Weight struggles and body image issues have plagued me ever since I can remember. Time and again I've lost weight only to gain it right back and then some. It was a frustrating, soul-sucking, cycle that I was desperate to get out of.
But about eight months ago... I woke up.
I started working out six days a week, ate healthier and before long, my body started to change. However, it wasn't my body that sparked this personal revolution; it was my frame of mind that changed first, and my body followed.
Yesterday, I was thinking about why now, at this point in my life, I have taken control of my body and my health. Part of it is certainly due to the fact that my children are older and I have more time for myself, but I think there's more to it than that. I've always known that if I really wanted to get in shape, then I would eat right and workout but until now, the motivation and focus to do that seemed out of my reach.
So why now, at 44 years old, has it suddenly clicked?
The answer was surprisingly disturbing at first. I realized that I'm in the throes of a midlife crisis. Huh? Wasn't that something that men had? They got trophy wives, wore toupees and bought red sports cars. The notion that a mom to four teenage boys was having a midlife crisis was totally crazy and a little scary.
That term "midlife crisis" has such negative implications, but the reality is that many of us go through it one way or another. It's the realization and awareness that our time here is finite and goes by in a blink. Like everything else in life, we have a choice in how we look at it and the lens we choose to peer through, impacts the journey.
The notion of death and dying is more tangible and visible at 44 than it is at 24. Not only are we older, so are our parents and our friends and we are confronted with our own mortality with increasing frequency. The question becomes, how do we choose to face it?
For me, the answer is simple. I look upon this second half of my life with an open mind, a generous heart and an adventurous spirit. Our time on this earth is fleeting and I want to squeeze every last drop out of it. I want to live boldly and in order to do that, I need to take care of my body and mind.
Therefore, I choose to view this chapter of my life as a midlife recreation or a midlife awakening. I am certainly far more aware of my mortality in my forties than I was in my twenties and it's making me appreciate every single moment. Life is short and the older we get, the faster it goes.
Am I gonna die? Yup. Someday.
In the meantime... I'm going to make it one hell of a ride.