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Goddesses Never Age
This week I re-read the Introduction and Chapter One of GODDESSES NEVER AGE and took notes. The things that really resonated with me are the things I'll blog about here. I hope you will feel free to jump into this discussion on those topics, or throw in your own. The things that resonated with you might be different ones! And this book is filled with gems of woman-wisdom and girl power that deserve discussion.
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When Christiane talked about her experience trying to buy ski-boots, and the young sales clerk asking her age, because the older you are, the quicker the bindings release, I realized this kind of thing is everywhere around us; subtle messages we barely notice. I got it from a young male sales clerk when picking out eyeglasses. I was browsing the frames that appealed to me, and he said, “Ma'am, this section is intended for women in their twenties. The glasses for older women are over here.” I just looked at him, smiled and said, “I think I'll just pick the ones I like the best.”
I love Dr. Northrup's idea of resetting my elliptical and my treadmill to read my age as 40 instead of telling them my real age and having the equipment treat me as if I'm growing fragile. I'll reset my digital scales too, as its formula probably adjusts the BMI and fat percentage calculations with age as a factor. And last time I checked (long, long ago) Weight Watchers added 5 pounds to your Healthy Weight Range once you turned 50. No, thanks. I'm resetting that too! And I'll tell you what else; I'm going to contacting AARP today and tell them to stop sending me mail.
Change: I'm eliminating everything in my daily life that categorizes me based on my age!
I love love loved the parts in the Introduction where Dr. Northrup wrote; “Our bodies are not separate from our
thoughts or emotions.”
This has long been my philosophy. Our bodies believe what our minds tell them. If we stop expecting ourselves to decline, we will thrive instead. It's all about changing our beliefs and expectations! And so the change we want to bring about is a change in the way we think about ourselves and about aging. When they say 50 is the new 30, it's nothing but true. Anyone who has seen Katie Sagal in Sons of Anarchy, playing the role of her lifetime and smashing it out of the ballpark, can see that we are just hitting our prime when our kids leave the nest.
Change: I'm going to notice and celebrate women my age and older who are in the peak of their lives, looks, and success!
This notion that our minds have far more power over our bodies than we have ever believed is supported by the statistic that a healthy perception about aging adds 7 years to the average lifespan, whereas low cholesterol only adds 4, and not smoking adds 3. This notion is driven home even harder by the study where the men in their 70s lived as if they were in their prime, dressing as they did in younger days, surrounded by music, TV shows, and decor from that time, and being treated as if they were far younger men. They all came home a week later with healthier functions in every physical area of the body that was tested, as opposed to a control group who didn't have these things.
Let's apply this to our lives, sister goddesses! What kinds of things can we do that are more like the way we'd have done them in our twenties? (Actually, I spent my twenties raising five kids, so I'm probably living more like a kid now than I was then, but for the sake of practice, let's think about this.)
In my twenties, I was always trying some new aerobic routine. I recently found a collection of the old Jane Fonda aerobics routines on DVD, and since I cut my teeth on her, got them again. FUN! Just pure fun. I'm going to play with those more often! I even bought some leg warmers and dragged out my old stepper! (PsstI even bought leg warmers! They're back, you know.)
In my twenties if a jar was hard to open, I opened it anyway. If a basket of laundry needed to be carried up or down a flight of stairs, I carried it. If the driveway needed shoveling, I shoveled it. As I get older, I tend to think I shouldn't have to do those things, and ask my strong handsome husband to do them instead. I'm going to return to doing these things myself. Let's all stop acting like we're older and therefore need help with simple tasks!
For me, my twenties meant my lashes were long and lush, my brows with thick and dark, and my hair was vibrant and red. For me, making sure I keep my long dark lashes and dense dark brows and long bright hair, keeps me feeling young. (*This is not one size fits all. I have always admired women who let their hair go naturally gray or white with pride. It's just not for me.)
In my twenties, I walked, jogged, rode my bike, played with my kids, jumped on trampolines, played family softball games and went swimming. In my fifties, I'm re-committing to doing the same. I will never be the grandma who sits on the sidelines and watches while the moms and dads and grandkids play.
In my twenties, and thirties, and forties, I was always very proud of my “girls” and liked clothes that showed a little cleavage. I still enjoy that, and I shun anyone who, when describing clothing, uses the term “age appropriate.” I will not wear age appropriate clothing, not even in my nineties.
So tell me, girlfriends, what are some ways you can think of to start thinking and acting younger? Want to join me in trying these things, and watching ourselves actually feel and look and grow younger? What kinds of beliefs do you want to work on changing about your age? What kinds of things have you given up doing that you did in your twenties? Will you try to reclaim those activities?
Change: Stop Thinking of Ourselves as a Number. Any Number!
Inflammation and Health
Aside from the mind's power over our body, the second biggest thing in the opening of the book for me was that inflammation is a leading cause of most major illnesses and cancers, and that stress is just as lethal. I knew this, but the reminder is great. Without focusing a lot on the negatives, I thought I'd give us a few simple tips we can all apply to reduce inflammation in our bodies. Three extremely simple things we can work on together, starting today.
Cut back on refined sugar. This doesn't mean add more fake sugars, it means get our sugars from sweet fruits and berries instead of in our coffee and dessert. I'm back to black coffee, and I'm staying there.
Take an aspirin a day. Not only does a daily aspirin reduce inflammation, it prevents stroke and heart attack. Grab a bottle of low-dose aspirin next time you're in the supermarket. In the meantime, taking a regular aspirin a day won't hurt a thing.
Drink Lots of Water I am a fan of the drink your weight in ounces approach. It's the best “detox” you can get, but it also eliminates dry skin, flaky scalp, dry brittle hair, and it fills your tummy. Lots of times when we think we're hungry, we're actually just craving cool, clear, water. I like spring or well water, untreated by fluoride or chlorine, and not water that's been processed in a plant. If you don't have a well, get a Britta. Bottled water has no life left in it. (And don't heat your water in a microwave–that kills it too.)
Okay, those are my initial thoughts on the Intro and Chapter One. Now, the fun part. You get to tell me yours, both here in the Comments section, and in my Facebook Group if you like, where I'll be sharing all of this as well.
Next week, we'll discuss Chapters Two and Three!
What will you do differently based on what you've read? Learning is only step 1. Implementing is the part that counts.