How To Feel Better About Your Birthday

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My son’s 5th birthday was last month.

I’ll try to avoid the cliches about “how fast the time as flown” and “how quickly kids grow up”.

It seems like a long time ago when I spent those 42 hours in labour and pushed out 7 pounds and 3 ounces of slimy human being.

And in some ways it feels like yesterday.

Another cliche, right?


I’ll get to the point.

My son’s birthday got me thinking about birthdays and how we feel about them.

I love my birthday because it’s a celebration of ME. Lol.

I dress up in a pretty dress and eat delicious treats with people that I care about.

It reminds me that I’m winning at this thing called LIFE (because if you have food to eat, a roof over your head, and people who love you then you are winning).

Your birthday is the perfect time to contemplate the previous year, check your progress, and make a plan for the upcoming year. 

Some people do this at New Year’s, but I like to do it at least twice a year.

Not everyone has positive feelings about their next birthday.

We all have ideas about where we should be at a certain age.

There are certain times when we’re frustrated that we’ve not where we want to be…and birthdays can remind us of that.

I remember for my 30th birthday I didn’t tell any of my friends (most of whom were too polite to ask!) that it was my 30th.

At the time, I was pursuing an acting/modelling career (in addition to coaching) and was told not to mention my actual age but to say that I can portray 25-30.

Ridiculous, right?

But people do make certain assumptions about us based on our age.

They want you to fit into a certain image based on that age.

And 35 and over doesn’t sound good to some people.

You start to decline by then, right?

You’re getting unfit, weak, overweight, and tired.

So it’s just a long slow crawl for the next fifty years or so, right?

The Reality Is…

Although there are certainly some physical limitations that start to affect us in our late 30s and 40s, the majority of them are lifestyle-related and controllable.

Do you have to put on fat as you get in your 30s and 40s?

Of course not!

Does it happen to many people?

Unfortunately, yes.

The pressures of the 30s and 40s can get to us.

Some of us feel like we have to spend every moment at our jobs, building a future for ourselves and our families.

Others feel weighed down by caring for others, whether that’s children, partners, pets, and/or aging parents.

My mission is to prove that you can be fit, healthy, and strong…at any age.

And yes, it’s possible if you’re willing to make some changes.

The Big 40

I’ve had several coaching clients come to me at 39, hoping to prepare themselves for that upcoming milestone birthday.

While there’s nothing wrong with having a goal with a deadline, I wonder why you should worry about 30 or 40 or 50 specifically?

Sure, it’s a nice round number, and you’re more likely to find birthday cards with those digits on them, but do they really matter?

You’re only a day older than you were the day before.

Did you somehow feel amazing at 39 and then you feel terrible and everything “heads South” the next day?

Not very likely.

How You Can Do It

The majority of my clients are in the 35-45 range.

Most, but not all, are married with a kid or two (or three or four).

They want to achieve more than most people ever do.

Usually more than they have personally achieved before, even in their 20s.

Because feeling strong, lean, energetic, and fit isn’t the norm at any age anymore.

So don’t think that emulating 20-somethings is the way to go.

Work at changing your lifestyle so that you feel like the best version of yourself.

You can be a shining example of your particular age…or you can be average.

It’s your choice.

Don’t wait for another birthday to make the change that you want to make.

I want everyone to look at their birthday as a time to celebrate how far they’re come and to be grateful for what they have.

Because you only have this life to live.

Make it the one you really want.

Ivana Chapman


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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 9-year-old boy. She is a YouTuber, writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training, chocolate, mountain biking, and ice cream...not always in that order of preference.
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