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  • Writer's pictureLexie James-Priday

My life began at 40

Do you ever wish you’d known what you know now when you were younger?

I think it’s a very natural way to feel. But I'll come back to that, because that’s a big one.

I meet so many young people these days that seem incredibly confident, and it scares me a bit. Tell me, is that a modern day thing, a generation Z trait or is just me being older and more aware/more reflective/more observant?

Don’t get me wrong, I applaud confidence, it's a scary world out there today and our kids need strong skin.

I was an absolute nervous wreck for most of my childhood and teenage years, you may scoff if you’ve watched any of my Instagram videos, but I think I’m what people call an extroverted introvert, as long as I can hide behind a screen and not see the people who are watching me then I'm fine. God forbid I receive a derogatory comment after which I declare an official “jacking in” of social media and retreat to the isolation booth in my head for a week.

But when it comes to my own children I wonder if because of my own struggles as a child I have inadvertently forced them to be a little too ‘warrior’ stylee in their approach to things? Although saying that my daughter is most definitely following in my empath footsteps, she seems to feel everything that those around her feel. Both a burden and a blessing all rolled into one.

So going back to my opening question, I guess even though wisdom (how very yoda of me) would indeed be useful when we are young, it’s almost always a gift that one earns over time and in fact is usually an accumulation of time itself.

Admittedly I do meet younger people who seem to have an old soul, “wise beyond their years” but it’s definitely not the norm.

I have read many accounts and spoken to copious ladies about how reaching a certain age milestone has granted them the freedom to embrace whatever brick wall they had previously struggled with, be it health/weight/relationships/sexuality/career. For me the magic number is most definitely 40. Admittedly I began my lifestyle transformation in terms of gut health in my mid thirties but turning 40 just flipped the official switch.

Maybe there is a certain gravitas that comes with “middle age”, could that be it? There’s definitely a sense of “ I have very few fucks left to give”. Which leads me onto why I believe I finally took complete control of my health. It's like suddenly the volume was turned down on all the small things that I used to worry about, those time consuming thoughts/reactions/commitments that would drain my brain and deplete my stock of time.

Things like: Worrying about what other people thought, taking on other peoples problems (empath issue right there), worrying about how I look as opposed to how I feel, over stretching myself to accommodate others, allowing toxic people into my life, NOT SAYING NO, putting other people's health before mine.

Letting go of that last one ‘putting other people's health before mine’ might sound a tad harsh but here’s what I say to all the ladies that come to me for help:

“If you don’t look after your health first what use will you be to others anyway?”

Because ALL of the ladies I work with are busy bees, with either family, friends or careers that require them to be the ship's captain. Well guess what ladies? If the captain goes down then so does the ship!!!

Just to invite you into my feminist realm, its about sodding time that women did start putting themselves first, because for far too many years women have been “brave soldiers” the “putter uppers” in order to keep the ‘home fires burning’ and feeling like crap as a result. Please refer to my previous statement about sinking ships.

As a result of these outside noises and quite frankly inconsequential distractions being put firmly in their place I finally put all my ducks in a row. It gave my brain even more time to process what was truly important, to go back to basics. By re-prioritising my time and therefore scheduling time to really focus on me I became the best version of myself which then benefited everyone.

Please imagine me standing there in the middle of this eureka moment, with fireworks going off, doves swooping, rainbows arching and twinkly things twinkling all culminating in my freedom from feeling like crap on a daily basis. BOOM!

And that is where I am today, I’ll be 43 in January 2022, my body is ticking along nicely, my gut health is great, my body size is stable (used to fluctuate like crazy), my hormones are in check, my mental health is good (always working on that) and my work life balance is peachy.

So yes knowing what I know now would have in some ways been great when I was younger, BUT I only have this wisdom (yoda again) as a result of everything I have been through and the me of younger years would quite literally not have known what to do with it if it was thrown in my face.

So with my new found wisdom I plan to go forth and conquer, I wish I could tell younger me that happier times are coming however I now only want to look forward and enjoy my life.

I lost a best friend when we were both 37 years of age to cancer, I have another best friend who has just gone through a breast cancer op, so let me leave you with this little nugget:

“Age is a privilege, each birthday is a blessing”.

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