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35: The New 20.

20 J0000004UTC 2011

Oh, to look like Barbie.

This morning at 8 I turned 35. I imagined my mom cooing, “So, Kris, how does it feel to be 35?” to which I would have replied, “Well, it sounds terrible, but it feels pretty great.” Then my cousin Lilith persuaded me earlier on Facebook, “35 is the new 20,” which is good because I have yet to procreate.

35 is supposed to feel lousy, right? It’s supposed to feel middle-aged, fat, frumpy and on the decline, right? We live in a culture that tells us to expect our bellies, butts, knees and brains to plateau at 30, then head downhill by 40. That leaves 35 in the murky in-between. We either adopt this image of degeneration or else rail against it with botox, short shorts, tummy tucks and girl’s night out at Round Midnight. Not a good idea.

I am here to tell you that we have the option to, and CAN, age healthfully and beautifully (you too, guys). It does not take massive restrictions, deprivations or overhauls. It does not take surgeons ready to slice you open and start sucking fat. It definitely does not take the turquoise mascara you wore in seventh grade.

What it does take is the willingness to just shift, at your own rate, to a lifestyle that promotes health rather than illness, to life rather than death. Nothing is overnight; nothing is dramatic or crazy or weird; nothing is exciting enough for Oprah.

Individualized lifestyle shifts begin when we not only read, hear or see that something is good or bad for us, but when we begin to believe they are, then implement real, gradual change. We want test results, studies, proof. Well, go get a comprehensive blood test panel ordered, and we can start there…

The fact is that some things out there in the world, both around you and that you put in you, break you down. They oxidize or, in flat terms, age you. These toxins tamper with your cells, and those cells die at a rate more rapid than anyone would like. Looking at the face of someone who smokes is a clear example. Cigarette smoke has an oxidizing effect on the body. It ages it more quickly than it would otherwise. But there are other toxins, everyday ones, more subtle ones marketed in every magazine and on TV that, once added together, create a total toxic load on the body that we have the power to reduce.

I think about ‘total load’ when I choose cleaners, prepare food and filter water. It is not an obsession; rather, it is a way of looking at wellness and age in relation to the world around me. 35 can sound creepy and still not be scary, mostly because I control much of what goes in, from dryer sheets to vegetable oil to corn syrup to antibiotics to fluoride.

No one product is so evil, I suppose. No one choice or sip or meal is so harmful. It’s the whole picture of the whole person existing and attempting to thrive for as long as possible in the whole world. Total load.

35 can be the new 20. I intend for it to be.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary permalink
    20 J0000004UTC 2011 2:40 am

    You are an inspiration to many! Thanks for sharing it with me. And Happy Birthday! Mary

    • Kris Liane permalink*
      20 J0000004UTC 2011 2:27 pm

      Well, you and our class are an inspiration to me.

  2. Frances Higgins permalink
    20 J0000004UTC 2011 3:14 am

    I love your writing and joyful openness. If 35 is the new 20. I’m hoping 50 is the new 35 because I still feel 16 inside. Happy Birthday. Enjoy every second. Frances

    • Kris Liane permalink*
      20 J0000004UTC 2011 2:27 pm

      Thank you, Frances. And, yes, absolutely apply the ages all the way up!

  3. 20 J0000004UTC 2011 4:25 pm

    Your blog looks great!

    • Kris Liane permalink*
      20 J0000004UTC 2011 2:26 pm

      Thanks, Mel! You’ve been an unspoken motivation…

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