How to Lose Weight: #19 Think Young

When I was growing up I tended to think that when people got past a certain age (around 28ish), they had kids, gained weight, and started looking and thinking old. I suppose if you get older and think that this is the way it happens, then, it will happen that way, i.e. you will start being old. However, I don’t think that age dooms us to weight gain, or looking and feeling old. As I get older, I notice that a lot of people my age (30) look old, and some look young. Some are healthy, some are not.

Reputable scientists tell us that a person’s chronological age and “real” age are two different things. There are plenty of 30-year olds who are “younger” than many 21 year olds, based on overall health and lifestyle choices. This means that with a few lifestyle changes, you can grow younger in a matter of months. This is  a strong motivation for me to lose weight, and keep it off, because I want to be active and healthy for a long time (I find it extremely sad when somebody is unable to live a full life because of lifestyle choices…and I have had relatives who lost quality of life, and eventually passed away young, because of obesity).

Surveys of really old people (in the 90s and 100s) show that they really do think young. They try to keep up with the latest technology and ideas. In other words, they don’t resign themselves to being old and “out-of-it.” I think this is the key to thinking young. Staying involved with life, and being active in it, is going to help us feel young, and, if we are active, keep fit. I can think of two great examples. The first is my grandma, who has walked 2 miles a day for as long as I have been alive. She is in her mid-80s and takes 1 prescription drug she has taken since she was in her 20s. Another example is a professor I had during my undergraduate days. He was in his 80s when I had him. He was teaching a full schedule, and was still running marathons, which means he was probably more active than 50% of the 19 year olds on campus! He said his secret was drinking Retsina!

The best (and original) website dedicated to this principle of a true age is RealAge.Com. Visit the site and take the real age test, and see what your “real age” is. If it is not as young as you like, then make a few lifestyle changes, and check back later. I have signed up for their emails, and they are contain valuable information, so it is worth it. Focusing on your “real age” really is a strong motivator to get healthy. My “real age” is 20, and that is something I am proud of, and work to maintain. So long as my mind is what it is now (not like when I was 20), I should be just fine!