The Desperate Housewives alum, who turned 55 on Dec. 8, said that she’s now in a “liberating” stage of her life and wanted to show what was possible at her age after completing an 8-week gym challenge.
Hatcher said the program, called F45, involved an anti-inflammatory diet and weightlifting, “not to lose weight but to be healthy and feel better and to lift weights and get stronger,” she told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Today with Hoda and Jenna.
“That’s what I was trying to pay attention to,” Hatcher said. “And just be happier — be in a better mental place.”
The mom to 22-year-old daughter Emerson said that she had to submit a photo at the end of the challenge, and snapped those two “with no makeup, no lighting, no filter.”
“When I saw it, it wasn’t that I thought, ‘Oh, wow, look how great I look’ or anything,” she said. “I just felt like I wanted to be vulnerable. I wanted to say to women, to everybody, you know, ‘Here’s who I am at 55. This is it. I’m not lying. I’m a strong woman. I’m a strong person.’
Hatcher told PEOPLE on Wednesday that she’s in a great place now.
“It’s liberating to care about the things that are important to you and not about the things that aren’t important to you. When you’re younger, you can get really hung up on things,” she said. “I have the opportunity to think about things differently.”
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Hatcher, who celebrated her birthday with a fundraiser for The People Concern, a charity benefiting homeless people in the Los Angeles area, said to Kotb and Bush Hager that she’s enjoying figuring out this time in her life as a single person with a grown daughter.
“You spend, as a mom, 20 years taking care of your children, and it’s a time you get to reflect on yourself and what are you passionate about and how do you want to spend your time,” she said. “And, so, that’s a fun place to be in that place.”
And while she’s feeling great after this challenge, Hatcher admitted that she had a tough time with menopause, and wishes it was a bigger topic of conversation.
“You know, when I say like I feel the best, you can’t kid yourself, like after menopause when you don’t have estrogen coursing through your body. You know, it’s no joke, the things that change,” she said. “And I think more women need to be talking about that, so that we understand this sort of seven-year mysteriousness of hell that your body goes through.”
Hatcher said that there’s “things you can do,” to take care of your body during that time.
“The anti-inflammatory diet, I think, is really empowering,” she said. “Cutting out alcohol, or at least not making it your go-to reward at the end of every day, and finding something different. It makes you not as depressed, not as lethargic, not as achy, all those things. I think finding a community of support is really important as you age.”
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