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  • Writer's picturesophie sherwin

Is Longevity just a new buzzword?

Woman healthy after fifty
woman's longevity

I delved into the world of longevity recently because when my body started changing, I realised that my rose-tinted glasses I had of my invincibility were becoming less tinted. I never really cared before if I lived past 80, that was my “number” but more recently I have started thinking about my future which turned into panic, but then turned into curiosity.

Especially as I am starting over at 50, and even if I live to 80 years, I want to make sure that I will have:

A) The physical health to do whatever I want to do

B) The money

C) The mental health

D) The right people around me

E) That I am living in the correct environment which will support all the above

When I looked around at my family, I realised that most of my immediate family have all died fairly young. I only got to know one grandparent, the rest had died before I was born, and both my parents are dead (albeit one was in an accident and not health related) but it still concerned me enough to take this more seriously.

The definition of Longevity is a “long duration of individual life”, but that does not really mean much as according to The World Health Organization, we are living longer but are we actually LIVING longer or are our age numbers just getting higher?

In my quest so far, I have started to look at my physical body, when I say look what I mean is pay attention to how it feels, moves and behaves, as I am fully aware what I look like (sad, old sack of over ripe and overgrown spuds and that is on a good day!).

I mentioned in my last post about the Pinterest pins for women over fifty mostly focused on make-up, the way we dress and following a certain diet or exercise plan which is quite disconcerting, but what I have noticed in my research is that not one study says that how you look bears any weight on if you are going to live longer and live a good quality of life, so why oh why do we buy into that crap, literally….spend BILLIONS on that industry. Surely, we should be focusing on our internal health first and then we would actually radiate naturally as a result and not need to worry so much on how we look and buy into these ‘quick fixes’. As I sit here writing this, I am not going to lie, I do actually think, if someone offered me a free makeover would I take it? Probably…sure….why not? However, my need for longevity really is not about my looks (have you figured that out??) and also, I am kind of a low maintenance kind of gal so I would not be bothered to keep anything up, which stops me from focusing on the outer me.

This is where I mention a legend in the field of longevity, Dan, too many accolades to count, Buettner, who speaks on international platforms about his work, studies and observations on the ‘blue zones’ and the lifestyles. Blue zones are hotspots where people live the longest, check out a series on Netflix ‘Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones’. He visited the zones on a quest to find out what is the reason people who live in certain areas of the world live longer than the rest of us?

It is fascinating, and of course I do not want to give a spoiler alert, but it heavily mentions our environment, diet, community, purpose and movement.

And although, most of us can not change our lives drastically, all at once, we can of course make small changes and that is what I am intending on doing as part of my starting over life lift. I am embarking on the longevity train before people start exploiting the word and what I mean by that is that when companies or people will charge extra for adding the word ‘longevity’ in their product or service. I give you an example, peri menopause, menopause and post menopause are real buzz words at the moment so as soon as people or companies use that in their marketing it can bump up the price. Or they will add it to products or services as a selling tool or ingredient, then they sit back and watch us suckers get sucked in (oh yes I am guilty)…get the picture?

I have started with what I can control, right here, right now and that is what I put in my gob and what comes into my home and because funds are tight my moto will be simple, affordable, and effective.

So, I have signed up to have a deep dive into the way my body works in terms of diet. I will wear a glucose monitor for a couple of weeks to see how my blood sugar reacts to foods, my gut microbiome and how my body stores fat will be measured. Once I have those results, I shall know what my body likes and doesn't like, so I will be able to work with it instead of against it.

Sadly, throughout my life I have abused, punished, and treated my body like garbage. I have eaten too much of the wrong foods, drunk too much, smoked, ignored aches, pains and injuries and I feel now, at 50 it has taken its toll. I am quite lucky as I cook at home mostly and I am not averse to eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, so I am further along than starting line than from not knowing what a vegetable is. I do though have to stop overeating sugar, fat and carbs. I have known that for my lifetime but they are strongly associated with feelings and coping mechanisms, so it is not going to be that easy to shake off, but I can do it…

Looking into my environment, I will be making small changes too. For example, the chemicals I use in my flat to clean will be impacting my body. I am more aware of what I am using, not only on my body (shampoos, body wash etc), but also what is impacting the overall environment. I am switching to brands who are sustainable, not using plastic and not strong chemicals, I now use a homemade spray using lemon juice, vinegar and I say....small steps.

I personally do not think Longevity is a buzz word it is a movement that we should be inviting into our lives, how big or small our effort and commitment is. I do not think it is going away (like AI) so let’s embrace it. Research it and see what fits for you as you need to remember what works for me may not work for you. Links below to the products and services I am using right now.

All I have left to say is…..Ciao for now.


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