You know the expression…it’s that overused one that drives you crazzzzy.
Here it comes.
“It is what it is.”
It’s always said in a slightly-defeated-but-I’m-at-peace-with-everything kind of way…usually followed by a slow inhaaale and slower exhaaale. Every time I hear it the energy immediately drains from my body forming little pools around my feet, a look of mournful commiseration blankets my face and I offer a little nod.
WHAT AM I THINKING??!?
“It is what it is.”
It means out of control, hands are tied, nothing to do but accept.
Stop. Change channels. Let’s rethink this.
We can change some things and others, we can change how-we-think-of-them. Bingo! We just found the magic that changes everything.
YUMMY AGERS UNITE
For those of us interested in YUMMY AGING there is no place in the vocabulary for “it is what it is”, instead replace with…“it isn’t what it is” and see what happens.
Let’s (for fun) have a showdown…“it is what it is” the commonly (over)used vernacular VS “it isn’t what it is” the YUMMY Agers expression of choice. To be fair we’ll do it in the context of a popular “it is what it is” topic….AGING.
MAY THE GAMES BEGIN
AGER: “I’m a tad heavier than I was and a little soft around the edges but that’s what happens with age ….not much you can do about it.….it is what it is.”
YUMMY AGER: “It isn’t what it is.” Start moving and those soft spots will firm up and pounds will drop. You will look as sleek and healthy as a filly.
Bonus – A study conducted at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that every 10 grams of extra fiber subjects took in each day reduced their amount of visceral body fat by 3.7% over a five year period. Bring on the fiber. Score – YUMMY AGER-1 AGER-0
AGER: “I’m a total insomniac…I’m up half the night…it is what it is.”
YUMMY AGER: “It isn’t what it is.” We all know sleep is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. It benefits our hearts, our weight, our minds, it helps us live longer and makes us more beautiful. So finding ways to get to sleep and stay asleep has gotta’ be top of the list. I used to have trouble getting to sleep, through trial and error I developed a ritual that’s not for everyone but works for me – no caffeine after morning jolt of espresso, bedtime process begins at 7:00 – 8:30pm, relax in warm epsom salt/bubble bath, tuck in, read for 30 – 60 minutes, rub a sleep inducing aromatherapy blend on the soles of feet and (as needed) a 3mg dose of melatonin. I sleep like a baby. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Bonus – A study from Brigham Young University found that women who went to bed and woke up at the same hour each day had lower body fat than women with more erratic sleep patterns. Score – YUMMY AGER-2 AGER-0
AGER: “Life is just meant to be hard…Sometimes I wonder if this is all there is…it is what it is.”
YUMMY AGER: “It isn’t what it is”. You need a quick shot of optimism. Shawn Achor happiness expert and bestselling author (Before Happiness)says 15 minutes of fun cardio (dancing, walking, running, cycling, hula hooping, hop scotching etc) every day creates optimism, not to mention producing endorphins those wonderful feel good hormones. Get an immediate dose of happy by listening to Happy by Pharrell Williams it makes you want to move (fun cardio) – play 4X’s and you’ve more than met the daily 15 minute goal. Score – YUMMY AGER-3 AGER-0
AGER: “I’m not as strong as I used to be….it is what it is.”
YUMMY AGER: “It isn’t what it is.” What if I told you, we can build strength as we age? I know, I know it’s often been said that adults over 50 must tolerate the strength and muscle loss that ‘comes with age’ (we can also lose that expression). But new research by University of Michigan scientists reveals that we can easily build muscle and strength as we grow older. Resistance training, (exercise that uses your own body weight) is a great way to increase lean muscle tissue and strength capacity. These are things like squats, modified push-ups, planks and lying hip bridges. Other exercise regimes that progress through a full range of motions are Tai Chi, Pilates, Yoga and ballet barre. Score – YUMMY AGER-4 AGER-0
MIND OVER MATTER
AGER: “My mind’s not as sharp as it used to be and my memory (holds head) is like a sieve….it is what it is.”
YUMMY AGER: “It isn’t what it is.” Short telomeres are the short little tips at the end of our chromosomes (think end of a shoe lace) when they shorten we are at increased risk of memory problems. Exercise (see above) has been proven to prevent them from shortening. Score – YUMMY AGER-5 AGER– 0
ACHES AND PAINS
AGER: “I’ve got aches and pains everywhere….and then there’s diabetes, cancer, arthritis, heart disease you name it we’re all going to get something…it is what it is.”
YUMMY AGER: “It isn’t what it is.” A lot of body pain and disease comes from inflammation. Inflammation within the body is a corrosive force that wrecks havoc on our nerves, joints, arteries and veins, overtime it leads to auto immune diseases, diabetes, arthritis and cancer among others. Think of it like rust that eats away at our pipes and structural support. We can control destructive inflammation many ways one is through meditation. A new study from researchers in Spain, France and the US has shown that meditation can reduce the expression of genes involved in inflammatory process. A short meditation anyone can do (even those of us who are/have been ‘meditationallly’ challenged) is to watch your breathe going in and out for 2 minutes. That’s enough to cause a seismic shift in the body. Diet is another way to reduce inflammation. More on that in the weeks to come, in the meantime think fresh and colourful. Score – YUMMY AGER-6 AGER-0
ADD UP THE NUMBERS
AGER: “My cholesterol numbers are high, my blood pressure is sky high, Doctor says I’m a candidate for a heart attack. But what can I do we have 2 kids in college and we want to retire in a couple years, stress is normal… it’s a fact of life these days ……it is what it is.”
YUMMY AGER: “It isn’t what it is.” There are lots of things you can do to reduce stress and restore your health to former vibrancy. Hugging someone releases oxytocin and removes stress from body. Deep nasal breathing activates nitric acid which opens the arteries. Eat cold water fish like salmon, halibut, cod and sardines doctors have long known are the Omega 3’s they contain reduce the risk of heart attack.
Bonus – Magnesium helps reduce stress by suppressing the release of cortisol but most women don’t get the recommended 310 – 320 mg per day. Up your intake of spinach, almonds and black beans all of which contain 50 mg or more per serving. Score – YUMMY AGER-7 AGER-0
*Watch for YUMMY recipes coming soon.
UNCOVER SEXY, SENUOUS SELF
AGER: “I’m just not that interested in sex anymore…..most of my friends would say the same thing…it is what it is.”
YUMMY AGER: “It isn’t what it is.” A study conducted by the National Council on Aging found that almost half of people over the age of 60 were having regular sex. What’s more 39 percent wished they were having more sex and 43% said the sex is just as good if not better than when they were younger. Shades of Gray took women’s erotica mainstream it’s acceptable and everywhere. There’s so much to choose from you’ll find something you like! Get your groove on, you’re yummier with age!
FINAL SCORE – YUMMY AGER-8 AGER-0
The YUMMY AGERS take it.
Don’t you love being a winner?