50 And Losing It Blog

A journey for women over 50 who are looking for renewal and self discovery

Days 71-77: Progressing Slowly to a New Me, a New Life October 26, 2010

Hurray, I’ve lost another pound! Down 14 and my doctor’s appointment is scheduled for the 29th. That’s only 87 days into my journey, but I think I’m ready. My hubby has lost 20 pounds eating the same foods I have been eating and he recently had his blood work done and discovered that his cholesterol levels are now at the level of someone who does aerobics daily. I’m looking forward to my results.

I’m also going to have an MRI done on my knee on the 29th. I want to know what’s causing my discomfort so I can get back to biking 5 miles a day. I miss it. The doctor believes it could be scar tissue. Without biking, my aggressive weight loss goals are on the back burner. So I’m anxious to get moving.

Speaking of moving, working part time is agreeing with me. I’m wearing a pedometer and I walked 8,900 steps the other day. They say that 2000 steps equals one mile so I’ve been busy. I’m also glad to be “out in the world.” Working at home does have its social limits. While there hasn’t been much time for socializing, the interaction is nice and I’ve been supplementing my income and that feels great. Once I’ve completed training, it’s a commission only job, but I can sell so I’m looking forward to the challenge. Like tennis, sales rely totally on the skill of the individual. If I close, I win and I’ve been selling to the press for years.

I’ve also begun to realize that becoming an empty nester is getting closer and closer as my son has begun the college application process. While he’s applied locally to Clemson, he’s applying to colleges in Florida, New York and California and they all have a major price tag. Another reason to be happy I’m supplementing my income.

I’ve learned that it really doesn’t matter which one he selects as they all cost about the same. The real difference will be how far he wants to commute. If he’s in California, I’ll see him at Christmas and over the summer. If it’s New York, we could visit with him when we visit his sister who attends college in Manhattan. Florida would be a day’s drive and Clemson a few hour’s drive away. It will be interesting to see where he lands as he’s getting letters from colleges all over the country; I can only hope one of them will come with a scholarship!


Days 63-70: Reducing The Pressures of Life One Step at a Time October 14, 2010

I’m down 13 pounds! I finally broke through my plateau and lost two more pounds by watching what I eat. It could have, would have, been more if I was biking, but I decided to stop biking again until I saw a doctor. So I made an appointment and had an x-ray taken. The x-ray showed no damage, so now I have to wait to see if my insurance will approve an MRI. The doctor believes I’ve stressed my “Anserine bursa” and the discomfort I’m feeling is from inflammation. So he wrote me a prescription, told me to remember to stretch before I exercise and advised me to have the distance between my bike seat and pedal checked to make sure I’m not bending my knee too much. Good advise, but I’d feel better if I got an MRI to see what is really happening.

While I was being checked, the nurse took my blood pressure, it was 90 over 60. She couldn’t believe how good it was so she took it twice. Not bad, when I started this adventure, my blood pressure had slowly climbed to 115 over 80. I’ve averaged around 112 over 68 for years. So my healthful diet and walking Stacey May is beginning to show its benefits and I’m pleased.

I also started a part-time job this week. I wanted something that would help with my daughter’s monthly college expenses and keep my debt in check. I’m in training now. It’s sales. The hours are great if you want to pursue other interests, and heck, I’ve been selling images and change for years so why not. Once I’m done training, it’s purely commission which is a bit unnerving, but I’ll be working nights and weekends. That’s great because I still have time to work on PR contracts and start other ventures. It’s a win/win for me.

Then I found out another benefit to working part-time. The person who’s training me said that she lost 30 pounds when she first started working there. Gee make money and lose weight, I could really like this arrangement.

So things have been moving forward, not perfect, but moving forward. I honestly believe that when one door closes another opens. Sometimes you have to look really hard to find it, but it’s there if you just look. Now I just want to see where this door leads me.


Days 56 to 62: Getting Caught Up October 5, 2010

Well, talk about a plateau, still holding at 11 pounds. I guess the doctor was right, it was going to be “really hard to lose weight quickly when you don’t have a thyroid to control your metabolism and you’re going through menopause.” The good news, I’m holding at 11 pounds. In the mean time, hubby is dropping weight; he’s dropped 15 pounds! It’s like a fountain of youth for him…he’s dropped five years off his age, too!

As for me I tried biking again, but it irritated my knee so I’m put off biking 5-miles a day for another week. About two weeks ago, I twisted my knee enough to irritate an old cartilage injury from high school. And since I don’t want to create a permanent problem, I’ll give it a little longer to mend. Heck it’s been raining so much I really couldn’t bike anyway. My hubby, on the other hand, has a gym at work so he’s been keeping up with his regiment, faithfully, and it’s showing.

In addition to changing my physical being, I’m trying to change my professional life. Jobs in my field are beginning to open up so I’m sending resumes out left and right. I was told by one recruiter that she received 150 resumes for her open position. I was one of the lucky ones who got an interview. In fact I’ve gotten four interviews in the last month.

It’s helped that I’ve toned down my resume to one page which is hard when you have 18 years of experience. But I haven’t been able to tone down my examples in the interview because I am who I am. I’ve worked at the global level and as a director and so before the end of the interview, I get the “You’re very talented with a lot of experience, why would you want this job?” Well let me see, because I need a job? Because there aren’t any jobs at my level I can apply for in the state? Because I want to work and you’re getting a lot more for your money so I figure I’m a bargain? It’s maddening.

So while I’ll wait for the one interview where the manager I’ll be working for has enough confidence in his/her skills that I won’t be a threat, I’m going to get a part-time job. In fact, I got one yesterday. I’m going to sell cars, yeah, used cars. I figure if I can sell company images to the public and sell stories to the national press, I can sell cars to people who need them. So for now I’ve signed up with the No. 1 seller of vehicles in Charleston, Carmax.

My brother worked for them in Maryland and their reputation for reselling quality is real. It will mean working every weekend, but I’m okay with that. In fact, now that I’m on board, the GM suggested I monitor corporate jobs and go for one if it opens up or I can apply for a management job at the dealership once I get some experience and “prove myself.” Well I’m up for the challenge, but are they ready for me? We’ll see if we can make this a win/win for all concerned.

The truth of the matter is I’m over 50, I’m a baby boomer and we’re at a disadvantage in the job hunt. Why invest in someone who will only work for the next 15 years when I can hire someone who can give 25 years. Wake up America, the average worker gives 5 to 8 years and moves on. If you hire a boomer, we’re so grateful for the employment, we’ll stay until retirement and you’d benefit from the experience we bring to the table at NO EXTRA CHARGE.

Well Carmax must get this cause there are a few sales associates who are my age or older, most of them in gold uniforms or the president’s level…not because of seniority but because they get it. They are selling cars and reaching their objectives. For boomers, it’s in our nature to work hard. Personally, I think it’s a shame that all this PR experience is being wasted, but I’m not the only person in this situation. The economy is blind to age, race, sex…it hits all of us in some way and it’s been a tough time for many. There are many boomer professionals flipping burgers, greeting guests at Wal-Mart and selling anything and everything to make a buck. Good for them, they haven’t given up.

Guess you never know what life will bring you, I’m just glad I know how to make lemonade out of the lemons life gives me.


Day 37: Getting a Competitive Edge September 13, 2010

With the job market being as it is, any competitive edge is important. And being 50 in today’s market is no competitive edge and that’s unfortunate. I’ve run into three women in my situation. It appears that corporations no longer value compounded experience and insurance costs have made it undesirable to hire baby boomers as they increase the risks associated with health care costs.

So if you can get past the resume stage and make it to the interview, you have to look and feel as young as possible! I’ve been told I have a “young” personality and energy to burn. And here recently, my friends and family are noticing a change in my appearance. As I’ve been interviewing for full-time positions, I’m pleased at the small change 11 pounds have made for me. I can’t wait to see what an additional 10, 20 pounds will do for my girlish figure!

My weight-loss journey is also helping during the interview as I make sure I let them know I bike five miles a day and introduce my blog and journey as positives in my life. The blog also informs my “potential” employer that I use today’s social media and that’s important for someone in public relations and marketing.

In addition to reducing my weight, I also reduced the length of my resume. It seems with 18 years of experience I was “overqualified” for the market. And while I didn’t want to dumb down my resume, I did reduce it down to one page and targeted it toward the jobs I’ve found in the area. It’s working and I’m getting interviews.

As I wait to return to full-time status, I continue to accept short-term assignments and freelance work. But with one daughter in college and my son getting ready to take that path, I need full-time employment. I need a job.

As with all challenges in my life, I’m not going to let my age be a handicap. I believe I’m headed in the right direction to reach my goals and I’m enjoying the journey.