I recently met a fabulous lady, Peta Gillian who runs Strong Healthy Women. I connected with her through her Facebook Page and then participated in her Fitmas program leading up to Christmas 2018.
Peta has designed a workout program especially for Women Over 50 who are ‘time poor’. She created FastFIT and when I recently attended one of her classes, I met Beryl, an 82 year who has been training with Peta for 12 years!
However, I was surprised to read Peta’s story about how she felt turning 50. The woman I met is confident and has built a successful business. Her thoughts may be encouraging to those of you who are facing another birthday and not looking forward to it.
I knew that Peta would be a fountain of knowledge when it comes to Health & Fitness so I asked her to contribute to the Over 50 & Thriving Series.
Peta also runs online programs so I would encourage you to connect with her through her website and social media links at the end of her article.
You might also be keen to join her 7 Day Healthy Habit Reset. The next one starts Monday 11th February so you still have time to register – I have!
3 top Tips to Thriving Through 50
I remember turning 50, my personal and professional life was in chaos. I’d always embraced whatever age I was and never really thought that much about it.
I’d made poor choices and really didn’t want to celebrate, but my friends and family had insisted. I put on that brave face and made out I was having a great time, but deep down I was drowning.
I know that you understand this, as a woman, you do things you don’t want to do, and no-one sees what’s going on inside of you. Maybe you might share your inner thoughts with someone close to you. This is where my first piece to thriving over 50 comes in.
#1 Start a Journal.
You’re probably saying “I don’t have time”. I get this.
Here’s how to do it. Get the prettiest A5 book and the loveliest pen and put this on your bedside table. When you wake up tomorrow morning, take a deep breath in and exhale. Look and listen and whatever you see and hear write about it. Even if you only write thank you, this is a start. The key to any new habit is consistency. Finish each journal with thank you, thank you, thank you.
Writing each morning takes me between 3 and 7 minutes depending on how much I have to say. This sets the tone for my day and is critical to having clarity, focus and thankfulness for all in my life. Are you willing to try it? Here’s a bit of trivia. When you write something down you are 42% more likely to achieve it, because your mind thinks you’ve done it already.
You know that saying “if you always do, what you’ve always done, you’ll always get, what you’ve always got”.
This was me… doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. I was talking to my daughter-in-law this week about getting caught on the “doing wheel”. She’s been working the same job for 20 years and doesn’t really like it. I asked, “what do you like, what do you want to do?” She doesn’t really know. I explained “this is the time to sit, reflect and get off the “doing wheel and do some searching in your heart of hearts.”
I went on to explain when I started to reflect and really search back through my child-hood, teen years and young adult years to find what made me happy, I rediscovered the person who had been hidden for years.
I was too busy climbing the corporate ladder to notice what I loved doing had been lost. You see, I’m a connector.
From an early age, if there was someone new at school, I wanted them to feel like they belonged. I hated feeling isolated and could relate to this first day at school not knowing anyone.
Today, I get to help women over 50 connect through being active and healthy. You guessed it, here comes tip number two.
#2 Time to Reflect
Getting away from it all, everybody and everything is not always possible. If it is… go for it.
Take yourself away and spend some time pulling back the layers of your life. If it’s not possible, find your special place. It could be a favourite chair in the study or your bedroom, totally up to you.
For me, it’s hiking. Being in nature, allowing the smells, sounds and sights to invigorate and drift through me, to cleanse and open my mind to what is possible and what makes my heart sing.
Technology can be your friend during a time of reflection. When I have thoughts out on the trails, I record these into my phone and then when I get back, over a cuppa, I transcribe and spend a little more time thinking and writing in my journal.
As a child growing up, we cared for my grand-mother who had preventable health diseases and eventually passed away from complications. My mother has the same preventable health diseases and is now struggling. Seeing all of this from a young age had a profound impact on my life.
My life had started taking a downward turn in my 40’s. Don’t get me wrong, I had heaps of fun along the way as well.
In my 40’s I had a health issue, menopause hit me, and I started to have brain fog, lack of energy, weight and body fat increase and felt like a walking zombie.
I knew what awaited me and so my WHY for change became really apparent.
I went to lectures about menopause to understand more about what was happening to me. I started working out and was told by a 20 something year old this was the way it was. What did they know about menopause, my family history and how I was feeling anyway? I decided right then and there, this doesn’t have to be.
Your final tip for Thriving through 50 is here.
#3 Move More
You could be thinking right now “I know I need to, but where will I find the time?”
Moving more doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. You only need to be consistent in your approach. This is an area that I can talk on and on about, for now I will break it down into a “small step approach”.
- After you’ve journaled, it’s time for your 5-minute workout. I’ve created FastFIT with you in mind, because if you are anything like me you hit the ground running of a morning. With this workout, you get your heart racing, your mind and body connected and off to the next thing in your life.
- Here’s the next part to move more. We go to the bathroom a little more than we used to, so each time you go, you add squats, toe touches, lunges, or any type of exercise. Do 10 reps, for 3 sets. By the end of the day, you’ll be really surprised how much moving you’ve got done.
- Then there is the 55/5 rule. 5 minutes before each hour, set the alarm and get up and move. Walk up and down the hallway, outside, ride your bike around the outside of the house, again anything. You are building the habit of moving more.
I read an article in the newspaper today about a local woman who just turned 107, active and living independently and my heart sang with joy for her.
To Thrive to 50 and beyond it is getting back to the basics of living.
Move more, drink water, eat real food, sleep well to allow your body to heal and connect with yourself, others and nature.
Live Active, Healthy & Connected, Peta
Peta Gillian is a qualified fitness and lifestyle professional with 14 years’ experience working with women. Featured in Prevention Magazine, a regular on the Fit N Fifty Plus Podcast Show and a Finalist in the Australian Fitness Industry Awards, Peta is passionate about helping women 50+ to remain fit, healthy and mobile throughout their lives.
Peta is the creator of FITFlex (a fitness and flexibility program for women 50+), FastFIT and Fuelled Up and launched Ageless Confidence in 2018 from her desire to give back to the community and help women no matter what stage of life to “believe they can, and they do”.
She started her own well-being journey after watching the effects of preventable disease on the women in her family. She faced a health issue of her own in her 40’s. And then menopause hit her like a tonne of bricks, which started the process of research and finding her way through strategies that completely transformed her health and has since taught these same strategies to thousands of other women.
Peta loves skiing, hiking, travelling, staying active and loves reading to learn and grow.
Connect with Peta