Experts in fields of mindset, spirituality, lifestyle, health, trends, beauty, and whatever else my audience was asking for, poured as much of their knowledge as possible into those hour-long conversations.
After the last interview was live, I would do a round-up of take-aways. Whatever made the cut did so because it was a writer-downer, something that would move the needle and be timeless.
Well, until science enlightens us to a better idea or disproves something we thought was true. (Like fat makes you fat or cholesterol leads to heart disease…)
Cleaning out digital files the other day, I came across the roundups from the More Life Summit and the Missing Midlife Manual expert series.
The science, suggestions, and in some cases, spiritual wisdom these guests shared are still valid.
Science has not come out with new science to refute what these experts shared. If anything, some of what they suggested so many years ago, has been shown to have more importance, like inflammation as a marker of disease.
Any or all of these could enhance your day to day and add more life, love, grace and ease into your years ahead.
#1 Love Yourself, you are enough.
Dr. Sue Morter, master of bioenergetics medicine says “Spend the energy you are accepting your own magnificence.” Honor what you have been cultivating so far, don’t spend energy in the past — unless it’s to love all that has happened to get you where you are, and to be who you are.
How many of us look lovingly at the past?
In other words, Put Yourself at the Top of Your List
#2 Listen To Your Body.
Mia Lundin, author of The Female Brain Gone Insane says, “Listen to your symptoms, they are your body telling you something is wrong and needs attention.” Don’t fall prey to “this is just what happens at your age, tough it out, or diminish what feels “off”.
Unless you are a clinical hypochondriac where every little itch portends some life-threatening issue, there are things that need your attention.
Like what? Shortness of breath, chronic cough, chronic sleeplessness, even that nagging feeling of just not feeling “right” could mean you need to do some investigating.
#3 Never Give Up Until You Feel Well
Do not accept “there is nothing wrong” or “Your numbers are normal” when you are still suffering. This starts with finding professionals that will listen to you. Be prepared to be your own patient advocate or have someone in your corner who can do that for you.
Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, the godmother of the wellness movement says we must “take a magnifying glass to what’s going on in our bodies when we don’t feel right.”
Then, as I always say, test don’t guess. Find a functional medicine doc or a practitioner who practices complimentary medicine. They will likely believe in the power of testing things like hormones as well as the usual blood work. Any healing professional you see should have the right education, an open mind, a willingness to work with you which means listening not dismissing your story and symptoms.
“We are going to live 30 – 40 years in menopause, 7 – 15 minutes with a doctor once per year is not enough!
– Mia Lundin
Part 2 of the above: #4 You Are A Symphony of Systems
Dr. Louis Cady and others said that proper and accurate diagnosis is where true healing and treatment can begin.
Much of western medicine looks only at the one organ or system with the complaint and not the whole being. Find a doc who will work with the whole you.
It might take a team of people to keep you feeling your best — that’s ok, they exist, and you deserve it!
#5 Your Heart Is Not Just a Machine
However, like a precision machine, it does require high quality care, fuel and maintenance.
As a woman who’s not new to this aging in good health thing, you can probably write a chapter on what it takes to keep your heart in good health.
- healthy food, (If you need help with what constitutes healthy check out The Power of 5, it’s free)
- weight-bearing and cardio exercise,
- engagement with others who get you,
- and stress reduction.
Jan Sinatra added these: emotional connection with like-minded women.
She is married to and worked with Stephen Sinatra, a highly regarded cardiologist,. Together they co-authored, HeartSense for Women and Eight Weeks to Lower Your Blood Pressure.
She spoke about the physical damage toxic relationships can do to our hearts. During her time in the cardiac ICU she was surprised to witness spikes in patient’s BP when certain people would come into the room. Even if they were still under the effects of anesthesia! She’d find out later that those visitors were the cause of stress in the patient’s day to day life.
Don’t underestimate the stress factor in healthy aging. You can’t control all of it. You can control who you allow in.
#6 Midlife Does Not Make You Fat
What does? Denial.
“Things change and we must adapt. Understand what those changes are going to mean for you and take an active role in changing your habits.”
That was Jonny Bowden’s answer to the question, “does midlife make women fat?”
Dr. Bowden certified me as a weight loss coach. I chose him to study with because of his science-based approach to nutrition. (As opposed to the conventional wisdom which sells products and prescriptions but doesn’t necessarily help people heal.
We must learn to eat what serves us and as we age.
Mia Lundin, whose book I mentioned, tells the story of how hormonal changes can make women feel crazy on the way to menopause, writes, “Women become carb-crazed and carb-sensitive, meaning we must eat less of them and only those that are whole grain.”
“Weight loss is a game you play to get to Mastery of your life.”
– Jonny Bowden
#7 The Best Exercise is…The one you’ll do consistently.
We must move. That’s the whole story.
You’ve heard it before. You may or may not take it to heart. (You know that your heart is the one muscle you cannot live without, yes?)
Start where you are though. If you are barely moving during the day, begin with a walk, then up-tempo the walk, then find some classes that will move you with music. Or bounce on a yoga ball. Dance. Think of exercise not as something big and painful but as movement. And move throughout the day.
#8 Proper Care of Your Bones will Transform Your Life
After listening to my interview with Dr. Susan Brown, bone expert, I knew that the above was true. “If you plan to live a long life you might want to take care of your bones,” said she.
She discussed bone integrity vs. density. Dexa scans show one level of bone health/density. Trabecular bone scans add another layer by imaging for bone integrity. You can schedule both at once in some imaging centers.
Dr. Brown’s recommendations:
- Exercise — to build bone you must build muscle. Weight bearing exercise is best for this.
- Supplements, with all the minerals in balance, not just calcium.
- Optimal Vitamin D is a prerequisite to bone integrity and proper use of calcium by the bones.
- Vitamin K keeps calcium in the bones and out of the arteries and kidneys.
- Find a way to deal with grief, anger, resentment, and other mental stress.
Profound unhappiness is hard on the bones.”
– Dr. Susan Brown
#9 Hormone Balance
I’d call this hormone replacement but that might scare you off. I’ve done many interviews with women’s health experts who believe in and prescribe bio identical hormone replacement. My recent interview with Dr. Susan Lovelle is one.
Mia Lundin, mentioned above, said, “when estrogen is not there, death approaches more rapidly.”
Lack of estrogen also affects the brain, the heart, bones, and our enjoyment of life.
People might say it’s unnatural to replace what declines naturally with age.
We have never lived as long in history. Many of the diseases of aging are related to inflammation and declining hormone levels which protect the heart, brain, arteries and more.
Questions for you. Is a hip replacement natural?
Open heart surgery? Pharmaceutical drugs like statins?
No, but they get the job done. (In some cases, anyway.)
Bio-Identical hormone replacement is no different and may help prevent your need for the other three.
#10 “Be Who You Most Want To Be”
Are you living a life that feels good?
To those who would have you act your age, dress age-appropriately, or tone yourself down, are you willing to tell them to bugger off?
There’s never a better time to live fearlessly than now.
Why now? Spoiler alert and cliché incoming—because we all know that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
What you must do — for your heart, bones, mind, and soul — is live the way you want to live.
In a body that feels good to you.
Surrounded by people who get you and love you. (Dare I add “anyway”?)
Do these things and move the needle in the direction of more life in your years.