Alex: A 50-yo Mum who breaks free from weight stigma & shares how she embraces aging
Introduce yourself & what you do in 2 sentences!
I'm Alex and I am turning 50 this year. I am a stay-at-home-mother and a postgraduate preparing for my MA dissertation in Museum Studies. I love spending time with my family! Art is a big part of my life where I love collecting art. I also enjoy expressing myself through vintage clothing and accessories.
What has shaped you to be the confident person you are today?
One thing that helped me is looking back on how far I have come in my journey to self-love. I started to stop talking negatively about me, my body, and being kind to myself, even when that means to allow me a bad day – it is normal, and it is okay. I strive to do what makes me happy!
Dressing up in colours can uplift immensely! I have days when I dress up even though I am just at home – I do it for me and my mood.
What are your key challenges in physical & mental health?
From a young age, I struggled with my body image and was bullied - I was always the tallest and biggest. Funny thing is - back in the 70s and 80s, people would just brush it off and say, ‘oh, it’s just kids’.
I lost a lot of weight when I was around 16 through unhealthy means. Since then, I gained and lost and gained and lost weight.. and I struggled. It was a hard and long journey.
Furthermore, I had to deal with a lot mentally due to the divorce of my parents and other family issues. I just wanted to run most of the time, but I realised it wouldn't change a thing.
I faced infertility and it made me feel really upset, anxious and fearful. And then… growing older didn’t make my life any easier – going grey, changes in my skin, posture and again - weight.
"Realising that I am allowed to be happy no matter what age or body size or shape or colour of my hair was a relief."
How did you overcome these issues?I am closer to my goal everyday! For my mental health, I saw a therapist, as I was not able to cope with them all by myself. Reaching out to a professional was turning point for me to taking care of myself and also started eating better and working out.
I see an endocrinologist regularly, and my husband and also I went through the adoption process! We were blessed with a wonderful little boy.
For my body image issues, I wanted to be a stronger and happier person for my family.
I also started to wear my hair in its natural grey and finally choosing to be happy and accepting myself - no matter what age or body size or shape or hair colour. It has made me feel a lot more free!
Now, I wear colours that make me happy, and even started a 2 year MA degree course in a foreign language at the age of 48! Age is really just a number!
"Allow yourself to be you! The number on the scale... or other people's opinion that should NOT define you"
what advice would you give to those lacking in confidence?
- Allow yourself to be you! Tell yourself that you are worthy, you are lovable, you are smart and you go your way, whatever way that may be.
- Dare to step out of your comfort zone - it is your life & your adventure!
- Mistakes happen, try not to take it to heart. See them as a chance for you to learn and grow!