Lorraine C. Ladish: Creator of Viva Fifty!
Fabulous, fit, fun, and over 50, she’s inspiring women everywhere to live life to the fullest.
An AARP membership isn’t the only thing to be excited about once you blow out the 50th candle. Ask Lorraine C. Ladish, a bilingual author and blogger, who believes that 50 is the start of something new. “It’s the best age,” Ladish says. “You have all this wisdom and confidence at this age, and with the right perspective you feel like you have no choice but to live your best life.” And through her digital publication – Viva Fifty!, Ladish is giving seniors just like her tips and tricks to live a life worthwhile.
On her blog, Ladish and other contributing authors use a fun-loving, easy-going writing style to discuss topics that thriving boomers care about, like culture, money, health and fitness, relationships, and style. “I want people in this age group to have fun, all while breaking existing stereotypes around aging and midlife.”
Writing is in the Blood
Ladish was born in 1963 in Madrid, Spain, to a family of writers, so she grew to love self-expression very early. She grew up in Pennsylvania but spent her adolescence in Spain. In 1993, she published her first book called I Feel Fat, which analyzes eating disorders from a personal point of view.
Her career didn’t stop there, since then she has written and published over 18 books in Spanish and English. In addition to Viva Fifty!, Ladish is a freelance writer for Huffington Post, NBC News, People en Español, and Purple Clover. Her latest book Your Best Age (Tu Mejor Edad) was published by HarperCollins in 2017. Her articles have been featured in NBC Latino, The Palm Beach Post, and BabyCenter.com. She’s the proud mother of two girls, 18 and 15 and stepmom to 16-year old boy, and lives in sunny Sarasota, Florida with her blended family.
At age 40, Ladish had her second child. The year was 2004, and while she was overjoyed with her growing family, things were changing rapidly. Ladish, who at the time was a successful author in Spain, had to move to Florida with a 3-year-old and a new baby in tow after her husband was offered a new job.
A cross-continental move, a new baby, and a toddler were enough to push Ladish over the edge, but she accepted the challenge to start her life over. At a time when she could have felt defeated or as if she were too old to overcome, Ladish put her best foot forward, and wants others who are 50 and older to do the same.
When Ladish landed in the United States, she had no contacts, no connections, and no network. She worked hard to get to the level of success she was used to in Spain. She started working as a translator and interpreter, as well as teaching classes in creative writing to get back in the swing of things. She also became a freelance reporter for The Palm Beach Post. The experience taught her to not be afraid of change, and she shares this motto through her writing and Viva Fifty! Ladish believes that if she could start her life over later in life, anyone can do it.
After getting used to life in Florida, another storm came in 2008. Ladish and her husband divorced, right in the middle of the Great recession. After trying to make things work and using every available means to salvage her relationship, she decided that the benefits of divorce outweighed the taboo of divorce. “I had nothing else left to lose, I believed that there was no other way, and that this decision would also brighten the future of our kids.”
Although it was heartbreaking, she took that step and then began to see miraculous changes in her life. She encourages people who are stuck in bad situations, relationships, careers, or lifestyles to be courageous and embrace change. “You can’t be afraid of the future or of being lonely. You can’t sit on the sidelines with regret. It’s important that we take charge of our lives, even it means starting over.”
After the divorce, Lorraine was without a job and without money. The downside of being self-employed most of her life meant that almost no one would hire her. So, she did what she knew best — she wrote it down. In her many books and articles, she tells other women to not be ashamed of being in a tough situation and asking others for help. She also realized that she didn’t have to change careers to get back on her feet. At 46, she took her communicating skills online and got hired as a digital writer, then editor and editor-in-chief and finally, at 50, she decided to launch her own digital platform.
Whether the goal is to make a life-changing decision, become more fit and healthy, travel, go camping, or whatever our desire is, Ladish believes that it is possible to achieve it at any age, and uses Viva Fifty! to inspire others. A year after her divorce she met her now husband, Phillippe Diederich, also a writer, and a photojournalist.
“It was nothing short of a miracle. We’re both multicultural, bilingual and have kids of similar ages. We both wanted a fresh start and to build the family we always wanted. And, we did. It will soon be ten years since we first met. The kids love one another like siblings. We’ve also been working together for a while now. He’s my photographer.”
After a lifetime of practicing sports for mental and emotional health, at 48 Lorraine injured her hip running a half marathon. This led her back to the practice of yoga, which she credits for her wellbeing. The rewards were such that at 55 she became a 200-hour certified yoga instructor and liked it so much that she continued her studies, to achieve her 500-hour certification. In the meantime, she launched a new blog, The Flawed Yogini. Why Flawed?
“Because everything I’ve ever achieved is thanks to my biggest flaw: a compulsive and addictive personality. I made it work in my favor by redirecting it towards creative endeavors. Those who know me think I’m super disciplined and productive. I’m just compulsive, so I can’t take credit for it. But it’s helped me accomplish quite a few things in life.”
Conquering the Impossible
Ladish knows that age is an illusion and lives a life of influence that would make even younger generations envious. She spends her time doing yoga, reading, writing, spending time with family, and engaging with her over 200,000 followers on social media, across different platforms.
She says, “We are just as capable of fulfilling our dreams in midlife and above 50, as we were in our 20s.” This attitude has helped both Spanish and English-speaking women reassess their lives and overcome things normally seen as impossible, daunting, or futile. Lorraine’s journey is nothing short of inspiring and she continues to be an inspiration for both her younger and older readers. For more about Lorraine C. Ladish and her inspiring messages, visit www.LorraineCLadish.com, www.VivaFifty.com and TheFlawedYogini.com.