This is my year to THRIVE – with intention.

At 54, I am definitively middle aged.

Honestly, I am completely ok with it. I have never really struggled with aging. As they say, it beats the alternative. And I have always been active and comfortable in my body so the graying hair and the wrinkles on the skin feel more like something I have earned.

That said, some of the shifts of perimenopause and menopause have been a bit of a, well, bi#$@! 

Specifically, I gained 15 pounds that are a bit stuck, my energy levels plummeted, my focus has been terrible and my sleep has challenged me for a few years – I wake up at 3 or 4 and can be up for 2 hours.

As a wellness professional, I was so frustrated that all my usual techniques weren’t working anymore – upping cardio, reducing calories, cutting back on wine and desserts, you know the things.

I still wasn’t sleeping, feeling anymore energy or focus and I gained 5 more pounds!

Then I did research – and learned what works changes when we reach middle age and we need to treat our bodies with new found respect.

In comes 2024.

I decided 2024 is my year to THRIVE.

This year is my year to gently shift my wellness by changing something each month. I want to see what really moves the needle, not just on my weight but also sleep, energy, focus, digestion. (Oh, did I not mention that? Yeah, IBS is something I have struggled with on and off for decades.). 

I am doing a monthly, 14-day reset with my wellness community called, SIMPLY :: clean. The reset is focused on reducing inflammation – and that is good for everyone!

AND especially for women of a “certain age”. Many of the uncomfortable symptoms of perimenopause and then menopause are caused by inflammation which increases as estrogen decreases.

I can tell you more about that in another post, if you are interested, what I want to focus on in this post is what I am doing – in case you want to join!

Join us!

Do the 14-day reset with us!

Whether you want to lose some weight, improve your energy & focus, get better sleep and more, SIMPLY :: clean will help you reset your wellness habits!

We can be reset buddies!

 

While not everyone is doing the reset monthly, I am.

The reset focuses on 5 areas:

  1. MOVE: Getting the body moving more. We focus on getting our steps up.
  2. STRENGTHEN: Start strengthening your body.
  3. RELAX: Taking time to truly relax each day, to initiate the Relaxation Response.
  4. SLEEP: Getting deeper quality sleep.
  5. NOURISH: Shift your diet to more anti-inflammatory foods, drink Ningxia Red, my brand partner’s antioxidant drink AND drink enough water.

The reset is meant to be done as a jump start for the body. Do #AllTheThings to jumpstart your body and then, at the end, maybe some of the habits will continue.

I decided this year to do the reset each month and really focus on one area, so I can see what things make the biggest difference for me. I’m experimenting for me – and to share with you!

So in this post, I’m going to share what I do each month – and how it affects me. I’m going to do my best to keep up with this post and keep it updated. (But I have pretty severe ADHD so feel free to nudge me if I fall behind! 🙂)

I haven’t committed to what I will do each month ahead of time. I decided to choose as I go along because I want to follow where my inspiration takes me.

If you want to join me on your own adventure, you can read more about SIMPLY :: clean here and then let me know. Happy to work with you – we can be “reset buddies”!

NOTE: I do want to add that I really do already live pretty close to the “Reset” lifestyle already. I don’t have to shift my diet much, I already exercise daily, relax daily, have great sleep hygiene so my results aren’t as extreme as other people experience.

January

I started the year choosing to drink the Ningxia Red from my brand partner, Young Living. Two ounces of Ningxia Red has been part of my daily routine for over a decade. That simple 2 oz helps  me focus and gives me a little umph after lunch.

For the reset, you do 12 oz a day for the first 3 days and 6 oz a day for the next 11 days.

I thought, what the heck? Let’s take this drink for a test drive!

Now would be a good time to see what A LOT more could do!

 

Afterall, a clinical trial for this elixir I had drunk for over a decade had shown:

💚 Clinically shown to significantly reduce daily stress by 23% and improve mental wellbeing

💚 Clinically shown to support/promote healthy respiratory function

💚 Clinically shown to significantly increase physical energy levels by 35% and reduce physical limitations by 36%

💚 Clinically shown to improve sleep patterns and increase time asleep by an average of 21 minutes following 60 days of continued use

💚 Clinically shown to support healthy inflammation inflammation response

Link to study (because I have receipts): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35757181/

Oh. My. Word.

While I DID lose 5 pounds and a total of FOUR inches, what REALLY gets my stoked is my energy levels.

The graphic is from my fitness watch and it reflects my “Body Battery” which is a measurement of my energy reserves.

Rated on a scale of 5-100, the higher the battery, the more energy I have.

I have had the watch for 18 months. Until the reset, I DIDN’T KNOW you could get through the day without bottoming out! (That’s not true, I did know. What I didn’t know is how I could do it personally!)

I have ALWAYS, as in ALWAYS, bottomed my energy out, usually by 2 or 3 in the afternoon, running the rest of the day on adrenalin just to get through.

With relaxation and deep, quality sleep (what is that?), you recharge. BUT when you bottom out it can take DAYS to fully recharge, assuming you don’t bottom out the next day, which, of course, I did.

The last week of the reset, not only was I charging MORE each day, I wasn’t bottoming out which helped my charge more!

I hope you fully realize what a miracle this is for me. It’s absolutely HUGE!

I didn’t know it was POSSIBLE to end the day with a little bit of energy left. To not fall on the couch exhausted and hardly be able to get up to go to the bathroom. (Don’t worry – I did get up for that! )

And the ONLY thing I changed for this round was drinking NingXia Red, Young Living’s antioxidant drink.

That’s It.

I just wanted to test if it really was that good!

I can attest – it IS!

AND it helped me lose FIVE pounds and THREE inches around my waist (and 1/2 inch on each thigh)!

February

In February I decided to work on relaxation.

Here’s the thing: When we reach a “certain age”, we become more sensitive to cortisol, the stress hormone.

That sensitivity adds to weight in the belly (belly fat is known as “cortisol fat”) and keeping us from sleeping really well.

Without going into a huge discussion around the physiology of stress, just know we all need to be intentional with relaxation at least once a day, if not more.

If you want more of an understanding of stress, you can listen to this podcast episode: Find BALANCE: Learning to Handle Our Stress

For February, I decided I would do 20 min of Feet Up the Wall each day because I always relax when I do that pose.

I also kept up the Ningxia Red.

Honestly, I didn’t do very well with this one. I forgot after day 7 to keep it up so I don’t feel like much changed in February.

March

In March, as I write this now, I am walking 10,000 steps each day. It isn’t a huge shift for me – I have been doing an average of 8,000 a day this year. We walk about 1,000 steps in 10 min so it’s an additional 20 min walk.

I also count 20 min on my stationary bike as 2,000 steps.

This walk is a fast stroll. My goal is to stay in zone 2 heart rate which means I feel like I’m working but I can carry on a conversation and could really go for quite awhile.

I am also continuing the Ningxia Red and the daily relaxation – I am better at remembering now because I have noticed how much better I am sleeping – that is the biggest shift for me this month. I’m sleeping through the night! I still get up to go to the bathroom – but I go back to sleep!

I did it! Actually it was more like 11,000 steps on average. It felt GREAT and I started sleeping even better!

Join us!

Do the 14-day reset with us!

Whether you want to lose some weight, improve your energy & focus, get better sleep and more, SIMPLY :: clean will help you reset your wellness habits!

We can be reset buddies!

 

April

For April, I originally wanted to focus on weight training. I have been a weight lifter for most of my life but let it go the past 10 years or so.

I was so ready!

I had even been building up to it – doing low weight and high repetitions for a few months and switched to high weights and low reps in March, but just building up so I didn’t get injured or too sore.

BUT plans went awry when I took an unexpected, emergency trip to Chicago to be with my daughter who had a health crisis. The 10 days I spent there were a bit stressful and I didn’t feel like I had heavy weight in me.

I chose April to have a focus on relaxation and restoration. I made sure I did something to truly relax at least once a day but more like three times. I feel like the biggest thing I have learned in the past couple of years since I started focusing on what I need at this stage is learning just how pernicious stress is. (And, just in case you don’t know the definition of pernicious: Causing harm even leathal, often in a sneaky, slow way. I wanted to define it because it is so good for this situation!)

 

More than that, how long it takes to truly come down from a stressful time. Think weeks or months, not one evening. You are chipping away at it.

Anyway, it did it! I just reached a FULL BODY BATTERY this morning (5/9) for the first time EVER!!

Yes, this is the actual photo.

You have no idea how excited I am about this achievement. I’ve been working on it for over a year!

 

It’s really what I want to share most with this year of focusing on Thriving – it takes time.

In a culture of quick fixes, if you truly want to rebuild your health, you need to be patiend and just keep going. 

May

This brings us to May and I think I’m finally ready for the heavy weights!

I am cutting back on all the walking. I’ve had a sore heal since November. The soreness came from needing new shoes and putting off buying them. (I don’t know why I do it. I just don’t like to shop sneakers – it’s right up there with bathing suits!)

Anyway, when I got new ones, I figured my heal would get better but it hasn’t. So I am focusing on my stationary bike and a short walk or two during the day until it heals. It’s a good time to focus on my strength training!

Want to join me for you own reset? I’m doing it every month in 2024 – would love the company!