Thriving, not just existing is something that I think we all would want from life. My next guest in the Over 50 & Thriving series, is someone who has completely turned her life around. I met Jen Abel early in my blogging career and we actually co-hosted a link up party for a while.
As happens, life is busy and we lost touch. Recently, we reconnected and I couldn’t believe it was the same person. Jen’s story is so inspiring and she is a wonderful example of how we can change our life for the better and become the best version of ourselves. I would encourage you to connect with her through her links below. She has started a new career After 60 and I’m just so inspired by her story – I know you will be too!
Thriving not Just Existing
I remember being young I also remember being fit and active and trim taught and terrific.
How time passes by with no regard to anyone, we all must age but it’s how we age that I now realise is important.
I existed for a long time. Never in a hurry to reach 50 let alone 60 but here I am, and I am thriving.
A quick step back in time. In my 40s I had so much happened in my life it all seems to be a blur now, my kids left home, I got divorced, I had a hysterectomy and I worked hard darn hard in fact as I had a physically demanding job which kept me trim.
As the years drifted, I found a wonderful man whom I married, and things were perfect. I no longer worked as hard and we went for a working holiday around Australia which lasted 13years. This was the start of my unhealthy era, fast foods ,quick unhealthy snacks, skipping meals and alcohol.
By the time I was in my mid 50s I was overweight, but I thought “I’m a Nanna I can be chubby” never once giving any regard to my health.
I nursed my mum and watch her die from cancer, I had lost my dad and I was losing friends one after the other and all because of medical conditions. I found out that 8 out 10 people will die prematurely from a modern disease, so I knew I needed to do something about my weight, increasing blood pressure, dodgy knees, depression and anxiety and lacked energy but I never had a big enough WHY at this time.
I Soon Found my WHY
Baby sitting is one of those things all us Nannas love and having so many grandies I was often called upon.
I was looking after one of my grandsons who was nearly five at the time, and he had gone to the trouble of setting up a car game which he asked me to join him but unfortunately it was on the floor. I had to decline and felt so bad as I had let him down. He wanted to know why I could not play with him and had to explain that Nanna could not get up off the floor, it was just too hard. His reaction was so innocent, but it stopped me in my tracks.
“Is that because of your big fat belly Nanna?” was his reply. Well yes it was.
I had just found my WHY, my grandchildren.
I had been watching a friend of mine of Facebook who coached in weight loss and fitness for Herbalife so as soon as my grandson was in bed that night, I contacted her.
I had nothing to lose so I gave it my best shot. It wasn’t until I bought some scales that I found out how big I really was. I looked back on photos and feel so ashamed of how I let myself go, you just don’t realise how the grams creep up and your health declines.
It was a new thing for me to have breakfast which was in the form of a high nutrition shake and I traded my copious cups of coffee for a fat burning energy giving herbal tea. I was given a food plan and had constant support from my coach which saw me lose 2 kgs my first week.
This alone told me I can do this, I had the choice to eat healthy, and turn my life around so I could thrive rather than just existing.
I incorporated light exercise like squats, planks and walking and as the kilos started vanishing, I noticed my dodgy knee felt better, my blood pressure started to drop to a normal range and my depression started to wane, I was winning I will conquer healthy aging.
The More I Lost the More I Gained
I joined in online weight loss challenges which was fantastic support and soon friends started noticing my new-found happiness as well as me shrinking, they wanted to join in so before long I found myself out of retirement and helping others achieve their goals.
I now help run online programs for weight loss, weight gain, healthy aging plus sports nutrition, I feel useful in so many ways. There is nothing more pleasing to see a client have a beaming smile when they reach their goals.
I would never have thought I could take a new career path at 60, how wrong was I.
Only just last week I went to Adelaide with my coach and other team members to Herbalife’s annual Spectacular, which is a fun weekend full of training from the cream of the company. It is a very grand affair with many accolades to people that have achieved in various ways from business achievements through to health journeys.
Every year the company puts out a book with a range of different product results with sections of weight loss, weight gain, sports and healthy aging.
Much to my surprise they had chosen me to represent healthy aging, ME, out of thousands of other beautiful over sixties that all had wonderful results, for this I feel humbled.
I have some beautiful messages from people, all ages and some complete strangers to say I have inspired them to get their healthy on, I’m feeling a bit taken back to think I can actually help others.
IF I CAN YOU CAN is my new motto.
How blessed am I.
To date I have lost around 22kgs over 125cms I dropped from a size 16-18 down to an 8-10, my skin and hair are so alive again, I wake up with a bounce and have no signs of sugar or cholesterol.
I have the energy to help with our building renovations, chase my grandies and I finally feel I am alive and in the best shape of my life.
I am THRIVING in my 60s and I owe it all to one little boy’s innocent comment, thank you Declan, you saved your Nan.
PS My grandson has never asked for me to play on the floor with him……but I’m ready for him when he does.
Please Note: “Individual results may vary”
Hi, my name is Jen I am 60, a mum of 5 and nanna of 15 and wife of 1. I love gardening, art and spending time with my family. Traveling is a great love and am lucky to have spent many years on a working holiday all around Australia. I have recently become a wellness coach.
Connect with Jen