Full Disclosure.

I worked hard to lose over 60 pounds in my forties.

So when my youngest son moved into his dorm last month I was nervous.

Maybe paranoid.

I was afraid I would slip back into bad habits and gain all the weight back.

Me at my heaviest 2012

I turn 52 this year and losing weight is harder than ever. (thanks to menopause)

Instead of sliding back, I used my anxiety to fuel a plan for coping with my extra time. When I am bored I eat!  Instead, I channeled all the energy I put into carpooling, attending basketball games, and helping with the whole college process into a few healthy alternatives to food. And one not so healthy. But hey, I am a libra. I believe in moderation! 


Me and my family 2015.

My husband is very creative. He is a great painter. In fact, our home has many oil on canvas creations of his! Me, not so much. I thought it would be fun to try one of those paint-by-number sorts of places where you bring your own wine. I bought us tickets and told him to save the date. I bought a bottle of his favorite wine to bring and took him to dinner first. We sat at the bar, had some appetizers and drinks and I gave him hints until he figured out what we were going to do next. It was outside my comfort zone! But, I had so much fun and even hung mine up in our bathroom. 

You might think back to ways you and your spouse like to spend time together. Maybe going to concerts or sunset cruises? Or you might find new ways to reconnect that you’ve always wanted to try? Surfing, hiking, or doing yoga together. Who knows you might even inspire your kids in the process! 


I married my best friend in 1993. I also know that I love spending time with my girlfriends. I keep in touch with friends from my high school in New Hampshire. I also have a tribe of mothers with who I have formed bonds over the years through my kids. I am very blessed to have a great community of running, writing, and coaching friends as well. One thing I began doing is reaching out to people on Facebook who have similar interests as I do and inviting them to meet in person. Why not use technology to our advantage right? I joined some Empty Nester-type Facebook groups. I met some new running friends and ironically, one is also a new empty-nester too! I love synchronicity! I find surrounding myself with other people on a wellness journey keeps me focused on my healthy lifestyle.

You might reconnect with old friends you’ve lost touch with. Maybe take a risk and introduce yourself to someone new?


I have a slight addiction to books. I probably have six bookshelves in my house filled with books. After my decluttering project a few years ago! Some I’ve read. Some I haven’t. With more time on my hands, I made an intention to read more for pleasure. I created a rock-solid morning routine years ago and read a daily devotional and personal development book in the morning with my coffee. I love starting my day that way! However, in the evening I have decided to read something for pure pleasure. Right now I am reading Sunshine Girl by Julianne Marguiles. I am about halfway through in a week. It helps relax me before bed too, which is a bonus!

Do you have any hobbies you put down raising your kids? Maybe you used to love to sew or knit? Now is a great time to reignite old hobbies or passions! 

I hope these ideas give you some inspiration for redefining your own empty nest. The last thing I have noticed is maybe not as healthy, but I am enjoying it for sure!!


I am not a big drinker. I might go months without a single drink. I always joke that I’d rather eat my calories than drink them. I live very close to wine country in Southern California and so I have found myself spontaneously taking drives during the week to enjoy a glass of wine. I tend to invite a friend, but I have gone alone too (once). My husband and I have been going more often together too on the weekends. Which I love! I realized I really enjoy a good glass of red wine and having meaningful conversations. The landscape in Temecula also reminds me a bit of Italy too! Being in nature really soothes my soul and I feel such gratitude that we are driving distance from such a beautiful place!

I have realized that a glass of wine once or twice a week right now is enjoyable. I don’t plan on becoming an alcoholic and I am VERY careful to not overindulge but for now, I am enjoying red wine more often than I have in the past! 

Parenting is a full-time job. Even though I have a college freshman and senior, I am still very active in trying to guide them and help them with their transitions into adulthood. I joke that my headspace is still very consumed with my role as a mother, but I have more time on my hands to do things for me. 

My best advice for navigating your empty nest is to ride the waves.

Embrace the changes and allow yourself to feel all your feelings. 

It’s all part of the process.

There’s sadness, but there’s also excitement.

It’s a new chapter of life!

How do you want to live it?


  • samantha@samanthakeith.com

    Weight Loss Coach

    Samantha Keith Coaching

    Samantha is a weight loss coach. She helps frustrated women who are sick and tired of hiding and feeling frumpy lose weight and gain self-confidence. She went from size 18/20 to 4/6 in her forties. Now in her fifties, she is embracing her size 6/8 body while helping other women do the same. She is accepting new 1:1 clients virtually. If you're struggling with your weight loss journey she'd love to hear from you. You can read her client's results on her website. www.samanthakeith.com