Relaxing womanStress will make you old. If you doubt that statement, click on this link to see how our Presidents have aged during office. It’s dramatic. Most of us would agree that the President of the United States has a stressful job. Okay, maybe you’re not the President, but the stress you may be feeling is real and it’s breaking your body down. Want to reverse that process? Read on.

As I described in Part One of this article, I stressed myself to exhaustion when I was 22 years old and ended up in the hospital with a “nervous breakdown”.  The gift to that dark cloud was being introduced to hypnosis and self-hypnosis. Not only did I recover from my ordeal without the use of any drugs, but I discovered a way to overcome negative thinking and to relax with just a deep breath.  But little did I know that, over time, I would discover other phenomenal benefits of practicing self-hypnosis.

The link between self-hypnosis and aging

Years after my introduction to self-hypnosis, I had the pleasure of hearing Teri D. Mahaney, Ph.D., author of the book “Change Your Mind/Life”, speak at a professional conference. I was in my early thirties at the time. Dr. Mahaney’s book, a step-by-step program to re-pattern the subconscious mind, used subliminal affirmations to replace negative thoughts in such areas as empowerment, healing and wellness, money and success, and sports performance.

First, you record a script. Second, you listen to your self-recorded script. Your mind then enters a theta brainwave state, or a state of deep hypnosis, which is similar to the state of your brain right before falling to sleep. In this deep, relaxed state, the affirmations recorded on the script are highly effective.

Intrigued, I listened intently because of my initial success with self-hypnosis. Teri began her research in the early 1980’s, which included frequent listening to her own scripts. Then she announced, “I am youthing.” That was an interesting comment that hit home when she announced her age. She looked fifteen years younger. Her program appeared to be reversing the aging process.

I bought the book and tried her program for a short period of time.  I didn’t have the patience at that time in my life to stick with it because I was still focused on succeeding through sheer effort and determination. Her lesson stuck with me, however, and later in life as I tired of the “nose to the grindstone” mentality, I began to revisit using self-hypnosis to relax and change my negative thought patterns.

Now I listen to relaxation recordings most evenings before bed and first thing in the morning. I very rarely have trouble sleeping and the recordings help me frame each day in a positive way before I get out of bed. My favorite recordings are listed at the end of this article. Give it a try.

The scientific link between stress and aging

Perhaps you’d like a scientific link between stress and aging? It is well known that cortisol and adrenaline are released when we feel stress. The higher the stress, the higher the level of hormones produced. Overloads of stress hormones have been linked to such diseases as heart disease, high blood pressure and weakened immune systems. Releasing stress is critical to staying healthy.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that stress can add years to the age of individual immune system cells, primarily telomeres (the structures at the tips of chromosomes), by becoming shorter each time the cell divides. When a cell becomes too short, it stops dividing and dies. Stress hastens the process.

Researchers checked both the telomeres and the stress levels of 58 healthy but highly stressed women. They found that their immune systems cells had aged, on average, an extra 10 years.

If you still question the link between stress and aging, take another look at the pictures of our presidents at the beginning of their presidency and at the end. Presidents undergo a process of accelerated aging, according to Dr. Michael Roizen, chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and co-founder of He has accumulated facts and figures on presidential health dating back to the 1920s, and speculates that “presidents get two years older for every year they’re in office.” The moral of this story, other than to not run for President, is to relax.

Some of my favorite relaxation books and CDs

Louise L. Hay, CD “Morning Meditation”/”Evening Meditation”

Louise L. Hay, Book “You Can Heal Your Life”

Teri D. Mahaney, Ph.D. Book “Change Your Mind/Life”

Doreen Virtue, Ph.D. Book/CD “Chakra Clearing”

Glenn Harrold, CD “A Chakra Meditation”

In summary, self-hypnosis is an effective tool to plant positive thoughts directly into the subconscious mind and bypass the clutter of the conscious mind. It’s hard, if not impossible, to feel a negative emotion and relax at the same time. Since I started listening to self-hypnosis recordings on a regular basis, the results have been subtle but undeniable—like alleviating my anxiety and like qualifying for the Boston Marathon for the first time at the age of 54. It took me 14 years and 8 marathons to qualify the first time, and only one try the second time . . . because I relaxed and let go.

Change will come easier for some than others. It didn’t come easily for me because I was so high strung and stubborn . . . still am. It took me years to learn to let go, but each time I did, my good came to me. I continue to learn and look forward to enjoying the rest of my life with energy and positive expectations. Aging is not the same as growing old. Stay youthful and enjoy life to the fullest.

Do you have any experience with hypnosis?  If so, I love to hear about your experience.  Comment on my blog.  Want more articles on staying young and productive as you age?  Subscribe to my blog or like my Facebook fan page.  Looking for a speaker?  Check out my website.

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Nervous ManEver had trouble sleeping? How about for several nights in a row? Add 60-hour weeks on top of that and you’ve got major stress. I worked for a national CPA firm once, with the top performers in the field. Most of them competed hard for recognition and promotions. At 22 years old, I had never felt so much pressure and drove myself to exhaustion, both mentally and physically. Yes, I cracked under the pressure and checked myself into the hospital. I had what I call a nervous breakdown. The doctor said I suffered from acute anxiety. Either way, I didn’t work again for six weeks.

Welcome to the first part of a two part series on hypnosis.  I will explain what it is and how it can help you, both to relieve stress and to stay young.

There’s always a silver lining to what seems like our darkest days.  While in the hospital, I was introduced to the power of hypnosis and self-hypnosis.  I’ve never looked back.  While I lay, tense and stiff, in that hospital bed (right after they checked me in), and after I refused the pills they brought me in one of those little paper cups, a psychiatrist came to see me and told me he was going to hypnotize me.  I remember thinking that hypnosis was used for schizophrenic patients and the fear cursed through my body.  No, the doctor assured me that hypnosis was a natural way of relaxing.  Through hypnosis, he could talk directly to my subconscious mind and bypass all the clutter in my conscious mind.  He said I would always be in control and would never do anything I didn’t want to do.

Believe me.  I was skeptical, but after days of no sleep and racked with fear, I desperately needed to relax.  In a low, calm voice, the doctor told me to take a deep breath, hold it for five seconds and count to five as I let it out.  I repeated the deep breaths three times.  He then told me to imagine myself at the top of a mountain as the snow, soft and deep, fell softly around me.  He then guided me, as I skied effortlessly down the mountain, while he counted down from 10 to one.

Amazing—my neck muscles started to loosen up even though I couldn’t stop the barrage of skeptical thoughts.  But I started to relax—just a little.

When I reached the bottom of the mountain, the doctor suggested that I remain relaxed and calm.  Then, starting at my head, he told me to relax my eyes, unclench my teeth, relax my shoulders, back—every limb down to my toes.  After 30 minutes, he counted up from one to 10 and told me to open my eyes.

I felt more calm and less tense.  Then I fell asleep and slept for hours.  The doctor repeated this process every day for a week.  When I was released from the hospital, he gave me a tape to listen to every night before bed that would take me through the same relaxation technique.  I was training my mind to automatically relax by taking deep breaths when I felt afraid or tense.

To this day I listen to relaxation tapes, not only to fall asleep, but to reprogram negative thinking.  It works!   How and why does it work?  Read on.

What is Hypnosis?

A definition of hypnosis as cited in is “…a trancelike state, artificially induced, in which a person has a heightened suggestibility…”  It operates on the law of concentrated attention.  The more you hear a suggestion, the more likely that the suggestion will be believed on the subconscious level.   Advertisers work on this principal bombarding us with the same message over and over.

Hypnosis is a way to access the subconscious mind directly.  The subconscious mind is that part of the mind that is intuitive.  All of our beliefs, habits and memories are stored in the subconscious.  It is our subconscious that causes us to react emotionally.  This is the part of the brain that is also responsible for our involuntary functions such as breathing and digestion.

Our conscious mind is responsible for logic and reasoning.  Any conscious act we do such as read, write, walk, do math, etc. comes from our conscious mind.  It is this part of our mind that is always thinking.

Hypnosis is effective because the deep relaxation calms and subdues the conscious mind so suggestions bypass the clutter and go directly into the subconscious where change can occur more effectively.  Studies have shown that hypnosis slows brain waves from cycling at 14-32 times per second down to as few as 4 times per second, which is the ideal speed for learning.

There are various benefits and uses of hypnosis, three of which I have experienced: reducing stress and anxiety, eliminating unwanted negative feelings, and increasing confidence and concentration.  Another widely used application of hypnosis is to reduce pain associated with disease or surgical procedures and in child-birth and dentistry.  Hypnosis was recognized as a valid therapeutic tool by the American Medical Association in 1958.

Following are some of the recordings I frequently listen to when I need to relax, concentrate, or just feel better.

Some of my favorite relaxation books and CDs

Louise L. Hay, CD “Morning Meditation”/”Evening Meditation”

Louise L. Hay, Book “You Can Heal Your Life”

Teri D. Mahaney, Ph.D. Book “Change Your Mind/Life”

Doreen Virtue, Ph.D. Book/CD “Chakra Clearing”

Glenn Harrold, CD “A Chakra Meditation”

There you have it—the mystery of hypnosis uncovered and how it can relieve stress and anxiety.  Thanks to self-hypnosis, I was able to recover from my acute anxiety without drugs and return to work and able to function normally.  Next week I’ll reveal how self-hypnosis can keep you young.  Do you have any experience with hypnosis?  If so, I love to hear about your experience.  Comment on my blog.  Want more articles on staying young and productive as you age?  Subscribe to my blog or like my Facebook fan page.  Looking for a speaker?  Check out my website.

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Yoga woman_edited-3We are all aging.  But what does that mean to you?  How do you see yourself at age 60, 70, 80 and beyond?  Are you spending more money on facial serums and lotions to erase the years or getting a tuck here and there to save the fading figure.  Or maybe you exercise constantly.  Does it work?

Why this obsession with looking young?  I must admit, I suffer from this obsession.  Since I turned 60, I’m more conscious about getting old, or maybe I should say, looking old.  Yes, I exercise frequently but there is only so much exercise you can do and, still, your body changes.

So what’s the secret to the fountain of youth?

It’s a paradigm shift.  You need to reframe your thoughts from youth to youthfulness.  Youth conjures up thoughts of a young body, whereas youthfulness embodies life energy.  Youthfulness is being alive and in the world.  A youthful person is fun, interesting, and intriguing, no matter what age they happen to be.

I started running in my early 20’s.  At one of my first road races, I was passed by another runner.  In fact he flew by me.  Mind you, getting passed was not an unusual event.  However, this man looked to be in his 70’s and he had wings on his shoes.  He ran much faster than the other male runners 20 years younger.  It didn’t matter that he “looked old”.  His persona was high energy and I was mesmerized.  He’s the reason that I’m running.  I want to grow up like him, still active and living life in my 70’s and beyond.

Besides the obvious mistakes of not staying fit and not eating a healthy diet, here are the top five mistakes that will make you old.

  1. We stay in our comfort zone.

I belong to Toastmasters.  I joined about four years ago to practice public speaking.  I wasn’t a beginner at speaking.  In fact, I used to compete in speech contests in college.  But . . . how does that saying go?  Use it or lose it.  The first time I got up to speak, I was terrified.  When I tried Table Topics, I had a tough time talking for the minimum time of one minute.  Table Topics is impromptu speaking.  Someone asks a question and you must answer immediately, off the top of your head.  But I kept at it and it got easier.  Despite the terror I felt before that first speech, I walked away with a huge sense of accomplishment that I had overcome my fear.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to stay young and to get the energy flowing.  Join a Toastmasters club, take dancing lessons, sing at karaoke night.  Do something different that gets your heart pumping.

  1. We quit dreaming.

We’ve all been around the person who simply exists from day to day.  Someone who’s given up on life.  They can suck the life out of you if you let them.  On the other hand, if you’re around someone who’s striving for a dream and living life to the fullest, it’s a joy to be around them.  They’re magnetic.  We’re drawn to their positive energy.

Were you ever told to quit daydreaming?  Don’t!  Daydreaming encourages creativity and makes the impossible possible.  Anything you manifest starts with a thought.  Keep dreaming and stay youthful.

  1. We get set in our ways.

One of my favorite authors, Louise Hay, talks about being rigid in her book You Can Heal Your Life.  “KNEES, like the neck, have to do with flexibility:  only they express bending and pride, ego and stubbornness.  Often when moving forward, we are fearful of bending, and we become inflexible.  This stiffens the joints.  We want to move forward, but we do not want to change our ways.  This is why knees take so long to heal; our ego is involved.”

Pilates teacher, Fiona du Plooy, says that she can tell your “real” age by how flexible your spine is.

If you are totally stiff, that’s an indication of the stiffness in your mind.  Take Pilates or yoga classes which not only help you stay flexible and strong, they teach you proper breathing and are meditative in nature.

  1. We quit learning.

Does aging slow the brain? Not necessarily.  Several sources reveal that keeping the brain stimulated stops cognitive decline.  But also consider the advantage that years of experience gives you in creating something new over a young person.  With age comes wisdom.  Yes, a young person can more easily think out of the box because they don’t know there is a box, but they don’t have the same experience to draw on.

The key to staying youthful and creative is to believe you can.  Much of the decline in cognitive abilities is because of a lack of challenge.  Stay challenged, and stay youthful. 

  1. We quit making love.

Did you know that women who enjoy sex live longer?  According to Mehmet Oz, MD and author of YOU:  Being Beautiful, “Double your amount of satisfying sex and add up to three years to your life.”  He didn’t address men in the article, but I’m sure it helps them as well.  There are many physical and mental benefits to having sex such as decreased stress, increased self-esteem, increased heart rate, and allowing the ability to surrender to pleasure.  It’s fun and what is life without fun?  Have more sex and stay youthful.

In summary, as you age, focus on staying youthful, as opposed to young.  As I write in my soon to be published book, Breaking Barriers, “Middle age is not the transition to old age, but the transition to mastery—the mastery of a life of learning and experience.  It’s our time to shine.”

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Handheld weightHave you ever worked hard to achieve a goal and then just fell flat? Did you feel like you were missing something—something key that might have turned the result around? Or maybe you thought it might be because of your age?

Have you ever considered using a personal coach?

I can answer yes to all of those questions. I ran my last marathon much slower than I had planned. After months of hard training, I went to the starting line fatigued and injured. I could have run through the hip issue, but when I got to mile eight in the marathon, I knew I just didn’t have the energy to push to my potential. Sure, my mind went immediately to the age excuse. Was I getting old?

Even at 60 years old, I’m not buying into that paradigm. I got faster in my fifties. Why can’t I achieve that feat in my sixties? After completing 17 marathons, most recently the Boston Marathon in April of 2015, I had developed a training program for myself that proved to be successful for my last few marathons. After all I ran a marathon personal record at age 54 and then again at 56. I also qualified for Boston again at age 59 shattering the age qualification time of 4 hours 10 minutes for women 50 -59 by over 10 minutes and over 25 minutes for women 60 – 64, and only 6 minutes away from another personal record. So, I’m thinking that I can do this. I can break another barrier. But I think something’s missing. I’m beginning to think I might need a coach, a personal trainer to get to the next level.

I’ve only been coached twice in my life for running. Once I took a marathon training course at age 29 to run my first marathon. Then again when I participated in the Leukemia Team In Training program for my third marathon. The program included coaching from John Loeschhorn, ultra-marathoner and coach. Both times, however, I was coached as part of a group. Never have I indulged in hiring a private coach who would just coach me. Somehow I thought they were reserved for the really fast runners out there. But with age comes wisdom, sometimes. Now I’m thinking, why not? Maybe that’s the key to running one more personal record.

I belong to a pricey health club in Irvine, California. The exercise classes are led by the top fitness instructors in their field and I love to take exercise classes. The club also employs the top personal trainers in their field. I took the leap recently and scheduled my two free sessions (included in my pricey membership) with a personal trainer. I learned much from those sessions and I knew I could benefit greatly from his coaching. So why am I hesitating? Following are the pros and cons I’m considering.

The Three Pros of Hiring a Personal Coach

  1. First pro: Knowledge

You can pick a private trainer that has a specialty in the area you want to improve in. The trainer I met with, Kent, has a degree in Kinesiology and is a marathon and ultra-marathon runner, and he ran the Boston Marathon. Oh yeah, he also participated on a club triathlete team in college. He’s only 23 so he knows all of the newest exercise developments. You can find personal trainers in many, many areas like Pilates, bicycling, overall strength training, etc. 

  1. Second pro: Personally tailored and goal specific workouts

Kent did some tests the first time we met to measure my strength and flexibility and talked to me about my personal goals. The second time we met he guided me through a series of exercises to work on my balance and flexibility and to stabilize my hips. The program he developed will, overtime, make me stronger and able to sustain the pounding of running long distances before I even start marathon training. I plan to run my next marathon in October of 2016 which would give me time to recover from my injuries, work on strength and flexibility and then launch into a six-month marathon program.

Let’s say your goal is to bike a century, or climb Mount Whitney, or run your first 10K, or lose weight and tone muscles, a coach could develop your exercise plan at your pace to meet your specific goals.

  1. Third pro: Motivation

This one is huge. I felt very encouraged when I met with Kent. I believed that there is a way, with a disciplined, consistent program, that I can achieve my dream of running a personal record at the age of 61. The first step is believing, right?  If you are someone who needs motivation to get to the gym and the discipline of having a scheduled workout time, this is a great way to go.

The Three Cons of Hiring a Personal Coach

  1. First con: Cost

This one is huge too. I knew the health club management didn’t give away two free training sessions because they were generous. No, they knew you’d be impressed and I was. The cost is a cool $100/hour, slightly less for multiple packages. Kent highly encouraged at least two to three times a week to learn the proper form and the exercises, which makes sense to me.  I’m calculating a 2 to 2 1/2 month investment of approximately $2,400. Is the investment worth the price? I’m looking at investing in myself, in learning proper form and a way to get strong that will stay with me a lifetime.

  1. Second con: Commitment

When an investment is made, so is a commitment. You then commit to a plan that will take work, effort, and discipline. This isn’t an easy thing to do when there are so many other things happening in your life. Then again, this could be considered a good thing.

  1. Third con: Fear

When an investment and a commitment is made, then you must overcome the fear that you might fail. What if I work through the program, train for another marathon, and then fall short of my goal? What then? Facing a fear of failure is big for me. But, then again, you don’t really fail if you’ve done your best. At least you jumped in and tried and probably emerged stronger and wiser because of the experience. Again, this could be considered a good thing.

What’s your story? Do you have a pie-in-the-sky dream that seems out of reach? Do you think you’re too old? Is a coach worth it? Maybe the type of coach that could benefit you would be a life coach or a business coach. Education is a great investment in ourselves and can take us way out of our comfort zones. I’d love to hear success stories on the benefits of private coaching. If you have one, please comment below.

Meanwhile, I’ll ponder my decision which seems like an obvious answer, but it’s still a tough decision.

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Silver Belles-Talent ShowWe all have interesting stories about our childhood that shaped who we are as adults.  As I think back on my childhood, I sit back and shake my head.  How did we survive!  Those were great days.  This week I thought I share some trivia about my childhood.  Here goes.

(Trivia #1)  I worked at the Dari-ette in Augusta, Kansas while in Junior High School.  I got paid in cash in an envelope every week.  After I had been there for six months, my boss, Jeanette, asked me why I never said anything about the raise she gave me three months earlier.  I never thought to count the money.

(Trivia #2)  I started playing guitar in a band when I was 10.  I remember our first performance was at a nursing home.  I must have cut my finger or something because after we sang our song, I saw blood all over my guitar.  I was so nervous I didn’t notice I was splattering blood all over.

(Trivia #3)  Not only did I roll my hair up in empty frozen juice cans and sleep on them (sort of), I also used to iron my hair.  The ironing didn’t work very well.

(Trivia #4) I left the band when I turned 16.  We were actually called the Silver Belles.  We were a girl band, except for a boy drummer.  I played lead guitar and one of my favorite guitar solos was a medley of Wildwood Flower and Under The Double Eagle.  I was almost as good as Chet Atkins!  Really.  I also loved to play Steel Guitar Rag.  Yep, I was almost as good as Buck Owens except I played it on a regular guitar, not a steel guitar. :)  We had played over 100 performances before I left the band, including playing at the state fair, political rallies, and country and western shows.  We even won a few talent contests.  I keep vowing to myself that I’ll start playing guitar again–someday.

(Trivia #5)  I used to love Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill when I was in high school.  I mean, I really thought it was great wine.

(Trivia #6)  One summer, while in college, I worked at a manufacturing plant that manufactured jackets and helmets.  I used to sew quite a bit back then.  A group of five of us started together at the plant.  My job was to sew pocket linings together—just the linings over and over and over.  I got paid on a piece work basis so I tried hard to sew enough of those pocket linings to make more than minimum wage.  It used to get to 105 degrees in that plant.  I was the only one stubborn enough to last the entire summer.  But I did it.  I made more than minimum wage and I lost weight too.

(Trivia #7)  My first car after I graduated from college was a Gremlin, yes, Gremlin.  My husband and I walked into the dealership, picked out the car and told the owner of the dealership (a friend of my husband’s Dad) that we’d buy it.  The owner almost had us sign the papers but, instead, took $100 off the price of the car while shaking his head.  It didn’t even occur to us to negotiate.

Now it’s your turn.  Write something fun from your childhood in the comments section below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Finish Line_edited-2Are you noticing more fat around your mid-section as the years go by?  Are the pounds continuing to creep up year after year?  What to do . . .exercise or diet?  Here’s the answer from a veteran marathoner–60 years strong.

Did you know that by the age of 30, more calories are stored as body fat and redistributed to the belly?  That means less lean body muscle.  Midlife weight gain continues in men until age 55 and in women until 65, when the accumulation of body fat is out-paced by an accelerating loss of lean body mass.  Lucky for women . . .

As an avid runner and all around exercise fanatic (I also do Pilates and Bikram Yoga), I have been able to keep my weight consistent up to the age of 60.  I also am careful about what I eat, limiting how much I eat out and eating a balanced diet.  I’m not a calorie counter and, yes, I love chocolate and red wine.  However, I’ve also seen people who take up running and train for a marathon to lose weight, only to finish the training and the marathon at the same weight or, horrors, weighing more.

So what gives?  What’s the best way to lose or maintain your weight—exercise or diet?  In this article, I will explain the advantages of exercise vs. diet—as we age.

Advantages of Exercise  

  1. Prevents cognitive decline.

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and can help prevent degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and slow cognitive decline that begins after age 45 by releasing the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.

  1. Sharpens memory and brain power.

This one is close to my heart as I see my mother’s short-term memory start to fade now that she is in her eighties. Start now to retain your memory. Cardiovascular exercise increases neurogenesis in the brain (creates new brain cells). Go for a run and you could increase your BDNF, a brain-derived protein that will help you with decision making and learning.

  1. Reduces stress and be happier.

Who doesn’t want to be happier? Exercise increases the feel good hormones like endorphins and dopamine. But it doesn’t stop there. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress.

  1. Extends and enhances the quality of your life.

Stanford University Medical Center conducted a 20 year study that followed 500 runners, all 50 years and older. The study found that if you exercise, you will live 16 years longer without the incidence of cancer, neurological disease, or disability. Hey, it doesn’t have to be running. It can be anything that increases your heart rate like dancing, hiking, or biking. Do something fun.   

  1. Burns calories.

Of course we all know this advantage. However, I listed it last because it’s tricky. How many calories you burn depends on your lean muscle mass and the effort you expend during exercise. It can get somewhat discouraging too. For instance, at 120 pounds, I burn about 100 calories a mile when I run (if it is slightly uphill on the treadmill). If I run five miles, I burn 500 calories. However if I then consume a Burger King Whopper sandwich, I will have consumed 650 calories in addition to 37 grams of fat. That’s why I don’t eat Whoppers.

Advantages of a Healthy Diet

  1. Controls weight.

If your goal is to lose weight, this is a key point. First calculate the number of calories you presently burn each day. Use this calculator. Next reduce your maintenance calories by 20% while simultaneously increasing your protein. Click here for more info on that. Sure, you’re going to need to count your calories and learn what is fat, protein, and carbohydrates. But anything worth having is worth working for. I used the calculator and learned that when I’m on a regular exercise schedule (not training for a marathon), I burn 2,317 calories a day. That’s good to know.

  1. You look and feel younger.

We all know that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is healthy. Not only are they low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, but also antioxidants which can help protect your skin. And, yes, veggies can fill you up too. Eat plenty of salmon which has omega-3 fatty acids which help to improve the health of your skin’s cells and slow premature aging. After all, beauty is from within, isn’t it?

3.  Saves your memory.

Vitamin E is a biggie when it comes to the brain. Include plenty of fish, like salmon, mackerel, and tuna, rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Also include dark green, leafy vegetables, avocados, peanuts or peanut butter, whole grains, berries, and, my favorite, red wine. I make it a habit to eat a big salad before my main course. Now I crave the vegetables and it fills me up.

     4.  Extends your life.

There are lots of studies that show diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat, help ward off all sorts of diseases as we age.   There is a direct connection between diet and a healthy heart. This is the best health insurance you can buy.

      5.  Increases the joy of life.

You can get addicted to fast food. If you haven’t seen the move Super Size Me, please check it out. It is a 2004 American documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker. He ate nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days straight and gained 24 ½ pounds, a 13% body mass increase, and increased his cholesterol to 230 mg/dL. He also experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and fat accumulation in his liver. It took him 14 months to lose the weight on a vegan diet. If watching that film doesn’t convince you to limit your fast food consumption, then you might be hooked . . .

Yes I know, there is very little in this article about actually losing weight. But it’s not about losing weight. It’s about being healthy and happy. As you can see above, there are similar advantages to both exercising and healthy eating. Doing both is a great way to ensure a long and happy life. But what’s more important in weight loss? You can exercise hard until you drop, but you won’t lose weight if you’re eating junk. The diet wins. However, if you want to be lean and strong, and maintain your range of motion, then get out there and exercise.  Above all, be consistent and you’ll see some great results.  I know my success at maintaining a consistent weight is a consistent approach to exercise and my diet.

Do you have any comments? I’d love to see them. Want more articles on staying young and productive as you age? Subscribe to my blog or like my Facebook fan page. Looking for a speaker? Check out my website.

Let’s break barriers together!


Do you want FREE resume and interview tips from an executive recruiter who has placed over 1,000 people?  CLICK HERE

Book Note: Yes!  I’m pleased to report that my book Breaking Barriers is in final editing.  If you want to be inspired, my story is for you.  Check it out here.   

1 mile to go_edited-1Pulled a muscle in your back? Got knee pain?  Can’t exercise?  These Nine Articles Will Help.

Two months into my six-month marathon training program for the Boston Marathon (that I just completed on April 21, 2015), I pulled my back.  I don’t really know how I did it.  I think I pulled it doing sit ups.  I tend to arch my back which is a big no no.  You must push the back to the floor to protect it.  Well, something happened and the next morning I couldn’t walk.  Obviously, I couldn’t run either.  I’m pretty anal when it comes to staying on my training schedule so I panicked when I thought about days or weeks of downtime.

How did I recover from my back pain?  I visited my homeopathic doctor and she prescribed the remedy, Hypericum, or the homeopathic strength of Saint John’s Wort.  I was back to my running schedule in two days.  Amazing.

I’ve written several articles on homeopathy, my healthcare of choice, which helps keep me healthy and active.  I’ve used homeopathy for knee pain, shoulder pain, and overall body aches (as well as sinus, emotional, and hormonal issues).  People who follow my blog, and know me at the gym, are always asking me how I can maintain such a heavy running and exercise schedule for someone 60 years old.  Homeopathy is one of the ways I can stay active as I age.

I’m writing this post to make it easy for you to consider this alternative healthcare path—all in one place.  I’ve divided the articles into three topic areas:  1) My Personal Experiences With Homeopathy; 2) Other Person’s Experiences With Homeopathy; and 3) Meet my Homeopath.


My Personal Experiences With Homeopathy

Homeopathy: A Safe and Faster Alternative to Healing Sports Injuries (Scroll down)

“It started when I was training for the Kansas City Marathon in 2008—that pulling sensation along the side of my left knee. As the weekly miles increased, the incredible stiffness set in. Simple movements became strained—like when I got out of the car, I found myself lifting my left leg with my hands to stop the piercing pain. Sometimes when doing simple movements—like walking down the stairs, my knee would give out from underneath me.”

How To Keep Your Knees Healthy, Despite Vigorous Exercise, As You Age

“Do you suffer from knee pain?  Does it stop you from doing what you want to do?  According to the Institute of Medicine, more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at a cost of around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity.  A study from Gallup-Healthways shows that 31 percent of U.S. adults have some sort of neck or back condition that causes them pain, 26 percent have some sort of leg or knee condition and 18 percent have another condition that causes chronic pain. That’s a lot of pain—and knee pain.  Why did I feel the need to look up that statistic?  Well, I’ve been asked a few times in the past few weeks how I can run so much.  Doesn’t it bother my knees?”

The Magic of Homeopathy and Sports Injuries (Scroll down)

“Would I have achieved my life-long dream of running the Boston Marathon for the first time in 2009 without homeopathy?  The answer is a resounding NO.

I know what some of you are thinking—homeopathy?  You’re kidding.  That’s hoodoo stuff.”

Another Relationship and Homeopathy (Scroll Down)

“I had a clue that my hormones were not in balance when I experienced the tough time I had with my pregnancy.  I began to have daily multiple hot flashes and to wake up in the morning looking like I had just finished a long run.  I started snapping at anyone who dared to look at me—especially Mike.  But, when I started gaining weight, even though I was running high mileage, I couldn’t stand it anymore. It was time to get help.

Other Person’s Experiences With Homeopathy

Why I changed my mind about homeopath—There can be no doubt – people get better after consulting a homeopath, and the reason is clear

“Homeopathy has intrigued me for many years; in a way, I grew up with it. Our family doctor was a homeopath, and my very first job as a junior doctor, was in a German homeopathic hospital. For the last two decades, I have investigated homeopathy scientifically. During this period, the evidence has become more and more negative, and it is now quite clear that highly diluted homeopathic remedies are pure placebos.”

Homeopathy VS Traditional Medicine ( My Experience )

“I am one of the biggest supporters of homeopathy simply because it worked for me, and it was always the original method of healing the body and the mind. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that traditional medicine made a lot of progress and some people can benefit from its advantages as well but I personally do prefer homeopathy – it just makes more sense to me.”

A Personal Story With A Happy Ending

“My hand looked like the claw of a grotesque monster! It was as painful as it was ugly – and it was spreading! It had begun as a dull pain in the first joint of my thumb and had quickly extended to the base of the thumb and then to the other fingers of my right hand. Within a week my hand was curled up in a hideous and painful distortion of a human hand. I could no longer grasp a doorknob, prepare meals or even do up or undo a button. I had consulted every local doctor and even one specialist from another city; still I had nothing more than partial and temporary relief. I was advised that there was no cure to this condition and that treatment was limited to drugs that would act only to relieve the pain. There was, I was informed, no way to correct the actual condition.”

Meet my Homeopath


Dahlia Orsalimian Shemtob, H.D., CCH holds a Master of Arts in Homeopathy (H.Hom.), from Hahnemann College of Homeopathy, in California/England; and a Masters Degree (M.Hom.) from Curentur University in California. She has also completed her doctoral degree in Classical Homeopathy (H.D.) from Curentur University.

Liver Weakness and Dysfunction

“The liver is perhaps the hardest working organ and the 2nd biggest organ in the body. It has hundreds of tasks to perform, including detoxification of the blood, the breakdown of insulin and other hormones including, providing proper enzymes for digestion and production of bile.

Alcohol, recreational drugs, prescription drugs, antibiotics, fatty foods, pesticides, chemicals and food preservatives ALL HIGHLY TAX the liver.

Do you have any of the following symptoms?

Nausea and indigestion. Yellowness of the sclera. Bitter taste in the mouth. Flatus, eructation, indigestion, reflux, nausea, bloating and distension. Constipation, diarrhea or alternating states between constipation and diarrhea, Right sided pains and soreness of the body. Itching, Jaundice, Eruptions of all sorts, especially moist eruptions, acne and pimples.”


I hope this information has opened your mind to a safe, non-invasive, alternative healthcare path.  If you have any personal experiences regarding homeopathy, please share them in the comments section.  I’d love to hear from you.

Let’s break barriers together!

Do you want FREE resume and interview tips from an executive recruiter who has placed over 4,000 people?  CLICK HERE

Book Note: Yes!  I’m pleased to report that my book Breaking Barriers is in final editing.  If you want to be inspired, my story is for you.  Check it out here.


After the finishShivering, I stood at the starting line of my third Boston Marathon on April 20 and started my Garmin and my IPod.  As John Fogerty’s Centerfield floated through my earphones, an announcement came over the loud speaker that Kenya’s Caroline Rotich had just won the women’s elite race in 2:24:55.  They were finished and I hadn’t even started the 26.2 mile trek to Boston.  The forecasted rain started right on schedule at 11am.  Lucky me starting in Stage 1 of Wave 4 at 11:15am.  Training in California in 65 to 85 degree weather didn’t prepare me for high 40’s with wind and rain.  I had just peeled off my throw-away clothes, to be donated to charity, and the wind cut through me like a knife—despite wearing three layers, running tights, hat, and gloves.  I gazed in wonder at some of the other runners in tank tops and shorts.  You’ve got to be kidding!

I had committed to running Boston again after the horrific bombings that took place at the race in 2013.  I had run the marathon in 2012 and my brother, Danny, and his wife, Amy, were spectators in an area where one of the bombs exploded.  I found it gratifying that 30,000 runners were running the race in 2015.  No, Boston Marathon runners were not easily intimidated by a terrorist act and neither were the spectators.  Even as we walked the half-mile from the runner’s village to the starting line in Hopkinton, crowds of supporters lined the street waving and shouting encouragement.  An electric energy filled the air and a rush of emotion filled my gut.  Call it excitement and gratitude.  A part of me couldn’t believe I was actually there—running the Boston Marathon again.

The gun sounded and Stage 1 was off and running through the tree-lined streets of Hopkinton.  I had trained hard for this race and I had an ambitious goal.  Yes, I tend to be competitive.  Okay, I am very competitive.  My ultimate goal was to beat my personal record I had set four years earlier of 3:53:23 at the Lincoln Marathon in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Why?  I had just turned 60 and that would be sweet.  I had qualified with a 3:59:50 at the California International Marathon in Sacramento in December 2013, so my goal was within reach.  The first time I had run Boston, in 2009, I had run a PR.  I was 54 then.  My backup goal was to finish strong.  All was well through eight miles.  I had achieved my target splits and had even slowed myself down on the first six downhill miles.  But, at that point, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.  After completing 16 previous marathons, I can tell early on.  Sometimes you’re on and sometimes you’re off.  Rather than push it, I readjusted my goal.  Hey, I was running Boston.  Why couldn’t I just relax and enjoy the experience?

What an experience it was.  What I remember most about the previous times I ran Boston was the incredible crowd support, especially on a tough course like Boston with so many hills!  Despite the rain and wind, the crowds showed up cheering.  I witnessed pure determination on the course.  I passed a double amputee, a blind runner, and a struggling wheelchair racer—all working hard to keep going.  The volunteers at every mile water stop were always courteous and smiling.

Oh, but the last few miles were phenomenal.  Not only were they slightly downhill, the closer to the finish I got the louder the roar of the crowd.  When I reached mile 24, I looked at my Garmin.  Despite no oxygen in my brain, I calculated that if I picked up the pace, I just might beat 4:20.  I thought, at the time, that my Boston qualifying time was 4:20.  So I gritted my teeth, pumped my arms, and tried as hard as I could to pick up the pace—considering I was at mile 24 and every step felt like I stepped on a nail.  At mile 25 I looked at my watch.  Oh yes, I might be able to make it!  I kept pushing.  At mile 26 I pushed even harder as the crowd roared louder.  A surge of emotion flew through my body when I crossed the finish line as the rain fell in a steady downpour and the winds picked up.  Oh I was so happy to be finished even though I had finished in 4:20:08.  So close. . .

Due to the increased security implemented after the bombings, we were hustled through the finish area.  Clutching my finisher’s medal and food, I hobbled forward, freezing, despite the thermal cover-ups we were given.  Yes, I had met my backup goal.  I had finished strong and I was grateful.  Even so, when I saw my wonderful, supportive brother, Danny, at the finish, I remember lamenting about missing my qualifying time for 2016 by 08 seconds.  Honestly, I hadn’t even considered running Boston again.  It was that it was so close.

I left Boston the next day proudly wearing my yellow Boston Marathon shirt.  It’s always fun to see all of the runners around town and at the airport the day after the marathon —a sea of yellow shirts.  I left town knowing that indeed, Boston is Boston Strong.  Please, check out an earlier blog post featuring some amazing stories of bombing victims.

The next day I was home in California sitting at my computer and attempting to work when I got a text from Danny.  Hey, you qualified for Boston.  Your qualifying time is 4:25.  After I caught my breath, I looked on the website.  Of course he was right.  I had qualified for 2016!  Will I register and see if I can get in?  I don’t know.  I had intended to retire from running marathons.  But I’ve said that every time I’ve run one.  It’s just that goal of beating my PR . . .  There are faster courses but, face it, Boston is the most prestigious marathon in the world.

Thus ends my third experience at the Boston Marathon.  I’m thrilled I was able to support the race.  I finished strong, pushing the pace hard at the end, and I ran a qualifying time.  No, I didn’t reach my ultimate goal, but I jumped in and tried.  Seventeen marathons and counting.

Let’s break barriers together.

Book Note:  My book is in final editing and I’m getting good reviews from people who are reading it!  I’m excited to be so close to publishing it.  All four of my audio CD’s are now listed on Amazon.  If you are looking for information and advice on resumes, interviewing, marketing, and hiring, check them out.  It’s great, practical information.  I’m presently working on audio CD number five, NEGOTIATE THE SALARY YOU DESERVE—The Seven Keys To Negotiating Success.


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