The black/white photo is me at 32 and 300 lbs, the one in color was 2011 in Toronto posing for Alive magazine guest editor. I turn 52 years of age in May 2014…I must be doing a few things right!
Clearly.j I KNOW what it takes to lose weight, having kept OFF more than 100 lbs for OVER 20 years, I am the World Heavy Weight Champion of weight loss!!!
But Anti-aging? Well, NO ONE believes that I am in my 51st year of life when they see my pictures or meet me in person. There are reasons why and tricks that I use. I will share them all with you! First…
You can’t look at a magazine, drive down the street or surf the web without seeing or hearing something about how to look and feel younger. It seems that looking younger has become a national obsession. These marketing campaigns target women more aggressively than they do men and heighten women’s fears about becoming older. Age, whether you are female or male, is a rite of passage and is not something to be ashamed of but rather, it should be celebrated. Step into a health club anytime and you will see that age has not slowed members down one bit. In fact, I believe and experts agree, that fitness is a key component in feeling younger and living more satisfied lives.
Let’s explore some of the common fears about aging and ways to counteract those fears. If you or someone you know can identify with these fears, we hope you’ll see that you’ve already taken a huge first step in “fighting the signs of aging” by taking care of yourself by including routine exercise into your schedules. If you are concerned with Osteoporosis, try adding weights or resistance training to your routine. Balance, flexibility and concentration can all be strengthened through a Pilates or Yoga class. Water classes and swimming are also popular choices for members with joint pain or arthritis.
Drs Oz and Roizen stress these exercises in their YOU books. I know that since starting serious weight training my body has responded so well, despite the age old notion that you can’t lose weight after 40–I am here to say YES WE CAN!
What Are We Afraid Of?
Aging is inevitable and yet women (and yes, quite a few men too..) spend millions of dollars each year on expensive moisturizers, Botox (not that there’s anything wrong with that! LOL–afterall, I have used it since 1999!), plastic surgery, diet programs – all in an effort to look and feel younger. The term “aging gracefully” is not one often used in today’s popular culture. Not so long ago, plastic surgery was a taboo topic but now you can’t drive down the street without seeing a billboard advertising the latest and greatest procedure available. Just as young women get bombarded with images of rail thin models as the impossible standard, middle aged women are now targeted with images of women with little to no wrinkles and encouraged to look like them. When did aging become a marketing campaign instead of a natural and beautiful process?
I think we can have both! I think aging gracefully is the acceptance of our age; not trying to dress as though we are 20, not hanging out in clubs etc where you clearly stand out as a sore ‘cougar’ thumb! BUT looking and feeling “old”? Count me out! I want to be empowered and live with purpose and passion till the day I die and I want to do so in a body that matches my inside as closely as possible.
Dread getting older? Women around the world seem to worry about aging more than men do, according to the 2010 Bupa Health Pulse, a 12-country survey by the British health care company Bupa. China is the most fearful country, and its top concern – perhaps unsurprisingly, given family size limits – is, “Who will take care of me?” The French seem least concerned about aging – a third of respondents there say “old” starts after age 80.
Our Top Aging Fears
#1: Losing Attractiveness or Becoming “Invisible” As young as age 40 – if not sooner – women typically worry about wrinkles, saggy skin, gray hair, dry skin and weight gain. Gerontologists report that women in their 70s and 80s fear hearing aids, walkers, canes, and stooped posture because they are visible markers to being old. Age experts do not tell their patients to go get plastic surgery or expensive creams – their advice is simply – get enough sleep, reform your diet, exercise, laugh (afterall, it IS the best medicine!), stay engaged with the world.
It is a sad truth of the aging process, that if you keep doing exactly what you did in your youth; you WILL gain weight! We need to eat less and exercise a bit more as we age. Easier said than done? Keep this in mind……just a little adjustment and you can stay on top of age related weight gain! Be aware and mindful!
#2. Death of Love Ones A spouse’s death or seeing their children dying before them also ranks high among concerns of aging women. The social aspect of aging and losing friends and family is hardest on women because they are so often the caregivers and being alone is a very natural fear. This fear can only be counter acted by staying involved in your community, family, church, health club and social activities. If you or someone you know has been through this experience, the best thing you can do is offer companionship and to keep making friends throughout your life.
#3: Financial Woes Financial destitution is a classic female fear of aging. “Men tend to be more financially secure, make more money, and have a bigger pension and Social Security checks,” says Ken Robbins, a geriatric psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin. “Widows are often left with dramatically less money.” The good news is that experts believe this fear will diminish among women as more boomers, Gen-Xers, and younger members of both genders gain confidence about managing their money.
There are ways that you can “kill two birds with one stone” by investing in your appearance and making a little spending money helping others do the same! Dave Ramsey saved me! check him out. and consider taking/using some of the products that I do…you can even make a little money on the side selling them! email me if you are interested Julia at inlink dot com
#4: Cancer Any cancer, particularly breast cancer, tops the health concerns women fear most, according to a 2010 study by the Society for Women’s Health Research. Although lung cancer is twice as deadly as breast cancer for women, it ranks seventh on the list of fears. Respondents were also more fearful of ovarian cancer than colon cancer, although the latter kills more. Living a healthy lifestyle and getting routine screenings are two good defenses. This also helps fight Heart Disease, which is actually the biggest health threat and number-one killer of women in the U.S.
#5: Loss of Independence As stated, women are traditionally the caregivers in families so the prospect of losing her independence and having to rely on others is particularly uncomfortable for women. The best offense to this fear is to plan ahead, have your papers in order, and plan for your older age. Look into long term care insurance, make a living will and be sure to let your family know your wishes for your elderly years.
Becoming Younger Isn’t Possible but FEELING Younger Is!
The Top Secrets for EMPOWERED aging include;
#1. Get 30 minutes of aerobic and resistance exercise or add a sport to your regimen. Physical activity requires coordination, stimulates the connections between neurons, and keeps the brain’s circuitry firing with all cylinders, so take a dance class, try tai chi, get that old bike out of the shed, or join a local sports team. Yoga and Pilates are mind-body disciplines that are particularly effective for anti-aging because many of the moves require balance and coordination, which stimulates the circuitry in the brain. They also help you learn to listen to your body and react accordingly.
Recent studies have surprised neurologists by showing an even stronger connection between aerobic exercise and memory than previously understood. It seems that stimulating circulation bathes brain cells in oxygen, “feeding” them to keep them young. One study even found that exercise caused the growth of new brain cells in the part of the brain that controls memory. Lift weights. Weight training builds lean muscle and is also a key way to prevent osteoporosis.
#2. Wrinkle less. The quickest route to fewer wrinkles? Quit smoking and drink less. Smoking causes the blood vessels that feed the outer layer of the skin to narrow, leading to dry, papery skin and accelerating wrinkling. In general, experts say, the skin of a smoker looks ten years older than that of a nonsmoker. Heavy drinkers often look so much older than they are: Alcohol is classified as a neurotoxin, and it has an oxidizing effect on body tissues, which is a science-y way of saying, it damages cells.
If I drank and smoked, I would NOT have LOOK and feel better having endured a painful divorce, near fatal accident my daughter was in and the subsequent care giving needed to help her heal, my children’s roller-coaster whirlwind leap to fame, and my otherwise exhausting but amazingly rewarding and fulfilling career and it’s nonstop travel 9 months out of the year! NO WAY! But having these tools in my arsenal? I am thriving and look pretty darn good while doing so! Healthy living is the key!
#3. Sleep more hours. Sleeping fewer than eight hours a night packs on pounds, ups your risk of diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Studies have found that people who routinely cut back on sleep are more likely to be overweight and have other resulting health problems than those who get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
Our skin doesn’t refresh itself as well as we get older so be vigilant about protecting your skin. This doesn’t require expensive skin care products – choose what works best for you and make it a daily habit to care for your body’s biggest organ – your skin.
Fish oil supplements help care for our skin on a cellular level. Experts say that the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in fish oil provide one of the best ways to halt all types of physical and mental decline. Doctors recommend 3 grams of fish oil a day to not only prevent the signs of aging but to also slow the actual process of aging from the inside out.
“You’re As Young As You Feel” May Be A Cliché, But It’s True.