Empowering Women featuring Lorraine C. Ladish

I’ll never forget the first time I came across Lorraine C. Ladish’s Instagram page,  it was her welcoming yet direct and empowering message that she shared with me, and literally lifted me from a slump and kept me on my path! I was on the verge of turning forty and not feeling the greatest about. I was in a new place where I hardly knew anyone, so there wasn’t going to be any celebrating. I think I started to feel like life had passed me by and I lost track of time being a single mom and working 2 jobs for most of my life!  

Her words to me:

“ It pains me that women approaching 40 feel old or like it’s a terrible thing. I hope to dispel those fears. In the last year, I met many wonderful women who are disrupting aging and proudly dealing with age! The 40’s are a great decade, I met the love of my life at 46, it’s never too late!”

This was a total wake up call for me. Lorraine not only took the time to reach out, but we connected that morning and both realized how much we had in common, we both had grandmothers that played a motherly role in our lives, we both had a unique closeness to our fathers and we both had overcame a truly damaging and heartbreaking experience!

Empowering Women featuring Lorraine C. Ladish

At 40 Lorraine was busy having her second baby, at 45 she lost everything: marriage, money and her job. She ended up on welfare with her 2 girls, but not for long. Over the next five years she would re-invent her writing career online and establish her digital publication. At 51 she started yoga again and is a positive light to so many women that connect with empowering words! Her online community Viva Fifty! Is a bilingual community that celebrates your best age & I’m honored to have this opportunity to interview Lorraine on her life’s achievements!

 M: I think your upbringing is so interesting. Please share where you are from and where your love and passion for writing originated?

LCL: My father is from Spain and my mother is from Pennsylvania. My dad came to the U.S. following the Civil War in Spain, escaping poverty and a dictatorship. He put himself through college and obtained a Ph.D. at a young age. In his early twenties he was a professor at Franklin Marshall University. I was born in Madrid, but grew up in Scranton Pennsylvania, where my sister was born two years later. We went back to Spain when my parents divorced and I was raised by my dad and my abuelita. I was five. I grew up as a dual national, bilingual and bi-cultural. I came back to the U.S. to visit my family but I didn’t move back until I was 41. That was twelve years ago, going on thirteen. My abuelo was a writer and a linguist and so is my father. My dad is a lexicographer. He compiles dictionaries. He wanted me to be a marine biologist, but my passion was for writing. I always made a living with words, whether translating them, adapting them or creating my own, to this day.

M: You are so open and honest with all of your struggles, yet your accomplishments as well! I think that is such a wonderful trait about you! You wrote a few very personal books particularly your first on “I Feel Fat” a personal experience about eating disorders and REACH -from being a single mom on welfare to a digital entrepreneur? How was your experience writing these book how did it help you grow?

LCL: Writing in this way is not difficult for me. I find it harder to write fiction, which I also have and do on occasion. I really wanted to be a novelist when I was younger. But at 29, I realized that I would never finish any book if I did not write the one that was begging to be written. That one was my first, about my long and arduous eating disorder. It was published when I turned 30. Keep in mind that was a time where the Internet was not a thing yet, and I wrote that book on my first PC, after years of keeping a handwritten diary and taking notes on a manual typewriter. That was before blogs, before sharing and oversharing online. My takeaway from writing this kind of book is that we all have a story or more. It may not be the same one, but our feelings as we struggle are similar. I do recommend writing about one’s struggles once they are over. It´s the only way to do it with perspective.

M: You are such an inspiration. You have written over 17 books. Do you have any favorites? Do you have any others in the works?

LCL: I’ve actually written more, and I don´t say this to brag. I mean that I also have unpublished work. And this in turn means that not everything I’ve written was picked up by a publisher. Some of those books will not see the light, and that’s OK. I kept writing anyway. I´m about to turn in a book to Harper Collins that will be published in Spanish first. The title is “Tu Mejor Edad, para tener una vida extraordinaria”. It´s available on preorder. I will be working on the English version next. I also have a novel in English, “The Party Plan” based on my disastrous and sometimes funny experience with direct sales after my divorce. My favorite is perhaps my book on pregnancy, I´m Pregnant, Now What? I think it´s funny and helpful. I wrote it while raising a toddler and finding out I was pregnant with baby number two.

M: Your bilingual online community VivaFifty.com is so awesome. I love how you are always celebrating your age and making the most out of life with your yoga! Tell us why you started this online community and what types of topics are featured? Can you also share your insight on Yoga?

LCL: I started VivaFifty.com because it made me sad to see women wasting time and energy fretting about age. Unfortunately this fear doesn’t start when you hit 50 or 60. Many women are plagued by it as early as 30. I had turned 50 and did not feel bad about it, on the contrary. I was planning my wedding, I had successfully pulled myself out of a very rough spot after my divorce and during the recession. I didn’t feel old and decrepit, far from it. I wanted to share with other women that getting older is inevitable but it doesn’t have to be some awful experience. Being bilingual, I launched the site in two languages and three years later it’s doing very well. I manage it and have writers who share information about mental, physical and emotional health. We also cover culture and beauty. But really, the most important beauty is inside us. That’s why I’m back into yoga now. It keeps me balanced and helps me get through emotionally trying times. It also keeps my body flexible and limber. I wish more women would take up a sport, any sport and some form of relaxation technique to help them cope with aging.

I was still getting into mermaid pose here. And yet it's not about the poses. I enjoy them, I miss them when I can't do a full practice when I'm traveling. But they aren't the end all of yoga. How yoga really helps me: I can be in a throng of people (see #womensmarch photos), in an airplane or driving at night: all anxiety triggers for me– and observe how I feel without letting it take over. I can observe my thoughts and realize that I don't need to feel guilt for having mental chatter, it's ok to have it. Yoga practice helps me cope with fear, anger, worry, stress … Even insomnia. Yes. The poses are beautiful and fun. But without focus and mindful breathing they are nothing but physical exercise. #namaste #mermaidpose

A post shared by Lorraine C. Ladish (@lorrainecladish) on

M: Above everything you are also a mother to your beautiful girls! What advice would you give to young girls trying to achieve their goals in any profession?

LCL: To follow their heart and to realize there is no rush to reach any goal. I was a straight-A student until I hit 17 and was enveloped by an eating disorder. I did not finish college for this reason and yet if I had been kinder to myself as a young woman, I may have. I have managed to live off of my writing without having a degree. Although I hope my daughters go to college, if they prefer not to, I’m OK with that, as long as they work hard to achieve whatever it is they set their heart on. My dad is not a happier person because he has a Ph.D. Degrees are good, but being self-taught works too.  I also tell my kids that it’s OK to course correct as one grows up. The way I share my writing has changed dramatically over the years. Who would have told me ten years ago that I´d make a full-time living with my online presence in my fifties? I also tell my daughters, now 12 and 15, that success is what they think it is and that sometimes they will have to defy others, even me, to achieve their dreams. I know I defied my dad plenty, poor guy. But I also know he is proud of me.

Lorraine resides in Florida with her husband and children! You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Empowering Women featuring Lorraine C. Ladish

Comments

  1. This is such a great article. Your are a very beautiful kady. Thank you for sharing this information. I am gonna be reading this again.

  2. What a great read! She is super empowering for all women for all ages!

  3. At 47 I am just feeling as though I am coming “into my own” so to speak. Age is nothing and to be honest I would not want to be in my 20’s again. I would not even want to be in my 30’s again. I still feel, and act like a big kid most of the time. Women like Lorraine are awesome! Midlife ROCKS!

    1. meximoments@yahoo.com says:

      Thats so awesome…I’m definitely enjoying 40! and I would not want to be in my 20’s either! 🙂

      1. LOL those were rather tough years. Glad you are enjoying your 40’s too! 🙂

  4. apollineadiju says:

    This is such an inspiring article and I am happy she turned everything around in her life.

  5. Such a refreshing and inspiring piece. I need to feel this way always!

    1. meximoments@yahoo.com says:

      I agree Leslie 🙂

  6. Tori Johnson says:

    What an empowering woman!

  7. She has an inspiring story. I’m glad to know who she is now and that she’s inspiring others with her life. I particularly like what she said about goals not being a rush and sometimes you have to defy others. I feel that sometimes a lot of people my age (mid 20’s) are rushing for an ideal before 30. It’s refreshing to hear her perspective!

  8. Thank you for the into to Lorraine! This was a great interview. I’ve gone ahead and followed her now.

  9. So inspiring! This post really made me realise that you need to simply find yourself to be successful and happy. Lorraine seems to be a fantastic person and I was so inspired by her positive attitude towards life inspite of all the hardships she has gone through. Seems like a fabulous woman!

  10. Anne says:

    Loved reading this! There’s always time to accomplish something that fills your heart with joy even when you feel like you’ve reached a stopping point.

  11. Keoshia says:

    Such a motivational post I am two years away from 40 and I need to keep her words in mind when I feel like I’m old. Lol.

  12. Nina says:

    Wow, that was so inspiring to read. I’ll be turning 30 this summer and I do not feel old one bit! I don’t like to think of my life in what I’m supposed to do by what society tells us. Instead I just do what I want and for me, that’s living in Spain and traveling (which is also a cool connection as she’s from Spain). Anyway, so awesome to read!

  13. Oh, my! Thank you everyone. I really hope you can go for your dreams at your pace!!!!!! Don´t buy into “Oh by a certain age I have to have done this or that!” Love yourself, do the work, and as we say in yoga, practice and all is coming!

  14. Boy what a dynamic story! I loved the way you wrote the introduction. It pulled me right in. Great job.

    1. meximoments@yahoo.com says:

      Oh thank you!!! She is truly an inspiration…. no matter what we can still have success!

  15. chelf says:

    Such an inspiring story! It’s amazing how we can turn around our lives and go for our dreams! Thank you for sharing!

  16. courtneyrandrews says:

    Such an empowering and inspiring story! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  17. This is so inspiring! I loved reading this so neat what your doing for woman!

  18. Tina Basu says:

    Such a motivation this morning. She’s beautiful

  19. Jhilmil says:

    That’s such an inspiration! 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, we should make every decade feel stronger & happier for ourselves.

    1. meximoments@yahoo.com says:

      I agree!! Fabulous every step of the way!! 🙂

  20. This is an amazing interview! She is truly the definition of resilience. I am amazed at her strength to basically re-start at the age of 45. What a total girl boss!

  21. Devina says:

    Wow loved learning more about Her and her story. She overcame so much and is an inspiration to all!

  22. jeet sandhu says:

    This is inspiring,and you are so fabulously fit. I am in my 20’s, but I am not active much, but after seeing you so fit, I am so inspired.

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