Health Kick

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A healthy lifestyle is essential once we reach Fabulously40, a lesson that many of us seem to be slow in learning.

In our 20’s and 30’s, we could get away with bad food and lifestyle choices. If we didn’t get eight hours of sleep at night, it wasn’t evident (at least not right away). If we ate or drank too much for a whole week, perhaps we added a pound or two, but not much more. And when decided to go on a diet, the pounds seemed to melt away. So I ask you, what the heck happened?

At 40+, it seems that anything we do that is not appropriate to our age category takes an immediate toll. I’ve always had a weight issue -- I would eat, gain weight, diet, lose weight, and then repeat the cycle -- only now it seems worse than ever. I don’t think there’s a diet I haven’t heard of, tried or attempted.

Ironically, I’ve found that they all work as long as you count your calories. Take in fewer calories than you burn each day and you will loose weight. The challenge, of course, is keeping the weight off. Had I found the answer to that age-old problem I would have been the most celebrated woman on the planet.

Let’s face it ladies, we live in a society that preaches that size 0 models are the most beautiful creatures on earth. We hear it, we live it, and worst of all, we teach it to our children. I remember preaching to my daughters to stop eating too much so they will not have my thighs, arms, or derriere. Find What Works for You

I have finally accepted the fact that as we age, we need to take care of our bodies in a more attentive way. Like it or not, every extra piece of bread we put in our mouths will end on our thighs, arms or somewhere in between. However, that doesn’t make it any easier to say no to that freshly buttered croissant and dive into a plate of raw carrots and broccoli instead.

Recently, I came to the conclusion that although there are many ways to eat healthier and take better care of ourselves, the secret is finding out what works best for each individual. After trying countless diets and eating plans, I have discovered that Weight Watchers works best for me. All I need to do is to make it a daily routine. For me, that means going to their meetings, having a workout buddy, and being held accountable for everything that goes into my mouth. What prompted this sudden revelation?

Every year I gain 10 pounds during the holiday season, and every year I have to deal with the extra weight after the holidays. This year, however, I managed to gain 10 pounds before the holidays even began, and it was downhill from there. Given that the pounds no longer come off as easily as they used to, the time had come to figure out what I need to do in order to stay healthy and vibrant for myself and my loved ones.

Not long ago I scolded my dad to stop smoking and start taking care of himself. When he didn’t immediately oblige, I called him selfish. I laid on the “Jewish guilt” hard and thick because, after all, if he gets sick we children have to take care of him. If he chooses to get sick by being careless, that’s selfish and unfair.

So -- I am publicly announcing that from today forward I will be very conscious of what I eat and how much I exercise. If I don’t take care of myself now, my kids will have to take care of me, which I do not find appealing. I want to be a “cool” grandma, not an old and sick one. For this to happen, I need to have a plan and stick to it.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’re probably cringing just about now. Another plan??? Just how many plans, programs and guidelines do we need to adhere to? I say as many as possible, as long as the outcome is a positive one.

I call all of you to join me as I embark on the “health kick” at this special stage in my life. I will definitely need your support getting there.

Yours in good health,

Yana Berlin is a Founder of, visit her at

Author: by Yana Berlin