• Deborah Holmén

Can You Get Your Body Back After 50? Part 2: Discovering What Happened and Begin to Heal

Updated: May 4, 2018

I was at 142 lbs, my heaviest weight, and 120 lbs on the right. Photo Credit: Rich Hill

Putting Yourself Under a Microscope

If you made your list that covers all four areas of life that feel misaligned, then I will tell you, you are way ahead of where I was in March 2017!

I felt like I was on some crazy reality show, and I was the last one in on the big reveal. I went to countless medical specialists in their fields to uncover what was happening and walked away each time feeling more helpless. I was a healthy eater, but the weight just kept packing on. I would walk, do yoga and body weight exercises, but nothing changed. I didn't have the energy to do more.

Doctors told me I was fine, but the weight just kept piling on. Photo Credit: Rich Hill

This List is crucial for you, since its an honest look at how, modern humans, are inundated with stressors constantly. Our bodies can only take on so much stress, yet doctors only know how to prescribe a pill for the symptoms, not discover the cause.

In October 2016, we moved to Florida and onto our beautiful boat. I thought that maybe finally settling in after the move; my body would recalibrate. It didn't budge. I almost gave into the belief that we must 'all let go of the attachment of a beautiful body' once you hit mid-life. Sounds so zen, yet I was calling BS! And Instagram feeds were telling me different.

Was I to let go of the attachment of a having a beautiful body?

In March 2017, I decided to search for women in their 50's that were overcoming their physical struggles and to see what they were doing that I wasn't.

Of course, there were hundreds of women that got their body back by doing fitness challenges, going hog wild with boot camps, and such, but my body couldn't maintain that rigor. Adrenal fatigue made it so that whenever I stressed my system, I would feel my symptoms getting worse! Rich would tell me to try harder, yet I knew this wasn't working for me.

Then I found something that got my attention.

I discovered my old health app on my phone that tracked my weight and food intake that I used to use daily. I scrolled to March 2015, a very special time for me, since I just met my sweetheart, Rich. I was happy and full of vitality right before we met, and felt excited about where my life was heading. I felt complete. I was also a comfortable 117 pounds.

I scrolled through the app at the foods I ate back then and saw nothing changed. However, I had gained 25 pounds in two years! A WTF moment. I couldn't believe after all the tests I had, that doctors just claimed I was fine!

Here's my list!


So, I went through the app and decided to annotate specific stressful events that occured during that year, and paired it with the dates on the app. In Part I of this series, you read that I was inundated with many stressors that occurred throughout 2015. I discovered each one had a mind/body response:

  • brain fog

  • fatigue, exhaustion

  • aching joints- thumb, feet, hip, toes- I know, weird areas!

  • weight gain- 25 pounds in 18 months- 142 was the highest until I stopped weighing myself! Too depressing!

  • poor sleep- not deep, nor consistent

  • trouble concentrating

  • bloating

  • gastrointestinal discomfort

  • painful periods/ breast tenderness


I was drained and felt helpless watching my body deteriorate without an answer as to why. I avoided having my picture taken and hid my arms, or hid behind Rich. It was so strange to always be thinking about my body all the time. I hated thinking about each bite of food, and if it could be hurting me, and which foods to avoid, which to eat more. It was exhausting to try to find the answers to no avail. I felt like I was failing myself, yet I had no idea why. My self-worth was tanking, as well as my self-love. I felt broken.


I had moved that same year into Rich's home, which gave my daughter and I a beautiful place to stretch out, be around wonderful friends, nature, and a place to call home. It was stressful though since I was entering the home of his beloved late wife. She was so dearly loved, and I felt like an outsider. I'll share more on this in another blog, and how I welcomed her into my heart, but nonetheless, it still caused me stress. I was also working in a new position at a new school. I felt welcomed and met so many wonderful teachers, yet I felt disconnected. It was also so hard to get to work at such early hours since my body was exhausted and deprived of energy. I felt I had so much more to offer than what the position allowed.


I knew I was not completely immersing myself into my soul's purpose. I was dipping my toes into the pool of my writing but never was able to jump in fully. I knew I was more than my teaching, yet it was always off in the distance, waiting for another time.

Moving to Florida was the first step. I started writing my screenplay when we moved onto the boat, excited about creating a film about social change. However, I was stressing over the financial strains of not having a full-time job. I was so self-sufficient for 25 years, yet now I had to rely on Rich and his support to get by. I got a part-time job, which brought in a little bit of cash, but I developed pneumonia from the Red Tide that was near the store. I am susceptible to respiratory bacterium, due to lung surgery as a teen, so I ended up having to quit that job. Rich told me that I needed to forget trying to work and concentrate on my writing. I had to let go, and allow myself to heal.

"Letting go, and letting God" take over so to speak, was a huge paradigm shift for me, which I struggled with for almost two years. More on this later.

Desperately, I went to the internet to find answers. I wanted to find someone like me, who was around the same age, who wasn't a gym rat and found a cure for their declining health. I knew if I kept my antennae open for that connection, I would find them.