Real Talk: Midlife By Design

Ep. 24 | Midlife Wellness In 6 Steps with The Midlife Mentors

January 18, 2022 Ericka, Curator of Zest / The Midlife Mentors Season 2 Episode 24
Real Talk: Midlife By Design
Ep. 24 | Midlife Wellness In 6 Steps with The Midlife Mentors
Show Notes Transcript

Midlife is a time of new awakenings some are pleasant, and some may simple feel daunting. Wellness can certainly be in the category of overwhelm for many of us!

The facts are your body has changed.

The facts are most of your energy has been used in serving others over the decades leaving yourself feeling depleted.

The fact is your health can determine the quality of your second journey and most of the times it hard to know where to even begin to shift habits and lifestyle.

Today our guests will be shedding some brilliant light on this topic with 6 clear steps that you can put into action in your own life!

Stay connected with The Midlife Mentors  and find out more about their work with the quick, access links below:



We're inspired to become the #1 Resource for Midlife Women. Go get access to articles, expert insights and more at  The Zestful Movement

Ericka (00:07):

Midlife. What does it mean to you? I believe that midlife is a place to recognize, reprioritize and redefine your purpose. It's a place of new beginnings, new personal growth, and new adventures. Midlife is a chance to release your outdated labels and begin designing your second life journey. How? With heart-centered experts, tangible tools and a supportive community. Why? Because if not now, then when? Now, that's real talk.

Ericka (00:35):

I'm Erika, your host and curator of Zest. Let's begin building your midlife by design together. If you're enjoying this content, lead a review on Apple Podcasts, and share this podcast with someone you care about too, as it truly helps to keep the zesty energy flowing. Visit, where you'll find more resources cultivated for your midlife journey.

Ericka (01:09):

James and Claire are The Midlife Mentors. They're passionate about empowering midlifers with the tools to live a balanced, happy, and healthy midlife because we all deserve to.

Ericka (01:26):

Midlife is a time of new awakenings. Some are pleasant, and some may simply feel daunting. Wellness can certainly be in the category of overwhelm for many of us. The facts are your body has changed. The facts are most of your energy has been used in serving others over the decades, leaving yourself feeling depleted. The fact is your health can determine the quality of your second journey. And most of the times it's hard to know where to even begin to shift habits and lifestyle.

Ericka (01:54):

Today, our guests will be shedding some brilliant light on this topic with six clear steps that you can put into action in your own life. James and Claire, welcome to Midlife by Design.

Claire (02:05):


James (02:06):

Hello there.

Claire (02:07):

Thank you for having us. It's a joy to be here.

Ericka (02:10):

That is fabulous. I'm so grateful to have you here, especially since you're ... what do they say? Across the pond? In the pond? In London?

James (02:17):

Across the pond in London.

Ericka (02:20):

There you go, because I think one of the coolest things about experience is connecting people globally. And I think that's a positive aspect of social media and technology, and I'm happy to be on the positive side of all those things. So welcome, so glad to have you here.

Ericka (02:35):

So we'll just jump right in though. So what do you find and what do you believe is the common misconception about wellness and midlife and then what are some common factors that can impede women specifically finding their best overall wellness and how do you help your clients overcome these sticking points?

James (02:55):

I think a really common misconception on why we actually got into this area is like, we're midlifers ourselves, but we saw so many of our friends and some clients kind of go, "Oh yeah, this is the beginning of the end. I have to just accept the weight gain, the sluggishness, the lack of energy, it's inevitable." And we're like, that is a misconception. You can be healthy and vibrant through midlife and far beyond it, if you know the right tweaks to make to your lifestyle. And I think that's where our passion comes from, showing people that there is a way to, to go into this, I think you said, the second journey, full of the energy and life and feeling great.

Claire (03:35):

I also think a lot of people end up thinking they will make massive sacrifices so that it's really hard. They convince themselves, they make a lot of excuses that it's going to be really hard, take a lot of their time up. They're going to make lots of sacrifices, that it's going to mean horrible, horrific, restrictive diets, doing lots of exercise over hours and hours. And actually that is completely not true. In fact, what a lot of people, when they come to us, we kind of flip that completely on its head and show that they can achieve phenomenal results without making massive sacrifices and without having to ever do horrible crash restrictive diets and pumping the treadmill for an hour and a half every day.

Claire (04:19):

I mean, we totally flip it on its head, because actually that's working against your midlife hormones rather than in line with them.

Ericka (04:26):

Yeah. I really love that. And so do you feel like the idea of sacrifice, you say sacrifice of diet, overwhelm of strenuous exercise, do you find those are the things that really impede women from wanting to start down this journey and I loved how you used the word tweak. So it's little tweaks along the way. It doesn't have to be this grand, grand thing, is that correct?

Claire (04:47):

Yeah, absolutely. I think people do have this misconception that it's going to take up so much of their time. They're going to have to make massive sacrifices and actually life is to be enjoyed. And our body is the only home we ever truly have, and actually nourishing and nurturing it is the most important thing at midlife, and making it strong and looking after it in mind, body and soul. But I think some of the things that people ... one of the things that impedes, especially women is thinking that they have to stay on this diet rollercoaster. And that's the massive thing about reprogramming the mind, actually, is giving them small tweaks, that word I use, is that it's small tweaks that pay huge dividends, and don't mean that they're restricting their diet and cutting out macros and really, really low in calories. It doesn't have to be that way. And I think that is one of the most beautiful things we see when we work with clients is that their nutrition and their exercise is a lot easier to fit into their lifestyle than they ever thought possible.

Ericka (05:53):

Yeah. And I like that and idea that she even used the word joy. I'm like, joy, okay. So that kind of helps put the guard down a little bit and realize that it's more of a journey. It's not like, okay, this is where I begin. This is what I have to give up. And then this is where I end and supposedly I'll be happy. No, it's more about really assessing where you're at, finding a little joy in the process, tweaking. I love tweaking, adjusting little bits along the way. And then that way it becomes longevity in lifestyle. So I love that and I definitely think, and can see how that could help people overcome those sticking points of what we believe health and wellness looks like.

Ericka (06:27):

So I have to ask you, because a lot of my listeners are women, they're definitely in midlife, and the menopause conversation comes up naturally. It's just one of curiosity and one that kind of looms over. So I have to know. Fact or fiction does menopause lead to natural weight gain.

Claire (06:46):

Yes, it does, but so many factors. I mean, James and I are both qualified medical practitioners actually. So I think it's really beautiful that ... I'm going to ask James, I'm going to hand over to James and it to actually answer some of that question. Because I do think it's quite nice to have that male perspective on the female menopause as well, and to show women that men are really, really open to understanding the menopause and understanding the emotions they're going through as well as the physicality.

Claire (07:14):

But yeah, absolutely. It's fact that the menopause does lead to a weight gain, mainly for a huge amount of hormonal reasons. I'm just going to touch on muscle mass actually, before I'll hand over to James to talk about hormones. But as we age, our muscle mass decreases for men and women, but for women, our muscle mass decreases. So muscle is more metabolically active than fat. So the less muscle we have, it's it stands to reason that actually our metabolic rate starts to lower because actually it's our muscle that creates that metabolism. So as that's lowering, our metabolic rate is lowering. So of course we are going to be expending less energy just at rest, if that makes sense, because we've got less muscle mass.

Ericka (07:57):

That totally makes sense. And in fact, that's the for I've ever heard it described that way. And that's really brilliant because it makes sense, right? If you have the muscle, that's where you burn the calories. If you lose the muscle, you're not burning as many calories. So that totally makes sense. And you're also saying that that's a hormonal change that takes place with time. Is that correct?

James (08:17):

Yeah, that's absolutely correct. I mean, but for both men and women are testosterone defining, and obviously for women, their testosterone production is falling off completely post-menopause, so that's why they're getting the lowered muscle mass, brittle bones as well. And obviously with that lower muscle mass, as Claire said, there's a lower metabolic rate, meaning we're not burning as many calories. Now, often in midlife we've learned to enjoy indulgent food and drink more.

Ericka (08:41):


James (08:42):

So even if our calories in were consistent, the fact that our metabolic rate's dropped means you'll start to put on body fat, of course.

Ericka (08:50):

Okay. Well, tell-

James (08:50):

The other thing that's happening, well, mainly, it's like a double whammy effect. We become more insulin resistant as we age, which basically means that we are less efficient at converting food to energy, which means we're more likely to lay down excess energy as body fat rather than expend it. We're also lower in the hormone lectin, which is that I am full hormone. So we can feel hungry more often as well.

Ericka (09:14):


James (09:15):

We've all these factors going on-

Ericka (09:16):

Yes, okay.

James (09:17):

... that We're not really aware of, but if we can bring understanding to them, then we can start to bring a bit of compassion to where we are.

Ericka (09:23):

I love that. And compassion is definitely part of the journey, right? Because I think as we age, we have a tendency to beat ourselves up and I don't know if that's natural human behavior or if that's supported with societal expectations. So I love this idea of bringing in more knowledge. So we understand truly how our bodies work, but also compassion because we are aging and things are changing and we don't necessarily have awareness about all of it. Like the comment on lectin. I'm like, okay, so it's natural that my appetite actually is going up because that hormone isn't really in supply like it used to be.

Ericka (09:54):

So those are little things that give you key awareness. And so when you have the awareness, I think the compassion comes naturally. But then the next thing is, so what? So what do I do now? How do I find that balance? How can I put my body back into working in a way that makes me feel good in my soul and in my body?

Claire (10:13):

Well, I think actually having a really, really strong why is really important. So understanding why you want to be in a body that feels comfortable. You know, it's all about feeling comfortable in your own skin. It's not health, it isn't a dress size, it's a feeling. So actually making sure that you feel ... there's nothing better than feeling strong and comfortable in your own skin. So actually understanding why you want that. Yes, aesthetics. That's absolutely fine. Of course, that's fine, because when we feel good in our skin, we're the best version of ourselves for so many other areas of our life. But why else? Why else do you want to live the second act of life with vitality strength and vigor? What's it for? I think that's a really important one. But also making sure that your mindset, so actually understanding what some of your habits are.

Claire (11:03):

So another thing I was going to say about why some women and men lead to natural weight gain is because a lot of the time we're so stressed. So stress plays a huge role. Cortisol plays a huge role to impacting how much we lay on body fat, especially around our belly. So cortisol when it's really, really high in our body, which it is for most midlifers, it actually means that you're holding onto more belly fat.

Claire (11:29):

So knowing how to bring those stress levels down and understanding what some of your triggers are around stress is really important. And also we tend to comfort eat a lot when we are stressed. So again, that whole weight gain, it's a real circle and a mental, physical, and emotional circle, holistic look at what's causing you to feel a bit sluggish, not to feel great in your own skin, where the weight gain's coming from. So it's really having a strong why, but also looking at your stress levels and your triggers and what that then means you do, what the consequences of that are.

Ericka (12:01):

Yeah. I love that. And stress man, stress is such a thing. And I think sometimes we don't even understand that we're in stress because we're so much an autopilot and we just sort of barrel through the day and just do the things we need to do to get stuff done. So how is it that you get your clients to slow down and even acknowledge that they're in stress with the habits that they're taking on? What is something that ... like an awakening moment that allows them to pause and be like, "Oh, that's why I do that. And I can do this instead. And it would be better for me overall while reducing my stress levels."

James (12:34):

Yeah. So a lot of the work we do is actually around our clients' mindset. So we like to talk about the internal work and the external work, and where most people go wrong at any age in fact, is they focus on the external, it's like, "Oh, I'm just going to do this diet or this workout program or this diet and workout." But they're not actually figuring out why they ended up in position in the first place and how they're going to maintain where they're at. And they're not addressing their belief system and in particular, their limiting beliefs. So we do work around that, around building a more positive mindset, like Claire said, finding your why. Like, why do you want this? What the limiting beliefs you may be having that are holding you back and how can you shift those? How can you shift your habits?

James (13:12):

But a big thing we do is about being more present and make sure you start your days the right way. So, I had a great example this morning. I had, for various reasons, I had a bad night's sleep last night. And then I overslept through my alarm and I was running late and I was like, "Oh, you know what? I could really let this make me grumpy. I'm not going to, I have a choice here."

James (13:30):

So the work we do is like informing clients, you do have a choice point in how you want to feel and you can turn it around. One of the things we get our clients do, they say as a game changer, is just a morning gratitude practice. Just really simply, before they turn on the television, before they look up their phone, pick up any device, before you let the external world in, just sit and ground and go, "What am I grateful for from yesterday? What are am I grateful for in my life generally? What would be a great thing for me today?" And it can be a short practice of two to five minutes. But over time, it'll start making a difference. And when you start bringing that presence and gratitude into your daily life, then magic starts to happen. You'll find your positivity increases as well.

Ericka (14:13):

Yeah. Magic in midlife. And I am I over here smiling as I'm listening to you because I love the simplicity, right? I think we have a tendency to get ourselves, as Claire said, like in this maddening cycle of choices and outcomes and disappointment, but the same choice with the same outcome and the idea of just pausing and having gratitude is such as simple, simple thing. But like you say, it can add magic to your life because it allows us to be connected to self and what we're doing and why we're doing it before we thrust ourselves out into the world and all the craziness that can come with that. So simple, tangible tools. That's fabulous.

Ericka (14:51):

So with that being said, I know, I went to y'all's website. I explored all the things and I really loved what you had there as far as like a six step program. So I would love it if you could tell our listeners more about the Midlife Method, how it differs from other wellness programs and what they can expect when they're working with you.

James (15:11):

Cool. So we've got our six pillars, which translate into the Methods program. And they're basically ... some of them won't be surprising. There's obviously movement or exercise, but that's starting at any level. We've got to realize everyone's starting from a different start point, and where we are is where we are right now. But it's just about getting up and moving your body more, for a few reasons. Number one, when we are moving more, again, we're burning more calories. So we're helping bring that body fat we don't want down, but also there's so many health benefits to movement. It's making us stronger, it's making us fitter. We're getting a feel good rush from endorphins when we work out. So movement and exercise is one step.

Claire (15:49):

And the other one is obviously nutrition. So, again, working in line with our hormones, this is all interplay. So the six points really interplay with each other as well. So it's not like we take them through each piece and they all get kind of touched upon throughout the eight weeks, so it's an eight week program. But the nutrition, basically a lot of people are working against their hormones. Sugar, for example, is the absolute enemy, the absolute devil and people aren't really educated. You know, you mentioned about the more educated you are, the more aware you are and the more compassionate you are with yourself. Actually just realizing like, things like alcohol and the sugar content in everything they're eating and just making those small tweaks again, to work in line with their hormones and work in line with their energy system and even their sleep patterns that'll really help them get the most from their day.

James (16:35):

The next step is actually understanding hormones. So of course, the training and nutrition is designed around midlife hormones, but also we take people through workshops explaining what is going on again, just to bring that awareness so they can bring compassion and look at things like the stress hormone pathway. So we can see where your pregnenolone is being used to make more cortisol because you are stressed. That means you have less available for your sex hormone production, which is going to impact you in all kinds of ways. Like your brain cognition, your libido, your strength, your vitality. So just getting people to understand the hormone interplay that's going on and working in line with that.

Claire (17:15):

And then one of the other pillars is success mindset. This is actually diving deep into the belief systems that we have and how they're kind of holding us back and actually looking at some of the fears that we might have. Some of the stuff that we ... that isn't really working for us any longer and actually using NLP and the psychology backgrounds that we have to start turning those round and making them work for us, not against us.

James (17:39):

The next part is emotional wellbeing. We touched on that. That's about helping people be more present in their lives, helping them ... make sure that their social media feeds are positive and that they do have to turn off from it when they can. Building in that gratitude practice, basically uplifting them in terms of their emotional cognition.

Claire (17:56):

Yeah. And the last one is mentoring. Because again, a lot of us at midlife, a lot of us have got to this stage and we haven't given ourselves permission to prioritize ourselves. And this is one, especially us women. So one of the most beautiful things is when those women come, obviously we get men as well, but women come and they're like, "You know what? This is my time." So that's the first step. And like actually having someone that is going to be your mentor, your guide, your shining light, when you don't see what's possible for yourself, those people see it because they've trodden the path themselves and actually can show you step by step how to do it. And honestly that makes all the difference. James and I have mentors ourselves. We wouldn't be without them because those people can just pick you up. It's your time, your space, and they believe in you in a way that you might not at that time. So mentoring is a massive piece in the success of our clients.

Ericka (18:50):

Yes, I absolutely believe that. In fact, I have a podcast episode that I created with myself about embracing a beginner's mindset. And I really feel like midlife is the beginning space, and when we're new to it, yes, we can look to our friends and look to our cohorts and kind of see what's happening. But I think it's really important to look to people who are doing, showing up, being more of what you want to be, and then leaning into that so that they can help guide you through the process, because we are learning. This is a totally, totally new phase and we know nothing about it. And I think one of the best ways to be successful in it is allowing people to teach you and guide you a long way. So I absolutely love that concept.

Ericka (19:30):

So you have to tell me though, of all the six steps, I'm listening, they all sound tangible. They sound realistic, they sound approachable. But what do you find is the most challenging step of the six for the majority of your clients and how do you help them overcome that challenge?

Claire (19:47):

I have to say, I think it's the emotional and the mindset stuff, to be honest, because they are so ... One of the phrases we use is you cannot outperform your own self-identity, and that's so powerful. When you say that to someone, you cannot outperform your own self-identity, so it doesn't matter what you are doing externally. If your identity isn't in line with what you're doing, then that self identity, those belief systems will always pull you back. But they're the ones that are the real self saboteurs. They're the ones that will really get you going and then bring you back to what's familiar, because the subconscious mind always wants to pull you back to what is safe and familiar. It always seeks pleasure over pain.

Claire (20:27):

So that's the one that will always ... that's the one that most people ... and that's bit we love as coaches, that's the bit we love teaching people and it what sets our program apart from just an exercising and nutrition plan and talking about hormones. It's that piece where we go, "Okay, what's the belief system that's going on here? What can you do instead? What's the trigger? Why are you feeling this way? What's the consequences?" All that mindset work. And that's what people find challenging, but so transformative once they've overcome that, it's like they're unstoppable after that, because they think, "Okay, if I can overcome my own internal dialogue, that own inner identity, what else can I overcome?"

Ericka (21:07):

That totally makes sense. And so would you say that one of the best places that people have a self sabotage lies within limiting beliefs and a limited mindset? That's kind of what I hear, yes?

Claire (21:19):


James (21:19):

Exactly that.

Claire (21:20):


Ericka (21:21):

And the thing is, is we probably don't even acknowledge it, because it's like, this is who we are. So here I am, I'm 48. I'm like, "Well, what could you possibly tell me?" Especially I think when your life is probably good as a whole, right? You have quality relationships, you have a good home, you have income, you have food, you have shelter, all the things. So you kind of get to a phase in life where you feel like, "Ah, I don't need to learn anything else. Things are going really great."

Ericka (21:43):

But digging into that mindset and kind of challenging and holding the mirror up, that definitely isn't a comfortable place to be for anyone, even people who are aware of the power of mindset. So it's obviously a key component to overcoming it, and then having those good wellness goals. So what do you do with people when they're like really resistant or defensive or, I don't know, maybe even afraid? How is it that you help them overcome that when we're challenged in our mindset and how we see ourselves?

James (22:15):

Oh, it's so interesting what you say there about midlife and having preconceptions. I think the thing is, midlife, we're blessed in one way, we have so much experience at the same time that can make us more cynical and we can let our ego rule us sometimes. So we come afraid of being the beginner again and taking those steps and being afraid to make mistakes. One of the things that we always tell our clients is when we're young, we play to win. As we get older, we start to play not to lose. So one of the things we talk about is actually understanding where that fear is coming from and starting to embrace risk again, because we're always growing as people and who we are may have got us so far in life, but if we want to continue, if there's something that we are not happy with now then we need to accept that something has to change within us to make the new us possible.

James (23:03):

So when people are resisting, it's really interesting. People come to us. And when we first launched this, people were all coming for the kind of like, "Yeah, I want to lose the belly fat," and that's how they came in. But at the end of the journey, they're like, "Whoa, the physical results were amazing, but you know what? It's my emotional wellbeing and my mindset has completely transformed."

Ericka (23:23):

I love that. I love that. Because wellness is a whole game, right? It's not just the one thing. And I like how Claire mentioned before, the aesthetics. That's fantastic. But that cannot be the only thing, right? We have to really understand what we believe, how we show up, how we talk to ourselves, how we interact with the rest of the world. So yeah, I find that to be fascinating as well. And God bless you both for being willing to work with stubborn midlife people.

Claire (23:49):

[crosstalk 00:23:49] thank you. And sorry, just one thing I wanted to add on that. I think one of the ways we flip it around for people when they are feeling resistance, because I feel resistance all the time. When we always say, when you go to the next level, there's another devil on your shoulder.

Ericka (24:02):

Oh, I love that. Yes.

Claire (24:03):

[crosstalk 00:24:03] you can't do it.

Ericka (24:04):


Claire (24:04):

And actually starting to realize that resistance is a signpost that you are about to do something amazing, to do something really exciting and to progress and expand your whole sense of self. So actually flipping that on its head and saying, "If you are not afraid, if you are not feeling a bit of fear, then you're doing something wrong. If you are not feeling some resistance, then you're doing something wrong." Because actually if you're just staying stuck in your comfort zone, then you're not really living life and we get one life. So that's how we kind of flip it around.

Claire (24:34):

Then they go, "Okay. So it's normal that I'm supposed to feel this, that, and that?" I'm like, "Yes, it's exciting that you're feeling that because it shows you're about to change and do something different."

Ericka (24:44):

I love that. That's powerful. So powerful. And that's a signpost that I'm going to go ahead and adopt. And I hope that our listeners are listening to that signpost as well. So I'm going to ask this question. I honestly feel like we covered a lot of it, but I want to ask this question anyway and it's a little bit lengthy because this is for the listeners who are like, "Man, that sounds fantastic. And yeah, I could have some work on my mindset and yeah, I guess there to be said about how I do sabotage myself."

Ericka (25:08):

But what if they're thinking this? Okay, so for the listener that has tried to find wellness in their lives on multiple occasions, simply because they know it's important and they believe it's going to enhance their lives, but they continue to fail because of life obligations that they have to other people or just habits that they got into of putting themselves last. What can you say to them that will encourage them to try again, and how will this time working with both of you specifically lead to their intended success?

James (25:40):

That's a great question.

Claire (25:41):


James (25:41):

And I know so many people to be in that position. We have some people come to us that are in that position. I've tried this, I've tried that, or it worked for a while, then I fell back or it didn't work. Listen, this is stuff that we are not taught. We're not taught in school. We're not taught in life, these tools, these skill sets. So it's just a case of just first of all, give yourself a break, right? You just haven't had the right toolkit. You haven't been empowered to do it. When someone shows you the way, it can be very, very powerful. And we have clients, if you think you can't do it, you are wrong because you can. We've got clients, we've got amazing clients that run businesses on, on multiple continents that are here, there and everywhere and they've still managed to find the time to fit it in.

James (26:24):

It's not about creating the time. It's about actually prioritizing yourself and finding the time. And here's where it starts, is prioritize yourself, number one, give yourself permission to do it. And then just trust the process. And it's about taking the small steps over time, not trying to overreach and kind of freak yourself out, but taking small steps so you gain the confidence gradually and then can make the lasting changes.

Claire (26:50):

And I would say, get yourself a good community as well. We have a great community. Get yourself a good mentor and get yourself a good community of like-minded people that as experiencing the same challenges and the same struggles, but are there for you. It's enough to have us there, but that community really, really serves the people that we work with really, really well. And also just to know that the whole point of this is you are enough. You are enough and you are worthy to invest this time in yourself. And actually, I always say this. This isn't a dress rehearsal. Life isn't a dress rehearsal. You have the power and the opportunity to make this second act of your life really incredible and really powerful and really strong. And to have that quality of life the way you want it to be, it's not the longevity of your life, but the quality of your life. And try and try again because you're worth it. And there the right people out there that believe in you.

Ericka (27:45):

I love that. Fabulous, absolutely fabulous. And I think it's important for people to hear that because it's very easy to just feel defeated. And when we're in that phase of defeat, we just think, "Ugh, what's the point?" And if we're getting fulfillment, some fulfillment, enough fulfillment by serving other people, I think it becomes really easy to continue to backslide, and not put ourselves on the schedule. So thank you for sharing that and giving people inspiration and hope and letting them know that there's still things they can do. There's ways they can learn. I love the idea of having compassion through knowledge, so that we can take new action with support, mentors and communities. So thank you so much for sharing that.

Ericka (28:21):

So with all that being said, please let us know how look at our listeners, find out more about your community, become a part of what you're doing and get going with your program?

James (28:31):

Great. Thanks for asking that. Well, you can find us on our website, which is all one word, themidlifementors with S on the end, .com, We have a free Facebook group. So if you went on Facebook and search for The Midlife Mentors Community, just ask to be a part of that. It's a wonderful supportive place. We [inaudible 00:28:52] supporting people. There's our podcast, just search for The Midlife Mentors on your podcast station, and you'll find us on your podcast platform. And finally Instagram as well. We're midlifementors on Instagram.

Claire (29:06):

@midlifementors on Instagram. Absolutely. So that's how you can find out about us.

Ericka (29:10):

That's fantastic. And I'll make sure that all of those things are also in the show notes. So if anyone was driving or what have you, didn't have pen and paper, it'll be there for you and you can get back to it later, and they'll be live links. So people, you can actually click on it and go to whatever sounds most compelling to you at this to time. And so, as we wrap this conversation, James and Claire, you both are delightful and it's been fun having you answer back and forth so nicely together, I've really enjoyed this interview.

Ericka (29:36):

But I have to ask you, because I'm curious, and this is really my favorite part because I am curious, I would love to know how is it that each of you define zest in your life.

Claire (29:49):

So for me, it's actually now about realizing that I don't have to be all work, work, work, work, work. I think I've allowed a lot more play and zest into my life, especially in the last few months. And for me, it's about just constantly trying to be present and keep ... that's my zest for life is constantly bringing myself back to the present moment, not being too much in the past, not being too much in the future, but actually allowing myself to just love all the simple things in my life, in the present moment, everything from nature, going out for walks in nature. That's my zestful life, definite, and enjoying those precious moments without putting too much stress and pressure on me for the future.

Ericka (30:30):


James (30:31):

For me, yeah, kind of similar to Claire. I guess just more and more just appreciating small things in life and having gratitude for them. Like, just loving my workout and being grateful that I can do that and how I feel afterwards. Getting out into nature, like walking in the woods, like how that feels. Just really appreciating the small things, not getting concerned about, oh, I need to strive for this, strive for that. Just, I guess, being more present, more grateful. And for me, a big part is like growing and being creative. I just get so much joy from creating things and talking to people.

Ericka (31:07):

I love both of those. And that is really the essence. It's like getting down to the simplicity of life, realizing you don't have to be everything to everyone and just enjoying what's right before you. I am so grateful to have had this conversation with both of you today. Thank you for the work that you're doing, educating people, but also leaning into compassion with small steps that enhance people's lives. I appreciate both of you for that. And I also just appreciate you being here today, sharing your knowledge and telling us more about how people can get connected to their wellness in midlife. Thank you so much, James and Claire.

Claire (31:41):

Thank you, Erika.

James (31:43):

Thank you, Erika, we've loved being on, thank you so much.

Claire (31:44):

Thank you.

Ericka (31:52):

I appreciate you holding space for these conversations to help you rediscover the essence of who you're capable of becoming so you can choose to live your life authentically, without apology. Want transcripts for this podcast? Visit where you'll also find more resources cultivated to guide you in reprioritizing and redefining yourself for your designed second life journey on the Zestful Movement blog.

Ericka (32:17):

You can also become part of community by joining our weekly Essence of Zest newsletter during your visit to the site. Until next time, please do keep it zesty.