September 28, 2010

Is Aging Really About Wisdom or Just the Battle of the Bulge?

I never thought it would happen to me. I heard rumours about it and would overhear women talking about it, but I never really thought I would experience it myself. Now I know it's true....we all really do get older, and older, and older.... It blows goats in a very big way, but there isn't anything I can do about it.

My role model for health!
 With the aging boomers and even Gen Xs, the health and beauty companies are having a hay day. You can't swing a tube of anti aging cream without hitting someone touting the new miracle cure for looking worn out. I was sitting on the stationary bike yesterday watching "Dr. Oz" (don't judge me) as he focused his show on the aging woman (how thoughtful of him). Although I have to give him credit, he explained many of the changes that occur with age and the natural (whole) foods one can eat to ward off that middle-aged spread - no pills or creams or fad diets from him (Oprah take note). However, I can see it now, millions of women are drinking buckets of ice cold water, peppering everything in sight, and buying the stores out of woo long...wu long (I have no idea) tea in the name of weight loss.

God love the ultimate anti-ager...Norma
Desmond (Sunset Boulevard)

All I could think, as I was watching yet another train wreck, was why don't we just focus on getting enough sleep, managing our stress, whole foods, and physical activity???? Now, don't get me wrong, I have bottles and tubes of anti wrinkle, pour refining, age-stopping creams that promise me age defiance, happiness, and lotsa friends sitting in my medicine cabinet too. The way I see it, if there is even a slight chance they may work why not? It's kinda like religion; why not practice it just in never know... and the consequences would be hell (...get it....hell).

In my work, I see and talk to many women over the age of 40 who all verbalize the same frustrations. They eat well, they exercise, and they still don't loose any weight. Of course, their definition of "eating well"  may not be the nutritional standard Health Canada suggests, but their hearts - and motivations - are in the right place. I met many people who felt "eating well" included frozen "lean" dinners and diet pop (not that there's anything wrong with that).

I truly believe (and try my best to practice) in getting your 7-8 hours of sleep, managing your stress so it doesn't kick the crap out of you in the long run, getting daily exercise, eating more veggies, and avoiding processed foods full of chemicals, sugar, sodium, trans and saturated fats. In fact, all the researchers in the world agree that a diet low in red meats and high in vegetables is the gold standard diet. If you can add an oily fish like Salmon into your week all the better (and don't start on that wild salmon stuff....I have an "in" with an expert and I will now only eat farmed for the health of it...I'll blog on that soon enough).

We may not prevent aging, but we can age well, gracefully, and hold on to our youthfulness little longer by making a few lifestyle changes. But soon enough, we will all have to come to grips with the notion that, if we are lucky, we will all resemble little prune people in the end. The best we can do is grab a sense of humour and have fun with it.

...oh, but there's always room for red wine and chocolate (in fact, I do believe it turns back time....if you drink enough of the wine)

That's all I got.

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