WI: I would say first, understand that you are a valuable, viable, beautiful human being; that’s hard to think about when you’re in the midst of all of that, but you are worthy of being praised and being put on a pedestal instead of being cast out like a dirty dish rag. Whether you believe that or not, regardless of your physical in the situation [you have to believe] that you’re worth that much and just step out on faith and try to at least embody the idea, or at least entertain the thought.
Next! You have to really reach down to the bottom of your soul and guts and get just a spoonful of courage to reach out for support and let me be clear – courage is nothing more than being afraid but doing it anyway – been there, done that. So do that and reach out to someone that you trust and tell them what is going on, whether it be family, a friend or someone who can help you to come up with a plan of action to start your escape. There are so many support centers today around the globe that can help you restart and reshape your life; that is how I began my journey out of fear, and look at me now, the same is possible for each and everybody else.
BFT: Take Back Your Life: My No Nonsense Approach to Health Fitness and Looking Good Naked! Tell us about your best-selling book and – what was your inspiration in writing it?
WI: Take Back Your Life speaks to the needs of women whose lives have spun out-of-control due to physical changes that occur in a woman’s life, like hormonal changes, libido changes and just major life trials and tribulations; like a divorce. Midlife presents many challenges and major transition leaving women feeling unattractive and powerless. So what I do, unlike other fitness books – and it’s not just a fitness book – I lay out “no excuse zones” to deal with all these tragedies happening in your life that have you snowballing downhill. With these “no excuse zones” – I give them empowering mind games and life adaptations so you can continue to roll forward and that’s the point. I mean let’s face it, life is a “biotch” sometimes and we need emergency plans in all forms to be able to handle them when they come; in this case I’m talking about emergency mood plans and emergency fitness plans so that we can keep it moving. I also share some of my own experiences including stories, tips, tricks and other things that enabled me to reinvent my life, drop four dress sizes, develop six pack abs after the age of 40 and hold on to them as a grandmother!
That’s what Take Back Your Life is about, my inspiration for all of that is this: my sister Sylvia was a big, big part of my life and still is. I wrote Take Back Your Life because I tried to help her take back her life – my sister was my life guide, my mentor, motivator, and confidant; she took pleasure in making me smile, she fed me, told me stories, protected and advised me; every day was a holiday with her. I was her shadow through high school and learned very early on if I did everything like Sylvia, nothing could go wrong, so I did and nothing went wrong until she moved away. Then she took me in when I had nowhere to go, fed me and my babies and encouraged, advised and showed me so much more – I mean it was unconditional love, but her eating was bad, she didn’t exercise and she was overweight. Then she had to have surgery for a brain tumor and afterwards had to learn how to walk and talk again. It was a 23 1/2 hour surgery that not many people survive. She survived four years trying to walk and talk again. I remember begging her one last time to let me help her, because she was usually the boss, so she did [let me help her]. I helped her gain strength, mobility, lose body fat and cleaned up her diet; what a blessing it was for me to see the improvement and to give back to my sister who did everything for me, but ultimately it was a little too little, too late…she passed away and after she died I picked myself up off of the floor and I knew I could not let this happen to anyone else. So that’s why I’m so passionate [about all of this]! That’s why I’m in passion! That’s why I wrote the book, to get as much information out there to help others before it’s a little too little, too late.
BFT: In your book, you address a lot of real issues that women over 40 may be having; menopause, care-giving, being an empty nester, and retirement. You also ask straightforward questions when addressing relationships with food such as “satisfaction or saboteur?” How important is being honest with ourselves about life changing events and changes in the body as we age?
WI: Whoo…OMG…huge! One of the most important things I can say to women and want women to know is if you cannot face the truth about you – because we try to skip it through our lives and go on to something else while disturbances from the past are still there festering and messing with us – if you cannot face the truth about you, if you cannot deal with what’s really going on then you can’t move forward; and you can’t change your life, you can’t take back your life, you will always be picking yourself up off the floor instead of getting ahead. It’s imperative that you deal with what’s going on and look yourself in the mirror. Even if it’s a past issue, or maybe you have some emotional things going on. The fact remains that you need to resolve baggage – and by the way we all have baggage, some have little purses full, some have suitcases, and some have a giant freight train full! It’s not a misnomer but you can’t continue to bury it.
If you don’t feel good about who you are or what you represent today, you can’t move forward. The bottom line is own it and get help if you need to, then you can fix it whether it’s your health, body, career or even finances. When you’re honest about how your life is going and the changes that are happening in your body as you age, you can then resolve and then REINVENT your life, and find a new and appropriate normal…and by the way you can learn how to love, love, love, love it and stop harping on how things used to be and what you used to do.
BFT: Tell us a little bit about the 90-day Take Back Your Life – Action Guide. What types of results can women expect with your 90-day program?