We just had a big influx of women joining our community and I am truly grateful you are here!
Since you allow me to drop into your Inbox on a regular basis, I'd like to properly introduce myself: Hi, I'm Bettina, and I usually don't like to talk about myself very much. However, I have this really weird angst that almost cost me my marriage. So maybe we'll start right there?
So here's the deal:
I am very much afraid of snakes. Poisonous or non-poisonous, I don't discriminate in my fear. There's something about how they move and slither and can hide in even the tiniest of nooks, that freaks me out. However, I'd take a snake over a shark any day. I'm even more afraid of sharks, which is peculiar as I grew up in Austria, a landlocked country. I guess I have Steven Spielberg to thank for that (I watched all of the JAWS movies as a kid. What were my parents thinking?)
We recently went to the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras, which has the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Roatan and Guanaja are amazing places and I was determined to explore the reef and snorkel, which meant I had to swim far out.
As I snorkeled with my family in the wide open ocean, I constantly looked over my shoulder to watch out for the shark who had me on his lunch menu. The fact, that only one week prior a woman was eaten alive by a shark while her husband snorkeled only a few feet away (off the coast of Hawaii) did not help with my nerves or imagination.
And then it happened.
My husband silently swam up behind me and surprised me by grabbing my leg – the ONE TIME I had not looked over my shoulder!! Instantly I screamed bloody murder and was ready to divorce him right there on the spot.
I'm not even kidding, I was ready to walk - well, swim - away from 15 years of marriage, that's how shaken and pumped up on adrenalin I was. But eventually, my heart rate sank below 200 again I regained my cool. Somewhat. I just had a major meltdown and did not speak to Joshua for a whole day. But otherwise, I’m a pretty balanced person ;-)
Now to the more balanced side of me.
I am a journalist and certified mental strength trainer. First-time mom at 44. Former cancer patient. I love female sisterhood and I’m a passionate advocate for women over 40, as I 100% know for sure, that the older we get, the better our lives can become!
I looooooove talking about age – I think it’s a privilege to get older but I’m planning to do so without the deteriorating of aging that we see so often. And for the next 50 years, I’m going to stay super healthy and strong. That’s my vision and I know I need to act on it now if I want to make it come true.
Hence, I embarked on My Year of Getting Younger in 2023 to learn in-depth how to make my body biologically younger again and share it all with you! Getting younger with age in body, mind, and spirit – that’s my motto today!
When I look back at the last decade, I can pinpoint one day that changed the trajectory of my professional life - a spring day in 2014.
It was a beautiful spring day in Washington DC, nine years ago, when I was cuddled up on the couch in our house on Capitol Hill, with my newborn baby Hunter in my arms. Looking out the window I saw a sea of countless light pink cherry blossoms, so beautiful and fragrant, that I will never forget it.
I was so elated by the cherry blossoms and the happiness of being a 44-year-old first-time mom (hello post-partum feel-good hormones), that I wanted to yell it from the rooftops: “Women, it’s absolutely awesome to have a child in your 40s!” But since I did not want to get off the couch and climb up the roof, I thought maybe it’s better to write a book instead.
So what does a trained journalist do first when thinking of writing a book? Yes, research!
Cradling baby Hunter in the crook of my left arm, I reached over to my computer, opened it with my right hand, and slowly, with one finger, typed a search phrase into Google, something like “pregnancy over 40”. I hit return. I watched the results. And I basically stopped breathing.
To this day I remember the punch in the gut I felt when I saw one negative headline after the other saying how having babies over the age of 40 is difficult, dangerous, and most likely not possible without medical intervention. One headline after the other told me, that I’d be mad to even think that having a healthy baby after 40 is a good idea, let alone possible.
And if there were any issues with conception, pregnancy or later with the baby, it surely was the woman’s fault as she was old and had waited too long!
I was truly shocked to read all this.
As the third generation of women in my family who have children in their 40s, I thought it was completely normal to have kids later in life. And since I had never looked for any articles or books on this topic, the algorithm of my phone, Google, and other (social) media never showed this doom-and-gloom narrative to me. I honestly had no idea how bad things were
What happened next has been pivotal for my life for almost a decade now:
After the shock weaned off, I was overcome with a different emotion. I got really mad. And pissed off. My chest turned hot and my cheeks got flushed when I thought about all the millions of women around the world - who one day will make the BEST mothers a child can wish for BECAUSE they are older! – who were told they cannot/should not be mothers because of their AGE!
I mean, seriously?!! We tell women they can’t do XYZ because of their birthdate? And – which is the much more important part – we women often believe this to be true because we see it manifested in others.
On this particular spring day, with gazillions of cherry blossoms in bloom, I made it my mission to change the narrative of what we women think about getting older and how we perceive our bodies. Our opinion is the only one that really matters, the only one that will make or break our future.
It’s my mission now to help women discover their abilities to go forge their own paths, regardless of what the majority of people believe and want society tells her to be the truth. First, I guided women over the age of 35, and especially those over 40, on their path toward motherhood.
While I still love supporting my moms-to-be, I'm now also helping women in their 40s and 50s look and feel amazing and maybe even turn back the biological clock of time!!
This newly found mission served me well when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. But I'll reserve this pivotal story for next time.
If you have any questions for me or stories to share, please post them in the comments below.
Now please go outside and enjoy the new season!
With love and respect for your journey,
In this community, we value female mavericks age 40+ who are out-of-the-box thinkers and ready to become stronger, healthier, and, yes, even younger together. Join us with your best (the one you check the most) email and receive The Top Tests to Measure Your Biological Age and the next steps on our exciting journey together!