I wanted to try something new today as I find choosing a music track for a video quite time consuming and frustrating.
I really enjoy writing, but not everyone knows about my words or my blog. I thought I’d combine my love of making short videos, with my love of writing and so here’s my first attempt, I hope you like it.
Makeup for today.
Today’s cruelty free makeup;
Foundation is Amazonian Clay, colour =light medium sand – from Tarte Cosmetics.
Highlighter, blue eyeshadow and coral coloured blush from Revolution Pro Palette.
Mascara, bronzer, grey eyebrow pencil and liquid lipstick is ‘Dash” from MUA Cosmetics.
Humans are strange creatures, but I know I’m not alone in my way of thinking, to be truly grateful to be gaining wrinkles and ageing everyday. If this happens to be a popular format, I will make more.
It didn’t take long!
Already I’ve received messages and comments telling me I look 64 or more. Why does it matter how old I look? Is it meant as an insult? I don’t think it’s an insult at all. We have been programmed through social media and movies etc, to believe that the images we see are women in real life. I don’t use a filter, and I wish I could upload a video which plays at the same quality as I upload it. Both Instagram Reels and TikTok downgrade the quality which appears to blur my skin somewhat. I find that really frustrating
Curious about life after 50? I started FiftySister for myself primarily, somewhere to write down my thoughts about ageing and life after 50. Creating content for this blog and social media channels is a lot of effort, but I really enjoy writing and taking photos for other women. After all, that’s where I started my journey, spending time online, seeking out new ideas and inspiration to make the most of my life after 50. Being over 50 isn’t all Tena lady and support pants, there’s a lot more on offer to women of every age, in fact, it seems that age is no limit at all to some women.
Ask the Doctor
I’ve told this story before but if you are new here its’ definitely worth reading on… I met a doctor who looked after senior patients, he was in his 70’s himself. I asked him “What’s the number one thing you have learned from working with elderly patients?” He didn’t hesitate with his response. ‘People who thought they were old, acted old and expected to get sick. They didn’t take care of their health or exercise. They had resigned themselves to illness and early death and therefore decided there’s no point limiting their intake of food or alcohol, they’d spend all day watching TV, eating crap without limits. Those who didn’t think about the number on the scoreboard (their age) continued to live their life as though it would never end. They took care of their health by limiting alcohol, exercising daily and eating lots of the good stuff, like colourful fruit and veggies’. “Did it make a difference to their final years or health?” I asked. With a hearty laugh, he boomed ‘Of course! The ones who looked after their bodies for the long term, lived longer and weren’t so sick. They didn’t expect or want to be sick, so when they showed signs of illness, they took action immediately’.
These are the Doctor’s words, not mine. This conversation happened on my 50th birthday. Those words have stayed with me to this day.
What are you worth?
What are women over 50 worth to companies who market on social media? To many companies, our demographic is strangely worth less than that of younger women. Which is surprising, as we have time to shop and money to spend. Recently a hair care company contacted me, asking me if I would make videos and posts for them in return for a free bottle of shampoo. My response – “Do you think I can pay my electric bill with shampoo?” – ‘What?’ – was the reply of the hair care company. “Well, you are asking me to perform like a monkey for a banana or a handful of nuts. My work is worth more than a banana, so unless energy companies start accepting bananas or shampoo instead of money, I am going to happily decline your ungenerous offer”. From my own experience, if I work for free, that’s what a non fee paying customer’s value of my time is. Nothing. Zero. Not even a banana.
There’s no magic pill.
I’m worth more than that. Even though I’m quite partial to a banana. I value my time, so I will never work again for free. I also value my time on earth and I know there’s no magic pill. I take care of myself by eating lots of plants, nuts, seeds, beans and fruit. I exercise daily, I don’t drink alcohol very often (2 glasses of wine or cider per week) and I spend as much time as possible with my dogs and in nature. I could still get sick of course, but I am doing everything within my power to make that less inevitable. In my head (and heart) I’m still 18. My face isn’t playing along, but I’m completely happy with my wrinkles, age spots and creases. I’ve enjoyed many days outside hiking, swimming and lazing in the sunshine. Laughter lines are to be celebrated. Those happy moments are written on my face for all to see. I hope I get many more belly laughs and lines before I return to, and become part of, mother earth again.
I don’t want to appear younger than my years. It’s perfectly OK that I look my age.
I know the beauty industry tries to convince us that we need to look at least 10 years younger than our true biological age, but why? I’ve received messages telling me I look ten years younger, and also 10 or more years older, it really doesn’t matter how old I look, its how old I feel, and I feel the same as I did when I was 18. I eat a varied whole food plant based diet, exercise daily, limit my time on social media and I spend lots of time in nature. It takes effort to feel good, sadly there’s no magic pill. I feel full of energy and ready to take on any challenge. More on this another day, I write less on Instagram posts as the limit on the number of words is too challenging for me!
I took this shot on arriving home from the construction site. My hair was covered in dust and was happily doing it’s own thing. I wandered into the bathroom and picked up the scissors. You see, my hair is falling out. … It’s normal. I have an under active thyroid and it causes my hair to wave goodbye to my scalp by the handful. Sometimes more than others. It’s OK, it’s only hair. 10 minutes of snipping and I have a shorter style.
It doesn’t matter if I look 54, 64 or even more. I just hope I look healthy and happy, as that’s my only wish.
I’m as lost as everyone else in my midlife journey, so don’t follow me thinking I have all the answers. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new. Over the past few months, I’ve been trying different eating patterns including intermittent fasting and Keto to keep my weight within a more healthy range. I’d noticed that my jeans were getting tight in October and my face looked puffy aka chubby! At my starting weight of 11stone 5lbs/159lbs/ 72.12kgs, I was definitely moving outside of a healthy weight range for my height of 5’6”/ 167.64cm. Most importantly I felt heavy and wanted my jeans to feel less snug.
I decided to try intermittent fasting as I’d heard lots of success stories about not only weight loss, but also that the body puts its effort into repair mode when calories are scarce. I went full ahead but without doing any research regarding best times to eat etc, I just thought I would wing it to see what worked best for me. I don’t like eating large meals later in the day anyway, as I don’t have the time to walk off the full belly feeling at night and feel less inclined to exercise after food. I planned to eat breakfast, lunch and miss out my evening meal all together. The first thing I noticed was that I wasn’t in my usual good mood first thing in the morning, I was grumpy, impatient and short tempered, but this was short lived and quickly remedied by eating breakfast. I normally eat a wholefood plant-based diet, rich in fresh fruit and veggies, nuts, seeds and beans. Breakfast could be nut butter on toast with extra toasted seeds and sliced banana. Lunch would usually be rice or noodles, with tofu, seitan or tempeh as the substitute for animal meat protein, lots of veggies with some fruit afterwards.
In the evening, I opted for a large glass of freshly squeezed/prepared watermelon or orange juice. I felt hungry occasionally, but a cup of matcha tea would dull that feeling until the next meal. For me, the intermittent fasting approach meant that I could continue eating exactly what I wanted, carb heavy with pizza, pasta, toast (lots of wheat!) with no extra meal planning or major change in diet. I quickly lost 16lbs/7.26kgs without much effort or inconvenience. My energy levels remained high during the day, with only a notable dip first thing in the morning before breakfast.
My weight stabilised at 144lbs/65.31kgs and didn’t budge any lower. I had plenty of energy for hiking, swimming and cycling with little thought or concern for what I was eating. I’d highly recommend this way of scheduling food as it’s as simple as only eating two meals per day.
In December, I started listening to podcasts about the keto diet. As a vegan, this is a little more difficult as I don’t eat animal protein which makes up most of the keto diet plan. I was curious whether it was feasible to follow a keto plan as a vegan. Instead of toast or a vegan pancake for breakfast, I had either an apple or banana with nut butter and toasted seeds. Interestingly, I didn’t feel hungry at all at any point during the day. For lunch, I substituted wheat spaghetti with a sweet potato version, which is gluten free and lower in carbs. I followed a keto way of eating for 2 weeks and within the first couple of days I noticed I was peeing more. I expected to lose a couple of pounds over the first 2 weeks, but actually the result was zero weight loss. I was still exercising 2-3 hours per day, sleeping very well, not feeling hungry and my energy levels remained constant. No highs or lows, just adequate.
It’s important to note that I stopped drinking alcohol a few months ago as I noticed that after only a small glass of wine, I would feel less than 100% the next day. I feel like I am recovering from poisoning after only a small amount, so it seems pointless to continue drinking. I was a social drinker, enjoying a glass of Gin & Tonic with friends, but rarely drank alcohol when home alone. Giving up alcohol was easy, maybe when we return to a more social way of life I will be tempted to crack open a bottle of Ginger & Rhubarb gin….who knows?
I have become very conscious of my intake of cereal, especially wheat which I am keen to reduce. Trying the keto way of eating forced me to find alternatives which I really enjoyed. Especially the sweet potato spaghetti/noodles. I could happily continue on the intermittent fasting regime without any stress about carbs, but I did like not feeling hungry on a low carb diet. Going forward I will continue with two meals per day, but try harder to reduce wheat and carbs to combine intermittent fasting and Keto to keep my weight stable.
It’s important to me to stay in shape and to ensure I feed my body what it needs rather than what I want. It’s not always easy as there’s so much temptation, but ultimately, I know that if I want to live a long and active life, I need to invest in my health every day. I will keep you posted and share updates and recipes along the way.
What have you tried which worked for you? Have you tried intermittent fasting?
In the next month (or so) I will be entering my 53rd year. Which means miles travelled around the sun or my total life score is 4,926,657,771 – how incredible is that? Of all the ways there are to die, I’ve avoided each and every one so far.
The world is spinning, orbiting around the sun, travelling 92,955,807 miles per year, but it makes no noise, or we simply cannot hear it. Something I’m still pondering…
I’ve had; scrapes, accidents, incidents, illnesses, diseases, infections, impacts, abrasions. I’ve laughed, I’ve screamed, I’ve cried. I’ve been lonely, loved, hurt and hugged. I’ve been helped and hindered, supported and opposed, treasured and discarded. We all have. There have been so many highs and countless lows, but I’m still here and I am very grateful. Grateful for the wrinkles, the facial hair, the sun spots, the stretch marks the scars. The journey so far has been worth it and I look forward to collecting many more wrinkles along the way. Who else has decided to embrace their wrinkles?