Sponsored: Keeping up my strength in my darkest hour

Keeping up my strength in my darkest hour

I have a few stories of overcoming adversity under my belt, but I will share with you the most recent because it´s really the one that I overcame partly with the help of Ensure. See, I was already an Ensure drinker before I partnered with them to share my Can Do story and their CanDoGiveaway.com, which you may enter for a chance to win $1.000 a month for a year. Wouldn´t that be a great way to fund your favorite Can Do activity?

Keeping up my strength in my darkest hour

In 2008, during the Great Recession, my life crumbled at my feet. I lost my gigs as a freelance journalist, I had spent all my savings and my money, and I decided right then and there to end a marriage that was in shambles. I walked away with only my books, my clothes, my laptop and my little girls, then 4 and 7. All of a sudden I was a 45-year old single mom trying to rebuild her life and feed her kids. The neighbor, a very nice mom of three kept inviting my kids over to dinner. One night, I came over to thank her, and she told me my eldest had told her our fridge was always empty. That´s when I applied for foodstamps. I will never forget the day that we received our benefits card in the mail. I took my kids grocery shopping. My 7-year-old helped me carry our bags of groceries up the stairs.

“It´s better than Christmas, mommy!” she said. My eyes watered.

Keeping up my strength in my darkest hour

Although the financial aid helped ease my angst somewhat, I was still not out of the woods. Fruitless job searches left me physically and emotionally drained. A lifelong runner, I would keep my spirits up by running around the lake next to our rental apartment, while my girls played. However, when they were with their dad, I would sometimes spend the day in bed, riddled with guilt and depression. Sometimes I could not bring myself to eat. A friend recommended I drink Ensure to keep my energy levels up and to fill in any nutritional gaps. I was in my mid forties and knew that starting at age 40, we can start to lose up to 8% of muscle mass per decade. I didn´t want any part in that!

I always kept a case of Ensure in my fridge back then, and to this day, I carry a bottle or two in my tote bag just in case I can´t fit in three square meals in my crazy schedule.

I´ve since rebuilt my personal and professional life. I remarried happily at 50 and I also launched my own company, Viva Fifty Media LLC. I continued running and finished a half-marathon at 48 despite a hip injury during training. I still run once in a while, but now my main activity is daily yoga. It helps me stay emotionally, spiritually and physically fit.

Sponsored: Keeping up my strength in my darkest hour

My kids are now teens, and I also have a stepson. Balancing parenting with running my business and writing books – my next one on embracing age will be released by HarperCollins in late September – is tough. So, I still keep a case of Ensure in the fridge to make sure I have the energy I need. I´m turning 54 at the end of August, and I know that with the right nutrition and exercise, I can prevent or even reverse muscle loss that may happen as a natural result of aging.

If you consider yourself a Can Do person, like me, I really hope you take advantage of Ensure´s giveaway to help you fund your “Can Do” activity. Participants enter for a chance to win $1,000 a month for a year, plus weekly prizes. How do you enter? Simply click on CanDoGiveaway.com and register with your e-mail address. You may also enjoy fun activities like watch videos, participate in surveys or share the giveaway with friends for extra entries. Good luck!

Ensure partnered with influencers such as me for its Can Do program. As part of this Program, I received compensation for my time. Ensure believes that consumers and influencers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Ensure policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations

Lorraine C. Ladish

Bilingual and bicultural Latina editor, writer, speaker, online influencer, yogini and mom. Founder of Viva Fifty! Published author of 18 books. Her most recent book Your Best Age was released by HarperCollins in September of 2017.