Midlife Fitness: Lesley McShane
It is crucial to take care of your health as you age.
Even if you haven’t done that to date, it is never too late to enjoy good health, independent movement, and all the other benefits that go with it. All you have to do is decide and consistently follow through on that decision every day.
It is always easier said than done, especially with the pressures of the everyday and culture in general. These days it seems impossible to avoid being in everyone else’s business. We expect results to be instant or easy. When we feel or are made to feel unsuccessful, we quit before even getting started.
“When we start down a new path, we become hypersensitive to things around us.”
As you start your fitness journey, remember these four things:
1. Don’t Compare Your First Step With Someone Else’s Millionth:
When we start down a new path, we become hypersensitive to things around us. Maybe we see another woman who takes care of her health. We immediately begin to compare ourselves with her. But perhaps she has been on this journey for a year or more. Think about the fact that she once was where you are today.
It isn’t fair to either of you to compare your first week to her 52nd. When you see her, treat her journey as inspiration and realize what is possible to achieve in another 51 weeks. Talk to her. There is no one more supportive than a woman who has been where you are and worked hard to get down the road in her journey. And no doubt she wants to see you succeed as well.
2. Enjoy, But Be Careful Of Social Media:
We have spent years warning our teens about falling into a negative social media trap. It seems an obvious thing to avoid until you fall into the hole yourself. Social media is full of great health information for midlife women. But just like for any other age, depending on who you follow or view, you could easily be made to feel bad about yourself. Or find that you are comparing your reality to someone else’s highlight reel.
The doom scroll is real. And people out there use filters and post using language that makes you feel “less than.” Carefully vet who you follow and don’t be afraid to unfollow people who make you feel bad about yourself. And always set a timer on your scroll time. Do not get lost.
3. Don’t Expect Others To Keep You Accountable On Your Fitness Journey:
Once you decide to make lifestyle changes to improve your fitness and overall health, you expect everyone around to be in the know and as invested as you are. Not to bust your bubble or anything, but most people around you are not concerned about whether you reach your goals. They are involved in their life drama and don’t have time to worry about whether you are on track.
“It is much better to lead by example and let them watch from afar.”
In fact, what if you didn’t tell anyone about what you are doing or what you are working toward? If you share a goal with the hopes of having others keep you on track, you will feel guilty when you are around these people.
In fact, you shouldn’t tell anyone about what you are doing or what you are working toward. If you share with people about a goal with the hopes of having them keep you on track, you’ll feel guilty around them if you are having trouble following through. That is not fair to them. It is much better to lead by example and let them watch from afar.
4. Celebrate Yourself First:
Remember why you are on this fitness journey. Did you work this hard for other people or did you do it for yourself? What was the goal? To feel better? To move more confidently? To fit into your clothes? To gain muscle and feel strong? Or was it just for people to notice you? Always investigate your feelings first. How do you feel?
In the end, nothing feels better than someone who didn’t know what you were up to notice a difference and offer a compliment. These compliments are so much more sincere than those from people who you expect to pump you up all the time.
Focusing on yourself and what you need is such a gift. And it isn’t anything that should concern anyone else. Get into it. Educate yourself. Celebrate milestones. And enjoy all the benefits you will reap. And last, support someone else that may be on their first step when you are on your millionth.
About the Author:
Lesley McShane is an advocate for all things midlife health and wellness. She is a podcaster, writer, author, and ACSM certified personal trainer who is fully committed to encouraging middle-aged women to prioritize their fitness and nutrition NOW to feel better and live happier, longer. She hosts the top 1.5% globally ranked podcast Redesigning Midlife where she and her guests talk about embracing the empowerment of midlife with the realization that it is never too late to feel amazing. Her mission is to help women discover that everything they need to create an epic and healthy second half of life already lives inside them.
Lesley enjoys cycling, music, being with family and friends, IPAs, the NFL, her doggies, motivating people, and generally being curious about life. You can visit her website at www.lesleylmcshane.com.