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Living your best life

Living best at 50. Embarking on an adventure of Lori Firsts!

LOCATED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OLD SEVEN MILE BRIDGE TRAVELERS VISIT THE MUSEUM ON PIGEON KEYI am so happy. I’m heading out on winter vacation to Florida with my sweetie where I will embark on many “Lori Firsts!” In preparation for my trip, I picked up reading material for the plane — the February editions of O’ Magazine and People Magazine.

Gracing the cover of People is the most incredible photo of supermodel Christie Brinkley at age 60 in a turquoise swimsuit. Christie sports a bod and a youthful face that make her look 32 not 60. Wow! For someone who grew up watching her grace the cover of every major lifestyle magazine, I couldn’t help buy it to read her story.

On the cover of O’ Magazine is a very sexy and stylish Oprah Winfrey in a skin tight white dress hugging every curve. Love it! (I want that dress.) She looks elegant and sophisticated. I don’t know if she has a body shaper on under that awesome dress, but who cares — you go girl! Oprah also just turned 60 and looks fabulous.

How do these iconic women stay so youthful and sexy at 60?

oprah-christieThey stay healthy on the inside and out.

Christie Brinkley credits a lifelong passion for healthy living. She talks about a vegan diet, fitness as part of her daily life, and living with a healthy attitude. She says she doesn’t obsess about those things about her body or life that she can’t control. Instead, she chooses to focus on the positive. Amen sister. (Of course, she’s blessed with a lot of positives! But she speaks of challenges, too, including losing both her parents and a divorce this last year.)

Oprah Winfrey has long been an inspiration to people around the world. A humanitarian we admire. An icon for authentic living inside and out. We’ve watched Oprah’s personal size and shape change over the years. We’ve learned about emotional eating and even gone on diets with her. We’ve been inspired by her “body and soul” approach to life. At least I have. It’s hard not to admire her rags to riches story. But what I admire most is her authenticity about some tough subjects, including her own internal battles.

When Oprah was interviewed about growing older with grace, she talked about embracing her age and seeking to define her own life. She’s a model for how to honor your calling and pursue your dreams. For me, she’s also a role model for doing the internal work necessary to live your best life. She’s shed a light on this internal work publicly and with humility, authenticity and grace.

What does this have to do with living my best life…and vacation?

Because I have a birthday coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about how grateful I am for my new body and my new life. And, I’ve been thinking about what next?! I truly feel as if I’m just getting started with the life I really want to live. Finally, at age 50 — soon to be 51, I’m embracing my age, my whole self, and living my very best life.

I often joke with my girlfriend, Elaine, about being a late bloomer. But, at least I bloom! It took me until my late 40’s to figure out that I had to put myself first and take care of my health — inside and out — to find true happiness and to have a shot at being around for another 40 years. I had to put myself in the center of the equation… in the center of my own life. And to do this, I had to believe I was worthy, capable of greatness, and accept my beautiful imperfect self.

Once I learned this, and accepted it’s a journey not a destination, I learned that absolutely anything is possible. It unleashed in me an inner passion and happiness that I only dreamt about previously.

This is the secret to living your best life. But it’s not a secret that you just know and go. Rather, it’s one that comes with the internal work, including self-awareness and reflection, to change your mindset from the core. Sometimes that means working through tough stuff buried deep inside, while at the same time deciding to change your outlook no matter how you feel on the outside.

For me, none of this came easy. It took most of my adult life. Now, I know my story unfolded as it did for a reason. I own it, embrace and share it because I know so many others are stuck just like I was. Today, I simply want to shout from the rooftop: “Happiness is doable. You, too, can be happy and live your best life. It’s never too late to put you first. YOU can change your story – just like I did. And when you write the next chapter, I dare you to make it a really good one!”

All of those years leading up to my transformation, to today… well, they were really important even though I felt stuck. They were a key part of my process. And now, I understand, feel, and embrace ALL of it as part of my story. My story is amazing. And so is yours! I promise.

Living large at 50, 51! Going for it!

This next week is a culmination of all I have accomplished in my internal and external transformation during the past three years. I will be celebrating my 51st birthday, on Valentine’s Day, in Florida on a romantic getaway with my sweetie. That, in and of itself, is a milestone worth celebrating. The very first thing I shut myself off from when I got fat and unhappy was true romantic love. It’s taken a long time to open myself back up to the possibility. I am in a good place and a lucky girl at 50. Late bloomer!

We’ll be riding a Harley (yes motorcycle) up and down the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida, exploring my favorite place on earth — the ocean! There will be lots of beach time. And, I plan to tackle a host of “Lori Firsts” — things that I didn’t/couldn’t do because of my weight. Things I was afraid to do because of how big I was and out of embarrassment and shame for how I looked.

The planned list of “Lori Firsts” for this adventure include: Traveling by Harley; sea kayaking; paddle boarding; taking long, long — miles long walks on the beach; snorkeling; parasailing (if we can fit it in) and more. Oh, and wearing a swim suit in public — something I haven’t done in probably more than 20 years. 🙂

I plan to blog from the road and share some of my “Lori Firsts” adventures here. But, if for some reason I’m having way too much fun to check in, look for a vacation blog when I return. You know the quote: “She decided to start living the life she had always imagined?” (She, Compendium). Well, I’ll be off doing that. I promise it will be good, no great! And, I hope you will be too.

Cheers!

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