From bottom to top!

13/09/2018

Browsing around at Viva Fifty is a joy and if anyone felt that life would be on its way down at this age, Lorraine C Ladish shows the difference. But not too many years ago she went through real struggles, which she also shares with us. In this interview you can learn more about her life and find both support and inspiration. She also lives a healthy life style, something that does not have to be boring at all. Read and enjoy.


Name: Lorraine C Ladish

Age: 55

Occupation: Writer

Family: Husband (also a writer and photographer who I´ve been with for 9 years now), two daughters, 17 and 14 and one stepson, 15. Also a dog, Toby.

Lives: Sarasota, Florida, USA. I was born in Spain to a Spanish father and US-born mother.


Your Viva Fifty web page is a true inspiration and really shows that we are not older than we make ourselves. What made you do this page and what is the idea behind it?

I started thinking about it when I turned 50. I felt better than ever, I had overcome a very tough situation in my mid-forties when I lost my marriage, my source of income, savings, and found myself as the single mom of two young girls, then 4 and 7. I even went on welfare to be able to feed my children.

By 50, I had divorced, met the love of my life and remarried, and had also rebuilt myself professionally and financially. I felt physically, emotionally and spiritually in a very good place and I felt like sharing my enthusiasm over turning 50 with the world! Only when I shared online how happy I was about my life and my age, did I realize I was not the norm. Many women around me felt that their best days were behind them and I saw too many friends unhappy with their age (and many of them were younger than me).

I´m a writer and author by trade and had reinvented my career from print to online. After many years of experience running digital publications aimed at Hispanic women, I decided to launch my own and that's how Viva Fifty was born. I made it bilingual, because I am bilingual and bicultural in English and Spanish, and wanted to serve both audiences. VivaFIfty.com will turn 5 in January of 2019! What makes me even happier is that younger women read us too, and are inspired to age with joy!

You do tell about health issues that you are going through. Is it an opinion among people that an active and happy looking person has fewer problems in life?

I do share my journey - physical, mental and emotional - because I know I´m not alone in much of what I go through. Too many women feel embarrassed or scared of sharing what is going on in their world, and I would love them to know they are not alone and also that they should go ask for help if they need it. I´ve been very vocal and still am, about my menopause, which was very tough at first, and I've shared a lot about how I decided to deal with it (I take hormonal replacement therapy and can't be happier).

I recently had a health scare where a colonoscopy that a doctor didn´t really want to perform showed I had developed a precancerous polyp. I almost went through surgery but thankfully another specialist found a different way to deal with it all. That made me wonder how many unnecessary surgeries happen in the world? I wrote articles and did videos on what a colonoscopy is like, so that other people will hopefully feel inclined to get screened and prevent colon cancer.

I share energetic and active pictures on Instagram at @lorrainecladish but I accompany them with Instagram stories where I share my daily life as at 50-plus woman, with the joys and sorrows that life entails for all of us. I'm generally a joyful person, but my life (like most people's) has been filled with obstacles that I've managed to turn into positive experiences: from growing up without a mother to having a sibling try to end her life, going through addiction, an eating disorder, loss, divorce, health scares ... But we all go through these things.

The concept that being active or being a certain size gives happiness is of course false. I want my daughters, now 17 and 14, to know that we can and should love ourselves no matter what we are going through. And that no matter what life throws at us, we can always learn and grow stronger from it.

I use to think that the combination that we 50 plus ladies have of knowledge and life experience is a great thing. Do you agree?

Maybe in general, but I don't know that it is true of everyone. I know people over 50 who seem to have the brain of a 15-year old when it comes to making stupid choices. And I know 20-year olds that have already learned from their experience and mistakes and are very mature.

I believe in cherishing absolutely every year, every decade, and honoring them, both in our own pasts and in the lives of others. While I love myself in my fifties in a way I was not able to before, due to depression, anxiety and an eating disorder, I don't think age in and of itself gives us wisdom. That comes from the ability to learn from experience. The experience itself may or may not help us evolve depending on our character.

It does bother me when older people talk about youth like they were from a different species, and criticize them, saying being older is better. But, hey, we were once young too! Of course I also dislike when young people criticize older people just because of their age. One day they will be old too. Age doesn't always imply maturity or the ability to embrace life.

Yoga seems to be a big part in your life. What has it done for you?

A lot! I started when I was 12, with a book my father gave me. I also started running with my dad that year. It helped me deal with mental health issues, mainly compulsion, depression and anxiety. I wasn't faithful to yoga throughout my life (I became a fitness instructor and also devoted years to dancing) but it was always there when I needed it. I came back to daily yoga at 51, after I injured my hip during a half marathon at 48. I kind of stumbled into a class during a retreat where my husband was teaching photography. A week of practicing yoga, and my hip was fine. I was hooked.

I just turned 55 and continue to practice daily. Yoga, of which I practice its eight limbs, is more than physical exercise. It also involves learning about its origins and, in my case, meditating and indulging in a spiritual practice. This has helped me deal with menopause, the health scare I mentioned before, which went on for almost a year, and it helped me cope with the loss of my grandmother, who raised me. It also helps me deal with raising teens. I have three, including my stepson, and although they are good kids, there have been some tough moments as a mother, that I'm sure I would have handled very differently (not in a good way) prior to having a daily yoga practice.

When my grandmother passed in July of this year, I decided it was time to get certified as a yoga instructor, hoping to inspire others to take care of themselves. I post my yoga photos online because I see they motivate younger women too. Few young people think of a 55-year old woman as being in better shape than they are. Taking care of ourselves needs to start when we are young and shouldn't stop as we get older.

What advice would you give to all ladies that want to do more for their health, but have problem getting started?

Please think of it as a gift to yourself and your loved ones. When people tell me how much they hate exercising or making healthy life choices, I ask them whether they don't hate what NOT exercising or making poor health choices does to them? I have acquaintances that can't walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, and they are only 40. I tell them I am 15 years older, and if they continue not to take care, by my age, they will be in even worse shape than they are now. As we age, we need to move more, not less.

My grandmother lived to be 101 and, although she was of sound mind and in mostly good health, for almost 20 years she was housebound by choice. She grew afraid of going out because she would trip and fall and she hurt herself badly a few times. She lost mobility because she didn't move, and spent over a decade at home, sitting in a chair. My father and his wife became her primary caregivers, and their life was complicated by this for a long time.

I don't want that to happen to me. I don't want to be a burden to my children, and I want to live however long I have left in the best possible shape. Of course there are things beyond our control. I'm the perfect example that we can get sick despite taking care of ourselves. But whatever I can control, I will, and that is to sleep enough, manage my stress, make generally healthy dietary choices, and move my body daily as well as exercise my mind and nurture my spirit. If you have a big enough WHY to take care of you, then it's much easier to get started. I don't exercise to look better, I do it to feel my best and to enjoy life and my family.

Your Viva Fifty web page is a true inspiration and really shows that we are not older than we make ourselves. What made you do this page and what is the idea behind it?

I started thinking about it when I turned 50. I felt better than ever, I had overcome a very tough situation in my mid-forties when I lost my marriage, my source of income, savings, and found myself as the single mom of two young girls, then 4 and 7. I even went on welfare to be able to feed my children.

By 50, I had divorced, met the love of my life and remarried, and had also rebuilt myself professionally and financially. I felt physically, emotionally and spiritually in a very good place and I felt like sharing my enthusiasm over turning 50 with the world! Only when I shared online how happy I was about my life and my age, did I realize I was not the norm. Many women around me felt that their best days were behind them and I saw too many friends unhappy with their age (and many of them were younger than me).

I´m a writer and author by trade and had reinvented my career from print to online. After many years of experience running digital publications aimed at Hispanic women, I decided to launch my own and that's how Viva Fifty was born. I made it bilingual, because I am bilingual and bicultural in English and Spanish, and wanted to serve both audiences. VivaFIfty.com will turn 5 in January of 2019! What makes me even happier is that younger women read us too, and are inspired to age with joy!

You do tell about health issues that you are going through. Is it an opinion among people that an active and happy looking person has fewer problems in life?

I do share my journey - physical, mental and emotional - because I know I´m not alone in much of what I go through. Too many women feel embarrassed or scared of sharing what is going on in their world, and I would love them to know they are not alone and also that they should go ask for help if they need it. I´ve been very vocal and still am, about my menopause, which was very tough at first, and I've shared a lot about how I decided to deal with it (I take hormonal replacement therapy and can't be happier).

I recently had a health scare where a colonoscopy that a doctor didn´t really want to perform showed I had developed a precancerous polyp. I almost went through surgery but thankfully another specialist found a different way to deal with it all. That made me wonder how many unnecessary surgeries happen in the world? I wrote articles and did videos on what a colonoscopy is like, so that other people will hopefully feel inclined to get screened and prevent colon cancer.

I share energetic and active pictures on Instagram at @lorrainecladish but I accompany them with Instagram stories where I share my daily life as at 50-plus woman, with the joys and sorrows that life entails for all of us. I'm generally a joyful person, but my life (like most people's) has been filled with obstacles that I've managed to turn into positive experiences: from growing up without a mother to having a sibling try to end her life, going through addiction, an eating disorder, loss, divorce, health scares ... But we all go through these things.

The concept that being active or being a certain size gives happiness is of course false. I want my daughters, now 17 and 14, to know that we can and should love ourselves no matter what we are going through. And that no matter what life throws at us, we can always learn and grow stronger from it.

I use to think that the combination that we 50 plus ladies have of knowledge and life experience is a great thing. Do you agree?

Maybe in general, but I don't know that it is true of everyone. I know people over 50 who seem to have the brain of a 15-year old when it comes to making stupid choices. And I know 20-year olds that have already learned from their experience and mistakes and are very mature.

I believe in cherishing absolutely every year, every decade, and honoring them, both in our own pasts and in the lives of others. While I love myself in my fifties in a way I was not able to before, due to depression, anxiety and an eating disorder, I don't think age in and of itself gives us wisdom. That comes from the ability to learn from experience. The experience itself may or may not help us evolve depending on our character.

It does bother me when older people talk about youth like they were from a different species, and criticize them, saying being older is better. But, hey, we were once young too! Of course I also dislike when young people criticize older people just because of their age. One day they will be old too. Age doesn't always imply maturity or the ability to embrace life.

Yoga seems to be a big part in your life. What has it done for you?

A lot! I started when I was 12, with a book my father gave me. I also started running with my dad that year. It helped me deal with mental health issues, mainly compulsion, depression and anxiety. I wasn't faithful to yoga throughout my life (I became a fitness instructor and also devoted years to dancing) but it was always there when I needed it. I came back to daily yoga at 51, after I injured my hip during a half marathon at 48. I kind of stumbled into a class during a retreat where my husband was teaching photography. A week of practicing yoga, and my hip was fine. I was hooked.

I just turned 55 and continue to practice daily. Yoga, of which I practice its eight limbs, is more than physical exercise. It also involves learning about its origins and, in my case, meditating and indulging in a spiritual practice. This has helped me deal with menopause, the health scare I mentioned before, which went on for almost a year, and it helped me cope with the loss of my grandmother, who raised me. It also helps me deal with raising teens. I have three, including my stepson, and although they are good kids, there have been some tough moments as a mother, that I'm sure I would have handled very differently (not in a good way) prior to having a daily yoga practice.

When my grandmother passed in July of this year, I decided it was time to get certified as a yoga instructor, hoping to inspire others to take care of themselves. I post my yoga photos online because I see they motivate younger women too. Few young people think of a 55-year old woman as being in better shape than they are. Taking care of ourselves needs to start when we are young and shouldn't stop as we get older.

What advice would you give to all ladies that want to do more for their health, but have problem getting started?

Please think of it as a gift to yourself and your loved ones. When people tell me how much they hate exercising or making healthy life choices, I ask them whether they don't hate what NOT exercising or making poor health choices does to them? I have acquaintances that can't walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, and they are only 40. I tell them I am 15 years older, and if they continue not to take care, by my age, they will be in even worse shape than they are now. As we age, we need to move more, not less.

My grandmother lived to be 101 and, although she was of sound mind and in mostly good health, for almost 20 years she was housebound by choice. She grew afraid of going out because she would trip and fall and she hurt herself badly a few times. She lost mobility because she didn't move, and spent over a decade at home, sitting in a chair. My father and his wife became her primary caregivers, and their life was complicated by this for a long time.

I don't want that to happen to me. I don't want to be a burden to my children, and I want to live however long I have left in the best possible shape. Of course there are things beyond our control. I'm the perfect example that we can get sick despite taking care of ourselves. But whatever I can control, I will, and that is to sleep enough, manage my stress, make generally healthy dietary choices, and move my body daily as well as exercise my mind and nurture my spirit. If you have a big enough WHY to take care of you, then it's much easier to get started. I don't exercise to look better, I do it to feel my best and to enjoy life and my family.