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The fantastic forties


You seem to get a second wind in your forties. If you’ve already been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, you already know this, and we can celebrate the awesomeness of the fabulous forties together. If you haven’t arrived into your fourth decade yet, a little bit weathered, worn and frayed at the edges, take it from me, the best is yet to come.

When I turned 40, it felt like a switch was turned on. Almost overnight, I’d really stopped caring about what others thought of me, especially those whose opinions didn’t pay my bills hence didn’t matter. It was as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I also started realising the rest of the journey was exactly that – the rest of whatever time we’ve got left on this Earth. Hence, why make it more painful than it needs to be? It was the epiphany I’ve seen many women in their forties go through: I matter, I matter above most of things I thought mattered more than me which I now realise didn’t.

It was the same year I started losing the excess weight. It was also the year I started decluttering excess hoardings. It was the year I decided to travel as much as I can without breaking the bank – at the end of the day, life is way too short and the world way too big to see all the places one must, but we’ve got to make the most of the time we have to see as many beautiful sights as we can fit in one lifetime and bank account.

It was the year I started consuming mindfully – I began asking if I really needed that dress in my life or whether I would wear it only a handful of times and then leave it to gather dust at the back of the closet. I began asking myself if I really needed the grande mocha at a whopping 250 calories and the panini at additional 500 calories, and therefore eat half of my daily allowance in one go before midday only because it was Saturday and I felt like treating myself. Treating myself to what exactly – extra, empty calories?
No wonder I dropped over 15kg and two dress sizes in just four months.

It was also the year, worth mentioning, I finally stopped waiting for the right time and got myself a puppy (now a whopping two year old dog!) who probably had much to do with increased fitness and decreasing weight.

The journey continues.
This year is the year, I’ve taken up cycling, motivated by the other half who relentlessly drags me out almost every evening for a 10mile bike ride on average. Hence, it’s also been the year of discovering exercise can be fun if you find what you truly enjoy and give it a decent enough go.

Fear not, I haven’t yet turned into a fitness freak who’s terrorising her nearest and dearest to get up off their backsides and join a gym or run couch to 5k, but let’s just say, I’ve discovered how much fun the endorphin high post exercise can be. It’s always a great feeling to discover muscles in places you never knew you had.

I am just glad that it’s the start of my forties – a whole eight more years ahead of me to discover new hobbies, new strengths, new skills, and I just can’t wait to unlock more as I ‘level up.’ If you’re at the cusp of your forties, as I said, the best is yet to come. Just look forward to this fabulous new phase of your life where you’ll get to discover more of yourself and cherish yourself more. If you’re already in your best decade yet, ask yourself: Are you making the most of it?

In this article:
Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo
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