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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"When I get older, losing my hair...many years from now...



First, a big thank you to David at authorblog for selecting my last post as PTD on July 13th, and to Braja, at lostandfoundinindia who nominated my post for this award. Thank you Braja; your words are most inspirational.

Then, sixty+ people showed up to comment. I had no idea the topic would be of such interest to young and old alike.

As Paul McCartney asks in his song,"... will you still love me,.. will you still feed me when I am sixtyfour? ...doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more....",his words resonate with us even more as we approach the sixties, and the seventies, and the eighties. Yes, we ask the same questions, but we are asking for more than he did.

We age, but still want to look as young as we looked in our prime, as active as we were in our teens, and as ardent as we were on our honeymoon. And pharmacies are providing us with our wants. In a few years more of us will be reaching retirement age, and we have great expectations for those years.

Last week, the Associated Press medical writer Lauran Neergaard reported on Diet and Aging in our local paper, relaying a study conducted on the effect of a reduced calorie diet on the life of rhesus monkeys. The results showed that the primates on the diet lived longer and healthier than those not on the diet. The results of this study may have application for us humans. (Science Journal).

Who knew?

When we were little, our mothers worried about having enough food to feed all of us in the family. We were always hungry, never truly full. We dreamed of banquets, tea parties, and growing up with jobs that paid enough to purchase all the food we wanted.

When I became a mother, I worried about what to feed my children. The baby food section in the supermarket displayed beautiful healthy babies on powder milk and on little-bitsy jars of fruit and mashed vegetables. None of the food tasted appetizing. But, I wanted my children to have the very best. Though I prepared baby food many times in my kitchen, I never felt it was as nutritious as the food Gerber sold.

Each generation has worried about nutrition. But today, we are obsessed about our bodies, about dieting,about looking thin.

And while we worry and fret and go on diets, more and more people are diagnosed with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, various cancers. We are bombarded on television with an array of possible diseases for which there are pills, I might add, diseases that we never heard of. Did you know about restless legs syndrome?


Our understanding of how our lifestyle and health are interrelated is still in the Middle Ages.
Am I the only one confused out here?

35 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

Here's what I always wonder about - the paradox of our cultural imperative to "stay young" (whatever that means) and the just-as-strong imperative to live as long as possible.

We're not supposed to get old, but we want to live as long as possible ... so ... how does that work? Do you want to be old for a really long time? Or are we all supposed to buy the advertising claims about "age reducing" face cream, for instance, or much worse, plastic surgery.

Being thin is very "in" right now, so people are always being told that their weight is the cause of all their woes.

I have a client whose doctors told her that if she lost 20 lbs her knees wouldn't hurt anymore. She got cancer last year and lost 60 lbs. But her knees still hurt.

I think we have a huge predjudice going right now about weight. It blinds us to many realities.

Clearly I have a big issue with this.

LOVE THIS SERIES OF POSTS!! More, please??

lakeviewer said...

Hi Reya,
I'm with you on this issue. We are conflicted and bewildered and stupid too, in many ways. My mother got sick and lost thirty pounds. Had she not had those pounds to lose, what then? I'm thinking that as we age our bodies need more protection, the reason for our natural girth to expand itself. The real fault of our obesity is stress. I've learned this since my husband's diabetes. Stress produces adrenalin; too much adrenalin needs to be stored somewhere. Hence, fatty tissues abound. Stress, I might add, is compounded by economic problems. Then, add all the additives and preservatives in our food. We are doomed.

Brian Miller said...

first congrats on the POTD. much deserved. i hope to one day grow old gracefully with my wife. how many years we have i do not know, but we will enjoy each day as the blessing that it is. even if one day she forgets my name...i hope to live out the beauty found in Nicolas Sparks Notebook.

i think there is something to staying healthy, but equating that with the cultural pressures to stay a beauty queen rail thin or what not, i don't think holds water.

peace to you. and lots of smiles.

Cormac Brown said...

I'm surprised, seriously. I thought monkeys would need more calories with their metabolism and I imagine that the ones are in the wild, as opposed to a laboratory, need a greater caloric intake to survive.

Fire Byrd said...

We need a layer of fat as we get older... we just don't need a very big layer. And once we can accept that we have middle age spread for a reason then we'd all be much happier..... this, it has to be said is work in progress, but then I'm 55 and working towards peace.

Bogey said...

Now that I am knocking on 50's door, I am worried about weight control more than ever before. If my pant size began creeping up, I used to be able to drop 10-20 pounds easily. I'm finding that is not as easy to do anymore. Although I still play a lot of sports, (hockey, baseball, golf etc) the number of hours spent on those activities has lessened. However, the calorie intake remains relatively the same. I know what I must do but it is almost like asking me to remove myself from my comfort zone.

During the past couple of week ends, I've been to a couple of Brunch Buffets at a nearby establishment. I watched a number of people at the 50+ age range that were well over their weight requirements eating plate after plate of food. This alone made me look in the mirror and lose my appetite. So long as we have establishments that are willing to fatten people up like that we will continue to have an increase in medical issues.

I am sure you will have quite a bit of traffic during these very inspiring posts. Congrats on your Post of the Day award. Nobody I know deserves it more. Looking forward to more award winning posts Rosaria.

BTW, I received my Comforters CD and Tshirt in yesterdays mail. Please convey my thanks to your daughter and son-in-law. And thank you for letting us know about the hidden family talent.

♥ Braja said...

Good follow-on, Rosaria....the lifestyle won't take us to old age if it's covered in ignorance....

♥ Braja said...

And what Reya brought up is such a good point. I believe it stems from a lack of knowledge of who and what we are, what our goals are, and an attachment to bodily identification. We're swamped with images of youth and eternal life in this material body; as Reya says, how the heck does that work?! If we're meant to be young, how do we live as long as possible? It's a deep subject.....and the truth is, the culture of the soul is lost in the modern body-image cultivation....

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

There was a program on here last night about the watery solution pumped into some chicken breast with pork and beef protein in it. I try to keep food simple and unprosessed - so it's the expensive chicken that's farmed well. It's not cheap to be heathy anymore!

Susan said...

You and Paul McCartney both cheer me up about aging - "grandchildren on our knee" and all that ... Thanks. You just gotta laugh. Vera, Chuck, and Dave, I'm ready for you.

La Belette Rouge said...

Congratulations!!! And, yay to Braja and David for acknowledging your wise post!

My grandmother lived to 101 and she ate like a bird( only she never ate fruits and veg. Her daily lunch was chips and cheese and a mini can of Coors). If I follow in her footsteps that means I have 60 more years. I wouldn't want to live longer than that. Maybe I should quit eating so healthy.;-)

Sarah Laurence said...

Congratulations on your POTD and award! Well deserved as I can see from the post below.

I find my definition of “old” keeps getting older as I watch my parents and their friends age gracefully. Many are still working (like my dad) in their 70s. It is true that age brings more health problems, but modern science does offer new solutions. As boomers age and the world gets older, I’m sure the focus will shift.

Nancy said...

I just finished a five mile hike at around 8,900 ft. I'm exhaused! Yes, I want to be strong and healthy, thus the hikes, but I want to be able to feel accepted for me! All of me! And I certainly don't want to compete with my twenty-something daughters in how I look. I was watching a show last night with Carol Burnett, and I couldn't help wondering how much better she would have looked without all the surgery, ditto for Cher, Farrah, and a host of other beautiful women. Let's get back to what people are on the inside, and not worry what they look like. Let's live as long as we were meant to and be grateful for those years. Why do we always want more of everything?

Pyzahn said...

I think everyone is confused. The medical association and nutrition "experts" seem to be constantly changing their minds about what's good for you, or not.

But I suppose the good news is that science keeps on searching for answers. I just wish our culture (and medical community) leaned more to the east in terms of keeping healthy, being proactive in taking care of ourselves, rather than popping pills and expecting medicine to take of all of our ills.

potsoc said...

I must admit that I got very wary of all those health fads based on conflicting researches done in dubious conditions and comparing apples with oranges. An example will illustrate the origin of my skepticism. Two years ago I read and article on Aspartame and how it could negatively influence our health and it's dubious sugar replacement qualities. The same article compared Aspartame and Splenda. The lab reasearch indicated that Splenda was way better than Aspartame without the aftertaste and much better at replacing sugar.
Another report stated that both products were 90% as sugary as sugar.
I dug a bit more and found that the conflicting researches had been subsidized by the two rival companies. OK...
Remember how butter and eggs were no no until the milk and poultry producers got their own researches proving the exact opposite.
I have come to the conclusion that we each can determine what is good for us to eat and what is not with a minimum of self observation. The humble bathroom scale is our best food counsellor.
Buon appetito!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Nice post and congratulations!

Yes if only we had known then perhaps many of my family members would have had a better shot at healthier lives. None were overweight but some things, such as high cholesterol are inherited. Thankfully there is a little pill for that because it seems no amount of exercise or proper diet can totally reduce the bad effects of cholesterol.

I am a firm believer of age appropriate exercise (of mind and body) and a healthy diet. That should certainly give us a shot at healthier, longer lives.

"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple..." Keep the thoughts coming.

Kim Kasch said...

It's just that as I get older, the rules keep changing.

Chicken used to be good for us, now it's not so much. Eggs used to be good for us - not so much for a while - now they are again.

I'm getting whiplash from going back-n-forth.

Beth said...

Personally, I love it when the drug being advertised has more side effects than the condition it is supposed to be helping. Why even bother?

janis said...

funny, 64 doesn't seem as old to me today as it did whenI first sang this tune!
I don't want to be younger, I just want to feel happier like I did when I was younger. I am working on it!
Great post!

Ribbon said...

At this point in my life I feel that my state of mind has a huge influence on my general wellbeing.

My understanding is that mental illness is the most dominant in our modern societies.
A figure I read recently suggests that one in five suffer from some form of mental illness, mostly being depression of some form.

You can have a disease of any nature, but you attitude will influence your life far more than the disease.

Congratulations to you for post of the day.
take care and keep on sharing as I believe that the more we share the more we learn.

best wishes
Ribbon

Amelia said...

Congratulations on your POTD. I know that I am new, but from what I have read thus far, very well deserving!

I hope to be able to grow old with the one and only person that I have given everything to. I don't know if it will happen, all I know is that they have changed my life and blessed me far beyond I could have EVER imagined.

Hit 40 said...

Congratulations on the PTD!! Very fun

I think the kids are getting chunky because mom is working more than ever. She has no time to cook a good square meal. The only square meal the kids get is the square fun meal box from McDonalds.

Delwyn said...

Hello Rosaria

I know restless leg syndrome very well - it's a jolly nuisance...My doctor says that chemical changes of menopause are a likely contributor and now I am through that stage it appears to have eased...

I don't think we are doomed unless we continue to neglect responsibility for choosing nutritious foods and getting sufficient exercise and rest.

Happy days

Saretta said...

I have heard about restless leg syndrome...my father has it and drives my mom nuts all night! And how about those terrible cramps in the legs that come on suddenly? My mom told me about these and I didn't believe her until I got a few! LOL! A good home remedy for those is to take a swig of undiluted vinegar. Doesn't taste too good, but the cramp vanishes!

Shadow said...

who isn't confused! what is healthy today spelt doom a few years ago. it's impossible to tell what's what anymore, since opinions and ideas change so rapidly.

NitWit1 said...

I have restless leg syndrome, but not enough to take medicine for it!

I am retired pharmacist (13 years retired) and I take a lot of my own medicine, so to speak.

Belatedly I have become an advocate of less medicine, if at all possible. One certain cholesterol lowering combination drug unbeknown to be me and the prescribing physician played a part in creating a Vit. D deficiency which required 4 different physician consults to and 4 espensive tests/procedures to diagnose.

I won't go into technical details but I am becoming more proactive in my own medical care. MORE is NOT ALWAYS better, with pills.

lakeviewer said...

Vitamin D deficiency is the newest round of problems I'm facing. I believe that all those pain meds I took when I had bursitis contributed to depletion. But, that's just a belief. I'm taking mega doses of vitamin D, and make a point of hanging outside in the sun. If I succumb to skin cancer it will be because of this natural remedy.

I shall keep in touch with my last visitor,NitWit1, the pharmacist, as we have mutual interests here.

Thank you all for visiting this post, for sharing your thoughts. Those of you who want to continue the conversation on your blog, please connect with others who are also introducing these topics.

My next discussion topic will be end-of-life decisions as this is in the news today.

Woman in a Window said...

It seems to me we need to look less at what is being sold to us and closer to food from healthy sources. The more we can recognize as real (and clean) that we put into our body, the better off we'll be. This from the girl who has been sneaking potato chips all evening. But I recognize those chips. They're mine!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'll raise my hand as confused. With all the drugs available for everything from teary eyes to those restless legs, one would require a wheelbarrow attached to a wheelchair to haul all our drugs. Ridiculous. What is the point of keeping us alive if the quality of life is so poor.

david mcmahon said...

.... and now I have another question for you. Would you care to do a Sunday Roast interview?

Miriam's Art Journal said...

I try to ignore all the outside advice and seek inward....with my firstborn I read every book and I had a miserable time...with my 2nd...I followed my instincts and I am having a much better time....sometimes "expert" advice is no holistic enough to address happiness...

Natalie said...

I think the best we can do, is follow a path of simplicity and moderation. Like Delwyn said before me, rest,exercise and nutritious food should stand us in good stead.xx♥

sallymandy said...

You are not the only one confused, R. I've been thinking about the rhesus monkeys in the news all week. Do I want to live longer? In what condition? This is all very interesting.

marc aurel said...

Atavistically, which I can say, but probably not spell correctly, it seems that women, more than men, set themselves the life purpose of living as long as possible. As a man, I find I am more interested in what I have done with the time I had and have today. I feel like a battery that uses up it's energy quickly, rather than one which might last a long time, but possibly not with such enjoyable burst of energy. Am I the only man who differentiates himself from women this way?

Mervat said...

I have just now been able to visit your blog to read up on what I have missed. I cannot wait.