I remember the conversations, like they were yesterday.  A group of us young girls in our 20’s sitting around the table laughing and talking it up about the latest fashion craze, coolest make-up and hair styles and what we were going to do on the weekend.  There never once was a conversation where boys were not mentioned or who was dating the ‘perfect guy’ at the time.

Ten year’s passed; now in our 30’s.  We would sit around the table almost rolling out of our chairs as we laughed and talked about the men we married and how we were managing to shuffle being a wife, working a full time job (in our desired or not so desired professions), as well as trying to hit the gym two to three times a week.  Boasting proudly and knowing full well that we were ‘super women’ because we could do all of these tasks and more. Bragging about how we could have dinner prepared and placed on the table every night even after managing our own lives and that of our children, with their equally active schedules.  Yet during this time, there never once was a conversation where we would not mention how we couldn’t wait to get some ‘me time’, amidst the business of our lives.  I remember well how much I contributed to these conversations and was so thankful to have great friends to banter with about the day to day challenges and obstacles of trying to live ‘the dream’.

As we entered our 40’s our table talk had began to shift quite a bit.  The conversations where we once laughed and challenged one another to experience life to the full became more sobering.  Laughter was replaced with tears being shed over financial burden, weight gain, health concerns and relationship issues. Talk about lives filled with stress took precedence around the very table that used to be a place of relaxation and joy. I listened to my dear friends whom had found themselves stuck in critical areas of their lives. I remember sitting around the table with a sudden realization that I did not fit in “40”. I myself was not being challenged with most of what these close friends were facing. This sudden realization came as an after affect from a decision that I had made about 10 years earlier.  While in my very early thirties, I made a decision to make some lifestyle changes.  They were proving themselves to be ever so faithful, as I realized I was alienated from these dear 40’s.

I have heard rumor that 50 is now the new 30.  Well if this be true; then I guess I’m now a member.  I will always remember the table of my 20’s, 30’s and reflect deeply on the table of my 40’s.  Now I sit at the table of my 50’s and the question is; do I fit in 50?  Did I have a hiccup in my 40’s and time has finally caught up with me?  My answer would be, “absolutely, YES”.  No, there was not a hiccup in my 40’s.  My yes resonates; I fit in 50 because I’m fit in my 50’s.  I love sitting around the table of 50’s.  Around this table come decades of wisdom and life experience that the 20 year old table just doesn’t have nor is it necessarily looking for.  When I sit around the table with my peers in their 50’s many of them struggle with diseased bodies, obesity and challenges to keep living ‘the dream’; I’m humbled. However I discovered that it is never too late for change and restoration in any area of our lives; be it mind, body or spirit. Nowadays because of the lifestyles of most, I sit at the table of 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or 50’s and meet many who are ‘stuck’, regardless their age.   Conversations most often times direct towards how healthy, young and happy I appear.  I’m privileged to share my journey and how initially I changed my diet, to what I call a lifestyle of ‘nutrient intake’.  I began eating living whole foods as well as preparing fresh vegetable and fruit juices daily. I chose to eliminate meat and decrease consumption of cooked or processed food.  I followed and still do to this day a ‘nutrient intake’ of 80% living fresh food and 20% cooked and/or processed food.  I had always been fairly active and if you would have taken a look at my busy lifestyle you would never question inactivity.  However, I began to try different physical activities that I could enjoy as not to get bored (which is a huge issue for me-I’m pretty curious).  I experienced water and snow skiing, bicycling, various dance forms, various aerobic forms, weight training, swimming, yoga, tennis, basketball and even Muay Thai kickboxing.  Although, to date I have experienced much much more.  Back then I stayed physically active, ate well and began to take inventory of my personal life and lifestyle.  I found that making these changes to my life caused me to have physical health and an overall sense of well being. I began to educate myself about how to care for the number one asset that I possessed; ME!

As the years proceeded I became a Certified Health Minister and have spent the last 15+ years of my life helping others uncover where they are ‘stuck’.  Joining them in the process to overcome, move forward and discover their health and beauty from the inside out. I found what I believe are the seven (7) key areas of our lives that constitute overall health and personal wellbeing.  They are air, water, food, exercise, sunlight, rest and relationships.  If we learn how to care for these seven areas of our lives then we will live a life without weight issues, chronic illness, disease, emotional and spiritual turmoil.

I jumped for joy (literally) alongside budding models in a recent photo shoot for a young designer launching her “Casually Uncommon” swim wear line.  Each of these beauties were young enough to be my children and they were inspired as I shared with them that I know that women have been seeking the fountain of youth for hundreds of decades.  I confessed when I was in my 20’s; this was my desire as well.  And even today, I’m fortunate to be able to wear adorable swim wear, just as they are.  However, I’ve discovered that the fountain of youth comes from the inside out.

I no longer dread the idea of grey hair, wrinkles and age spots that will eventually find their way on to the skin that I love. I’ve learned to care for me, all of me.  I look forward to fit in to my 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and even my 90’s.  Feeling confident that each of my days are ordered and that as a good steward of my body, mind and spirit I will reap the benefit of many more incredible years, in hopes of graciously being invited to the table of 100.

by Zina Docto

Zina is the founder of “i AM WOMAN”. Educating woman to discover their health and beauty from the inside out: overcome weight issues, sickness and disease.

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