Join me as we interview Michelle Newman, entrepreneur, founder of "The New Mid" podcast and "The New Mid Academy." Michelle is changing how we, as women and as a society, look at the middle of our lives. She looks at it through the lens of a Second Act where we are vibrant and wise and able to grab hold of all that life has to offer! Such an exciting interview and one that will forever change the way you see the Second Act of YOUR life!
Hello and welcome to Reboot Radio. I'm your host, Sheila Keilty, the UN-Diet Coach.
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On today's episode of Reboot Radio, we are talking to Michelle Newman, my new wonderful friend, entrepreneur, holistic wellness expert, and the founder of the new Mid Academy in the new mid podcast. Hello, Michelle.
Hello. Thank you so much for having me, Sheila. I cannot wait to have this conversation with you, and I am so happy to be in your sphere.
Oh, well we're happy to have you. Michelle's just one of those people you meet in life that you feel you've known forever. I wanted all of you to be able to meet Michelle and meet this person I've been getting to know, find out how she came to be who she is today and what her journey has been. I always find that fascinating with people, especially in the holistic wellness sphere that people have a reason. It's an impassioned way of living, and I wanted you to get to know what that is.
So, Michelle, how did you get started on this journey? Like, how did you get to where you are today in doing what you are?
Well, thank you so much for asking. First of all, I see life kind of in two acts. I spent over 20 years in the entertainment industry, so I'm all about the acting world, the entertainment world, and I believe we have first act that is wonderful. We're kind of growing and learning and in my first act, as I mentioned, I was in the entertainment industry. I was an Ironman triathlete. I did Ironman, New Zealand. I was a fitness coach. I did a lot of that stuff. And I had some interesting trials and tribulations. One month before my Ironman I was doing a hundred-mile bike ride in Palm Springs and I got in an accident at mile 52, and this was one month before my Ironman.
I found out that I tore my posterior cruciate ligament, and I did whatever I could to put myself sort of back together and I actually finished the Ironman with the torn PCL L I still have the torn PCL because I had a choice. They had a 50- 50 chance of it being fixed, that it would be 100%.
And I thought to myself, you know what? I actually am going to take that other 50% and I am going to be holistic on this healing, and I'm going to make sure that I continue to live a healthy life, a very fit life, so that I protect my knee myself and not have a surgeon get in there and, and do whatever they do. And. Oops, sorry. It didn't work. So now you have all this scar tissue.
The other thing that happened I would say two years after that, I had a brain hemorrhage. I had a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage, which only 2% of people survive. So that was a amazing wake up call, also a blessing. And it made me realize, okay, Lord, you, you have more for me to do.
And so I ended up meeting my husband at a life celebration, and we got engaged six months later and so that's sort of my first act of wonderful, robust life. Having a second chance of life. I'd like to say I'm actually 18 years old now. Then I had this intermission where my husband got a job in Maryland and I was raising my daughters.
I had my first daughter at 40, my second at 42, and hence being the new mid. We are the sandwich generation. I laugh because I have friends. I don't know how many of you out there listening. You might have grandkids. Well, I also have friends like myself where I'm just starting braces with my daughters. And I'm also helping my elderly parents. So definitely the sandwich generation. And in this second act now, I hadn't quite gotten to where I am yet.
In the entertainment industry, we covet 18 to 49. (Mm-hmm) So when I turned 49, I'm not kidding you, Sheila, I don't know who else says this, but I was like, oh no, I'm in the last year of the demo. Like, right? Like who's like, oh no, not to become irrelevant. The media doesn't care about me anymore. I didn't want to have a 50th birthday party. I was just kind of really depressed, honestly.
That's a big social stigma around those big zero birthdays. When you wake up on your 50th birthday, you're only 24 hours earlier than you were at 49, but those zero birthdays weigh very heavily on us. There's a big deal that society places on us when we hit that 50 and it's middle age, it looms over us. It's horrible.
Wait. You know what's so fascinating about that is my aha moment was when I'm sitting there listening to my daughter play her flute and I get a hot flash and a 30-something-year-old mom looks at me and goes, you're getting so emotional. And I was like, oh, don't worry. You'll be getting emotional too very soon. Yeah, right. Emotional. But it was, it was just this moment though, Sheila, that it was like, “Where is my mindset?” (Mm-hmm) If she's a 30 something mom and she's not seeing me as "middle-aged", but just seeing me as being emotional, where am I at with myself? What am I thinking?
And so then I went, wait a minute. We're the new midlife. And if you've seen that meme, I don't know if you've seen it or not, but it has the Golden Girls, and then it has the Sex and the City women, and they're the same age. Did you see that one? It blows your mind away. Yeah, because sex and the city, we are in the new middle age. We're The New Mid, we're the new midlife. And it's funny because people were like, why aren't you saying the new midlife? And I'm like, because I like the new mid better. Like it's hipper. It just speaks to who we are. We're the new mid.
So once I had this aha moment, I was like, you know what? I want to make as many women as possible feel visible and alive and strong and healthy. Because the thing ladies that I want to get across is that we have to take care of our health now, we've had a whole first act of throwing garbage possibly in our bodies. Mm-hmm. And it's not going to forgive us anymore. It's like we've been dumping stuff in a bucket and now in midlife it's overflowing. So I had this amazing aha and I'm like, okay. I want to spread this to the world, so how can I do that? While there weren't any television stations in Frederick, but I did know the owner of the local radio stations, so I kept pestering Fred.
I was like, “Fred, you need a podcast.” And he is like, “no, I don't. No, I don't.” So finally I was like, “Fred, come on. Let me just pitch it to you.” Well, fortunately, my legacy, which I feel so blessed, I was able to help develop and launch, "Let's Make a Deal" and "The Talk.". And while we were doing those programs, people would give me pitches for different shows.
So I literally put together a deck that was like pitching a TV show to Fred. Fred got four pages in and he's like, sold. So I have a half hour radio station on a classic rock station in Frederick, Maryland, and then that turns into a podcast. And then I went to a branding session to help me brand it, and the person who ran the conference I was talking to, and he stopped me and he looks at me and he goes, you need to be a midlife coach. And I was like, what are you talking about? I had coached people in adventure racing, and I had my own coaching with doing all of my crazy athletics.
But he looked at me and he said, in 10 years when you look back and you think of all the women that you've helped, how will you feel? And Sheila, I kid you not, I just started crying. So we started The New Mid Academy and the women in there are incredible and I'm really excited because you are going to meet them too, so, oh, I can't wait.
That's a little bit about me and I can go on and on about some of my Well, it's interesting.
Yes. Well, it's interesting because sometimes people outside of us, we get into our own bubble and thinking of how we put our identity out to the world and what we should be called, what our titles are, and how we see ourselves from the inside out.
And sometimes it's that outside in view that defines us. It's like, you're not really that thing. Sometimes it takes that outside in view, right? Like this guy did for you and said, “Hey, you've got to be this thing.” But I love the way he couched it. In 10 years when you can look back and think of all the women you've helped.
And by the way, Sheila, that's going to help me turn 60. Cause I'm going to, I have that point and I'm going to look back and be like, okay, this is great. So that will help. Great.
Well talk to me a little bit about how you became a midlife coach. And the new mid in developing what that is, how did you then put it out there? How did you go out and start talking about this? Because you have quite the movement, you've got a following. It's something in motion with a life of itself. So talk to me about that. I find that fascinating.
Well, it really took off during the pandemic because there were a lot of us at home, a lot of us trying to figure out what was up and what was down. And having my entertainment background, I literally started doing cooking shows and I started doing workouts. And anything, and this is where I started and still do Monday through Friday, every morning I go for a walk and I give an inspirational tip and it literally started because I didn't know what day it was and I didn't know the date.
So you'll still hear me saying, “good morning, New-Midders. It is Monday,” you know, whatever day it is. Do you remember that time? We didn't know? It was so much fun and from there it has grown because midlife can be lonely. And the other thing that's so powerful, I talk about how grateful I am that you are in my sphere. You are in one of my wonderful surroundings, and it's powerful ladies who you talk to, who you spend time with, who you listen to. This community is all about empowerment. I'm humbled by how these women lift each other up and it's not just always, you know, oh, this is rough, or we're all trying to improve ourselves, but it's also fun, too.
People have joined up to go for hikes. People have gone together to go see garden shows. People have gone to yoga together. Just to have coffee together, to go have a drink together. It's powerful how a Zoom community has also found its way off of Zoom.
My women will say, “God, I love being mid life. I'm having so much fun now.” Because as I was saying to sort of bookend this is, yes, we have this first act that I was very fortunate to survive and tongue-in-cheek, too, because, can I tell you?, there were some times I was on my mountain bike when I was adventure racing and I was looking down the cliff going, just look straight. Just look straight.
When you get to the second act of any Broadway show or anything, that's when all the juicy stuff happens, right? That's when the good stuff happens.
That's, and you figure everything out. That's like all the craziness. It's like everything makes sense.
You take your skills, you take your experience. From the first act, I took all my entertainment skills and here I am doing this now and blossoming and growing and having fun. And the women in my community, they'll all be like, oh my gosh, I love my age. I love what we're doing now. And so many people will be like, why didn't I find you sooner? Why didn't I find you in my forties? And I'm like, you know, it's all meant to happen when it's meant to happen.
We are told to dread this, that we are going to be older that we're going to be hags, that we're going to be unwanted, that we're not going to be sexy, that we're just going to be like our moms, and we're going to fade off into obscurity. Our doctors tell us it's normal to gain five to 10 pounds a year every year. It's normal to have a belly. It's normal to have hot flashes till the day you die. That's all normal and you know it's not normal. It's what the doctors do in do in throwing up their hands because they don't want to deal with it. And it gets very isolating because you think I'm strange, I'm feeling sick, I'm getting heavy. This is just the way it's supposed to be. I'm just going to accept this diminished life that everybody wants me to have and not make a problem and just be quiet and go off. And it becomes more and more isolating. You feel less and less desirable. You feel less proud of who you are in your own skin. Life is no longer limitless and available.
And one of the things that we're trying to do with the summit, and you and I are both involved in Thrive and Revive the Vitality Summit coming up on April 25th, and the whole thing is about remembering when your life was limitless, regaining and revitalizing all that vitality and learning to thrive through this second act that's going on.
That knowledge is power and that it's a community. You are not alone. This is not you having a problem. There's a way of dealing with it, and it doesn't include medications and accepting a bigger body and a diminished life. You can really thrive and do anything you want to, and then some in the second act.
We can bust through that pink glass ceiling. Look, Ellen Mirin, how long did she stay a sex symbol? Until 85 or something? Meryl Streep is still very sexy, vital woman and Goldie Hawn. How many women are just aging beautifully and remaining vibrant, alive people? Like you said, the golden girls and sex and the city together. It's the new mid, it's the new way of being middle age and, let me tell you, mid is just, I'm just riding mid, I know, and through to the sunset there.
Yeah. I have clients in their sixties, you know, and I think what's so great too is I have women who have not ever moved. They're like, oh, I didn't like working out, blah, blah, blah. And now they're addicted to their walks and their hikes and their bikes and yoga and it's like this whole world has opened up in their second act and it's powerful and wonderful and being vibrant and thriving like you said.
Well, the empowerment that's involved with holistic health and wellness interests me. That's where I got hooked on it. In holistic wellness, there is a sense that you're reeducating yourself about how your body really works. This is more taking a step back and looking at the wisdom that we've had for millennia, especially as women, about how the body works, how everything is put together, marrying ancient wisdom with modern science and showing people the truth about how their bodies really work. And if you know that, then you can go back to the old tools like food as medicine, sleep as medicine. It's very common-sense stuff. When you break it down, it's quite logical.
And where the community comes in is supporting each other and making this shift. To getting back to this ancient wisdom and making it something that works in a modern context, which you, and having fun and having fun doing it, and having a good time being yourself and being open to the possibilities of what comes next.
Well, I remember my mom having a birthday party and it was over 40. She was over the hill and I'll never forget it. She was 40 years old and there was all this black stuff and it was over 40 over the hill, and I had my first baby at 40.
I was just starting having kids, so, you know. That's not the way we are now, which is so exciting and so great and we are thriving in our second act. And that's why I'm so glad what you were doing, so grateful. And this is going to be an incredible summit. There's so many heavy hitters going to be there with . Let's just have a good time.
Let's learn grow together and just have this incredible experience. And that's what so grateful for to you, Sheila.
So well, we're grateful that you're going to be doing this and you're adding so much to it. All kinds of amazing things about hormone, about nutrition, about how to make permanent change happen in your life, how to make that transformation happen, to have it last, taking a holistic approach on all of it. So it's not about pills and potions and plastic surgery. This is about developing what comes next and the limitlessness of it. So it's very exciting and I'm so excited that you can be a part of that and just getting to know you and what you're doing. What you're doing is so absolutely vital to us.
It is just to remind us of what is important coming up next. You are a keystone to what’s happening in this generation. So I really appreciate it.
We are just getting started because you are not done. And I have to say, when I was in the entertainment industry, I was blessed to meet both Monty Hall and also Betty White. I got to spend the day with Betty White and talk about somebody. They were both 88 when I met them, and they were not, slowing down.
And Betty White was phenomenal. She showed up in a limousine by herself with one of her old little hand makeup bags, didn't have an entourage, was so polite, was always making sure that everybody was happy with her performance. She was happy to do anything again, like, is that okay? Is that okay? But fun and funny and full of life and working at 88. She didn't want to retire. Monty Hall didn't want to retire. They loved what they did. They gave to people, they gave their all. And that left such a huge impression on me that all I want to do is just continue to be vibrant and help women feel this vibrancy.
I think it was going to be an incredible summit on April 25th.
So, Thank you for putting this together, for being who you are, Sheila, and for letting me be at the end. Because if you need an energy burst, that is going to be perfect. Oh, I, there's no one else who could wrap it up like you. So I really look forward to doing this.
But Michelle, thank you so much for joining us today.
That's fantastic. I'm just so grateful to be here.
So take care. This is Coach Sheila Keilty. Have a great day. Bye now. See you next time on Reboot Radio.
You can find Michelle Newman at www.thenewmid.com.