Fashion, Fitness, get healthy, Turning Fifty

On Turning 50

turning 50 blog 4

I’ve had a year to prepare.  Actually, I guess I’ve had forty-nine years to prepare.  But who can ever be adequately equipped to reach the age society refers to with such doom and gloom?  I mean, the latest studies agree.  By age fifty, we should drop flip flops, ditch denim, toss tanks, swap shorts for capris, and chop our hair into an age-appropriate bob or pixie.  And the latest trend?  Don’t even get me started.  “Just allow your hair to go graaaaay,” they say.  “Gray is the new black,” they say.  And my favorite:  “Gray is sexy!”  Hmmmmmm.  On Jamie Lee Curtis, a gray pixie cut is sexy.  On Jamie Lee Curtis, capri pants may even have a snow ball’s chance at looking hot.  But can we agree that she’s been an exception to a whole slew of rules for many many years?  Say this with me out loud:  “I, (insert your name here), am not Jamie Lee Curtis … and no matter how much ACTIVA I ingest, I will never ever ever be Jamie Lee Curtis.”

(Deep breath)  I’ve actually had well-meaning women tell me that I need to cut my hair and throw out my denim shorts because I’m “getting too old”.  Please, for the love of all things good and true, can we at least agree to give denim a break?  Denim has been with us through thick and thin … literally.  And has stood the test of time as much as we have.  Maybe more than we have.  If I can say anything here today about fashion, it would be that we should ALL own some denim.  Until. We. Die.

I’m sorry, but the thought of all the false fashion notions that are prevalent on the internet brings on a mild panic attack with me.  Even right now, my heart is in a rush as I picture myself being yanked away, kicking and screaming, from the gorgeous diva who colors my hair.  Can anyone else relate?  As long as my hair is perfect, I can take hold of satan himself by his pointy ears and firmly place him behind me.  In the south, after all, hair is everything.  Gray is not the new black.  It’s just not!

Let’s be real.  When a person reaches fifty or sixty or seventy … or even eighty … the last thing we should be discussing is age appropriate fashion and/or hairstyles.  That person has lived five or more decades of life, which these days, is a feat.  And because of their years on the planet, they’ve earned the right to look however they want to look.  I may be waging war against capri pants and pixie cuts for myself, but for whoever chooses them, I’ll give 100% support (as long as the pixie cut, gray hair, AND capri pants aren’t paired together — a fifty year old female can only be stretched so far.)  My gripe is when the fashion police puts us into a middle-aged box of do’s and don’ts when what should truly matter is the sum of our experiences.

For instance.

At age fifty,  I’ve experienced two marriages and divorce … healthy relationships and abuse … having a successful career and being a stay at home mom … raising typical kiddos and raising kiddos who are differently abled.  I know what it’s like to have a close knit family, but I also know what it feels like when the family unit crumbles with estrangement.  I’m the very proud momma of two adopted kiddos, and can tell you that my love for those two is the exact same as it is for the three I birthed.

I’ve weighed too much and too little, and now have determined the scale doesn’t matter near as much as choosing good health.  Reveling in the highest of highs one moment, I’ve also walked through the deepest valleys of depression the next.  I’ve written books and songs, have earned my place in 5k races, attended law school for two years, and ran for state senate as a write-in candidate to bring light to a law that would have been unfavorable to the special needs community.

I’ve been fortunate to have formed associations with individuals who, just by their very existence, make me dare to believe there is a God.  At the same time, though, I still wrestle with the heavy weight of disbelief.   I’ve mourned the loss of loved ones.  I fear for the future of my children who have Down syndrome.  What if I die first?  And as the former owner of a non-profit that provided free clothing to teenage girls who are fighting through the ravages of poverty, the foster care system, and an addiction to self harm, I can tell you without a moment’s hesitation that “those kids” are amazing young women who are striving for a better future.  They cling to hope, as do I, for a society that will choose the attitude of love, peace, and charity over selfishness, fighting, and suffering.

These are the things that matter.

I get it.  I’m fifty.

And in the eyes of much of society, that means I’m now over the hill.

Regardless, my fifty years of life has mattered.

And your life matters too.

turning 50 blog 10

Happy Birthday to me!!!!

~Mel

 

 

Advertisements
Fitness, get fit, self care, skin care

Don’t Let Age Define Your Legs

I’m turning fifty in seven days.  A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted my body to be the best it could be by the time I reached half a century.  And I’ve succeeded.  Do you want to do the same?  If so, follow along with my blog and keep reading.

Warm weather is no longer creeping upon us at a snail’s place.  It’s officially arrived.  As a firm believer in being my best self, I want to show you how you can have fantastic looking legs for Summer.   Admittedly, it’s work  … but anything worth having requires effort and consistency.  In the end, when you feel confident in your shorts, your one-piece, or in your bikini, you’ll be happy you stuck with a plan.

batman 3

SKIN:  Skin is our largest organ, but sometimes we forget to take particular care of it.  I’m always amazed by the story of Queen Esther who went through twelve months of beauty treatments before she could even meet up with King Ahasuerus.  The words that formed the basis of “beauty treatments” in scripture, by the way, are translated “to scour, polish”.   The King’s servants literally scoured and polished that woman until she was shining with beauty.

As we age, its no secret we begin to lose moisture and elasticity, which can cause our skin to look dull, dry, and old.   When wearing shorts or a bathing suit, we want and need our legs to shine just like Queen Esther’s.  So here’s what I do at least three days per week:

First, I exfoliate (scour) my legs with a sugar and olive oil mixture.

Second, I cover my legs in a dead sea mud mask.

Third, I rinse and then coat my legs in a neck firming cream.  (Yes, I know it sounds crazy to use a neck firming cream on legs … but it really works!)

batman 2

 

I use the olive oil / sugar scrub because it’s natural, and because olive oil is such a good moisturizer for your skin.  Homer called it “liquid gold”, and the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used it in place of soap.  They’d apply it to their skin and then scrape off dirt and dead skin.  (Gross, but true!)  If it worked for the ancients, and if we’re still using it today, it has to be legitimate.

I swear by the Dead Sea Mud Mask.  I use it all over my body often.  According to the package, it detoxifies impurities and restores skin with nourishing minerals – magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, and iron.  It also shrinks pores and tightens fine lines and wrinkles.  Getting rid of toxins makes sense to me.  You can find it here.  

batman 4

So why the neck firming cream?  On my legs?  haha.  It actually happened by accident.  I work religiously on forming muscles in my legs, but no matter how much muscle I gained, I still wasn’t happy with the appearance of my legs.  I wanted them to not only be muscular and lean, but to be vibrant.  I searched Amazon for any type of cream that would help firm my skin, and found this neck firming cream.  It had great reviews, so I gave it a shot.  It has worked wonders!!!!  No kidding, my legs look twenty years younger, and I could tell a difference within days.  You can find this miracle product here.

batman 8

MUSCLES:  If you want younger looking legs, not only is it important to care for you skin, but it’s equally important to take care of your leg muscles.  Build them.  Sculpt them.  Envision what you want them to look like, and then go for it.  If time is an issue, here is a simple twenty minute plan to get you started:

10 minutes:  Run one mile per day.  It’s easy and will reduce fat while building muscle fast.

10 minutes:  Weighted squats / Weighted calf raises / Weighted donkey kicks (4 sets of 12) Do this every other day.  On your off days, spend those same 10 minutes on arms as a bonus!!!

batman 6

 

batman 1

No matter when you were born, remember, age does not have to define your legs.  You get to control what your body looks like at any age.  So go for it!!!

Just my thoughts,

~Melanie

 

Fitness

So You’re Over Forty And Ready To Begin Building Muscle?

pineapple clothing 1

Getting older is such a pain, isn’t it?  What used to come so easy requires much more effort.   Even sleeping now requires effort … what is that about and whyyyyy?  Just over three years ago, I found myself at a real crossroad in life.  Everything fell apart in one fell swoop, and I wanted to curl up in a hole and disappear.  But I was still responsible for two kiddos who have special needs and who require constant care, so retreat wasn’t an option.  You’ve heard of flight or fight?  I thankfully chose to fight and have been fighting like hell ever since.

You may not be at a major crossroad in your life, but perhaps your waistline is.  haha.  You can’t really run from your waistline, so maybe it’s time to fight back.  Want to lose some of that fat?  Decrease the risk of Osteoporosis?  Burn more calories?  And improve your heart’s health?  Then, you better hit the weights and get to lifting.  When you’re ready to take that first step toward build muscle, as with anything, it’s best to begin with a simple solid foundation.  Three really good tools for your cache are the foam roller, the medicine ball, and Yoga.  I’d suggest to begin by spending one month, 30 minutes a day, becoming a student of these three fitness weapons that will assist you in initial steps toward slaying your body.

  1.  Foam Rolling:  Do you foam roll before or after a workout?  Yes.  Both.  It only takes a couple minutes of time and is worth every second.  Rolling Massagers reduce muscle tension and tightness, reduce soreness, and reduce levels of stress hormones.   Some studies say it even fires up your central nervous system, helping to regulate heart rate and blood flow.  I don’t know much about the scientific evidence, but I do know how foam rolling has benefited me.  I work out hard six days a week, and still run and do yoga on the seventh day.  As a result, muscle pain has become my norm.  I kept reading about roller massagers, but was a major skeptic until one day I found one on sale and decided to give it a try.  Aaaaaaand it works.  After rolling, my muscles feel energized and aren’t nearly as sore.  As with anything, rolling can be overdone, so I keep it to only a few minutes twice a day.  Most rollers are around $30.00, so it’s not much of an investment to add to your fitness arsenal.  If you’re looking for a first step, then buy one!    foam roller
  2. Medicine Ball:  Medicine Balls were used by ancient Greek Athletes and Gladiators, and they’re still around today, so there must be something special about them, right?  Absolutely.  Not only will you burn calories with the medicine ball, but you’ll build strength, power, balance, and work your core.  Abdominal curls, Russian twists, big circles, standing torso twists, woodchoppers, lunge twists, wall sits, chest pushes, hamstring curls, knee crushers, and squat leg raises are all examples of what you can easily do with one simple medicine ball.  With three sets of 12 reps, building muscle with these exercises will be no problem.  To buy a 6 lb. ball, click here.  For an 8 lb. ball, click here.pineapple clothing 2

    3.  Yoga:  Last, but far from least, is Yoga.  I cannot say enough about Yoga.  It has transformed my life and my body.  To build beautiful lean muscles the right way, you need to be physically flexible, and Yoga will definitely improve your flexibility.  More than that, however, yoga will also increase your muscle tone, improve your energy, help you maintain a balanced metabolism, improve your circulatory health, produce a gorgeous posture, and as an added benefit, will greatly enhance your mood.  Formal Yoga exercise classes can be found at most gyms, but Yoga instruction can also be found on DVDs and at your fingertips on convenient phone apps.  I have the Asana Rebel application loaded on my cell phone and use it every day.  The most magnificent thing about Yoga is you can jump in at anytime, at any age, and at any level … and grow into it.  It’s something you evolve into slowly, but the benefits are almost immediate.

     

     

    As with anything, building muscle takes time, dedication, hard work, and patience.   Consistency pays off.  If you begin with these three simple building blocks, you’re off to a strong start.  Just stick with it, and then slowly incorporate other exercises into your life.  Each new challenge will bring a brand new reward.
    If you ever need any help getting started, and if you live close by, just let me know!
    ~Mel