One of my most hated phrases ever is:
That’s just the way it is.

This shrug-of-the-shoulders saying is a life-stopper and energy killer.

I encountered this little jewel at my physical exam early last year.

I was describing how I’ve mysteriously gained 20 pounds in less than 3 months without the benefit of over-eating.

My doctor looked at me disapprovingly and asked about my exercise. “I walk 2-3 miles most days –but I’ve had to pull back after the hip bursitis,” I said. 

She shook her head skeptically. “We call that a celebrity workout…you’ll  have to do more cardio or high-intensity activity.”

“Okay… but even if I did that, there’s no explanation for this much weight gain so quickly. I never gain weight like this, it’s always been just one pound here, one pound there and always related to over-indulging.”

“Do you still drink alcohol?” 

“Yes.” 

“Well, that’s a lot of empty calories.” 

“True, but that hasn’t changed either. I mean, I’m sure I can benefit from less alcohol, but I don’t think that explains the rapid weight gain.”

“I can give you a referral for a gastric bypass procedure.”

“WHAT?!”

“Or there’s a new therapy where you take a daily injection–but the weight comes back when you stop the injections–but there are side effects.”

“I guess I’m looking for WHY this weight has come on so quickly, something must be off.”

“Yeah, well, as you get older, that’s just the way it is.”

Holy shitballs, are you kidding me?

I left the doctor’s office that day mortified and resolute. 

I’m all for not arguing with reality. Yes, I’m getting older, but I REFUSE to accept that life after 50 is a dead end.

Thankfully, around this same time, I connected with a nutritional therapist who helped test my hormones and build a plan to balance them through lifestyle and supplements.  

I’m happy to say that a year later, the weight released. I’m also enjoying the added benefit of extra energy, better sleep, and improved libido.

But this is not a story of hormone supplements as a cure-all.

This is a lesson about how, especially as we age, we’re given the lie, “This is just the way it is.” 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never accepted the status quo as a full stop. 

As a Creator, I know that WHAT IS is merely a starting point for a vision of WHAT CAN BE. 

Granted, it takes skill. We need to hold WHAT IS thoughtfully.

We don’t want to expend energy avoiding, resisting, or fighting our circumstances -that just leads to depletion. 

Author, Mary O’Malley, has a phrase “what’s in the way, is the way.” 

And that’s a perfect instruction for times like this.

After 50, your body is inviting you into deeper dialogue. You’re being asked to question your assumptions, your beliefs, and your actions. 

You’re being called to clear the decks of who you were to make room for WHO YOU ARE BECOMING: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

At (nearly) 53, I want you to know this. Question everything. Especially when outside experts tell you “that’s just the way it is.”  

Now is not the time to settle. Now is the time to gather your lived experience, resources, and desires to create a kick-ass life you love. 

I call it living full out, filled up, and fueled.

If you’re leaning in, here’s how you can learn more:

Menopause or not, I invite you to notice where in your life you’ve bought into “that’s just the way it is,” and I encourage you to call a bold and hearty B.S. on that.