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9 Things I Want You To Know Before You Turn 40 

Now that I’m in my 40s, I thought I’d drop some middle-aged wisdom by sharing nine things I want you to know before you turn 40.

If you’re a fellow member of Club 40, I hope you’ll glean some familiar insights.

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, buckle up, buttercup!

Text on image - 9 Things I Want You To Know Before You Turn 40

Before You Turn 40

A quick note before the fun begins; these are my experiences.

Some of these topics might be things you’re already doing or have no interest in whatsoever. That’s perfectly okay!

I’m sharing in hopes some will felt seen, and others will find inspiration. So take what you want, and leave behind what doesn’t sing to you.

1. Focus On Health, Not Weight

I spent all of my 20s and a lot of my 30 battling a number on the scale.

The harder I fought, the more weight I gained.

The harder I fought, the more I hated myself.

So in my mid-30s, I stopped fighting.

I jumped on the body love bandwagon in search of a new way of living – and I found a lot of freedom in no longer living my life tied to a scale.

I ate what I wanted.

Drank whatever I pleased.

Only, I missed the memo on intuitive eating and focused more on eating all the things I had deprived myself of for so long.

I don’t regret letting go of holding my worth to a number on the scale.

I just wish I would’ve paid more attention to how I fueled my body.

And since turning 40, that has become my focus!

I’m continuing to tune into my body by listening to what my body wants and needs. Not just eating all the things – as I’ve seen how that impacts my overall health.

It’s a balance, and it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it!

2. Acknowledge Mental Health Struggles

As I’ve tuned in to my body more, I’ve also paid attention to my mental health.

When I look back on the past few decades of my life, I realize I’ve always struggled with anxiety. But I never talked about it openly until I turned 40.

Now I talk about it often, openly, and without shame.

I talk about it because each time I do, it feels a little less like a burden and more like a part of me I can accept.

I can’t control it, so I might as well embrace the struggle and learn how to cope in healthy ways!

3. Your Underwear Drawer Gets Nicer

Period panties became a thing of the past in my 30s. I started investing in myself by committing to only wearing cute undies.

Now, I’m a mama on a budget, so I didn’t just throw out all my underwear and start fresh.

Over time, I started slowly replacing my panties when I’d see sales or get a gift card.

What changed in my 40s is that I started paying attention to what materials I prefer. So it wasn’t just about having something cute; it also was about comfort.

You might be a cotton girl. It turns out I’m a big fan of modal!

4. Closet Upgrade To Quality Over Quantity

In my mid-twenties, I moved from Denver, Colorado, to where I grew up in Southern California.

I quickly realized you could never really come home again because you’re no longer the person you were before you left.

Yet, I desperately wanted to fit in. I had spent my whole adolescence trying to fit in and went right back to old habits.

I maxed out a credit card or two on clothes.

Lots and lots of clothes.

Clothing became an obsession, and that lasted well into my 30s as shopping brought me joy.

Flash-forward to my late-thirties. During a move from Colorado to New Mexico when I did a big purge.  

If I hadn’t worn an item all year, it went into the donation pile.

And one pile became many.

My whole living room was full of piles of clothes – some were hard to part with, but many that I didn’t remember ever wearing.

I committed to being more mindful of purchases!

And like my undies, I’ve found myself paying attention to not only the style but also the material.

5. You Start Taking Up Space!

As a plus size woman, I spent most of my life smooshing my body.

Smooshing into clothes that no longer fit, and into booths and chairs that left marks.

Smooshing my body on flights so thin strangers could stretch out with ease.

I’ve stopped smooshing!

I buy clothes in my size and donate items that don’t fit me anymore.

At restaurants, I ask for chairs I can comfortably sit in without a moment’s hesitation.

And when I board planes, I smile and as for an extender before even heading to my seats. Yes, two seats so I travel comfortably without encroaching on anyone else’s space.

I unapologetically take up space, and it’s liberating!

If people have a problem with my body – it’s their problem and not mine.

I hope you start taking up space long before you turn 40!

6. Sex Gets Better

I’ve been with the same partner for over twenty years; you’d think there would be no mystery left. It’s so easy to get into a sex rut or not have sex often.

We’ve had droughts – long, painful droughts.

While I don’t have it all figured out, I’ve learned that you have to be willing to work on your relationship and your sex life.

You see, I might not have the same flexibility I had in my 20s – and positions are limited with my big booty. But sex is better.


Sex is fantastic in my 40s because I now ask for what I want and how I want it!

Hours not minutes.



Lights on.

Clothes off.

Fantasies I’ve been too embarrassed in the past to share have come to life.

And so much more!

The difference is communication and being far more comfortable in my skin – the sagging skin he kisses without me pushing him away.

It’s amazing!

7. Set Stronger Boundaries  

Boundaries are sexy – that’s my life’s motto!

I learned how to set boundaries in my 30s, but I set them without apologies in my 40s.

Boundaries, while challenging to set, are vital.

Without boundaries, you get pushed to a point where you either implode or explode – we’ve all been there!

Boundaries give you far more freedom than you realize, so start setting them today.

Here’s how to set boundaries!

8. Friendships Grow Deeper

Growing up mom always said, “you are who you hang out with,” and she’s right!

It’s so important to surround yourself with quality people – that means people who love you for you and you for them.

Friendships aren’t always perfect, but they shouldn’t be a burden.

The older I’ve gotten, the less close friends I have, and I’m good with that because the people I have in my bubble are amazing!

Once again, quality over quantity.

9. You Realize How Quickly Life Goes By

All of a sudden, it’s as if someone hit the fast-forward button on my life.

At first, I tried fighting it – surely there has to be a pause button!

But then I realized this is my MY LIFE.

It’s going to pass by faster and faster, so I might as well LIVE IT to its fullest and be mindful of the choices I’m making along the way.

Because my life, full of mistakes and boundaries, is beautiful!

Jen McLellan standing in front of a blue door

Recording & Show Notes: Plus Mommy Podcast Episode 127

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