Category Archives: Being 50

Ain’t Giving Up, I’m Going to Tell the World, Got to Make it Show!

Reaching my 50th birthday and having my 50 challenges was a brilliant goal to have. I have to say that since completing, I feel I have lost my way a bit. As I said in my last post of the challenge, I thought it would be a great to set myself a challenge for each year. I am still very keen with my cooking and am enjoying finding new recipes. Haven’t quite managed to do one a week but hopefully will catch up.

I did finish the year with a foot injury which set me back in my exercising. I first had a pain in my foot after a run on 29th April. It was a day when I was doing one of my challenges; bake a cake you haven’t baked before. This meant I was standing on my feet a lot so I didn’t rest it. The next couple of days I did and thought I did enough but unfortunately it wasn’t. I carried on walking and did take part on my 10k run. I finally gave in after my holiday, started driving to work, didn’t got to Zumba and my Fitbit challenges suffered. I did find that the more I rested, the tougher it was to get going. After three weeks the foot did start feeling better so I slowly started building up and managed a Zumba class. Surprisingly, I did find the more I exercised, the foot did feel better.

There were, or should have been some advantages. I had more time as I was driving to work so I was getting home earlier giving me time to do more work. Didn’t always happen! I did start doing Aquafit as it wasn’t so tough on my foot. I am now looking at a swimming membership at my local pool. Amazing as I am not keen on swimming at all. Probably a lot more disadvantages though. My fitness levels dropped; my appetite didn’t. Jeans do not fit. Motivation is at an all time low. Time to change all this NOW.

One area I have started on, and am planning to continue with is making 30 day goals using the ideas set out by Stuart Ralph in A Better You In 30 Days. I read this in April and started getting up early which helped me complete my challenges. I actually carried this on further than the 30 days and even though I haven’t necessarily been consistent since coming back off holiday, the days I do get up early, I find I am more productive. I am definitely going to try to get back into this one. My goal now is to set a different challenge each month and I am pleased to report that I started in July and have (in a slightly odd way) managed to keep to it. Here are my challenges to get me through to the end of the year:

July – To not buy chocolate or crisps

This was set to spur me on with helping me eating healthy. We have a local shop which is too close. It means we can just nip over and buy naughty food. Unfortunately have replaced chocolate with chocolate biscuits which defeats the object and they do have very nice Belgian buns. I am hoping that I will continue with this challenge though, ditch the chocolate biscuits as tea really does taste better without them and perhaps learn to have crisps as a once a week treat. I have not missed them but I do love crisps.

August – Choose an exercise DVD

I am slowly getting back into regular exercise so I need to start my morning routine. Jeans must fit me by September. I’m not quite ready to run again; this is a September goal but not a challenge. On my 50th birthday, I was very proud of having a flat stomach. Age is blamed on a lot of elements and I will not succumb to the fact that my stomach is not flat due to my age. The simple fact is I have eaten far too much. A lady that would certainly tell me this is the American personal trainer, Jillian Michaels so I am planning on doing her 30 day shred. She will be telling me if I want a stomach like her girls, I will have to work for it and to imagine going jean shopping. I AM going to look good in my bikini again! I am planning on getting up early again, starting this on the 31 July and having a rest day on Sundays. I will do a very long walk as an alternative.

 

50 and trim
Getting ready to be shredded!

September – Dry September

Although I don’t drink a lot, I am going to not drink at all in September. I will hopefully find a non alcoholic drink that I can enjoy all the time. If I manage to get Chris to join me on this one, I will donate £5 each week to my cash for kids page.

Nil in September

October – Clean and organise house

On holiday last year (on my 50th birthday holiday), I purchased a book called 30 days to have a clean and organised house. I think October will be the best time to read this and put it into action. I have neglected my resolution to declutter every Saturday but am planning to start this again. I so love decluttering!

November – Write a short story

This might be a tough one. I wrote my short story for my challenges and loved it. I got my motivation for writing a story by reading A Better You in 30 Days. The author made me believe I could do anything I wanted. As someone who reads a lot and dreams a lot, I had many ideas for writing a story. On a walk or a run, my mind is constantly buzzing. I like surprises in the books I read but still having the clues there. There are a few books I would love to read again so I can pick up the clues with me knowing the ending. Hopefully I will be able to succeed in writing something along those lines.

December – Make time for family and friends

I hate it when people say they haven’t seen me because they haven’t had the time. To me that is absolutely rubbish. What they really mean is they didn’t want to see me. I really try my best to avoid saying those words although I don’t actually tell people that I don’t won’t to see them. Give me a few years and I won’t care; I will tell them! My plan for December is to make sure I find that extra time to phone a friend, visit a relative or invite someone round for coffee. Hopefully it will carry on throughout the next year. After all, family and friends aren’t just for Christmas.

 

Making these plans will hopefully get my mojo back, get me back into the jeans and make me a better person.

I’ve Had The Time Of My Life

On 6th June on your blog, write about how you found being 50

How do I start this post? This morning I read my post about turning 50. Reading it made me feel very happy about the past year. I have actually found myself feeling a bit sad over the last couple of weeks that my 50th year is nearly over; however, what I should be doing is embracing the rest of the nine years in my 50s. Maybe I should make nine goals to complete in the run up to my 60th. Now that sounds a good idea.

So how have I found being 50? I realise it is just a number; how you find life is about how you live it. This does also depends on your health too. Certainly having the challenges have made this year a lot more interesting and it is something I would recommend whatever the age or the digit at the end. It makes the day worth getting up for even when the sun isn’t shining, gets you to try to do things you might not have done before and just makes you so happy that you grin like an idiot when you achieve something.

Grinning like an idiot

There is a part of me that wants to say that being 50 has been the best year of my life but that would take away the wonderful things that have happened previously:

My 20s – marriage and starting a family
My 30s – watching my children blossom
My 40s – restarting my career (being a mother is a wonderful career) and finding the courage to start running (taught me you could do anything you set your mind to)

I think the difference at 50 is I am a bit more carefree. The year certainly didn’t start off as a bed of roses; there has certainly been a few obstacles thrown in the way. One thing I have had though, is total support from my family to complete the challenges which is the best thing you can ask for in life.

In the last month, I have had a foot pain which has put a bit of a stop on some of my exercising. I realised that the exercising is a huge part of my life; as well as keeping me fit, it does make me very happy. I did feel down that I couldn’t run, had to drive to work more times in the last month than I had done in the last six months and had that niggle that this maybe a sign I am getting old. I had a bit of a chat to myself and told myself that the foot will get better. Just rest up a bit and it will be fine. I still might run tomorrow though; it is global running day so would be rude not to!

So before I gave you my top 10 of my favourite challenges ( in no particular order), what have I found about the challenges? The challenges have meant that I tried things that I wouldn’t normally try. Whilst I have run for 4 years now, I would never have believed that I could do the Great South run and actually enjoy it. I have found a lipstick I like and use, enjoy buying myself and others flowers, surprised myself by painting up a frame and found it great to plant seeds and watch them grow. I have appreciated reading more; I always enjoyed it but instead of just buying a book because it is cheap on Amazon, I plan to make sure I read my favourite authors regularly. Through Kathryn’s challenge of reading her favourite books, I have certainly discovered some new authors that I will continue to enjoy.

So what are my top 10. Well here goes (I am sorry if I left you off but have enjoyed everything!):

  1. Cooking a three course meal consisting of three different cultures
  2. Sign up and run the Great South run
  3. Frame a photograph you have always wanted to
  4. Visit your daughter in Cardiff (loved all the outings but welsh cakes are lovely)
  5. Visit your son in London
  6. Visit somewhere in England you never have before (I miss George but his music will live on forever)
  7. Start and complete a sewing project
  8. Make croissants (now that one is a surprise)
  9. Write a short story of 1,500 – 3,000 (I surprised myself with this one)
  10. Make blog! (I will continue a blog but on a bit of a different theme. More to come)

Buying a new lipstick nearly made it but writing a short story had it!

Being 50 has been great – 51 is going to be just as good.

The final point is have I made 50 ticks? We did do Shbam as the different dance class which was enjoyable. Loved the teacher and even think I might return to the centre we used to try some different classes there. Aquafit next on the list to try. Kathryn was a bit cross at me with the languages but after making a chocolate cake for work last night, I put in a little bit of practice and after work today I tried to practice. I promised that I would continue. Tonight after giving me a present for completing the challenges, Kathryn and I had our own spa evening. We soaked our feet and painted our nails whilst toasting with the prosecco.

50 ticks

Thank you for the longest birthday I have had, Kathryn. I even enjoyed the challenges I moaned about! I have had the time of my life x

This Girl Can, Can

This is the t-shirt I wore to do my 10 mile Great South Run challenge. I had planned on buying a new t-shirt but as this was my favourite exercise t-shirt, I decided not to change it.

I actually bought two of the t-shirts from Marks and Spencer’s when they were reduced in price (and even then they were not cheap!). They were part of a campaign to get more women active. I didn’t know much about it but liked the words and thought it suited me. I was somewhat surprised, shocked,dismayed and all sorts of other things to read a recent article on the BBC news site that the campaign returns. Okay, nothing shocking with that I know but what I hadn’t realised is the previous campaign was aimed at females between 14-40 to start, or restart a sporting activity. Now the campaign was widening the age to include women in their 50 and 60s. It came as quite a shock to realise that I was in that age bracket!

At the age of 50, I am quite active. I am lucky to be able to walk to work, weather dependant, as it is only 2 miles away. I will often exercise to a DVD, go to Zumba and try to run 5k once a week (okay not so good in January). I have also been a bit obsessed with my Fitbit challenges and aim to win them. Having a bit of a rest this week as exhausted!

This girl can campaign has three targets for this year:

1 Tackling fear of judgement

I can relate to this but there are ways to overcome it. My Zumba class instructor, Lana, was a dancer and is very fit. I went along with my friend, Karen to her dance class in the beginning and it has always attracted a very mixed age group. Karen and I had tried lots of exercise classes but this is the longest we have stuck to it. Dancing doesn’t come naturally to me but the classes were fun and we both have made some great friends. When Lana became pregnant, she gave up the dance class but carried on with the very popular Zumba classes so we joined that. Again not natural at moving my bottom and stuff but it is fun. Even after 5 years, I will still opt to hide and dread it if Lana comes over to advise on a movement even though she will be helping. I think it is a fear of being looked at but really I should reap the benefits of knowledge and not be so self-conscious.

Posted by Your Time To Dance – Zumba with Lana on Sunday, 29 January 2017

 

I have heard people say that they can’t go to a class because they will be bigger than everyone else, that everyone will be slinky in Lycra and, if they go, they can’t get the moves. There are all sizes in our class and it doesn’t matter if you are big or slender, you can still move and have fun. We wear legging from Asda and any sort of t-shirt. Slogans are my favourite. As for the dance moves, if I can get there (it has taken me a long time) anyone can. If you are a newbie, you have to give yourself a chance.

I have a challenge to take up swimming on some level. Now I learnt how to swim at around 9 with Karen. She won’t mind me sharing this information with you but we both swim like meerkats. We don’t like being out of our depth and certainly don’t like being splashed. I have been trying to pluck up the courage to go to our local swimming pool. After doing some research, I have found a local private pool where I can go to using the pool on my own or with friends. Even the reviews are by people with the same fears as me so it has to be tried. It will be more expensive than the local swimming pool but I am willing to pay. I think this will be a This Girl Can moment!

2 Keeping participants from giving up sport.

This is a tough one. Since January I have been doing Hip Hop Abs DVD six days a week. The last couple of days I haven’t had the energy and I think that I have put myself through too much. I also stopped enjoying it. What you have to do is find something you enjoy doing, make time for it (don’t feel guilty for doing it – the right exercise and programme does really make you happy and fitter) and, if you feel happier doing it with someone else, find the right person so you can both encourage each other.

It is difficult to find the enthusiasm to keep going sometimes especially if you are tired and it is dark and cold. Karen and I would go to Zumba twice a week. We used to text each other in the morning and ask if the other was okay for Zumba. They don’t sound negative words but what they really mean is if you are don’t want to, I will breathe a sigh of relief and eat chocolate whilst sat in my pyjamas watching the soaps.  Last year, I became more positive with my texts. They would read “I will see you tonight for Zumba”. If Karen said she wasn’t able to go, I could have the chocolate without the guilt! We are actually both comfortable to go to the class on our own really. As Karen has a course to do on one of our normal days, we tend to only go one of the nights. Due to me feeling exhausted from walking and the DVDs, I have gone back to my first line of questions but I am pleased to say I have been once a week since the beginning of January. See, we girls can!

3 Widening the age demographic to include women in their 50s and 60s

I have just cringed again; this is me. I have the t-shirt, I wear it often and I can do it so anyone can do it. I know lots of lovely ladies in this age group who do it. They come to Zumba and are so fit. I regularly see ladies walking or running in this age group. I do think there are a lot of my age group who are taking part in regular exercise although I think that if a few more are encouraged by this campaign then it will be a huge benefit. The site has some great ideas on so go on there and find something. Karen wants us to give archery a go!

Remember, All girls can!

One More Try

This year (my 50th) is bringing me 50 challenges to try to tick off. It is tough but I realised the other day that I can use some to my advantage. I have bought myself some flowers and found that I love that experience so regularly do that. I also try and buy friends and family some every now and then – it brightens their day too. I will certainly buy myself another shade of lipstick. Certainly like that now.

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One I still have to tick is bake a cake I never have tried before. I am practising this regularly by trying new cakes and techniques. I do know the cake I have in mind to make for this but it is fun and tasty trying new cakes.

This is the challenge that I will have to have one more try (and maybe another one or two) before I am quite happy.

Challenge 15 – go and pick yourself out a new outfit.

I did actually plan to do this one for Christmas but after feeling groggy last Friday with a cold, I decided that I needed a bit cheering up. Normally I buy from Next but I thought the George selection in Asda looked very appealing and I wanted a short skirt. Needing to wake up, I took a walk to our local store but ended up being so disappointed because I could not match anything. I had an idea what I wanted and they needed to go with these lovely shoes bought for me by Chris.

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Armed with Freddo chocolate bars, I marched home, made a coffee and along with the tissues, I opened up the faithful Next catalogue which had sat unopened for two weeks. Could not find the sort of thing I wanted. I was on a mission though and soon found what I wanted online at Dorothy Perkins along with a 25% discount. This meant I could go with two tops with the skirt!

I was so excited when it arrived. I had a bit of a worry – should a fifty year old really wear shorter skirts but I planned to dress it up with woolly tights and with short legs would it matter. Should I really care?!

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I was delighted with it and paraded round with it. It turned out I was being quite fashionable because Jordan said all the girls in his office wore that sort of thing (okay they were probably 25 years younger than me) but he did assure me it looked nice. Hopefully he means it and will take his old mum out in it sometime!

tina

Anyway this will be a fantastic challenge when I complete it but I will give it one more try to find the perfect outfit so I can tick the box -well maybe two or three more tries!

On the third month of the challenge

 I have

8 ticks ✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓

for completed challenges and

6 ongoing/planning

I am 3 months through the challenge (that means I have only 9 months to go before I reach 51!) and I thought I would write a quick update on what I have achieved. My 50 things to do in my 50th year page has been updated – I have highlighted all that is done – in my favourite colour – purple and all that I have started or are ongoing are highlighted in orange.

Challenges Completed

Challenge No 1 –  Learn how to skip – harder than I remember!  I was allowed a tick when I managed 5 skips.  2 weeks after this I did 10 but by July I managed 19.  Skipping is very good for you so I will try to continue this.

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Challenge No 23 – Day trip with your daughter this summer – a lovely day out to the Isle of Wight.

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Challenge No 25 – Change your running route one day – a lovely run to the beach and beyond.  I love running to the beach now.  It does give a bit of purpose to the run.  I realised by doing this that my usual run of running “round the block” of the estate I live in is like my security blanket.  I knew that home wasn’t far away and that is why I stuck to it.  Since I completed, I have changed my run a few times to include some hills in too!

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Challenge No 27 – Buy yourself some flowers.  A very pretty challenge and one I have continued and even managed to bribe my son into buying me some by picking him up so he didn’t have to pay out for a taxi! Even got him to wash the car so not bad at all.
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Challenge No 37 – Buy a new lipstick – loved this challenge and even wearing it into work now.
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Challenge No 40 – On a perfect summer’s day, make a picnic and eat it down the beach with your daughter.  This was so enjoyable.  I loved making the food and even made jaffa cakes – which I hadn’t realised were the Great British Bake Off’s challenge.  That in turn has lead me to try some of the other challenges.  Will share later.

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Challenge No 46 – In Lanzarote, buy a “Lanzarote” frame and at home print and put picture of you, your son and your daughter in it – I can look at this and remember our lovely holiday.
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Challenge No 47 – Buy and use a nail varnish colour you wouldn’t normally – bright orange it was!

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Ongoing/Planning

Challenge No 5 – Read a book every month of a genre you don’t/don’t often read – I have read three different books so far.  Looking forward to choosing 9 different reads.

Challenge No 6 – Read your daughter’s 10 favourite books – in paperback.  Why don’t the young get down with it and get a kindle!! Nice to read my daughter’s favourite books though. One down, 9 more to read.

Challenge No 8 – Host a MacMillan Tea Party – always wanted to do this and it will be great to hold it for charity. Have signed up for the coffee morning – just got to arrange and bake.

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Challenge No 10 – Sign up and run the Great South Run.  Well, I am signed up but having a problem with the training especially when my alarm doesn’t go off!  It is in just under 7 weeks away so hopefully going to buy myself some new trainers and lose some weight.  I am not sure if I can run the 10 miles but the advert says you can walk if you want.  Hopefully I can do it.

Challenge No 29 – Start and complete a new sewing project – I am sew enjoying this!  I am hoping to have this finished long before my challenge comes to an end. I think that there are certain people who are doubtful I will – I will show them.

Stitching achieved in less than a month
Stitching achieved in less than a month

Challenge No 49 – Make blog – well this is something I am enjoying so much.  I am hoping that as time goes on, I will get better at my blog posts but I am having fun learning!

So at the end of 3 months, I think I am on target.  As the evenings get darker, I will hopefully start to do some of the language challenges and lots of the cooking challenges.

I am loving doing these challenges – not reading so much but finding so much to do that time just whizzes by. It is also helping me be a bit more organised.  I really don’t have time to work though!

Amazing

 

Well I finished my reading challenge for June on 30 June and have been trying to write a review.  That has been challenging in itself.  Once happy with it, I will share.

I love the excitement of choosing the next book to read.  I had bought the follow up to Me Before You written by Jojo Moyes, After You, but did not want to read that before I had seen the film so I chose to read a book I had bought when it was on special last year, Summer of ’76 by Isabel Ashdown.

This appealed to me for so many reasons

  1. Everyone talks about the hot summer of 76 (well us who have experienced it).  I was only 10 at the time but I do remember not being sent home from school whilst the students from the local senior school where only too happy to taunt us because it had been too hot for them and they were allowed home early.
  2. It is based in the Isle of Wight –  just across the water from me – and a place I would have spent some of my summer holidays.
  3. The main character, Luke, is due to go to Brighton Polytechnic after the summer holidays.  Again, Brighton was another childhood favourite of mine and somewhere I have really enjoyed going with my children  and where I was going on an adventure with my friend Karen.

I have been reading the book for a week and just like my holidays in the Isle of Wight, the book is following a slow pace.  Each chapter starts with the temperature in Fahrenheit.  I wasn’t impressed with the May temperatures at all but now I am in June and it is 91° and I want that now!  There is also a secret that is waiting to be told which is likely to increase temperatures again.

I am enjoying reading about the food and music from the era.  Luke’s mum is trying to make her own wine which brings back memories of my dad brewing his own beer.   Luke is also working on a holiday camp which is somewhere I would have stayed at during my visits to Isle of Wight.

Once finished, I can finally start After You because I finally went to see Me Before You last night.  Me Before You was the first book I read by Jojo Moyes.

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To say I enjoyed it seems so wrong as the subject isn’t something you would talk about openly.   Whilst tissues are needed for the book, there is certainly a great deal of real life and humour.  Lou, one of the main characters, is just so fun and loving.  I knew I would not be disappointed with the film because when I saw interviews with the lovely Emilia Clarke, I was so impressed with how she was the perfect Lou that I had read about.  I loved so much about Lou but especially her shoe collection.  Wouldn’t it be great to have those lovely shoes and to have the nerve to wear them – mind you, I do wear bright pink skechers.  I also remember my daughter wearing woolly tights and wellington boots on a summer’s day so hearing Lou describe her favourite things with her stripey tights at top of her list did put a smile on my face.

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Sometimes when I watch a film after reading a book, I can be disappointed.  This film was everything I imagined and the cast were fantastic.  It is an extremely sad story and there will be always be strong opinions around the subject.  I could never express an opinion on the subject but I do think the story allowed me to see sides to everybody involved in the decision making.  I am looking forward to reading After You even more now.

I do love my kindle but challenge number 6 is to read my daughter’s 10 favourite books in paperback.  I have been given the collection and will also be choosing something from that very soon.

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Turning 50

Challenge no 50, and should hopefully be the last of the challenges ticked off, is on the 6th June on your blog, write about how you found being 50.  I thought that to begin with I should try to sum up how I felt about turning 50.

When I was 30, I had a three year old and a young baby so it never felt old.  At 40, I didn’t feel a lot different.  When I thought of being 50, I felt I was getting old.  I didn’t feel it; I was fit, healthy and positive.  In fact, I still felt like I was 25 but the number itself seemed frightening.

One thing I was certain about was that I didn’t want any big or surprise party to celebrate my birthday.  In the end, I opted for a holiday in the sun with my Son and Daughter.  We flew to Lanzarote two days before my birthday so birthday celebrations actually started a few days before that. My last day of 49 reading by the pool was perfect.

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The big day came and apart from having my daughter singing Happy Birthday to me at 3.30 am, it didn’t feel any different.   After opening so many presents from my wonderful children, and with my 50 badge proudly on, we set off to take the boat across the water to visit Fuerteventura.   The weather was glorious.  We enjoyed shopping in Correlejo, walking bare feet on the sand dunes then jumping through the waves at the beach.  The journey back on the boat was very memorable watching the crew run around with sick bags as the ride was very bumpy.  This is not something they tell you about when booking the excursion!

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We were not affected by the boat ride and walked back to our hotel stopping for one of the many delicious ice-cream we enjoyed on holiday.

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The good news is 50 is only a number and I still feel good.  I am still able to put on my trainers and enjoyed running along the beach on holiday,  I even took on a few of my challenges:

1 Learn how to skip – I managed 5 – will try to improve!

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47 Buy and use a nail varnish colour you wouldn’t normally – note the lovely ring!

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I am having the longest birthday and enjoying it too.  It will come to the end in a just over a week’s time when I will be enjoying celebrating with my friend who will be 50 in August.  Looking forward to sharing that adventure with you.