Rachel on: A new me at forty

00341738I never really wanted a new me. Sure, the old me has always had flaws; eh—doesn’t everyone? I know some women who have celebrated their fortieth or some other milestone birthday or event by “treating” themselves to a nip here, a tuck there or perhaps an injection or two… It’s not my thing, but then again it’s not my party so I’m not going to waste any time or tears crying about what anyone else is doing.

No, that’s not the new me. The new (just new, not improved) Rachel Dachel still looks and sounds the same as she always has. It’s funny; I still have the same laugh, the same walk, the same cadence to my speech. My clothes fit the same, my hair still loops, twirls and swirls in its same crazy curls. Every freckle on my face is exactly where I remember it being yesterday, last week, last month and for eternity.

I’m still left-handed. Well, yeah, I am pretty much ambidextrous, but just as I always have, I still favor my left hand and enjoy the struggle that is at times a manual can opener. I enjoy the same books, movies and music that I always have and I still drive the same car, go to the same office and have all of the same friends and family that I always have. So in essence, nothing has changed. But simultaneously, EVERYTHING has changed. I don’t know this new woman in my mirror.

Continue reading Rachel on: A new me at forty

Who said anything about a wedding??! Getting Married at Forty…

j0423082 Editor’s Note: In keeping with “tackling our fears” week, Rachel’s taking on a couple of big ones – Love and marriage at forty. She’s met the man of her dreams and ready to become a Mrs.,  but gun-shy after what she calls the “spectacular disaster” that was her first marriage, Rachel wants to know, who said anything about a wedding?

I knew I was truly fortunate when I found love again at 38 years old. After kissing more than my fair share of frogs and marrying a toad, I had resigned myself to the fact that there was no prince for me and that my happily ever after would not include a husband, 2.6 children who were conceived “old school style” and a white picket fence. I was perfectly alright with adoption and a condo, but I still really hoped to find a suitable mate who would one day become my husband.

Be careful what you wish for. I met a wonderful man in September 2008 and as unlikely as it sounds, just knew that we would one day be married from the very moment I met him. Continue reading Who said anything about a wedding??! Getting Married at Forty…

Do the Right Thing!

junkfood_01 I was always taught to do the right thing. When someone insulted or offended me, I was taught to turn the other cheek or simply walk away, because that would be the right and “Christian” thing to do. If I find a wallet full of money I will turn it in, I hold the doors for elderly ladies and I’ve even pulled over my car on a busy thoroughfare to dodge speeding vehicles and assist a helpless and disoriented dog—because I do the right thing.

So why is it so difficult to do the right thing when it comes to health, fitness and nutrition? Why do butter plus sugar and flour equal delicious? Why do restaurants serve portions for a single meal that obliterate your daily caloric, sodium and fat limits? Why is it easier to go to The Cheesecake Factory than the gym when the gym is not 5 miles away, nor is there a 45 minute wait?

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This Had Better Be Worth It!

My mother used to tell us “Nothing worth doing is ever easy.” She used that maxim to motivate us to complete our chores and homework and strive to make top grades in our Advanced Placement classes. I remember her whispering it to me at my grandmother’s funeral when my knees went weak and I began to sob while kneeling at the casket and saying my goodbyes. Those six words have served me well over the years; they’ve seen me through heartache, professional challenges and dealing with the loss of friends and relatives. Now, they are my mantra for dealing with a different type of loss—weight loss.

As I continue my efforts to improve my health and fitness levels, I find myself relying heavily on my mother’s favorite maxim. Those six words are incredibly powerful when paired with steely resolve and an abundance of faith. After ten days of making an earnest effort to be mindful of my eating and exercise habits, the scale shows a seven pound weight loss! While seven pounds is only the tip of the iceberg (and the title of a Will Smith film), it is an accomplishment, nonetheless.

Continue reading This Had Better Be Worth It!