Smorgasbord Health Column – Turning Back the Clock – Chapter Ten – Maintaining your Health Advantage by Sally Cronin

This week I am looking at how we can hang onto any gains that we make in our middle years into our 70s and 80s. Our bodies with change but there is a formula that seems to be the driving force behind the 90 year old men and women that I have met and worked with.

Good Fresh Food + Moderate Exercise + Engagement with Others = Healthier Old Age..

Chapter Ten – Maintaining your Health Advantage by Sally Cronin

Just to recap and to remind ourselves what we have covered in the last nine chapters of this programme and to maintain the age advantage you have gained.

We looked at the various physical reasons why we age prematurely.

Free-radical damage that causes accumulative cell degeneration, leading to disease and premature aging. We covered how to introduce anti-oxidants to limit this damage and how by reducing stress and eating healthily we can in some cases rejuvenate and improve the effects of some of the degenerative diseases.

Toxicity damage to organs caused by the environmental pollution around us, and the toxins in the healthy food we think that we are eating. Allergies and intolerances that we may suffer from all our lives that leads to a build-up of toxins in the tissues causing pain and inflammation like in Asthma or arthritis. Toxins build up if we eat too much high fat, sugary diets high in stimulants. Our bodies are unable to cope and eliminate them fast enough.

Hormone imbalances, not only our sexual hormones, but also all the others within our bodies that contribute to a healthy and efficient system. From the Hypothalamus in the brain to the pancreas, eating healthily will keep these organs and glands youthful for longer.

We covered how important our Immune System was to anti-aging by protecting us against harmful viruses and bacteria that want to squat in our bodies and take our health from us.

Finally the Acid and Alkalinity balance, which can be a leading cause of degenerative disease and do easy to remedy with the right diet.

We also discovered there are other reasons behind premature aging that have nothing to do with food.

Our emotional and mental attitude to aging is just as vital as following a healthy eating programme and also the way that we present ourselves to others.

How can you keep the age advantage you have gained?

Who in their right mind would want to go back to feeling lousy if they now feel younger, fitter, slimmer and more energetic? It is tempting sometimes to slip backwards. You go on holiday, the family is over for a meal, you are eating out more and the wine is flowing a little more often. That is fine in the short term but within a few days you will notice that you are not feeling quite so well and you need to make a decision at that point. Are you willing to compromise your health and your vitality that you are now taking for granted by not resuming the programme as quickly as possible after a break for a holiday or family celebration?

One of the things I hope you will come to understand once you have been on the suggested eating plan for five or six weeks is that eating healthily is not boring.

Apart from keeping a healthy eating programme going, are there any other strategies for maintaining our health?

It is important that you measure where you are on a regular basis. Your health is like your house, contents and car insurance. You may not need it year-in-year-out but you buy it just in case and you adjust it according to your changing circumstances. The same applies to your body, health and lifestyle.

You cannot escape the aging process completely; although you can make it a great deal easier on yourself. Early detection of problems can prevent some very serious diseases taking hold of you later in life. For example blood sugar levels, higher than normal oxidised LDL cholesterol and blood pressure levels if identified early on can be reversed by making some simple lifestyle changes.

I have a list of key indicators that need to be measured on a regular basis so that you are as informed as possible about your own health and are in control of dealing with anything that may cause you harm at a later date.

Blood pressure cuffs are available and you can measure that yourself at regular intervals once a week, first thing in the morning before you get out of bed and perhaps again after one of your exercise sessions.

Other tests are a good idea to carry out every three to six months depending on your age. Blood sugar levels and Cholesterol for example and can be done in your local pharmacy.

Annually it is a good idea to have a thorough medical examination because even if nothing is found you will come out feeling a million dollars.

Weigh yourself once a week and review your eating plan from time to time depending on changes in the level of your exercise or if you feel that you might be lacking certain nutrients. A therapist will always help you with that if you need it.

Make a list of all the indicators in a diary at the beginning of the year – measure them and then make a list every month, three months or six months of those you are going to recheck then. This time spent having these key indicators checked might save your life and at the very least keep you on your healthy eating plan.

Is there an area that is not health related that contributes to maintaining a young outlook on life?

It is my belief that there are in fact several factors that contribute to being young at heart. Some of my favourites are remembering how unique you are, making a difference, always challenging yourself and a sense of humour.

Sometimes we forget that we are totally and utterly unique from the hair on our heads to the tips of our toes. Unless we have an identical twin there is no one in the entire world like us.

From the moment that we are born we are encouraged to conform, to follow the norm and not to stand out in the crowd. If you did you were regarded as the black sheep of the family and sent to the colonies or ostracised and labelled eccentric. In fact one of my clients commented that her daughter and son in law told her that she was eccentric and she felt flattered and so she should. As long as being different does not harm you or those around you, being unique is something to be proud of.

As an aside, when I first got married I worked on a sheep farm in the mountains in Wales. It was winter and every day the farmer and I would climb up to feed the sheep and eventually when the snow came down we had to find the whole flock and bring them down to the flat ground. There were 400 sheep on a whole mountain. With the snow down, how do you suppose we found white sheep? Because of the old, black ewe that was the matriarch of the flock and essential to their survival. They stayed with her and if we found her against the snow we found all the others. So never be bothered about being a black sheep, others will flock to follow you and will stay close.

What about contribution?

The other amazingly youth-giving quality is the ability to contribute to those around you. However, sometimes you look around you and you think that it would be impossible to make a difference. It is overwhelming when 24/7 you look at the poverty in Africa or India, the cruelty to children and animals and the mindless violence in most parts of the world and it is hard to think how you as an individual can make a difference.

I have a story, that has a number of versions, that I have told when I have given talks, which puts this into perspective.

One day a man is walking along a beach the morning after a terrific storm. The sand is littered for miles with thousands upon thousands of starfish who have been thrown up high on the beach overnight. It was devastating and he looked on in horror.

He noticed a little girl walking along the shore towards him and every so often he saw her pick up a starfish, carry it carefully to the sea and throw it as far as she could out into the water.

The man went up to her and shook his head and said,

‘Little girl, there are hundreds of thousands of starfish that are dying, you cannot make a difference’.

She looked at him with a starfish in her hand and said
But it will make a difference to this one.’

For me this illustrates the enormity of helping just one person. It can have a ripple effect that will make a difference to many others and it will certainly make a difference to you. You don’t have to take on the world. Start by being good to yourself and work outwards from there.

Once you have that in hand you might think about giving some of your time to a local voluntary organisation – perhaps a day a week – where you can start to make a difference. Many of these organisations have far reaching effects working to eradicate poverty or cruelty to children and animals around the World. What you perceive as a small and insignificant contribution without global impact is in fact a crucial part of a unified effort to make the change happen.

Why are challenges good for us?

Stress is not always bad for us. There is an element of anticipation and excitement that is connected to pushing the envelope of our existence, either mentally or physically. Setting goals for progress puts us under pressure but managed properly that pressure can improve our health, our stamina and our ability to cope with everyday life in a more efficient way.

By achieving a challenging task we can put many less stressful events into perspective. You will often hear people say, ‘If I can do that I can do anything.’

One of the weekend seminars, The Firewalk Weekend with Tony Robbins, that my husband and I went on in 1996 when I embarked on my weight loss, was about just that principle. At the end of the evening all the participants were put into a state enabling them to walk across a bed of burning coals 25 feet long. At the time, I weighed over 24 stone (330 lbs) and felt totally unprepared to do this challenge. My husband did walk over the burning coals without any damage to his feet and felt incredible afterwards.

We went on over the next two years to complete a the other courses as part of the Tony Robbins Life Mastery. One of my biggest challenges was losing my first 80lbs out of 150lbs, so that I was cleared to climb a 60-foot telegraph pole and jump off, relying only on a safety harness and a faith in the guy on the end of a thin rope. (Actually I insisted on two!) That motivated me to lose the rest of my weight.

I am not suggesting the everyone rush out and run over burning coals or climb a telegraph pole but you can undertake a challenge which means something to you and perhaps benefits someone else as well. A sponsored walk or run perhaps or competing in a competition like mastermind or even signing up for an open university course.

Challenging ourselves is a way to stimulate our bodies and our minds into remembering the function that they have and the skills that they can still learn.

Getting older is just another phase in our life and it is not up to others to make us happy nor should we expect to have unhealthy lifestyles and not pay the price.

Taking responsibility for our diet and to a larger extent our health is a major step towards having a fantastic 10, 20 or even 30 years to enjoy life to the full.

Next time a condensed nutritional guide and a suggested shopping list to give you the nutrients required to keep you looking young and fit for life.

©SallyCronin Just Food for Health 1999 – 2018

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook from:

And Amazon UK:

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4:

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally


Turning Back The Clock serialisation – Chapter Six -Are you in danger of becoming an old fogey!!

Turning Back the Clock

What do emotional factors have to do with anti-aging?

It is sometimes difficult to see the changing image of ourselves in the mirror as we grow older. This applies not just to women but to men as well.

There are physical signs that our bodies are getting more mature; thickening waistlines, sagging skin, cellulite wrinkles and of course grey hair. If you have always taken pride in your appearance and looked after yourself, these visible signs of the passing years can be difficult to deal with.

This is why plastic surgery, cosmetics companies, hair salons and anti-aging clinics do such great business. Billions and billions a year are now being spent on recapturing our youth and as we have seen in photographs in the press, the results are not always successful.

Of course there are people who are quite happy with their changing image and that is fantastic. Accepting the stage that you are physically in your life is very liberating. Letting your hair grow grey, flaunting the lines and creases in your face and baring your body to the world in all its glory is to be admired.

However, if you are like me, you find that quite hard to do. It is not that I resent the fact that I am getting older. I love that I have more knowledge, experience, patience and respect for life than I did in my twenties and thirties but the trouble is that my head and heart still think that they are about half the actual age that I am.

There is a theory that we all have an age that we reach and then internally set as our perfect age. For example when I have worked with women clients in their seventies and eighties and asked them what age they actually feel inside they have all said that they still feel the same as they did at an age between twenty-five and thirty-five. Most men clients usually settle on an age between late teens and late twenties.

This is quite interesting when you look at the biological primes of men and women. These ages seem to correspond to female and male most fertile and stimulating years.

This can make it very hard to look in the mirror and see a sixty, seventy or eighty year old face and body when you actually only feel twenty-five inside.

There is some research to suggest that both men and women suffering from dementia may in fact look in the mirror and see a younger version of themselves which of course only leads to the confusion they are feeling.

So how can we use this internal feeling of youth to help us knock some years off our biological age?

We CAN recapture some of the elements of those earlier years. There are certain human factors that do not age in the same way as our bodies do. Our emotions may change intensity, as does passion, but the actual mechanism for those feelings is exactly the same at eighty as it was at twenty.

What we have to do is find a way to harness that internal age that we feel so in tune with and combine it with all the incredible experiences that we have learnt about life since that age.

The last time I actually felt at my best physically, I was about twenty-eight years old and my best emotional and mental ages were about thirty-five. Being realistic, unless I underwent radical plastic surgery, looking twenty-eight again is not on the cards.

Generally, we have a great many more skills now than we did at twenty-eight and thirty-five and what WE CAN do is apply that knowledge to at least a ten year reversal in our biological age. This applies primarily to the internal health of our bodies but some of the external signs of aging will also be improved because of the revitalised functions of our body.

However, to be successful, it is also important to change some ingrained attitudes attached to our current age to enable us to take those steps backward.

So how do we go about changing those attitudes?

First I think it would be a good idea for everyone listening to complete the OFQ. We are all accustomed to the expression FAQ which means ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ but OFQ means ‘OLD FOGIE’S QUESTIONS’

These questions will determine if you have indeed become an ’Old Fogey’ and need to adjust your attitude by a few years. It is a little bit of fun but it is amazing how closely I can identify with some of these statements for myself and friends and relatives who are over a certain age.

Conversations with friends your own age turn into ‘duelling ailments’

Your idea of a night out is sitting on your patio.

You find yourself saying ‘I don’t believe it’ several times a day.

You buy clothes that hide your body rather than enhance it.

You give up all your bad habits and you still don’t feel good.

You feel that no one respects your opinions anymore

You keep repeating yourself.

You tell the same story from your past over and over again.

You resist going to places where you will meet new people, preferring the comfort of your known friends and acquaintances.

You begin every sentence with ‘Nowadays or In My Day or When I was your age’

You frequently tell people what a loaf of bread or a gallon of petrol used to cost.

You constantly criticise the younger generation.

You feel that it is not worth changing at your age as it will not make a difference

You eat your meals at the same time every day and get upset when you are asked to change.

You order the same meal every time you go to a restaurant.

You cannot sit still without falling asleep.

You don’t care where your husband or wife goes as long as they don’t drag you along with them.

Happy hour is a nap.

You stop celebrating birthdays as it reminds you of how old you are.

The bottle of wine is always half empty.

How can we avoid falling into this trap of being old?

First and foremost, next time you find yourself about to say any of the above, bite your tongue.

You actually have to make some decisions about your life. We are living longer today and thankfully most of us do not know how long we actually have left. You have a choice; you can live every day as if it is your last or you can sit patiently for the next 10, 20 or 30 years until it happens.

We all get complacent as we get older and we need to work harder to find stimulation physically and mentally. It is a bit like that saying ‘Been there, done that and got the T-shirt’. Well, unless you have been an intrepid explorer or a serious academic from childhood, you have not been everywhere and you have not done or know everything.

STRATEGY ONE – Make A Wish List

It is very useful to create a wish list of the things that you would love to do. This may be a trip that you have always wanted to take – don’t worry at this stage how impractical or expensive this wish list is. These are wishes after all and we know that some of them don’t come true.


Write absolutely everything down. For example – learning languages, climbing Everest, sailing in the Greek Islands, singing Karaoke, meeting Marilyn Monroe, walking on the Moon, re-uniting with your best friend from school, learning to play a musical instrument, and being a grandparent.

It is quite clear that some of these wishes are not possible. Marilyn Monroe has been dead since August 1962 so you cannot meet her in person. However, there is so much information out there that you could certainly get to know her very well indeed.

The same with walking on the moon. There is no way that you are going to be able to do that realistically but there are videos and DVD’s on the subject, thousands of books and an amazing amount of material on the Internet. I did the next best thing however; I interviewed two astronauts for 30 minutes on television about their adventures!

You could still however, learn a language, to play a musical instrument and trace your best friend from school.

It may not be physically possible for you to be an actual grandparent but there are some wonderful schemes running at the moment where you can be an adopted grandparent for children who do not have any of their own. Your experience of life and your love would be wonderfully received.

For every impossible dream or wish there is usually a work-around. Sometimes it is as simple as saying to yourself ‘I am going to do that’. In other cases you may have to live the wish vicariously through the eyes and the actions of someone else who has managed to live that dream.

The list could be one page or ten. It does not matter, the more wishes you have the more you may be able to make come true. Start working your way through them – for those that seemed impossible, find a solution. Tick them off as you go and feel that sense of achievement and satisfaction and that life still holds so many more opportunities in the years ahead. You may be a little slower but you are not dead yet. Set yourself goals on achieving those wishes. A year to learn Spanish, two years to save for a trip to Australia, 6 months to write that book that is in you.


Build some unpredictability into your life. Don’t eat at the same time every day – visit the same restaurants every week – use the same supermarket – buy the same newspaper, watch the same television news – talk to your family on the same day every week. Stress is caused by not meeting your daily expectations. My father had lunch on the table at 12.45 every single day, including Sundays. He used to get furious with us if we were 5 minutes late back from the pub and we used to get stressed out from the moment we arrived in the pub and then ran home to be on time. We would rather have had a sandwich at lunchtime and dinner in the evening but that was not the rule.


Make a decision to learn something new every day. It might be a new foreign language word, which means that at the end of the year you will have a vocabulary of 366 new words at your disposal. Learn two new words and you will be on your way to speaking the language very well. You only need 1500 to be fluent in Spanish!

Take a subject that you have always been interested in and take a formal course in it so that you can speak not only with authority but also as a qualified person.

Learn about your body and what it needs to be healthy: Then, instead of constantly talking about your ailments when you get together with your friends you can come up with some strategies for preventing or improving the condition. Much more positive than commiserating with each other about the symptoms.

Go out and meet new people. Every one of us has had a lifetime of different experiences of the same event. Marriage, education, children, living in a foreign country, driving and dealing with life will have been perceived differently by individuals and sharing our own lives broadens our perspective.


One of the hardest things as we get older is feeling that we no longer have anything to offer and that we are no longer respected for what we are or what we know.

Respect at any age is not a right, it has to be earned. People respect courage, humour, commitment, loyalty, enthusiasm, knowledge and a person who shares themselves by giving time and part of themselves to a relationship or group activity.

Once you start giving you will be amazed at how much comes back to you. It is a waste of a lifetime’s experience, and the maturity you have gained, to sit at home and keep it to yourself.

I am not suggesting that you run out and start volunteering for every needy cause going but look within your own family and social group first and think carefully about where your participation in someone else’s life would benefit them and ultimately you.

What about love and romance?

This is one of the most wonderful ways to keep young. Just because we are older it does not mean that we cannot feel the passionate intensity of new found love or cannot nurture a relationship that we already have. It is too easy to become complacent and let small things fall by the wayside. Love and sharing is one of the most powerful anti-aging treatments around – and it costs nothing.

Love is not just restricted to a human relationship. Owning a pet and forming a bond with them is extremely beneficial to your health and definitely lowers blood pressure and stress.

Part of our reticence as we get older is that we feel it is unseemly for us to be looking for romance, which is rubbish. Also, we feel that physically we are going to be found lacking which is also rubbish. Unless you are an 80-year-old chasing a 20-year-old, we all have the same age related body changes and inside you still have the same passions and feelings.

If you are alone and would like to meet someone else then get out there and find a group of like-minded people. They will not come to you and you will have to make an effort. I appreciate that it is harder for a woman on her own to meet new partners but go out with a number of friends or join a drama or writing group. Play tennis and golf whatever it takes to make sure that you are part of the life that is going on around you. Life is full of surprises.


Internet dating for all age groups has become increasingly popular and provided you follow some basic safety rules, there is no reason why you should not find your ideal partner online. Let’s face it for our generation; we had to kiss a lot of frogs to find Mr. or Mrs Right, now you get to know all about them before you even get to that stage.

If you never fall in love again that is fine too, as long as you are surrounding yourself with family and friends that you find stimulating and fun and who get as much out of life as you do yourself. Many activities do not cost a fortune. A walk with a friend along the seashore – sharing a bottle of wine with your neighbour, helping out at the local animal sanctuary – all are inexpensive ways to share your life.

Start a dinner party club with a number of your friends and all do a course, or the wine. Limit the amount you can all spend to £10. This means that you can have wonderful get-togethers each month without any single person having to spend a fortune. Also, if your home is not suitable or out of the way you can use each other’s homes without anyone feeling that it is always their turn.

Finally – You are a long time dead! Life is not a rehearsal, this is it. To keep youthful and dynamic it is not just enough to eat a healthy diet. You need to keep the essence that is you nurtured and healthy and ready to live the next chapter in your life.

Next week Chapter Seven flexibility and exercise to keep your body youthful.

elderly fencing


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Turning Back the Clock serialisation – Anti-aging without the botox!

51RashjEGcL._UY250_Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my book on anti-aging.. Turning Back the Clock. Some of the strategies have been included in other posts on the various areas of health that can accelerate the natural aging process, but in this book I bring them all together.

This is a natural anti-aging programme. We all age but many of us are assisting the process with diet and lifestyle choices. This book takes a look at the physical, mental and emotional aspects of aging and how a little attitude adjustment goes a long way!


A few years ago I had a series on radio called Turning Back the Clock, which I wrote in response to listeners in their 50’s and 60’s looking for rejuvenation and tips on staying young. Like me they were exasperated by the claims of the cosmetic industry that the various ingredients in their products could knock ten years off their age. I was asked to design a diet that would help reverse the signs of aging and this developed into a ten week challenge that was undertaken by nearly 100 listeners.

The answer to turning back the clock by several years is to consider and address a number of factors which include physical, emotional and mental age markers.

We have all met people in their 30’s who already seem staid and middle aged and it has nothing to do with the wrinkles on their faces. A positive attitude to life is key if you are to beat the clock and how you interact with the rest of the human race will determine your real age.

Certainly our diet plays a part in the health and fitness of our bodies but it is also about our emotional health and how we feel about ourselves that can make all the difference when looking in the mirror. A smile can knock years off as people are deflected from any lines you might have around your eyes.


It is not just about the way we look. Most of us will develop grey hair, expanding waistlines, wrinkles and a somewhat world weary appearance. Of course this is important but at the end of the day no-one is unique and everyone will face this process one day.

I don’t believe that we can stop the aging process, and unfortunately in this modern world, that aging process is accompanied in most cases with degenerative diseases of the body and the mind. Poor quality of life and a dependence on prescription drugs to get us through the last 10, 20 or even 30 years of our lives. However, I do believe that we can slow the process down and ensure that we are as pain free and as vital as possible to the very end.

I decided that I would like to grab back the last 10 years. They were great but there were many things that I could have done better. I cannot change the past but what I would like to do is have another go at it. We often say ‘If only I knew then, what I know now’. Well with a body that is 10 years younger I can go ahead with the knowledge that I have today and use that to do some things differently. I want more out of life not less and to do that I have to be fit and healthy.

What is the aging process and how is it accelerated?

That is a much debated question and there are number of reasonable and not so reasonable explanations. The more scientific have a certain amount of merit. In the following chapters I will be covering some of these areas in more detail.


As energy is generated in one cell, waste is produced. Waste products consist of unstable molecules, which are called free radicals. Some of these free radicals are quite helpful in fighting certain infections but they can also get out of control and start damaging healthy cells around them, which leads to serious disease.

In a nutshell progressive damage by free radicals leads to aging and age related diseases. Our lifespan is dependent on the damage caused throughout our lifetime and our own efforts to repair that damage by living a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress, eating healthily etc.

Anti-oxidants are the vacuum cleaners of the human body and their job is to kill these harmful free radicals. The good news is that a diet rich in anti-oxidants (brightly coloured vegetables) is part of the solution.


Every day we are trying to cope with the toxins in our food, that we breathe in or we touch. It is very difficult to control our environment completely and to a degree our bodies are very efficient in dealing with low to moderate levels of toxicity. Organs and systems will either react very quickly as in Anaphylactic shock for example or slower such as with a daily ingestion of a food that we react intolerantly to.

Toxicity builds up when we eat high fat, sugar and stimulants to excess and the organs are in overload and are unable to cope. They become damaged and worn out, the cells die and so do we.


Our hormones govern many of the aspects of aging. There is some genetic connection with hormone profiles within families; particularly mother to daughters but research is showing that hormone stimulation and their effect on our bodies can be managed with diet and natural supplementation. I am not an advocate of artificial hormonal replacement although for some people it alleviates very distressing symptoms. In some cases it is necessary to ensure the wellbeing of a woman. I am very lucky in as much as I managed my own menopause with diet and nutrient supplementation and I found that to be perfect for me. Hair loss, menopause, lack of testosterone are all age related but although levels do drop this should not mean that we become old before our time.


This is one of the areas that we are going to be focusing on in the first chapter as the more I have researched this particular area, and the more I have applied the principles to my own diet, the more impressed I have become.

This theory has worldwide recognition. Doctors and scientists in the US, Japan, China and Europe are beginning to appreciate the damage that acid has on our bodies. It is also one of the few theories of aging that is definitely manageable with healthy eating and some everyday normal supplementation of vitamins and minerals. One of the most caustic acids that we consume daily is sugar.


This book is not a weight loss guide although if you follow the food guidelines at the back of the book and eat unprocessed fresh produce and prepare from scratch, the reduction in refined sugars will help you regain a healthy weight. This does not mean skinny. Research is indicating that if you are carrying a few pounds more than the weight charts recommend it is no bad thing! Thank goodness for that. However, carrying two stone or more of additional weight is going to put a strain on your skeleton, muscle strength and the accumulated fat will also be surrounding your major organs.

There is a lot of information now on anti-aging being weight related – is that true?

This is obviously an area very close to my heart. I had so many age related illnesses at 43 when I suffered from obesity. I had Rheumatoid Arthritis rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. High blood pressure, High Cholesterol, menopausal symptoms, thin hair, fatigue etc.

It is now 20 years later and because I made some lifestyle and diet changes in my overall health is considerably better now than it was then.

There is bound to be general wear and tear but it will help enormously if you can get down to a reasonable weight that enables you to eat healthily, exercise comfortably, put less stress on the infrastructure and makes you feel more confident about yourself.

We do not need as many calories when we get older but we certainly need to take in far more nutrients which is why if you consume a diet that is high in a wide variety of vegetables, lean protein, fruits, nuts and seeds that will give you a really healthy boost of nutrients in a smaller package.

There is a great deal of information about ideal weights, but some of it is confusing – What is an easy way to calculate where you should be?

One of the easiest ways to calculate your optimum weight I have come across is this.

  • For medium framed women as a base use 100lbs up to 5 foot and then 5lbs for every inch over that height. Modify by 5% either way if you have a light frame or heavy frame.
  • For medium framed men as a base use 106lbs up to 5 foot and then 6lbs for every inch over that height. Modify either way if you have a light frame or heavy frame.
  • For example a woman who is a heavy frame and 5foot 6 inches would have an optimal weight of 100lbs + 30lbs = 130lbs x 5% = 6.5lbs giving an optimum weight of 136.5lbs or 60.2Kilos
  • A light framed man of 5foot 10 inches would be 106lbs + 60lbs = 166lbs less 5% = 8lbs = 158lbs or 72Kilos.
  • This is not exact but it gives you an approximate idea of where you should be. To be honest I have met people who are fantastically healthy, fit and full of energy who are a stone or even two stone heavier. But there is no doubt that if we are talking about anti-aging, being a healthy weight for your age and size is important.

Intermittent Fasting to lose weight and increase health.

For the last two years I have been following the Intermittent Fasting eating programme. I eat within an 8 hour window each day and have found that I have more energy. I also follow my own advice and eat at least 80% of my food from natural and unprocessed sources. My husband does likewise and it is a form of eating that suits us. If you are interested in losing weight you will find an excellent guide to Intermittent Fasting in The Fast Diet by Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer or go to their website If you are severely overweight and would like to explore the emotional, mental and physical aspects and a complete weight reduction programme then you might like to read one of my previous books. Size Matters is the story of my weight gain and loss and the programme I designed to help me lose my weight and those of my clients in the following years. You can find it in E-versions at


I hope you will enjoy the series and look forward to your feedback.. Sally