Finally confronting my anxiety and fears at age 65

This is a photo of an elderly weight lifter

Sue Spencer

Confronting My Anxiety And Fears as a Senior Citizen

Sue Spencer aka Beast Mode Grandma lived her life in the shadows. A divorce and the passing of her brother affected her greatly, but instead of addressing these issues she buried them in food and work, Until she decided to finally make a positive change in her late 50’s. Now, Sue runs Lift You Up Coaching, where she helps other women find their purpose in life.

My name is Sue Spencer, and I am 66 years old. A nickname I have is  Beast Mode Grandma, because I am fairly good at throwing weights around the Olympic lifting platform.

this is a photo of sue spencer winning a gold medal at the world masters games in auckland
The Never Alone Story I usually tell is how I changed my attitude towards achieving a healthy mind and body. And how it has transformed my life.
Even though the last eight years have been life-changing.
I have to go back to an earlier time to tell you what has been creating anxiety and fear in my life, still to this date.

I have spent most of my life feeling unseen, unheard, discounted and alone. When it comes to what I have to offer to the world, my value seems non-existent at times.

I grew up a shy child whose extrovert tendencies did not start to show until I was in my 30s. Yet I knew I was capable of big things even if others didn’t.

When you have to reintroduce yourself every time you see someone you have met before, you start second-guessing your value. I was often dismissed because of my size and looks. This caused so much anxiety in social situations that I stopped going out.

I was married for 20 years to a man who I thought was my soulmate. We did so much together and were very involved with our kids and their sports. This came crashing to a halt when I found out that we were breaking up. Not only that, he had been living a double life for the last three to four years of our marriage.

Uncertainty of what was real and what was fake took a considerable toll on me.

I was trying to keep it together for my teenagers while finding a good job. On top of that, survive the shock and numbness that followed. To cope, I spent my evenings stress eating and not having the energy to do much other than sit and read or sleep.

I’m stubborn and my way of coping turned into a quest to be busy. I took on so many things outside work that I didn’t have time to overthink. By doing so I didn’t allow myself to grieve the end of our relationship.

It has taken me a long time to trust anyone enough to talk about what went on. And many of my friends still think I was fine the whole time and they never bothered to ask how I was.

I lost hope.

I didn’t think any of my friends held space for me.

Sue talks about how she went through a major part of her life feeling as if no one listened to her or saw her for what value she had to give to the world.

I couldn’t talk about my mental health struggles, I only wanted for them to hear me.

I have always believed that when one door closes, another opens if you are willing to accept it. I lived by that thought and found it to be true.

By 2012, I had found a job that was my passion. I was still stuffing down my anxiety and forcing myself to show up as a confident participant in the world. I was also diagnosed as celiac and had to radically change what I was eating.

One day the winds of change blew in my direction. My daughter told me she was pregnant, and there I was not functioning mentally or physically as I should be. I needed to make a change.

I needed to go against what I believed about myself for the last 58 years.

I had to decide to let the fear go and step forward, even if it was almost impossible.

I took a week’s vacation and sat on the beach and did some serious reflection on how my life had been and could be.

I started going beyond my comfort zone and adopting a new mindset. I started saying yes to all opportunities that came my way.

Anything that would set me up for success was a step forward.

3 Steps To Confronting My Anxiety And Succeeding In Life

Step 1

Putting aside time for regular exercise to my day.
Facing the reality that I would not bother at the end of the day, I planned to stop at the gym on my way to work 5 days a week. I committed to and paid for a membership for 18 months. I was committed now and promised myself I would go until I was 60.
The big hurdle was actually stepping into the gym. Once there, I forced myself to keep saying yes to the opportunities that occurred. I had no intention of working with a personal trainer. Yet here I was a few weeks in, working with a personal trainer whom I instantly trusted.

I quickly was realizing that no one was judging me, and if they were, it didn’t matter. I just kept telling myself, every day is a new day that is one step ahead of yesterday. If someone works hard daily to be their best self, they can earn others’ respect.

Step 2

Anything that would set me up for success was a step forward was a massive change for me. The celiac diagnosis had required me to look at labels for ingredients, so I had a bit of a start. Counting calories and reading labels become a huge reason for my weight loss.

The awareness that food you consume can have a considerable impact on your mental health. I have been aware of it for many years. Milk causes instant anger issues for me, so I removed it from my diet years ago.

The heathier I got in the gym, created a healthier relationship with food. Allowing my mental health to improve.

It was a win, win, win!

I went from a completely sedentary lifestyle to competing at the World Masters Games.

Who would have ever guessed that at 65 I would be doing such things!

Getting over the negativity of some of my friends who doubted me was one of the hardest things I did.

Exercise and healthy eating evolved to be the main cornerstones for my daily routine.

Step 3

I started incorporating better habits into my days.

  • Morning routine
  • Working out before work
  • Meditation
  • Reading for 30 minutes a day
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Eating cleaner foods
  • Proper sleep habits ( 7hrs )

I have often balked at too much routine in the past. I liked to see how the day went. I realize now is that lack of routine was negatively impacting my mental and physical health. This is what my days have become.

Has it been easy? … No.

I was fortunate to have connected with a personal trainer who helped me uncover my strengths. Showing me that my fitness could improve my mental and physical health.

These changes have allowed me to find a new passion in life. Realizing it is never too late to get started.

I have realized that I am old enough and strong enough that I don’t need to worry about what anyone else thinks. Although I still occasionally let my anxiety step in. But I have worked hard at not allowing it to stop me from continuing on.

People always want to know how much weight I have lost. Well, I really don’t know. Lost a bunch gained some back.

Injury and the passing of my Brother and Mom have had a substantial impact on how my body deals with stress and grief.

Through it all, I have kept my focus on exercise and strength training. Knowing that being in the gym doing what I love will allow me to push through and come out at the end successfully.

I am working hard to get back to where I was weight-wise. I am exploring new ways to have more undisturbed and better quality 7-hour sleep. I realize self-sabotage is a significant factor that is holding me back.

I can reduce the anxiety, but it’s clear that unless I address all my issues in the past that caused it, I won’t heal.

I have a hard time letting go of control in daily life or even lifting the bar. It often holds me back. For that reason, I am committing to trying something very different for me. I have committed to a monthly series of RTT Rapid Transformation Therapy. Tomorrow I will be doing the 2.5-hour hypnotherapy session, and I will see what gets shifted and go from there.

Just because you are older, this doesn’t mean that you can not change and improve how you show up.

It always comes back to the basics of healthy eating and exercise for me. The objective is to have a healthy mind and body where you feel your best inside and out. The robust mental, emotional, physical connection.

I am not where I want to be.

But I’m also not where I was.

And that is progress in every sense of the word.

I’m proud of myself for where I am today.

Finally Confronting My Anxiety And Fears at 65 (As a Senior Citizen) - YouTube Interview

If you found this blog informational, then you will really enjoy this 35 minute interview I had with Sue.

We go really deep on her trying to confront her anxiety and fears, but finding out that life keeps throwing barricades up in front of her in her goals.

Are you a senior citizen or 60+ and still facing anxiety and fear in your life?

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