Self-Care And Self-Love Are Not Self-Ish – Lorraine, 62

self-care is not selfish

Lorraine Miano thinks that as long as she has a long life-span vs disease-span, she is doing it right. She is a firm believer in taking care of herself through healthy food, positive thoughts, and exercise.

Lorraine keeps moving forward, constantly challenging herself with new beginnings. Her latest pursuit? Becoming a Certified Aromatherapist.

We, at Kuel Life, are lucky to have Lorraine on the roster of content experts. She shares her expertise about menopause regularly with our Community.  Please help me welcome, this Sunday’s Share Your Story: Lorraine Miano.

KUELLIFE: What are you pursuing now?

LORRAINE: Wow. I love this question, especially because I am obsessed with learning. After all, I became a health and hormone coach at age 55 and an author at age 57. Since my world revolves around holistic health, I am continuously searching for new research, studies, and scientific data supporting the idea that if given half a chance, the body can heal itself. 

As I was learning about all the wonderful plants in our world that are so beneficial to our health, I realized that I needed to add Certified Aromatherapist to my title. So, I am currently enrolled in Aromatherapy school. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic benefit.

For menopausal women experiencing hormone imbalances, many of these oils are the perfect compliment to add to our hormonal “toolbox”! I am also working on writing two more books. One on perimenopause and the other on medical misogyny as it relates to menopause. None of this really surprises me, however it may surprise others when they hear my age. That’s why my mantra is, “Menopause is NOT an ending! It IS a new beginning!” I plan on having many NEW BEGINNINGS in my future!

KUELLIFE: What is a typical day like?

LORRAINE: Each morning, the first thing I do upon waking, is put good intentions, prayers, and thoughts out into the Universe. Then, I make my bed! (a great start to the day!) I will take my daily probiotic, eat a healthy breakfast, and then check in with my private menopause support group on Facebook (lots going on in there!). Two days a week I go to my Pilates class. The rest of the week I try to either jump on my rebounder or walk.

The rest of my day is spent mostly on the computer writing blogs and newsletters, corresponding with other health professionals, promoting my book and completing my coursework for Aromatherapy School. I also enjoy partaking in several different business courses, as well as listening to health summits and podcasts. I feel as though I am on a constant educational journey. A healthy lunch and dinner are in the mix and quite often a sunset walk with my hubby. Before bedtime, I have my regular skincare routine to relax, read a few chapters from an inspirational book, then more prayers, gratitude, and positive intentions. I try to get between 7-8 hours of good sleep!

KUELLIFE: With what do you struggle?

TECHNOLOGY! Also with organization. My desktop resembles my attic.”

LORRAINE: This is an easy one to answer! TECHNOLOGY! Haha! I finally hired a VA, as I was spending more time trying to figure out how things work, and less time spent doing what I love to do! Now I just drive my Mimi (her name) crazy with texts, emails and cries of anguish! She is awesome and very patient!

I also struggle with organization. My desktop resembles my attic. Don’t ask! I think I may have a little ADD. So many things! So little time! I’m a work in progress.

KUELLIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?

LORRAINE: Honestly, this has never been really difficult for me. Usually when I put my mind to something, I get it done. (except for the times I have writer’s block) Whether it’s my health, education, or work, I become passionate about my path, journey and the people I serve. Maybe it’s because I know I’ll love the ultimate reward I’ll receive in the way of health, knowledge, or the satisfaction of having successfully guided a woman on her health journey. Part of the reason I enjoy guiding and supporting women through this phase of their lives, is because I hope I can encourage them to do the same.

KUELLIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?

Self-care and self-love are not Self-ish!”

LORRAINE: I would tell them first of all, don’t think about aging. Think about living. As menopausal women, we have at least a third of our lives still ahead of us. So many experiences yet to have and passions to pursue. To really enjoy our lives, we must pay attention to our health including movement and mindfulness. We want to live an enjoyable and lengthy health-span vs. disease-span. So, fill your body and your mind with all the good things! Healthy food, positive thoughts and moderate movement! It is said so often, and worth repeating; Self-care and self-love are not Self-ish!

KUELLIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?

Sharing our true story, with the possibility of being judged or criticized”

LORRAINE: Sharing our true story, with the possibility of being judged or criticized, the good the bad and the ugly If I know that I can help another woman overcome an obstacle in her life, I am willing to share my own experiences, including my mistakes and mishaps.

KUELLIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?

LORRAINE: I’ll start in chronological order. Being frequently bullied in junior high and high school for my looks (skinny, glasses, braces), I believe contributed to my empathetic heart and soul. Quite possibly becoming a health coach was imbedded in my being all those years ago. My mission and passion are for each of us to find happiness in our lives, regardless of the obstacles in our paths.

My three children would really be at the top of the list. I was always shy and quite the introvert, but once I experienced that unconditional love and the protective nature of being mama bear, I quickly learned how to speak up and advocate for my babies, whether it was for their healthcare, education, or safety. I am truly so proud of the adults they have become. It is gratifying to know that they each possess the same empathetic heart as their Mom.

Finally, and this really encompasses several situations that happened congruently, but really led me on the journey I’m on today. In 2002, my husband was diagnosed with an aggressive tonsil cancer. At just that time, my son, who is my oldest, was getting ready to graduate high school, and head off to the Army. He had signed up as a junior in high school in June 2001, just two months before 9/11. While my son was headed off to bootcamp, my husband was going through radiation and chemo, before having major surgery. My two daughters were in middle and high school, and my youngest was struggling with what was happening.

As I look back, I realize that I was living on autopilot. You can imagine the state of my mind. Yet, I watched my amazing husband, with the most positive attitude take control of his medical situation. He got up and went to work every day at his own construction company, taking his lunch hour to head to Duke for his chemo and radiation. Soon he was unable to eat food due to the radiation performed on his throat, and could only drink protein drinks. He lost 50 lbs. over 12 weeks. He still went to work every day. His subsequent surgery was successful and he has been cancer free for 18 years.

The following year, my son left for a one-year tour in Iraq at the age of 19. He was there the first year of the war in 2003. As you can imagine, all of these events were extremely stressful for our entire family. Yet, when my son was in Iraq, a certain calmness came over me. I cannot even describe the feeling, yet I knew that both my son and my husband were going to be okay. I believe in prayer and the power of positivity. I believe in putting good energy and thoughts out into the universe. It most definitely helped me survive that year.  My son came home safely and miraculously not one of his buddies died in combat.

The health concerns of my family, and my son’s tour in Iraq, led me on this path of holistic health, positive energy, and a purposeful and passionate life.”

Within a year after this, my oldest daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Upon diagnosis, they discovered she had osteopenia. This was due to the fact that the intestinal damage brought on by the disease prevented her from absorbing vitamins and calcium. My youngest daughter, after several misdiagnoses, was also diagnosed with Celiac. Due to lack of absorption, she was severely anemic.  Although this disease is genetic, it is often brought on by stress or a virus.

Boom! My family’s health became the center of my world. Educating myself on cancer prevention, Celiac Disease, and the power of the human body to heal itself was my mission. The health concerns of my family, and my son’s tour in Iraq, led me on this path of holistic health, positive energy, and a purposeful and passionate life. We just don’t know what each day could bring. Embrace each and every day and live it to the fullest. And when you are able, hug your loved ones.

KUELLIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?

LORRAINE: Hands down it would be my Dad. He just turned 88 years old and is writing his 7th book. He is also a hypnotherapist (which he studied to become in his 70’s), as well as a Reiki healer. You’ll find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram on a regular basis. I think Tik-Tok is next!  He is also an awesome cook (he even has a cookbook…so, maybe it’s 8 books!). He often counsels me on where I should be promoting my book!

My Dad grew up the youngest of four boys. At the age of three, he lost his own Dad, and was raised by his Italian immigrant mother (I write about her in my own book). He never went to college, but has managed to have many different careers, including owning a real estate company. 

We grew up not having much in the way of material things, but we knew we had parents who loved us. I watched as my Dad got up and went to work day after day, doing whatever he could for his family. I can’t even remember him ever staying home sick. His determination has always impressed me, as well as his optimism. He was always a great story teller and would impress us with his vivid descriptions of people and places. The faith that he had and has in each of us (I have two younger sisters), knows no limits. 

I remember the first time he gave me a very responsible task. We were planning a camping trip. He asked me to gather all the information from the Chambers of Commerce in the areas we would be visiting in upstate New York and Canada. I was twelve. This of course was wayyyyy before the internet and the ease of email. I hand wrote and mailed letters to four or five Chambers, and collected a stack load of brochures and info to make our trip fun and successful. He instilled in me a love of research and travel, of optimism and creativity, of perseverance and determination, and of course family.  He is also quiet and humble, and if he read this, he would probably say, “I was just being a good Dad”. Oh, and he gives really good hugs!

KUELLIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?

LORRAINE: Oh, how I love this question! Because, this would actually be #4 of events that shaped my life! My Pilates instructor, Linda Lee, and I would discuss all things “health” related whenever I worked out in her studio. I was passionate about living a healthy life, and helping my family do the same (as we talked about). One day Linda said to me, “You really need to go to the nutrition school that my sister attended. I’ll send you the info”.  Well, that was The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I received my certification as a health coach, and two years later, as a hormone expert.  When she sent the info, I took one look at their course of study and knew that was my calling.  The rest is history!

KUELLIFE: What woman inspires you and why?

LORRAINE: Sophie Uliano is a health “guru” and author of the NY Times Bestseller “Gorgeously Green”. She impresses me with what she calls her “Philo-Sophie” on living a healthy and “green” life.  She shows women how green living can be “easy, accessible and fun!” I was so impressed with her book and philosophy that I reached out to her when I was writing my own book, ‘The Magic of Menopause’ and asked if she could review it. She graciously accepted, and her review is now on the front cover of my book.

KUELLIFE: Are you grown up?

LORRAINE: Maybe most of time? Haha. We are consistently growing and learning, aren’t we? I’m not all the way there yet.  Just ask my kids and grandbabies! Nonni knows how to be silly and fun!

KUELLIFE: What do you do for self-care?

LORRAINE: My passion is self-care! For exercise, I do Pilates 2X per week, either rebound or walk daily, and occasionally lift some weights. I eat mostly a healthy diet of organic and grass-fed foods, following the 80/20 rule. I allow myself to indulge 20% of the time. I do eat birthday cake! (no matter whose birthday it is!)

I eliminate as many toxins from my life as possible: in my skin and beauty care, cleaning supplies, cooking utensils, pesticides, etc. This includes toxic relationships as well. For stress relief, I practice deep breathing and mindfulness, take Epsom salt baths, use essential oils, and go for relaxing massages.

When I just want to chill, I admit I do watch The Real Housewives series, Million Dollar Listing and yes…The Bachelor and Bachelorette (I haven’t missed a season!) No judgement please. LOL

KUELLIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?

LORRAINE:

  1. Take each of my grandchildren to either Universal Studios or Disney World with the hubby.
  2. Visit as many health resorts in the world as possible.
  3. To just travel, travel, travel for the rest of my life.