking up without the big belly bloat, being the same size without the punishing thought of self-recrimination, is heaven.
What is your reason for wanting to be thin at 60? Do you remember your reasons for wanting to be thin when you were 17? How about 37? How about 57? What experiences have influenced your reasons?
Youth and vulnerability.
At 17. Green velveteen hot pants. Strutting my stuff in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Leaving the Italian and Irish neighborhood of my family to discover a new world. A Jewish neighborhood. We left because of drugs and thugs and a young man who was a magnet to trouble. My crimes and misdemeanors were not public knowledge. Bold and brazened, we took to the street at night, me and Maureen O’Brien, strutting our stuff. Boys passing in cars. I was thin naturally and my body was my power. I didn’t have to think about being thin. I ate what was there and it just didn’t stick, yet. I knew my desire was to attract so I would be chosen. Thin meant being chosen, which was everything. It meant I was valued enough to be loved.
The cover-up exposed.
At 27. In a fog. Depressed. Hating my job. Wanting more but not seeing a way to get it. This is the first time my waist expanded. My red corduroy pants cutting into my skin. I ate badly before and it never showed up on my body. Now it was there for all to see. No longer able to cover my habits of emotionally over-eating until the pain of my body matched the pain in my psyche. Thin meant the façade of happiness.
Not so happily after.
At 37. Sad, angry and depressed. Marriage not working out. Pregnancy over, but those last 20 pounds stuck. Eating ice cream every night of my pregnancy, growing freely, no limits. Still my relationship was struggling to survive. It didn’t. Needing to stay attractive, to save my failing marriage. Thin meant normal, smart and happily ever after.
The storm before the calm.
At 47. Single and doing the falling in love diets. Being occupied with another, to distraction. Not wanting food for a while. Until I did. Then food is calming and obsessive. Thin meant ease and acceptance.
There is still time.
At 57. Loving my work. My focus shifts to the future. How much time is left? What can I still accomplish? I don’t care so much about looking young. I can’t even wear my signature high heels; my knees just won’t allow it. I don’t put up with unnecessary pain. Walking down the street at night, I walk tough; feigning kick-ass strength to avoid being a target. My desire to attract, not so strong. My desire to feel good, very strong. My desire to serve others; powerful. Teaching and offering solutions to problems; I’m in. I want to look good, but not to influence anyone because of their longing, or out of my lost sense of self. Thin meant self-discovery and compassion.
How about your desire to be at a healthy weight? How long have you lived with a desire to make peace with your body? Over the last 20 years, neuroscience proves we always have a choice. You can change your life when you understand your mind and your biology.
Hooray for today!
Today I want to be thin because I want my brain to work for me. I want my actions to be on my side. I look in the mirror and see, as Nora Ephron wrote about in I Feel Bad About My Neck – a neck from another planet. And I am grateful I can see and calmly touch my neck and remember this is what older women look like. Cool. I never heard my grandmother make a disparaging remark about her face or body. She was an elder. She had amazing white hair and she was as wrinkly as I am becoming. These women elders spoke of their children, their grandchildren, of other people’s troubles, of politics, shared recipes and stories from the past. They laughed and accompanied each other in sorrow and in community. Food was for sustenance and fuel.
Being thin means my days are lighter. I am more effective because I have more mental energy for other things. Why do I care? It gives me time to fulfill my purpose. It gives me joy and I often remember to breath in the fresh air after the rains, to reach out to you and offer my hand. Time to be grandmother, please!
It is not necessary to wait so long to find your compelling reason. It is never too late to find your why.
The important thing is once you have your reason, you will move to action. It starts with your why.
Find your why.
If you want 15 minutes to find your why, on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 2nd and 3rd I am dedicating 20 spots of 15 minutes each day to find your why. Interested? Send me a note. We'll schedule your time. firstname.lastname@example.org