G.O.L.Y: Thoughts on Aging Youthfully

Aging Youthfully

G.O.L.Y: Thoughts on Aging Youthfully

I founded my website 11 years ago to write about theatre, food and wine, ballroom dance and travel. When I started  blogging, theatre reviews were mainly in print form, and few people were taking pictures of their restaurant dishes. How times have changed.When I retired from medical practice to focus on reviewfromthehouse, my writing and the arts, I certainly had no thought that I would ever be writing about medical and scientific research into living and aging well.

So why am I now launching this blog on aging well? Ironically, as an "aging" senior, I am in the best shape (literally) that I have been since I began my medical career many moons ago, partly because of my renewed interest in applying advances in genetics, epigenetics, nutrition and aging research to my life.

I always thought I led a reasonably healthy lifestyle, eating well, exercising, never smoking, using drugs or drinking alcohol to excess. However the excess weight I gained after a severe back injury was not sticking and I was becoming increasingly concerned about the health hazards of aging and obesity. In most families there are clusters of diseases. Some families may be “cancer-prone”. Some may be susceptible to heart disease, autoimmune disorders, arthritis or dementias. Unless there is a known genetic disorder, how much of these familial disease patterns are gene -based versus environmental in origin, is uncertain.

My extended family tree was no different. But determined that “my genes would not be my destiny”  I realized that if I wanted to age well  I would need to have a plan that encompassed my entire life from sleep patterns, how much I exercised or didn’t during the day, what I ate, and as I came to realize, most importantly, how I thought.

As I set about losing weight, getting fitter, practising good posture and mindfulness, I needed to make concrete goals and explore the steps I would need to take to achieve them. My research interests as a specialist in medical biochemistry and paediatrics, centered around nutrition, developmental biochemistry and genetics.. In going back to those academic roots to explore contemporary research into aging and human biochemistry, and choosing actions based on human physiology and biochemistry, I believed i could age healthily, look and feel vibrant and youthful without resorting to drug therapy, medical or aesthetic cosmetic procedures.

I have achieved most of my goals. I lost 40 lbs, dropped 3 dress sizes and reversed my weight trajectory from gaining pounds to losing. My weight and dress size are now what they were when I was in my twenties. My energy level is high, I take no medications, and botox is not on my radar! Establishing some habits like good posture still requires consistent mindfulness, but I am getting better.

It was suggested that I share my personal blue print for living younger while growing older in a book about the science behind aging well. Predictably the writing is taking longer than I planned, largely because I have so much information to share and I have to keep reminding myself that I am not writing another medical textbook. 

So over time, in no particular order, you will find a mix of personal stories, science, and posts about health and lifestyle topics that interest me. As I am retired from medical practice, my writing reflects my personal experiences, and should not be taken as medical advice.As always your comments, or your feedback is welcomed by email to gillian@reviewfromthehouse.com.