You are listening to It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight, a podcast with Pat Beaupre Becker, Episode 25.
Hello, my dears. I have a couple of great movies to tell you about. The Book Club and Film Stars don't die in Liverpool. Challenging beliefs about women and age and performed with glee by actresses we have watched age – naturally or with help! We know we age. We know we have desire and are still having geat sex, though maybe not as often. We know meaningful, long-term friendships nourish us and bring us great joy and all of this is expressed in Book Club and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool.
Welcome to your 60s. This is the decade of authenticity and freedom. It is your time to choose YOU. The kids are out of the house. You may be transitioning to a new career. You may be looking at checking off your bucket list. You make be looking at physical achievements. I propose that whatever it is you do 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?
For me becoming 60 has been such an opportunity and privilege. New career, new tools for better relationships. Finally getting motivated to exercise and self care. Having more fun. Loving being inside my brain most of the time!
Some of you might think your 60s is the beginning of the end. It all goes downhill from here. Your attractiveness drops, your energy gone. Why bother to try to lose the weight you have struggled with since menopause or since your teens. I can't stop giving in, so I stop trying. I eat what I want, whenever I want.
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! It is worth it. There is another way. You can learn it.
My brain is changing and I follow a simple plan, it is weighed and measured. Protocol for my Food, mental hygiene practice for my thoughts and garnering the skill of feeling and managing my 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?
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. Get someone else to value me because of my body. Thin meant I was eligible to be chosen. Coming up short because I may have found someone to enjoy my body, I was not able to connect in any other way and that felt really BAD. Outside looked good – inside felt horrible.
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, now everyone knew how horrible I was. Insides felt horrible and outside looked horrible.
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 understand my emotions that were ruining my life and I could not save my failing marriage. Thin meant normal, smart and happily ever after.
At 47. The storm before the calm. Single and doing the falling in love diets. Being obsessively occupied with another, to distraction. Not wanting food for a while. Again, begging to be chosen. Focusing on my past and not seeing a way out of my judgment and sentence – unforgivable. So for I while I didn't use food to beat myself up. Until I did. Then food is calming and obsessive. Thin meant I was loveable to the other. It was a sign of ease and acceptance.
At 57. There is still time. Loving my work for the first time; learning to manage my brain and my heart. 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 – yeah, to get somewhere. Or to enjoy the fresh air. 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 all 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 don't want more than my body needs. I have felt discomfort as I clearly shared throughout my life, but it was the discomfort of self hatred and gluttony. Now I feel the discomfort of natural well being. Life as it is. A hot mess.
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. To coach my clients. To share the magic in knowing that we can learn to use our brains and bodies to serve us, whatever we decide to do.
Ladies. What does it take to finally live the life you want in the body you want?
Decide. Acknowledge and become willing.
Acknowledge that you want to learn new skills.
Be willing to go through the discomfort of withdrawal from toxic foods.
Be willing to feel your emotions. Resisting or avoiding emotions is usually why we eat.
Be willing to become aware of your thoughts and how they create your life.
Be willing to move and to take action with a plan.
Join the movement of women who know – It's Never Too Late.
My favorite things…..Growing Herbs – sage, mint, thyme, curry, basil and parsley. Touch and smell; ad to refreshing summer drinks; add to savory vegetables and add punch to a salad. There are many herb starter kits and you just need space for a small pot to start your own herb garden.
Thank you for listening to It's Never Too Late To Lose Weight. I help women in my one on one coaching program.