And a big thank you for the thoughtful comments on my last post, which looked at climate change. I think it’s critically important that we don’t get too depressed about the situation. While there are huge issues to tackle (constant growth, transport including the car and flights, the use of fossil fuels to power our energy/light/heating) I believe we can all do our bit. So I’ll return to this subject as personally I feel that I have to be as radical as I was when I was younger. But this post is not about that, so I’ll stop now!
Yes, I’m forever tinkering with the idea that I could write a book. I like writing, but my stumbling block is always on what subject? Should it be on clothes, beauty or healthy living? I start a structure and then it peters out as life gets in the way. Then I get another urge to write ‘that’ book. I do some research and read a lot on those subjects and the result is I think, really, everything I want to write about has already been written!
Currently I’ve just finished reading The Age Well Project by Annabel Streets and Susan Saunders – gosh it’s good. And I say that having read many books around this subject including shorter, self-help books. Can’t say I really like a ‘self-help’ book as I see them lacking a solid research and evidence base for their assertions to do this or that with your life. This is different. It really is well-researched and well-written and, therefore, easy to read. And btw, Streets and Saunders are bloggers and they’ve worked and written on this subject for several years and the link above is to their blog – do have a look.
The book is 354 pages long so not a particularly short read, but I can boil it down to a few pointers which are:
- Eat well
- Stay engaged
- Get a good night’s sleep
Well, that’s obvious, we all know that, don’t we? But yet, do we always act on these? So here’s what I’m doing for myself.
Food and eating well: What with Mr F’s heart scare (albeit it’s quite common) I’ve been doing some thinking about our diet. So it’s no more potatoes whatsoever, because of Mr F’s pre-diabetic status and also a far more low-sugar diet. Mind you I do love cake, not that I bake anything these days but I’m looking at recipes for low-sugar cake but not, I hasten to add, using artificial sweeteners as they have a dire effect on me! Also we definitely now eat more unrefined foods than we did pre-heart scare, and meat is just once a week, if that. Yes, we are far more vegan in our eating, and wow there are some great recipes out there. Btw, I don’t usually buy recipe books I just google for ideas, although I did get The Green Roasting Tin for my birthday and the recipes are lovely. Vegan and vegetarian food really can be delicious.
Exercise: You know me, I still do slightly more exercises in my head than in actuality and the weights have rather been neglected. But I do a Pilates class twice a week and this has transformed my life and my body. And the weights and exercises at home are still done twice a week, but I could do more. The minute I have to bare my arms I shall be toning them up pronto. But gosh the weather in the UK is dire – it’s almost back to winter gear. Here I am back to my pleather jacket, fleece and long sleeved top. Honestly, flaming June it is not!
Then just the fleece.
And finally, I’m ready for Pilates.
But no short sleeves – brrr!
What I don’t do is all that much aerobic exercise, but that is going to change as I’ve discovered a class I can take an hour before my Pilates class, and I will be joining it shortly. Equally Mr F has promised to do more exercise and build muscle as that helps with both diabetes and the heart. Don’t of course, start any exercise without a health check – just saying.
Stay engaged: I have plans to join a choir and there are other things coming along to help us stay engaged that I’ll reveal very soon.
Sleep: Ah yes, I don’t sleep all that well at the best of times, and just lately…… However, I’ll tell you something that really, really has helped. We now have our own duvets! So, this is the thing, we’re still sleeping in the same bed (!) but with our own single duvets, so that means when someone turns over or gets out of bed the duvet we’re sleeping under doesn’t move. Also I used to constantly tug the duvet up and Mr F used to push it down. Really, I don’t know how we’ve managed all these years with one duvet! But having two duvets has solved this, which has been a revelation to us, and definitely has helped to improve our sleep a lot.
And having given away perhaps a little too much about my personal life (!) I’ll just add two more ideas. I’d say, first, to age well, you need to be aware of your body. Now that might sound odd. And, of course, you are. But I’m saying here that body awareness includes being absolutely clear what your body is telling you. And not being in denial. When I get up in the morning and I’m slanted to the one side (oh yes, I look very odd and tbh, much older) and stiff, and so, so stiff, my body is telling me to move and exercise. So I don’t do the exercises and Pilates because I’m being good, I’m doing these because it’s essential. But that’s me. What’s your body telling you and, more importantly, what can you do about it? Do you go for that checkup about that worry that’s nagging you? Are you getting that operation, which is actually not life-threatening but you know you do need. I speak here of course from a country that will give you that operation whatever your financial circumstances – for now. All I’m saying is be body aware and that includes caring for yourself in a way that nurtures you now, and your future older self.
And then your attitude to ageing is, I think, is so key to ageing well. Have you come across Grandma Williams? She’s a blogger in her 80s and my word does she have attitude. She’s very much of the belief that we should be shouting out from the rooftops that being older is great. Be positive about ageing, she says, and let’s start a campaign to tackle this. For example, in the UK we’ve got a road sign with two old people bent double over their sticks to supposedly slow down car users. Well, Grandma Williams being an ex-physiotherapist would say, you shouldn’t be bent in the first place. Not everyone will do that as they age. Do have a look at her posts – she’s quite a role model for one’s 80s!
That’s all for now but, if you do anything take care of your core! That’s my motto for now and the future!
With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper