We had an earthquake the other night. I know, when you live in California it’s not considered a “big thing.”

At least that’s how we’re supposed to act here, as if we’re all so (yawn) accustomed to earthquakes that we’re only disturbed if it messes up our eyeliner application.

Granted, that’s a biggie.

But still, I’m not one of those people.3 ways to instantly feel better about yourself

I’m never ready for it and have no idea what’s happening when the ground starts moving.

If you’ve never experienced an earthquake, here’s the deal.

They either hit with a BAM!, a sudden jolt and then… nothing, leaving you to wonder if something landed in the backyard.

Or, and this is far scarier, the ground starts to rock and roll as if a freight train is passing through through the house. Since I don’t recall tripping over railway ties on the way to the living room, this seems highly unlikely to ever be the case.

Either way, the scariest part is I don’t know if the initial jolt is a one-hit wonder like an 80s Loverboy song or if it’s the start of something far worse.

There’s no way to know and nothing to do but wait, freak out and call your friends on the east coast and tell them you’re moving in.

The other night was the jolting type. In fact, at first I thought my cat jumped on the bed. Then I remembered: she’s a 12-lb. housecat, not a 120-lb. jaguar.

My husband didn’t wake up (he told me the next day that he did actually feel it but chose to “ignore” it), so I just stared at the ceiling and had a quiet panic attack.

By myself.

In the dark.

It wasn’t until the next day that I found out the cause of the big bang – a 5.2 magnitude, not tiny but it could’ve been worse.

Of course I think every quake is the end of the world: after the shaking the ground splits open, swallowing up the entire city, as The Rock circles above in a helicopter saving the few people who survive by narrowly escaping a giant tsunami. Then aliens land and take over the planet and we’re all forced to wear form-fitting silver metallic outfits, speak in clicks and learn how to drive a spaceship into hyperspace.

Did I tell you I’m on anti-anxiety meds?

I used to be worse, as frightening as that sounds. Now at least I go back to sleep after having these thoughts. To be honest, I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

But here’s the thing: Events like this put life in perspective. When you think you’re about to die you don’t spend a lot of time worrying about stupid stuff.

By the time you’ve reached the age of 50 you’ve likely been through enough to know of what I speak. Divorce, tragedies and other delightful consequences of life provide speed bumps to slow us down and reconsider what’s really important.

And what’s not, which is the subject of today’s Monday Motivation post.

I hear these three common themes from women friends all the time.

When each topic comes up I want to say something but am afraid of the backlash, as in, Here’s Linda and her psycho-babble again. Time to check Facebook.

So now instead of saying, “Stop it or I’ll make you binge watch an entire season of Hollywood Hillbillies (I’ve never actually seen the show but it sounds horrendous),” I’ll simply hand the person this post.

You’re free to do the same.

My point is this: Stop doing these three things and you will instantly feel better. Promise.

1. Stop: worrying about what others think of you

It seems as if every other online article is about 10 things to never wear after 50! Or 10 Hairstyles That Age You By 20 Years, and Tee-Shirt Styles To Never Wear If You’re A Grandmother.

Gee, judge much? Who cares? Be yourself.

Notice how I mentioned earlier I’m on anti-anxiety meds? That’s still something I don’t tell everyone. I used to hear, “Try meditation!” (I did and do, but it didn’t help enough), “Try natural products,” (none worked for me), “You don’t need them!” (Yes, I did, unless I never wanted to leave the house for the rest of my life).

I’d suffered since age 17. I’m now 57. That was enough time to be in a constant state of mental turmoil, thank you.

Taking medication for anxiety one of the best things I’ve done for myself in recent years. It enabled me to stop having panic attacks every five minutes so I could live my life.

But here’s the thing: I don’t give a rat’s a** about what others may think of that. I used to, until I realized:

We all make the best decisions for ourselves with the information we have at the time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never stop caring about the opinion of people like you, who I’m trying to help. Just not whether or not my shade of lipstick deters you from trying a certain ab move.

Then the ball’s in your court.

2. Stop: fat talking

This is more of a younger woman’s issue, but I’ve seen it with women our age too. Fat talk refers to bonding over body issues.

For example, “I feel so fat in this dress!” usually elicits a friend to reassure you that you look totally fine. She then fires back about her belly roll, which she claims makes every pair of jeans look as if her midsection’s a piece of over risen bread dough.

3 ways to instantly feel better about yourself

“I WISH I could wear a sleeveless shirt like you! My underarms keep moving 5 minutes after I stop waving!”

“No, but you have such great legs!” girlfriend #1 says back, and the verbal tennis match goes on, with each contender trying to “out-do” the other’s perceived defects.

No one wins this game. You both just end up feeling worse than ever and then go home and eat your body weight in M&Ms.

Seriously not productive.

It’s fine to tell your doctor – or even me – if you’re trying to reach a certain goal, but not as a way to compare or bond with other women.

3. Stop: obsessing over your weight

Before you hit me with your bathroom scale, hear me out. I did NOT say stop trying to lose weight, I simply suggest you stop obsessing about it.

There’s a difference. I know because I’ve been there, done that, and still find myself doing it on occasion.

Trying to lose weight to reach a goal is fine if you do it by cutting back and taking a really hard look at your diet and being sure not to confuse a TV marathon with a real one.

It’s not fine if you’re freakin’ miserable in the meantime, berate yourself constantly in the mirror, and make your entire life revolve around the number on the scale, avoid dinner parties and do everything short of hiring a plane with a banner to fly around your town telling people how frustrated you are over your weight.

This came to mind the other day when I spoke with a young woman at my gym who told me she weighs herself TWICE A DAY (once a week is enough to hold you accountable is infinitely more sane).

Often, when you relax a little, those last few pounds will fall off of their own accord, as if they were waiting for you to lighten the heck up. 3 ways to instantly feel better about yourself

Holy cow, I just realized I rambled on. I guess you could say I’m passionate about this topic. Why?

Because YOU are awesome right now – not if you do XY or Z, lose five pounds or discover a way for three cats to live in the same house without fighting (actually, if you do the latter please contact me).

But RIGHT NOW.

And, as someone who’s gone through years of hating my body, starving myself to reach an ideal weight (which actually wasn’t) and being super hard on myself, I can tell you there’s more to life than your body weight. A lot more.

Striving to improve yourself is a great thing. Beating yourself up in the process is not.

Definitely do the best you can: eat clean, work out regularly and so on. Then, when you really, honestly, feel you’ve given it your all, see where you end up.

Chances are, you’re where you need to be.

NOW YOU.

If any of this resonates with you I’d love to hear from you! Which of these three common self-sabotaging themes are you prone to use? Please leave a comment/question below…. ↓ 

And please share this with your ageless friends!

Other posts you may also like:

5 ways to break the rules and still see results

How to turn around a really bad day

3 ways to tell fitness fact from fiction

Like this post? Sign up to get it hand delivered to your inbox every Monday morning! I can’t think of a better way to start off your week, can you?

Your Ageless Body Coach,

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 11.26.15 AM