About Me

Thoughts on Turning 35

Two weeks ago, I turned 35. Getting older has never bothered me (at least not yet…let’s have this discussion again when I’m 40), but I admit that when I was younger, 35 seemed very far away.

I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time. I graduated high school just a few days after my 17th birthday, then moved an hour away from home.

High School Graduation, June 1997
(Graduating from high school, June 1997. I’m the one with the normal-colored hair.)

I have a nephew who will turn 18 in August – he was born the summer I turned 17 – and it stuns me to think that at his age I had already lived away from home for a year, completed my freshman year of college while living off-campus with friends, all while working as a hostess at the Olive Garden to pay for rent and other expenditures.

When my mom was the age I am now, I was 10 years old and she already had four of her five kids. I’ve thought about that a lot, especially recently as I try to decide if I want a child of my own. How very different my life has been from my mother’s.

Age 10 with embarrassing glasses
(I wore these huge, embarrassing glasses when I was 10 years old)

I don’t have a high-profile job; I’ve never been interested in making a big effort with my career. But I am proud of how well I’ve taken care of myself from a young age, what I’ve accomplished, and the big life decisions I’ve made, from age 17 to this present moment.

I’ve made two health-related changes in my life recently. I decided to cut out most sugar from my diet; not just for a month while doing a Whole30, but in everyday life. Why? I realized the more sugar I eat, the more I want it – and I don’t want to want it. I haven’t consumed any sugar since June 13, which was the last day of my 35th birthday vacation to Newport Beach and Las Vegas.

I use a bit of honey in several recurring dinner recipes (which comes out to a miniscule amount per serving), I eat some dried fruit (raisins and prunes), and I consume a glass of wine on occasion (several times a month), but my goal is to avoid as much sugar as I can.

The second health-related change is a renewed focus on walking, an activity which has greatly increased since I purchased a Fitbit Charge HR (this is not a sponsored post).

Fitbit Charge HR

I hate spending money on myself (just ask my husband), so it took a long time for me to buy an activity tracker. I needed the motivation, though – the length of time I spend walking outdoors decreases exponentially during the super cold/snowy Buffalo winters, and I was having trouble motivating myself to get back in the habit since the weather has warmed up.

I’m only on Day 5 with the Fitbit, but I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve surpassed my 10,000-step goal every day and I’d like to continue doing so for as long as I can. (Nice surprise: I discovered I was getting more steps at my desk-based job than I thought, and that’s before I started making an extra effort to hit my daily step goal.)

I have other, larger goals that I want to accomplish over the next five years, but you’ll have to stick around to see how those play out.

[From the archives: This is the post I wrote about turning 30.]

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10 Comments

  • Reply Wendy Scherer June 25, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Good for you! Hope your birthday was happy. 35 – you’re still a baby! Enjoy every minute.

    • Reply Zandria June 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      And still blogging after all this time! Who would’ve thought it? Thanks, Wendy. 🙂

  • Reply Leah June 25, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Congrats and happy birthday!

    My phone has a step tracker (as long as I keep the phone in my pocket, which I typically do), and it’s pretty addictive. I love increasing the number! We’ve been doing lots of walks with the little, as she loves it and it gets us out of the house. I did 23,000 steps the other day.

    How is the sugar thing going? I know I need to make changes to my diet, but I’m really afraid to. Dropping candy is a small first step, but it is hard because I love candy. I don’t eat it daily, but it sneaks in too often. I’m wondering if there’s any way to mostly drop it (and most other sugar) while making a few times a year exception. Are you making any sort of sugar exception, or are you just going for the gusto?

    • Reply Zandria June 27, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Wow, 23000 steps? You are my hero! I’m sure I’ll reach that one of these days, but it certainly wouldn’t be a regular occurrence. My 7-day average (just got the Fitbit last Saturday) is about 13500 steps per day, and that’s with making a concerted effort to get outside and walk on my lunch break, as well as another few miles in the evening after I get home.

      The sugar thing is uneventful so far, which I guess is the best way to be! I’m so used to giving up sugar during a Whole30 that giving it up now isn’t a huge change. Honestly, if I don’t see it, I’m not tempted by it. It’s only when it’s in front of my face and I have to make the conscious decision not to eat it that willpower comes into play (and since I’ve been mostly gluten-free for over three years, that’s a double-reason for me not to indulge in someone’s birthday cake at work).

      I guess I would say my sugar exceptions are what I mentioned in the post — honey in certain dinner dishes, dried fruit, and wine. People who are 100% sugar free wouldn’t consume honey and wine, I don’t think. I’m not really worried about the honey though since it’s such a tiny amount per serving (but there are a few dishes I make regularly that call for it). Dried fruit doesn’t have EXTRA sugar but it is high in overall natural sugar, so I have to make sure I’m not overindulging. 🙂

  • Reply Jaclyn June 25, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Great post! I love your collection of thoughts on this stage of your life. I think you are so good at living well, and you’re an inspiration to me (and many others, I’m sure). A belated happy birthday to you!

    • Reply Zandria June 27, 2015 at 9:33 am

      That is so incredibly sweet of you to say! I just try to go about my life in a way that works best for me, so it’s so nice to hear that other people see something inspiring in it. Right back at you, my running mama friend! 🙂

  • Reply Aunt Cathy June 25, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Wait……. Wine has Sugar??? 😉
    Dammmmit!!!!

    • Reply Zandria June 27, 2015 at 9:34 am

      I don’t consider the sugar in wine to be comparable to, say, an ice cream brownie sundae…but if I’m being honest about my sugar intake, I guess I have to include the wine, too. 🙂

  • Reply Annette Kinsey June 26, 2015 at 10:44 am

    You look fabulous at 35! Good luck on leaving most sugar out of your diet. It will likely add years to your life. You are wise to follow your own path in life and, as usual (since you were very young), you speak very wisely. Love love!

    • Reply Zandria June 27, 2015 at 9:39 am

      You are the sweetest Auntie! Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s nice to know that you’ve considered my words to be wise for such a long time. I don’t have the same frame of reference, so it’s awesome to hear it from you. I love you and look up to you!

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