How can you reverse that Retirement 15?

Boomer Generation Radio: January 2014 interview with Simona Hadjigeorgalis

On the January 7th Boomer Generation Radio Show, Rabbi Address and I spoke about the ‘Retirement 15’ (and how to reverse it!)

We talked about connecting with the wisdom of our human vehicles and exploring how to enhance that connection.  And we discussed some of the common generational beliefs that can get in the way of our wellness goals.

For the transcript of the Radio Show, keep reading. Rabbi Address and I talk about what Boomer Wellness is, how having parents who have lived through the depression can impact your current relationship with food.  We also touch on the current state of the food supply. Rabbi Address asked me about my own background and wellness path.  And more.

For more information about Reversing your Retirement 15, check out:

Boomer Generation Radio Interview with Simona Hadjigeorgalis (transcript of the show that aired January 7, 2014)

Rabbi Address:  We are pleased to welcome to the Boomer Generation microphones this morning a absolutely charming young woman, Simona Hadjigeorgalis from We will be back to talk about Boomer Health, and a very, very scary concept… the Retirement 15.  We’ll be back to do this right after these messages…

Rabbi Address:  Good day and welcome again to Boomer Generation Radio.  This is a very wonderful way to start the new year…. Simona Hadjigeorgalis, the co-founder of welcome to Boomer Generation Radio.

You are about to launch a major new program … You have been very involved in health and wellness and we thought it would be a pretty good idea here at the beginning of the new year when everyone has resolutions on their mind….  Boomer Wellness- What is it, and what is this Retirement 15?

What is  Boomer Wellness and what is The Retirement 15?

Simona Hadjigeorgalis (Ha-gee-george-alice):  We’ll start with Boomer Wellness and then we’ll talk about the Retirement 15.  Boomer Wellness started because on we have lots of great products and programs.  If someone asks me “How can I lose 15 pounds” I can tell them how…

Rabbi Address:  How do I lose 15 pounds (laughter)

Simona:  I will tell you that

Rabbi Address:  Can you tell me now (more laughter)

Simona:  Well that’s exactly what’s amazing to me.  Yes, there is a very clear formula for losing weight, but what’s interesting and what I have found is that not everyone achieves their weight loss goals.

Over the last 2 years as I was working with people– I am also a Beachbody Coach, which means I sell programs like P90X, Insanity, and Les Mills Pump and I help people get through those programs and have success with those programs.  And what I was observing was people that the people that don’t make it to their goals, often have stories.  They are real stories, but they are also excuses.

I started to notice that the stories that get in the way of people’s success when they are Boomers are different than the stories that get in the way of success when they are young moms.  So a new mom, a very easy story is I am really busy, I have 3 children at my feet, how could I possibly have time to work out.  And that’s true.  It is a true story.  But it’s also an excuse.

Stories and excuses

The Boomers have different stories. The Boomers are in a really unique place, many of you have just retired.  And just like when your kids went off to college and gained their Freshman 15, those lines between the weekday and the weekend start to blur.  And your habits change, but you don’t notice because it just happens slowly.  And the next thing you know, you are wearing vests, you’ve got a t-shirt on at the beach, and you’ve got these extra pounds, and you say Oh, it’s because I am Old.

You know what- No.

My Aunt Lil, who I spend a lot of time with, she’s 98, and she still works out.  She does her chair aerobics.  And she always tells me — I’m 42 — you’re just a young chick. … she says people that are 60, 70 are really young. So, I take advice from her, and that’ where the concept of Boomer Wellness as a solution for reversing the Retirement 15 comes about.  It’s not because you are old, it’s because you really might have changed your habits when you retired.

Rabbi Address:  Well, the body chemistry, if I am not mistaken, as we age,the body chemistry also changes and the metabolism may change

Simona:  Yes

Rabbi Address:  And I am sure that has something to do with what you are talking about…

Changes in Hormones and Metabolism

Simona:  The body chemistry does change, the metabolism does change.  There are some things you can do for the metabolism, for example, lift weights.  But yes, things change.  And that’s why, when I talk about someone’s stories… the stories are true, but they are also excuses.

I am going to go back to the example of the young mom because that is not emotional for you.  Because you can look at a young mom and say, yes I see she has kids running around, yes I can understand why she would be busy, yes I understand that’s what it’s her story.  And when I say that’s actually an excuse, you won’t necessarily feel defensive. There is always an opportunity to prioritize.

But when I say, well yes, as we age, our body’s metabolism slows down, our body chemistry changes, there are hormonal shifts at play.  And the story is therefore I can gain weight, I WILL gain weight.  But that’s also an excuse.

What is a Wellness Home Study Course?

There is a solution and so what Boomer Wellness is, and it’s a home study course, is a tool to help you realize that yes, there is a formula for losing weight and it includes nutrition and working out, but the only way you are going to follow through and succeed and have that weight come off permanently and not just as a short term quick fix is getting the psychology connected.  And… we started talking a little bit before we got on the radio about Boomers and food.  And that’s just one example of something that can get in the way of a Boomer achieving their wellness goals.

Rabbi Address:  We’re talking with Simona Hadjigeorgalis, the co-founder of about this program, Boomer Wellness, and if you’d like to talk to Simona and ask her a question about this, the call in number here at WWDB is …

Rabbi Address:  Simona, the Boomer Wellness Program, you just said, is a home study program.  So I imagine it’s available as a download from your website or you get a DVD or CD … if I do this… as opposed to let’s say Medifast or Weight Watchers or whatever-whatever-whatever going to meetings, what does this entail? I’m going to download this program of Boomer Wellness and give me the 3 or 4 steps

Simona:  So, what you are going to do is.. and when you say as opposed to the other diets, this is not a diet.  This is a lifestyle.  This is making tweaks that are completely manageable, I am not asking people to become extreme foodist, it’s about making small changes to your current lifestyle.

Rabbi Address:  So, what do we do?

Simona:  You go to, and you’ll see a section for the Wellness Home Study Courses, and you click on Boomer Wellness.  Right now what you will find is a Notify Me button because the program will be available later this month and what that will do is put your name on the list, and it locks you in for the pre-launch price.  And then when it comes out, you’ll receive an email with instructions for how to get it.

Right now it can be available for download, but the reason it is not released yet is because what I want is for people to have CDs.  I won’t people to be able to put it in their car so while they are driving they can listen in their free time so they can get those messages.

When you ask what’s a home study wellness course… the first thing it is, is just listening and bringing your stories to conscious light.  Putting the light on so you can see what your belief systems are.  And then getting homework assignments.

The first day’s homework assignment is a water bar.  What’s a water bar?  It’s literally sitting down and thinking about all the ways that you can make water taste delicious.  Like- can I add a cucumber, can I add a raspberry.  What would make water fun.  How can I best stay hydrated. So that’s your first assignment — being incredibly hydrated for a week.

So it’s about lifestyle.  It’s not a diet, it’s about lifestyle changes that really educate you on how to connect with the wisdom of your own body

Rabbi Address:  So, it sounds like, in a Spiritual way, to use that term,

Simona:  Absolutely

Rabbi Address:  It’s a program that really attempts to link mind, body, and spirit – or psychology – or mind and body and soul into some sort of transformational approach to how one eats.

Simona:  Yes.

Rabbi Address:  Is that somewhat correct?

Simona:  Yes, that is very correct.  Our bodies have the inner wisdom to be healthy.  And really the goal of Boomer Wellness is for your body to become the outward expression of your inner wellness and your inner vitality.  And so, when you connect to that wisdom, when you fuel your body well, you look good– which is nice.  And you energy and vitality to run after those grandbabies.

Rabbi Address:  Which is very important (laughter).

What does having parents that lived through the Great Depression have to do with your weight loss journey?

The flip-side of that, I would imagine, in your work, because you do a lot of health and wellness work- if people go on, they’ll see some of your activities… talk to me a little bit, about, in your experience in developing these programs, about the relationship between ones own mental states, psychological state, psycho-spiritual state, and food.

Simona: Oh, that’s everything.  That’s everything.  So, for example, for Boomers, your parents grew up in the Great Depression.  And that manifested in ways… it’s different for everybody… but it showed up in the ways that they taught you about food.

For many people who’s parents grew up in the depression, not finishing your plate is disrespectful, it’s unloving, it’s wasteful.  It’s a number of things.  And so when you don’t finish what’s on your plate, you are losing some of your human needs, your love and connection with your family.

There is so much more about what goes into your mouth than the actual food that’s nourishing your body.  And so that’s why these home study courses are specific and the first one is Boomer Wellness because if you talk to a millennial about that, finish what’s on your plate means something very different than if you talk to a Boomer.

And interestingly, also- as an appreciation and a celebration of what you have now that you are not in the Great Depression.  It’s not logical, but it’s there. You sometimes what to fill your plate more as a celebration, as a thank you, as just complete appreciation.  So you fill your plate more, because you can and you are happy that you are not starving; and then you finish it because you don’t want to be disrespectful, or all the meanings you attach to not clearing your plate.  And you are over-fueling.  And as you said earlier- as you are aging, your body can’t keep up with that pace.  Your hormones have shifted, you’re metabolism has shifted, and the plate actually needs to have a little bit less on it– and that has to feel ok.

Rabbi Address:  There is a tremendous amount of material being written and discussed on shows and other popular media about the American Diet and the amount of chemicals that are in the American diet that are leading to a lot of childhood obesity and potential for a rise in diabetes and in the long term potentially increasing healthcare costs because of the need to eventually take care of all these issues.

Would I be correct in assuming that the Boomer Wellness Program moves you away from processed foods and fast foods and more to a more organic and natural diet.

Simona:  It does, it does.  And what’s interesting, again, why Boomer Wellness is specific is because the psychology of a Boomer is going to be different.

If I talk to you about World War II, think about that WWII veterans you know, and you will likely feel pride.  Pride of your country, pride of those people that you think of.  So, in the Boomer Generation, there is a belief that the government takes care of — not everyone is going to believe this- but at a young and formidable age there was pride in the government taking care of– so when you think of the veterans, and you think of the flag you may have positive emotions towards authority.

Whereas, if you take someone who grew up just 20 years after you, they are going to have a very different reaction when I talk about war for reasons that are obvious.  And when I say this, I am not saying that a Boomer doesn’t recognize what is going on in the world today

Rabbi Address:  Oh, on the contrary.

Simona: Of course, very much so.  But, there are places in your young formidable years where that connection is there.  And so, where that comes back to food processing is that there is some place in your young, formidable thinking that has more trust.  Your mature thinking knows better.

Rabbi Address:  You mean, like comfort food at a diner?

Simona:  You trust that it’s going to be Real Food.  If it says food, you trust that it is not food-like, chemicalized, designed to make you want to eat more, packaged so that you want to buy more.  You might logically know that because you’ve got so many years and wisdom.   But there is a place in your young, forming mind that trusts a little bit more.

Rabbi Address:  We are talking to Simona Hadjigeorgalis, the co-founder of about her program for reversing the Retirement 15, Boomer Wellness and we are going to be back to Simona after these messages…

“Simona terms it the ‘Retirement 15’, something that is somewhat frightening, but quite real.”

Rabbi Address:  Welcome back, we want to return to our guest this morning on Boomer Generation Radio… Simona Hadjigeorgalis, co-founder of and we are here talking about this program, very relevant to the beginning of the new secular year as so many people make resolutions about knocking off that extra weight from those holiday goodies.   Simona terms it the ‘Retirement 15’, something that is somewhat frightening, but quite real.

Simona’s Personal Story

Rabbi Address:  Let me return to your own personal story because I think that is equally as relevant.  In many ways, how an individual gets motivated to change.

If I am not mistaken Simona, you arrived here after working in business, you worked in the business field, I think in the financial field for a while.

Simona:  I did, I did.

Rabbi Address:  It’s genetic

Simona:  It is genetic.  I started working at age 12 because I wanted to be just like my Dad.

Actually, in seventh grade we learned how to write a business letter in English class and I wrote one to my Dad’s company and I actually thought I got the job because of my outstanding business letter writing skills.

Rabbi Address:  I am sure he is smiling right now.

Walk us through very quickly because I think it is fascinating.  You are not a baby boomer, you are a child of baby boomers.  You walked into the business world and were very successful in the business world.  What was the pivotal point that made you switch to this understanding of health and wellness?

Simona:  So, as you said, I started in the business world.  I love business and my Dad, and I wanted to be just like my Dad.  So half of my life was working in business, and the other half of my life was training.  I was a competitive athlete starting at the age of 8.  So, it was time spent reading about how to nourish my body and make sure that I could train smart.

And the more I worked, and I have 2 children so being able to balance work and kids and training, I had to do even more research to figure out how to shorten my workouts and how do I get the most out of the time I do have to work out.  That constant quest to figure out how to best fuel my body, how to best train and use the time efficiently, and to never get injured so that it was a long-term sustainable piece of my life.

But I had these 2 lives.  And I would literally come home from work and I would take off my work clothes and put on my home clothes.  And at some point I thought, you know what, it’s time to have one life and make the things that are my passion, my business.

And that click happened for me-  as you mentioned, I was working in business.  I worked mostly in the financial sector, but I got pulled in for a project for a pharmaceutical product because of my strategic background.  It was a really complex project and so long story short, I got pulled into this pharmaceutical project.  And there are really great things that modern medicine does.  Thank God people don’t die of really basic things because we have antibiotics.  And so not to take away from that.  But as I was working on this project I thought, wow- there is so much that could have been done 10 years before they got to this place to not be in the position to need these medications. And that’s not true for everyone.

But there are some things that can be changed through diet and health and working out and I thought… you know what, I have been doing the research for my whole life and I need to take what I know and bring it to people so that they are not needing these pharmaceutical products, that they can make small tweaks in their lifestyles earlier on so they can live healthy and vibrant.

Because sometimes I would go into the office and people would say Oh, my back aches but that’s just par for the course.  No, it’s not par for the course. It is not par for the course if you are doing certain things like having good posture while you are sitting at your desk, actually, even what you eat can have an impact.  You don’t need to get out of bed with aches and pains. A lot can be managed with lifestyle choices.

I want to be able to bring simple, easy changes to the world so people can feel vibrant and healthy and well.

Rabbi Address:  It occurred to me as you were describing this, if I was an analyst or therapist, which I am not.  There is an interesting link between your starting out and looking at financial wellness and moving into physical and emotional wellness and it’s a very, very interesting package.

You were talking a little bit about really preventive medicine, which may not be the exact right term lifestyle changes to allow you to live a healthier life given longevity ..

Simona: um

Rabbi Address:  go ahead

Simona:  When you were talking about abundance, there is a terrific word, Shefa, a Hebrew word, which means both abundance and flow.  And you can correct me if I am wrong, but that is my understanding of the translation.  And I love that word because abundance and flow together… if we are looking at abundant wellness, it’s not just about going out there and slogging it out and running on a treadmill.  It’s doing it with grace and flow and having it be integrated into your life in a way that is really powerful.

It’s doing it with grace and flow and having it be integrated into your life in a way that is really powerful.  

And what I have noticed a lot of times is that people feel comfortable seeking abundance in other areas of their lives – like abundant relationships, abundant love. But what about abundant self-care and abundant vitality.

Rabbi Address:  So part of that, you are also talking about movement from what I am hearing.  The idea that a sedentary existence is extremely not good, but the idea of keeping the body moving is absolutely essential for prevention of any type of long term illness.

Simona:  Yes.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) talks about it, Harvard talks about it .. when people get older, they stop lifting weights.  But resistance training is really important for keeping your muscles strong, for keeping your body strong, for keeping your metabolism going

Rabbi Address:  So, do you lift?

Simona: I just started.  When I turned 40.  My Aunt told me that when I turned 40 I must start doing weight baring exercises and I resisted because I was afraid I’d get bulky.   She was totally right, I feel terrific and I did not get bulky.

Rabbi Address:  I want to remind our listening audience of Simona’s program as we’ve talked about during this program.  This idea of wellness, and this idea of movement, this idea of really changing a little bit of a lifestyle in order to obviate this Retirement 15.

And Simona said, she really wants to know if you are ready to get rid of that Retirement 15 permanently and regain some of that vitality.  The Boomer Wellness Program, which is a blueprint for Reversing your Retirement 15, can be found at Fuel the Body Well.  (Visit Boomer Wellness by clicking here).  Check out the Wellness Home Study Course.  It is going to be available this month on that website and you’ll click on Boomer Wellness and you’ll get in the queue to get this when it is released.

As Simona has reminded us, take a look about 3 months from now and think about how nice you’ll feel at the Seder table or the Easter Dinner table when you are feeling and looking healthy and vibrant because of the choices you are making right now.   This in essence is an investment in your own future.  So we invite you to visit and click on Boomer Wellness.

Simona, we have just a little bit of time left.  If you had one piece of advice to give my generation in about 40 seconds, what would it be?

Simona: (deep breath)  One piece of advice?

Rabbi Address:  One piece of advice.

Simona:  It’s to know that as wise and amazing as you are.  And you know so much more than I do because you have had 20, 25, 30 more years of life experience than me, there is maybe one or two things that I have learned that you can learn from me.  So if you could open your minds and your hearts to listen and hear and learn and Be Well.

Rabbi Address:  Is part of that also, real quick, listening to your own body and knowing your own body?

Simona:  Absolutely.

Rabbi Address:  And people are still afraid to do that, aren’t they.  For some, is it easier to go to the doctor than just listen to your own body.

Simona: After your Wellness Home Study Program, you will be in touch with your human vehicle and be able to feel that wisdom.

Rabbi Address:  Simona, thank you very much.

For all of us here, and Tony our board manager here at Boomer Generation Radio, thank you very much, have a great day.


About Simona Hadjigeorgalis
Simona Hadjigeorgalis is a writer and advocate for women's self-care. She's the author of The Busy Woman's Guidebook to Vibrant Vitality, creator of the Digestion Zone, and co-founder of the wellness website

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