“We’re getting better not older” is something we often tell ourselves or others who are close to us in age. We smile or wink and we may or may not believe it ourselves.
But I do and I am. Last January, I wrote a posting about a book I was reading called Younger Next Year for Women by Chris Crowley (a retired business executive who should have been a comedian) and Henry (but, he’s called “Harry”) S. Lodge, M.D.
What had gotten me so interested in that book was not only the fact that I want to age gracefully, but trips to visit my mother at the nursing home woke me up. To what? To the fact that:
◦ There are many more women than men around
◦ Most of these women are in wheelchairs or using walkers
◦ Many of these women will live 10+ years in that situation
In the book, Chris and Harry say that “50% of all illness and injuries in the last third of your life can be eliminated by changing your lifestyle… Not delayed until you are a little older… eliminated!”
This became a no-brainer for me. So, I made myself a promise that THIS was the year that I would pay more attention to me and more specifically, my health – which includes eating better, drinking less wine (although not completely cutting it out – isn’t it good for your heart???) and moving more. The “moving more” is what I seriously wanted to work on. And, I also wanted to let go of more of my multi-tasking, do-it-all and do-it-perfect tendencies that I have wrestled with ALL OF MY LIFE.
The movement included biking more and further, walking more, working out with weights 2-3 times a week, and doing a routine of squats/lunges/pushups/jumping jacks/planks just about every day when I’m not doing the other stuff. I even set a timer so that every 45 minutes I get up and do some pushups or a plank or some jumping jacks. Moving more instead of observing my tail glued to the chair and getting wider and complaining about stiffness when I finally get up.
So what’s happened? A lot! I got a gold star at all of my health check-ups. All test results came back normal or better than normal. And, the one that really rocked me… my bone density has gotten BETTER so much so that even the docs were surprised. What had them concerned two years ago in my hip and spine, isn’t an issue anymore and they let me go by saying, “Just keep doing whatever you’re doing.” Woot!
And, I am. And more. That got me all fired up – to even increase my fitness levels, to learn something new to add to the regimen, and to stay off medication as long as I can – which I hope is forever.
Something amazing happened with feeling better… I started cutting myself a break and that helped with that Type A personality run amuck. I’m getting that sucker under control, too.
All in all, I like this idea of feeling younger by next year. It’s almost like being in a time machine but with one difference… I’m not sure I ever felt this good before and I want to keep it up.
As Chris and Harry said, smart women don’t grow older. They grow and feel younger and all without the help of a plastic surgeon (even though there’s nothing wrong with that.) I’m working on it. Join me. We’ll keep each other on track.