Interview by Ceri Wheeldon
Karen Gider shares her ‘Fab Woman’ reinvention journey with the readers of Fab after Fifty. Overcoming many obstacles in her life, Karen has entered her 50s with the confidence and passion to follow her dreams and grow her Face Yoga business globally.
A little about Karen
I am originally a Glasgow girl ,50 years of age, single with 2 boys, age 13 and 17 .
What were your main activities ( job, commitments etc) before turning 50?
I have had amazing jobs that challenged me as a person .My positions were varied , from a Scottish whisky consultant to a personality and promotional girl. Then onto a prison officer in a HMP prison working in the holistic department and looked after ladies who self- harmed . Another position placed me in Glasgow airport searching the United Airlines for suspicious packages. Eventually I joined First Choice holidays as a resort representative. I always had itchy feet and moved around quite a bit , my love of travelling and curiosity of other cultures took me abroad to Bodrum in Turkey where I decided to live and work and eventually married a Turkish man. I had my 2 boys there .
What have been your main activities ( job, commitments etc) since turning 50?
Since turning 50 my life has been focussed on sharing my story,my skills and my passion to females regarding our strength and inner warrior , to teach that we can actually overcome trauma and diversity and strive forward to succeed in this world. I aim to be an ambassador for females for advice and support their dreams.
What prompted you to start your business/ take up the challenge/follow your dream.
My business idea came to me from sad times which seen me very ill with an eating disorder that left me 4 stone lighter and mentally broken. My body was weak and tired and my face was thin with no youthful plumpness and my sparkle was diminished .I was struggling with motherhood and married life also anxiety and my heart yearned for another place. I was a new mother with not a lot of help with my new baby . I eventually left my familiar life , my home ,my memories and returned home to Scotland with my 2 boys , a single mum, no money , no family to help apart from my sister , and an eating disorder.
How old were you when you started?
I discovered Face Yoga when I decided to take my life ,body and face into my own hands and try to recover from the grey gloom that surrounded me . My children needed a healthy happy mum and I needed my life back . I sourced a teacher and eventually after practising Face Yoga myself I decided to become a teacher . My face was fast recovering , my skin was lifting and tightening, the definition improved and eventually the rosy glow appeared once more .
Did you have to take any courses or training to do this?
Yes I trained with a world leading expert.
What does your business / dream /job/challenge look like today?
My Face Yoga business takes up most of my time , I am happy with this as I grew this business on my own to help heal my face and spread the word that you can help give yourself a natural facelift by facial exercises , I want to travel and teach and help other woman overcome body and face image an empower them to follow their dreams
What has been the best aspect of your journey so far?
Every day I am more than delighted to take Face Yoga to a new reach . I love when clients write and tell me how excited they are when they see improvements and fast results , also they feel better and look healthier.
What was /is your biggest fear?
I fear leaving this world ……that’s my only fear , I have overcome so much from a very early age that I feel I can deal with pretty much anything else ….
Did anybody in particular inspire you?
I inspire me , I really do ! My life has been extremely difficult and lonely and challenging from a very young age, my mum died at 36 of breast cancer , I was 16 , my dad died at 50 .I overcame an eating disorder with no help from anyone , left a country where my life was , raised 2 boys on my own and started a business that I hope will travel around the globe.
What difference has it made to your life?
It has and still is showing me how strong and resilient I can be, how strong I am and what depth I have to my soul and my heart. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and look back and say “what if” I want to succeed in what I am good at .I want to show people what we can do naturally ! I want to help everyone feel good about themselves.
What challenges did you initially face? How did you overcome them?
The challenges for me were mostly child care, as a single mum with no parents around to help watch my boys , being proactive regarding Face Yoga and progressing it was difficult. My youngest was 4 and my eldest 8 so the boys of course came first
How did the opportunity come about? It wasn’t so much an opportunity but a need ,a want to better myself , after the years of heartache and trauma I at last found something that made me feel so excited , I knew I had found my path, I felt it in my heart !
What other opportunities have materialised as a result?
So many , I am now the Beauty Editor of The Holistic Scotland Magazine . The Daily Record newspaper and The Glasgow Herald have written articles around Face Yoga and myself. ITV Live 5 television programme had me on showing them a demonstration. I have appeared in a few local magazines . Events have been on around the U.K with myself invited to talk at them. Last but not least I have made friends that I feel I will have for life .
Which of your previous experiences (if any) did you draw upon the most?
My whole life lead me to this point , through all my experiences my difficulties , my loves , my life , my face , my story !
What are your next steps?
My next steps will see me taking Face Yoga nationwide then who knows worldwide. I would love to be the face of females searching to find their passion , a new beginning , a new life . I want to be an ambassador for females who are stuck ,lost but battling on, I want to support and encourage them to keep going . I am writing just now about environmental issues, I want to empower females and males through my own story .
How have friends and family reacted?
Everyone is extremely happy for me , my friends fiercely support me and my clients and the public send amazing reviews to me . My children get slightly embarrassed at the facial poses I make and I’m not allowed my Face Yoga Scotland banner on my car ?
What 3 tips would you give other women over 50 looking to do something similar?
You must follow what resonates with you , not what others are doing but what makes your heart sing , what do you think about morning and night ! What sets your fire burning again ? That is your path , go follow it !
A little bit more about you……A dreamy Pisces who sees life through rose coloured glasses, a bit of a dreamer who gets lost in a good book . A hopeless romantic. I speak Turkish , would love to visit Italy and do Face Yoga at an Italian retreat. I love secret forests and romantic castles. Red wine and lots of chocolate .
All time favourite book or film? A Monster calls , a true heart wrenching tear jerker ?
How would you describe your own style? Boho and free , bright colours and mad curly losoe hair !
Three words that sum up your life over 50……Grateful , challenging , Inner warrior
You can find out more about Karen’s Face Yoga at https://www.faceyogascotland.co.uk/