Finding 40

featured on the essential life


Finding 40, what does this mean? It’s just an age. You can’t find it, you turn it, right? Late 2015 into early 2016 I was nearing this “big” birthday, a new decade & of course reflection started to set in. When I say reflection, I mean that in every sense of the word. This started out as a physical reflection bringing me to my hard truth. Passing by a mirror I was saddened at the woman looking back at me. What happened to her?

I am a mother of 5 beautiful children. My 2 daughters ages 18 & 21, my 2 sons ages 8 & 10, and my stepdaughter age 8. They all bring me such joy & I am so proud of each of them! I have a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally, the kind of love we are lucky to experience. I have a good job that I enjoy, a beautiful home & a great life. So why did I feel burnt out, like I had nothing left to give? Oh, & I am a giver down to my very core so this felt like defeat.

I had little energy but I didn’t understand why. I took another look in the mirror & I saw a woman who looked sad & like she was wilting away. I was embarrassed & ashamed as I was at a work training & I knew that this wasn’t me. In that moment, I knew that I needed a change, but what?

It’s easy to think that we need a new job, new relationship, new house and so on to make ourselves feel better. It’s hard to accept especially as women that we need to take a step back & take care of ourselves first. I think it’s natural to think of this as selfish. Pulling myself together & walking away from that mirror I found a little courage & set out on my new journey. A heath journey for me. Little did I know then how this would impact every aspect of my life!

A friend had told me about an online fitness community full of nutrition facts, recipes & at home work outs. A community full of supporting women along the same health journey. I had no idea what I was getting into but I signed up!

In the past I would start my day with a can of coke and a hostess cupcake followed by a cup of coffee full of creamer and sugar. And I wonder why I didn’t have energy! I would fluctuate with my weight over the years anywhere from 15-40lbs. I would exercise hard & think I was eating healthy but quickly give up at about 3 weeks once I stepped on the scale not seeing instant results. But this time was going to be different.

I threw away my scale and decided to gage my journey by how I felt & not by that number. I quickly felt amazing with new energy & vibrant looking hair, skin & nails. My confidence was radiating, a confidence that I had never experienced. And this was all in the first 8 weeks! I was realising that taking care of myself 1st wasn’t selfish at all, it was needed.


Over the following year my confidence kept growing along with my friendships. I had stepped out of my comfort zone many times in search of exercise classes, women to meet up with for walks, friends to help motivate & inspire, new healthy food options & new found interests. I began going to Yoga classes & practicing at home.

I went to a spin class, barre classes, HIIT classes all while making beautiful friendships. I have been so blessed to recently do my 1st unsupported handstand on the beach on the beautiful St. John. WHAT?! That was such a full circle proud moment. My strength from the inside out had carried me through from that moment looking in the mirror to doing a handstand on the beach in the Caribbean!

I was at a work meeting a few months ago when a coworker said, “I don’t know what it is but over the past year you have changed, it’s neat to see, it’s like you have found your voice”. I felt so honoured & grateful. And you know what, without feeling selfish I thought to myself ‘he is so right’! I had found a new light within myself that I never knew I should be looking for. Honestly by taking care of myself 1st I didn’t have to look for it, I found this light by becoming it!

So, what does “finding 40” mean? As I turn 41 in a few days I leave you with this, age is only a number this number just happens to be the one when I turned to reflection to find my way. I have learned that the possibilities are endless once you start from within & that opportunities are around every corner. I found 40 by finding myself throughout this past year. I pass by the mirror today & stop to take a long look. Who is she?! She is ME!

I wish you peace, health & happiness. May you find your “40” however that is meant for you!