Read more about me in a feature in You! magazine. or read the ttranscript below
The comeback queen
In the past decade Sarah Sparks, 55, from London, has had her first child, recovered from a breakdown and retrained to be an executive coach.
Secret weapons: having less, doing more and cutting out gluten
Having a child at 46 forces you to act younger. I was on HRT and had resigned myself to never being a mum after six rounds of IVF when I discovered I was pregnant.
Although overjoyed, I was worried about being a geriatric mother. But scrambling around on the floor and playing football have knocked years off me. I’d have another baby now if could.
I hang out with people 20 years younger: the parents of my son’s schoolmates are in their 30s and 40s and several have become great friends of mine. They don’t realise how old I am because I look pretty good and I don’t act my age.
I feel younger than I did in my 30s. From the age of 30 to 40 I was co-head of financial regulation at Goldman Sachs investment banking group. I learned a lot but I failed to manage my energy well. I was burnt out.
My breakdown at 40 was a wake-up call. I was unable to even cross the road because I couldn’t process information. I spent three months in The Priory, where neuro-linguistic programming taught me to deal with negative thoughts and self-limiting beliefs. I ultimately quit my job and retrained to coach business professionals to help them reach their goals.
I split up from my husband of 18 years in 2009 because we’d grown apart. Getting divorced taught me to live with less. We’re more content now and part of that is to do with having less (divorce instantly halves your possessions). My old life was all about expensive cars and posh holidays, but now I appreciate the simple things such as the changing seasons.
I’ve got the best love life I’ve ever had. I’ve been with my partner Johnny for two years and it feels like I’ve met my soulmate. I’m much more discerning about what I want in a man these days, too.
In fact, I wrote a list of attributes a potential suitor must have, such as making me laugh and being active – Johnny wins hands-down.
My figure is better than it was in my 40s. I am active every day, whether it’s pilates, tennis or dancing. What’s made the biggest difference was cutting out gluten. I’ve lost two kilos, dropped a dress size, lost the brain fog and have brighter eyes. The structure of my skin feels firmer, too, thanks to lots of lean meat, fish and salad.