I am a single woman, 68 years old and currently retired and living in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
In 2000, at age 53, I left my corporate job in South Texas and moved to Ras Al Khaimah in the north of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to teach Business at a local women’s college. I was tall, athletic, of normal weight and very flexible as I had practiced yoga daily for 25 years.
Everyone knows that the symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes and night sweats, impact many women in their 50s. It’s less common to talk about the hormonal and physical changes that take place in our bodies after menopause. In fact, strangely, this topic is a bit taboo.
When I lived in Seattle, the home of Starbucks, I used to reach for a cup of strong coffee before my feet even touched the ground. Moving seemed impossible without a single tall skinny latte. Later, when I moved to Europe, I started my love affair with tea. I even made a thermos of green tea every night so that I didn’t have to get out of bed without it. Tea was the first thing that touched my lips every day. It became a ritual… then a form or meditation… then a way of life.
Life post menopause should not be a time of suffering. Rather, it should be a time of wisdom, freedom and reflection for self-growth. If you find yourself ill at ease with your menopause journey, addressing food and lifestyle changes, alongside any other intervention you choose with the help of your doctor, can be of major benefit. Here, I will focus mostly on post menopause.
By the time we get to be 60-years-old, most of us have a good idea of how our diet and lifestyle affects us. We know how we react to certain foods and many of us have adopted better eating habits.
There is, however, one aspect of our lives that remains a mystery. If we are eating better and even exercising, why do we have so much trouble losing weight after 60?
The Baby Boomer generation is aging differently than previous generations, and one example of the changing trends affecting our lifestyles is the increasing move toward urbanization. According to the U.S. Census, during the next 20 years, 10,000 people will turn 65 every single day. At the same time, the UN reports that 54 percent of the world’s people live in urban areas – and this proportion is expected to increase to 66 percent by 2050.
As we get a little older, many of us find that our sleep patterns change. Instead of sleeping through the night, we find ourselves waking up at 4am, wondering whether to go back to bed or get started with the day. Well, we can’t change how the aging process impacts our bodies, but, we can change the environment that we live in.
You’ve all heard it before and it is the one constant and true axiom in life: You get better as you age. Do you believe this? Is longevity really a resource? Or is this mantra just a fabrication of modern consumerism? Does American advertising use this slogan just to get you to buy a quick fix and look ten years younger with a face-life, pill or personal trainer?
What really makes people succeed at losing weight after 60? Many people think that losing weight is something we should do “for ourselves,” not out of any external pressure or a need to suit other people’s preferences for how we look.
Sometimes we learn what to do from someone who did it all wrong. I found myself realizing that I learned a lot about aging well from my mother. Sadly, the lessons are not ones I want to repeat.