One of my clients whose weight is upward of 300 pounds was asked by her doctor, "Have you ever seen a senior citizen at your weight?" She thought about it and answered, "No." He replied, "That's because people at your weight don't live to be senior citizens." That comment encouraged her to eat well and practice self-care in an effort to add years to her life expectancy.
I just can't understand why people complain or get depressed about another birthday. I believe the ultimate goal in life is to add birthdays. Aging is a privilege, one we should strive for and never ignore or take for granted.
As people age, many avoid visiting the doctor because they are fearful of negative test results. The time you spend taking care of your nutritional needs is an investment in your future and your health. Eat healthy, exercise, and get the appropriate medical tests. There is no better news than positive results.
Age is wisdom, experience, and memories, and you have lived to this age by the way you've conducted your life. How you age is your choice. There are many factors that dictate your health through the years, some within your control and some not. But you have the power to eat well and to preserve your level of self-love and self-care. Self-love is never selfish. It keeps you aware of the importance of self-care.
Eating will, and should, change as you age. You may find you've lost the desire for food you once enjoyed. Many items you ate in your younger years are no longer healthy for you. As you age your body does not digest food as it once did, your digestive system produces less fluid than needed to process food. The medications you take, the normal decline in metabolism, and your activity level should all be taken into consideration when choosing food and portion size.
Each cycle of life brings a different eating style, and an aging body needs to continue eating food that is nourishing to preserve good health. Eliminate patterns that deplete energy; focus on habits that create energy.
Often in later years you may find yourself alone and feeling lonely, which can also affect eating and health. It is important to focus on self-love and self-care. It gives you a sense of vitality and accomplishment. Finding new friends with different interests is important at any age.
The guidelines for healthy living do not change as you age, but your tolerance to food or desire to eat does. You've made it to this age, now keep at it and add to those birthdays by doing the following:
- Visit and talk with your doctor to discuss any concerns you have.
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
- Reduce the amount of sweets and alcohol you consume.
- Eat protein at each meal and include protein items with your snacks.
- Choose whole grains often.
- Drink two to three cups of milk daily, or another calcium rich product for strong bones and teeth.
- Choose food with healthy fat, such as avocados, olives, and vegetable oils for healthy skin, and to aid in elimination.
- Limit sodium, unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
- When feeling lonely, make arrangements to eat with others.
- Take an exercise class.
- Read often.
- Stay current with styles and events.
- Keep in touch with friends and loved ones.
- Join clubs to meet peers with similar interests.
- Be someone others want to spend time with.
- Volunteer in your community.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Celebrate your special day each year, for many years!