How NOT to grow old

aging f word to live by Mar 03, 2022

Life spans are growing longer and if you    are like me, you are in your “third act” of    life. I have never been more excited and     hope what I share with you will get you     excited as well.

You know I believe you are what you Eat & Drink, Wear and Think. That was cemented with the information I have received from the summit I participated in this past week.
Two speakers I want to highlight this week included Dan Buettner and Laura Carstensen, PhD. Dan discovered the five places in the world dubbed Blue Zones. These are areas where people live the longest, healthiest lives. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. That area was one of the Blue Zones. I remember the amazing food they served (all plant-based), the beautiful scenery and the kind people.
Laura is the professor of psychology and public policy at Stanford University. She is the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.
According to both professionals, if we want to have a fighting chance at living a long, independent, vibrant life, there are certain things we can do. We are a product of our environment. We can live a vibrant life well into our 90’s but you have to set yourself up for it now.
I realize it is difficult to change beliefs. What we have adapted as what we believe to be healthy and best for us can cause some pushback on new ideas. Hang with me on this one. 

There were several aspects of life they said are shifting and we need to shift with it. I’m going to highlight five of them.

  1. Diets. As I mentioned earlier in my intro, when I visited a Blue Zone, our meals were all plant based. Food is how we age well. According to Dan, 90% of what we eat should be plant based. I’ve seen so much research on this and I know it can be difficult in our culture. Most meals are centered around animal protein. Dan, suggests you limit your meat intake to only five times a month. Yes, he said five times a month. Maybe you want to start out with having no meat once a week. You could try a Meatless Monday. Work up to two times a week and see how it feels. There are several other ways to get protein other than animal products.
  2. Language. How do we talk to ourselves about aging? Do you see it as a positive or negative? In the Blue Zones they celebrate age. Getting older is a privilege not everyone gets. Be likeable. Be interested and interesting.
  3. Cities. We are a product of our environment. Living someplace where you can walk to the grocery, or a park or have a garden. Live in a beautiful place. Celebrate every day.
  4. Social Groups. All people need to be part of a social circle and who you spend the most time with matters! Do you have a group where you can have meaningful conversations? Do you also live a healthy lifestyle? Do you go on walks together, eat at healthy restaurants, play pickleball?
  5. How we see ourselves. Do we look in the mirror and only focus on the wrinkles or sagging skin on our legs? I find so much inspiration seeing women in their 70’s lifting heavier weight than I do. Seeing amazing transformations with hair, posture and makeup. DECIDING to embrace this stage of life and make the “third act” better than the first two.

You can decide to make your life relevant, share your wisdom with the young, and be a positive role model for all women. You can do this because you are a woman with purpose. And when you do, your most confident self, shines through – and that feels amazing.