Monday, February 28, 2011

Spirit: 10 Useful Things to Know in Your 40s

Each year, Kathlyn makes a German chocolate cake for me, last year's is shown above. She could stab me in the eye with a crochet hook and I would still love her for remembering the cake every year. Oh, and the bubbles? That was a byproduct of getting engaged.
Today is my 43rd birthday. I am 40licious for the fourth time, which is of course a thrill. I started this blog in 2008 on my first 40licious birthday because I was so excited about the milestone. I love how the blog has evolved, from navel-gazing essays on the things that I learned to talking with wise people in an effort to provide a field guide to those of us who want to navigate our 40licious time together. Here are some thing I have learned and would share with any sister turning 40 or who is in her 40s:

  1. Your relationships will be more complicated. If you are single and think you can have a partner without getting someone without baggage at this point you are way, way way off and will have a long lonely time of it. Prepare for step-kids, ex-spouses who may be insane or completely delightful, and in general, a crazy-quilt family. It will never, ever be what you expect, but it might be much better.
  2. Figure out your money right this second. When you are done reading, sharing, liking and commenting on this page, understand how much you really have, how much you owe, what you need to live on, where you can cut spending, and how much you need for retirement and how you will get there. You can't keep putting it off -- just sock away $20 a week if that is all you can swing.
  3. Cut out the clutter. You've accumulated a lot of stuff at this point. What do you really need? Are you hanging on to books, clothes, souveneirs, pictures, knicknacks, etc. only because you have always kept them? What can you digitize? What can you just keep in your heart without a physical manifestation? 
  4. Tell everyone you love that you love them. Who knows, they could be gone in a nanosecond. Or you could. Fix your petty crap with your family and friends because it is not the way you want to leave it. If God forbid something happens, hopefully the last time you saw your mother you were not super pissy about how she didn't like the Christmas present you had made especially for her and vowed never to get her anything nice again. Which reminds me, I have to call my mother.
  5. Slay your energy vampires. Of course we are not talking about physical harm, but who are the people who drain your energy? If you say your family and that's different, guess what, it's not. You don't have to 86 them, but give them less of yourself. Give more of yourself to what gives you life and makes you feel like you're new. On your death bed, you don't want to be wishing you had put up with more BS because you feared the guilt. That is your own mental construct -- you can choose to feel guilt or not.
  6. Take care of yourself. This is kind of an obvious one but put a premium on the time and money it takes to pull yourself together. If it means getting up early to go to yoga or skipping your lunch hour to go to the gym, do it. If it means getting a facial instead of new jeans, do it. If it means ordering water instead of wine like everyone else is having, do it. As our 50licious friends tell us, there is pretty much no turning back at this point. Work it, ladies.
  7. Decide to be lovely. You have choices for every word and every interaction in your life. You can chirp "good morning" to your cube mate in your office and comment on her attractive sweater. Or you can just grumble your usual "mrrrnng" and get to work. Why not make the day a tiny bit better than you found it? Same for dealing with customer service reps, taxi drivers, waitresses and your manicurist.
  8. Make better decisions. Don't make any major decision without fully strategizing first. If you decide you want to give up your soul-sucking corporate gig to fulfill your dream of being an interior designer, don't go off the deep end until you completely understand what that means, what you have to do to get there, and the training and money required. Same goes for moving in with someone (seriously, do you really want to divide up the CD collection AGAIN?), buying a car that you haven't researched, getting any body alterations done, adopting a pet, and removing a wall from your house. I'm not saying DON'T make big decisions, I'm just saying if you think them through all the way you'll be way less likely to regret them, and you'll have a better handle on how to make them happen.
  9. Take care of your world. Making the earth a cleaner and healthier place to live is a daunting task. For example, you might not think that buying a bottle of water is a big deal. But there's ramifications to everyone thinking that. Even if you think you're mitigating the implications by recycling your bottle when you are done, guess what? Less than half of plastic we use is recycled, but about half the plastic that we do recycle gets sent to China so they can burn it as fuel for power plants. It's not about saving the planet, it's about saving the people who live here.
  10. Be in the world, in this minute, in this second. This one is a tough one for me as I'm learning exactly how disorganized I am and that I start many things at once, which makes it harder to finish, if I finish at all. This includes opening and sorting mail, which ends up in a pile on my desk; trying to make phone calls while I'm walking the dogs; and working on the things that are most important to me, such as the 40licious book. When you are in the moment, your food tastes better, your loved ones feel like you're truly listening, and you won't lose the car keys.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Beauty: Chelsea Lowe with the Lowdown on the Most Important Things to Know

"Get the sleep you need, even if it means going to bed crazy early."
Author Chelsea Lowe. Don't you instantly want her to be your best friend?

Today's post comes from Chelsea Lowe, a writer who is a beauty and a beauty expert. Through her consulting business, she speaks  to students, corporate employees, women in transition and individuals. She's health and beauty editor at, and the author of two mental-health books and many published essays and features. Look for her iPhone app soon! I had originally asked Chelsea a bunch of questions about beauty but her answers were so good and so full that she's gotten herself a 40licious series. Here's the first entry. 

Q. What are the most important things to know about beauty in your 40s?

A. It’s all about effort! If you want it, you can have it. It takes a little work, but I think it’s worth it. Here’s what to do:
  • Watch what you eat. Whatever you put into your body shows up on your face. Good stuff: salmon, cantaloupe or honeydew melon, romaine lettuce, parsley, blueberries, strawberries, egg whites, asparagus, spinach, green apples—and, in moderation, olive oil, almonds, avocados, tuna, pears, egg yolks, lean protein. 
  • Drink lots of water and unsweetened green tea. 
  • Avoid products made with processed white flour, sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Sounds excruciating, I know! But it’s OK to enjoy a treat a week. Once you see the difference diet makes, you might just “convert—” as I did! I recommend The Perricone Prescription diet as a starting point. I’m also intrigued by Stop Aging, Start Living, by Dr. Jeannette Graf and Alisa Bowman.
  • Get the sleep you need, even if it means going to bed crazy early.
  • Try to manage stress. 
  • Sleep on your back, unless you have a heart condition. If that’s not possible, buy a silk or satin pillowcase and a “stomach sleeper” pillow.
  • Exercise. This includes the face. Take care, though. Some experts, including Paula Begoun, discourage facial exercise, because it can, in some cases, deepen existing lines. Sadly, I have seen this firsthand. Find a program that works for you. The face will sag as surely as the rest of the body if not exercised regularly.
  • Schedule a lesson with a professional makeup artist. It’s not as costly as you might think and is the only way to learn the best products, colors and techniques for your face. (After that, poke around online for makeup videos to your heart’s content.) Oh, and it’s such a pick-me-up.
  • Care for your skin. Moisturize, steam occasionally, exfoliate a little, use a good sunscreen, stay away from hot sun, cigarettes and foods and other substances that cause premature aging.
  • Find a great hair stylist … and a great friend if your fashion sense is not all it could be.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spirit: Author Victoria Moran Tells Us How to Live a Charmed Life and Take Time for Ourselves

"If your life is directed from your spiritual core, things will work immensely better than if your ego is running things and taking potluck."
Author Victoria Moran. Isn't she simply radiant?
Today we talk with one of the loveliest women to walk the planet, Victoria Moran. She's the author of many books, including Fat, Broke and Lonely No More; Fit From Within; The Love-Powered Diet; and Creating a Charmed Life: Sensible, Spiritual Secrets Every Busy Woman Should Know When I was watching a video of her, I had the distinct feeling of wanting to be as lovely as she is. She's the kind of woman you'd trust with your pets, kids, or secrets; who has a solution to any issue large or small; and who knows her own self so fully and authentically that I wanted some of that grace to rub off on me. Here's her advice for 40licious:

1. It's not always easy for 40licious women to balance career, kids, relationships and aging parents -- and still have time for themselves. How does one do all this with grace?
You have to get a clear concept of the 24-hour day. It's all we've ever had and all we will ever have. We've been told for decades that we can "do it all," but we can't, at least not all at once. It's a matter of prioritizing, and a great rule of thumb is "things with feelings first." In other words, yourself and your family first, and everything else lines up after that.

2.What are some steps women can take to get in touch with their spirituality?
Quiet time is most important. Take yoga, learn to meditate, or go to a convent and get yourself a spiritual director if that's more your style. The point is, your spiritual self is with you all the time; you just have to quiet down enough to get in touch with it. You also have give spirituality a value in your life. A lot of people look at is a something extra, nice maybe but not really important like watching Dr. Oz or getting an oil change. It is, however, of primary importance, because if your life is directed from your spiritual core, things will work immensely better than if your ego is running things and taking potluck.

3. What is one thing we should do every day?
"ME in the morning": meditation (see above) and exercise. If you get those in, the rest will take care of itself.

4. Any other advice for women in their 40s to live a charmed life?
The 40s are supposed to be life's very best decade: you've matured out of the flightiness and selfishness of the 20s and 30s, and you're still at a high level of physical vitality. Ways to be sure that you're having the time of your life right now are:
  • Stay healthy and radiant. Make fresh juice with greens in it. Eat lots of salads and other fresh, colorful plant foods. 
  • Sleep enough: you don't have stay up half the night to keep all your ducks in a row. 
  • Exercise. 
  • Lighten up: you're smack in the middle of your glorious life. Enjoy it.
  • Do it your way, like Frank Sinatra sang about. When something resonates with you, it's yours. If it doesn't, really ask yourself if this has to be in your life.
  • Trust yourself and your intuition. You more than you think you do.
  • Live in the moment. These really are the good old days.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fashion: Fashionista's Most Influntial List Includes Women over 40

There are a lot of people over 40, those are the people leading the industry. They’ve been around longer and they know how it works.” 

Iconic Vogue editor Anna Wintour
Fashionista, a fashion news and resource website, recently revealed its Most Influential People in New York Fashion list. Among them were at least five women over 40.
  • Vogue editor Anna Wintour
  • J. Crew designer Jenna Lyons
  • Vogue stylist Grace Coddington
  • Japanese and Italian Vogue editor Lori Goldstein
  • Former Barney’s fashion director Julie Gilhart

To determine the winners, said Fashionista’s executive editor Lauren Sherman, “We used our own knowledge of the industry, combined with advice from industry sources. We also considered each candidate’s consumer reach–through sales, media, etcetera .”

Sherman said that we tend to think of fashion as a young industry, and it’s really not. “There are a lot of people over 40, those are the people leading the industry. They’ve been around longer and they know how it works.”

The traits the leaders share are that they are creative, willing to adapt to change, and they’re developing new ideas – all important in an industry that is in a constant state of flux.

J. Crew designer Jenna Lyons
The legendary Vogue editor Anna Wintour is especially influential, for example, “because she makes a lot of deals behind the scenes, referring young consulting designers, serving as a bridge between retailers and designers.”

“Someone like Jenna Lyons is just such an amazing example for all women,” Sherman says, citing Lyons’ balance of family and work life. “ There’s so much talk about that you can have it all – that idea is dated. You should have a full life no matter what that means.”

Designer fashion is a 40licious game, as mass retailers target women in their 20s. Sherman said. “Women under 30 can’t afford most designer stuff. On a designer level there’s a lot of stuff for women in their 40s.”

Sherman says that there are no hard rules for 40licious fashion. “Women should wear what looks good, don’t just follow trends. It’s about researching and finding your own style. “It’s never too late.”

See the Fashionista 50 slideshow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

40licious Beauty: Facial Exercises Keep You Younger Looking Longer

We are incredibly blessed to have a post today from Carole Maggio, a spa owner and beauty expert who has unlocked the secret to looking younger with what she calls Facercise." She is considered the world’s foremost authority on "face exercises and has helped restore the appearances of Hollywood film personalities who have had too many plastic surgeries. And she's gone and made a video especially for 40licious! Give it a try, and maybe delay that Botox a little while longer -- or forever.

As we grow older and reach our 40s, our facial skin begins to loosen and we start to show more significant signs of aging. Most creams and facial applications address the topical health of the skin, but what about underneath the skin? Fortunately, there are alternatives that address the causes of aging, instead of just treating the symptoms. This can even be done without expensive medical procedures or surgery, just a few simple exercises each day to improve the tone and tightness of one’s face.

The program is called Facercise: a series of daily facial exercises designed to strengthen all of the muscles in the face. As regular exercise tones different muscles in the body, face exercises keep the face muscles toned. It is easy to maintain a daily face exercise routine for the areas of the face that you wish to target, and it is recommended to do face exercises when you start to see the first signs of sagging skin or notice areas of the face that you wish to improve. Face exercises can also be used to re-align noses and other parts of the face, to achieve a more symmetrical look.

Some of the results of doing face exercises can be:
  • Raised or lifted eyebrows
  • Enlarged eye sockets, which result in the eyes appearing more open and vibrant
  • Diminished puffiness under the eyes
  • A shorter or narrower nose (the nose grows with age, creating an aged appearance)
  • Fuller lips, turned up young looking mouth corners
  • Toned and defined chin, neck and jaw line
  • Better, rosier complexions

Because the muscles are directly targeted, they improve the contours of the face from beneath the skin, plumping the cheeks and bringing blood flow to the muscles. Early signs of aging can help be prevented by eating healthy foods, drinking water, wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, and doing a regular facial exercise program. Positive results of doing face exercises can be seen in only a few days. You can tone, tighten and smooth the chin, neck, and jaw line, lift your brow, or achieve fuller lips at home, without the need for Botox or other expensive procedures. The best part about facial exercises is that you can do them anywhere: in your car, in the bath, in the checkout line, or anywhere!

Maggio has also helped restore the appearances of many Hollywood film personalities who have had too many plastic surgeries, and has written her own book called Facercise, and there's also a DVD. You can also visit her spa in Redondo Beach, or take a class via Skype. Visit her online or call 1-800-597-3555.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

40lcious Fun: Ole Skool Crew Keeps on Dancing

You can have your Lakers Girls. We'll take some women, please. As in The Ole Skool Crew, a troupe of women in their 40s and older who perform at the WNBA Sparks and other basketball games. The remind us that the party is far from over.

"Women all around the world, no matter your age, you can get together and anything is possible, if you believe in yourself," the crew's owner and director Traci Hawkins told the Inland Daily Bulletin.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

40licous Relationships: Turning Around a Bad Relationship

If you do something long enough, it becomes rote. That might be good if you're mastering the violin, but not so good if you're staying in a stale, joyless, loveless relationship, or feeling spiritually bereft. Today's insight comes from therapist Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT, CIT, CFT. Her practice, Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, specializes in working with couples to help them succeed in their relationship. Her operating principle: People have the ability to change and that they can achieve their fullest potential given the right conditions. They can create the right condition for themselves, and therefore, their relationships.
Emma K. Viglucci helps couples re-discover joy.
1. Are there any common themes you are seeing in your practice for women in their 40s?
Women in their 40s are dealing with many issues ranging from experiencing a decline in youthfulness to relationship crisis. I have found two prevalent themes in my practice: The first is women trying to get pregnant for the first time and having difficulties conceiving. In our modern age women are focusing more and more on career success and having financial independence leaving their personal lives on the back burner until their biological clock starts pounding. By the time they are ready to start a family, they are engrossed in career development and success. They are very busy, stressed out, and emotionally and physically depleted. Now is their body, including their reproductive system, not only getting older but it's not in great shape to create another life. Add to this their lifestyle - hectic and out of balance, and their relationship state, usually neglected by now unless it's a fairly new one. There is no room for a baby here - not for nothing they are not getting pregnant.

The work to be done in this situation is to bring everything into more balance: body, routine, lifestyle, and relationship dynamics. A lot of TLC is in order.

The second theme I find very common in my practice at this age is women dealing with their husband's midlife crisis. The husbands are questioning if marriage is for them, if they married the right person, if they want to stay married to them, and they are wondering about commitment, loyalty and faithfulness. This throws a wrench into their couplehood and it is very challenging to navigate as it hits the partners' core in terms of their emotional safety and security. Their future is uncertain and their bond is tenuous. This is very painful and creates a lot of insecurities hitting the partners' self esteem and sense of self worth. Their personal and couple identities are shattered and their life as they know it is turned up side down.

The work to be done in this situation is for each partner to explore the meaning of their situation for themselves, their own wishes and needs, and accept each other's world, perspective, even if they don't like or agree with it. From a place of acceptance and understanding, the partners can renegotiate their relationship and come up with a structure that meets both their needs as best as possible. 
2. What hurdles are couples most successful at overcoming?
Regardless of the themes or issues couples present with when they come to my practice, the common denominator in terms of their complaint is usually feeling disconnected and fighting a lot. These are the hurdles they are the most successful at overcoming as well. The work has a pretty good success rate in addressing this. Couples get very good at communicating, addressing concerns from an empowered state, learning how to get their needs met and creating a more happy and successful relationship. Their continued attention to what created the dissatisfying repeating cycle and dynamic is paramount to their continued individual growth and healing and their general couple wellbeing.

3. What are dealbreakers? When should a woman leave a relationship?
Couples do all kinds of funky behavior in their relationship and create a unique way of relating. It is up to the partners what behavior is acceptable and tolerable to them. Some partners have a much higher tolerance level for inappropriate, disrespectful, boundary crossing, and harmful behavior than others. This is a unique formula for each couple. One behavior that should not be tolerated period is physical harm. When in danger, get the heck out! The rest can be addressed, worked on and hopefully changed over time.

The lack of progress and change over time can also be a deal breaker, and the length of time acceptable to each partner to continue to try is up to their endurance and resilience.

The work should focus on becoming healthily interdependent where both partners' needs are consistently met and they have balance between their individuality and couplehood.

4. What are three things a woman can do to improve her relationship right now?
To have a wonderful life and great relationship a woman needs to own herself. If she operates from her Authentic Self and woks on responsibly taking care of herself life becomes a lot easier. Here are three things she can do to improve her relationship right now:
  • Pick an item that's an issue and set clear boundaries around it getting your needs met - speak with I-statements, such as "I feel angry when you are late," rather than "You are always late."
  • Own your sexuality and femininity: Wear feminine clothes and dress up when going out; seduce your partner, flirt and tease; initiate physical intimacy 
  • Throw your partner a bone - give in to a request that may not be at the top of your list, but that won't kill you to try either 
5. Anything else we should know?
Yes! Women can accept their maturing process gracefully without taking a beating to their self esteem. We can defy aging as we know it by enhancing our beauty from the inside out:
  • Embracing a mindfulness practice allows the mind to become more quite and alert, reduces stress and its impact, integrates the brain for increased resources, and enhances the quality of life by bringing inner peace and joy. From this state the journey of life is effortless. For more, read Mindsight by Daniel Siegel, visit the yoga lifestyle site, or try the guided meditation CD Guided Mindful Meditations.
  • Reading a number of other books that will help with discovery of the Authentic Self
  • Learning about relationship processes and skills and using them consistently to enhance their relationship. There are lots of resources here.
COMMENT: What are some things you've done to get your through the rocky times?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

40licious Money: What to Do After You Get Fired

I've been fired a bunch of times. There was the waitress gig when I'd taken New Year's Eve off months in advance to attend a friend's wedding, then was given the choice to work it or get fired. And then there was the "misunderstanding" about my after-hours responsibilities in Vegas when I accompanied my boss to a convention. And even in those crappy situations where the firing was actually a blessing (hello, unemployment check!) I was completely demoralized and I thought I'd never get my mojo back. Today's post comes from guest author John P. Strelecky, author of The Why Cafe, a book about finding your purpose in life. He writes today about how to relaunch your career after getting fired. Which is never, ever fun. Especially if you are 40licious.

You might have seen it coming or it might have been a big surprise, but the truth remains - losing your job wasn’t your choice. What happens next, is.

Author John P. Strelecky finds the blessing in the disappointment.
Finding your dream job is possible at any age. If you’re forty or older, you actually have a major advantage. With all you've learned and the experiences you've had, you are ready more than ever to make your mark in the world.

Why It’s Not So Bad
A recent study found that only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their current job. That was the lowest level ever recorded by the Conference Board research group in more than 22 years of studying the issue. It might explain why so many people are collecting unemployment. It’s not that the jobs aren’t out there; it’s that some people would rather get paid for doing nothing, than do something they hate.

What Now?
Regardless of your age, you can get back in the game and make being fired the best thing that ever happened to you. Here’s how:

  • Do something you love. Most people don’t realize they can get paid to be immersed in what they like doing. And that is the case whether you want to work in sales, customer service, accounting, marketing or any other position.
  • Find ways to give samples of the value you can bring to the place or industry in which you want to work. Volunteer, write articles on the topic, or blog about it. If you give enough value, someone will give back to you in the form of a job offer.
  • Filling out an application or sending a resume isn’t enough anymore. If you’re applying for a $60,000 per year job, you have to be bringing at least $60,001 in great ideas and results to the table. Obviously, it should be a whole bunch more than just that one dollar.
  • If you weren’t satisfied with the type of work you were doing previously, taking a job in the same field isn’t going to fulfill you now - or in the future! Use this down time to volunteer, backpack around the world, read books on topics that interest you. Do whatever you can so that when you choose your next job, you are fired up to be there every day.

Only You Can Make It Happen
Until now, you didn't have the life experience to fulfill your destiny, and fill your heart in a way that you've always known was possible.

Right now you have a choice. If you are in the nine percent of people who are not working, it’s time to figure out what you want to do, find a way to do it, and bring tons of value to the table. If you’re in your forties, take everything you’ve learned and leverage it. Nobody is coming to the rescue, so you must take control of your life. This is the moment when you look in the mirror and say, "This is my time."

Laying you off was their choice. What you do after that is yours. If you do it right, becoming unemployed can be the best thing that ever happened to you. They chose, now you choose.

COMMENTS: Did you ever get fired? What was that like for you?

Monday, February 14, 2011

40licious Style: Breast in Show, or, Don't Rock Your Boobs at Work

Breasts: Something we can all get behind on Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m very aware that we’re all in different places romantically – some of us are blissfully partnered, others are happily single, some in relationships about to implode, and still others are unsatisfied going it alone. So we’re not going to talk about love in the regular way.

The thing I would like us all to celebrate today -- one of the few things we 40licious women have in common -- is our breasts. If you’re not completely titillated with them already, I want you to fall in madly love with yours, be they perky, ginormous, re-created, enhanced, barely there or the source of an infant’s feeding frenzy. They are the first part of you that enters a room, so treat them accordingly. Dress them. Take them out for a walk. Admire them in the mirror and perhaps write a little poem for them. 

Author Elisabeth Dale
One of the breast, er, best experts on the subject is Elisabeth Dale, also known as “The Boob Lady.” She’s the author of “Boobs: a Guide to Your Girls.”

Although all women own their breasts, expert Dale says that really, there is only one entity that claims them in this country, which she calls the “Breast Industrial Complex”: The porn industry.

“The porn industry has an exclusive lock on showing nipples, so nobody in the general public gets to see them. So when people try to breast feed in public people freak out. All they are is part of a baby bottle when you’re nursing. To see people to reject nursing in 2011 is insane to me.”

Nursing is good for the baby, and also good for preventing breast cancer, she says. It’s Dale’s job to take the bewilderment out of breast ownership, and to stop feeling bad about them.

“Our boobs are like living targets, they’re constantly changing,” she says. “We often see the ‘ideal’ breast in the media, on a 20-25 year-old. Very few women look like that. Most of those women are photoshopped. Cleavage doesn’t exist in nature – it’s a bra pushing their breasts up to their chin.”

Whether it’s from gravity or pregnancy, your breasts will be different than they were at 25. Same as if you gain or lose as little as 5 pounds.

“There’s a great deal of wisdom behind the 40-year-old breast,” Dale says. “A 25-year-old might not appreciate her body. A 40-year-old woman is more comfortable in her skin, unless she has major body image issues. She understands that nobody’s perfect, only 1 percent of women have a model figure. “

To best dress your breasts, she says that a professional fitting is crucial – and NOT from the Victoria’s Secret, where the fitters are generally very young, but from Nordstrom or a small boutique with a variety of bras. The good news on the lingerie front is that there are more choices than ever for beautiful lingerie in any size.

“If you’re physically active, wear a really good sports bra,” she says. This will help prevent pain and tissue stretching. Those of us who rock a large B, C or bigger cup should get an “encapsulator” bra that separates the breasts. Our sleeker sisters in an A or small B cup can get away with the “compressor” bra (that sometimes results in the dreaded “uniboob” if it doesn’t fit right).

We know our breasts are beyond powerful. Presented properly, they can steal the show and cause immense distraction and distress. Not to mention the sexual pleasure they bring to everyone involved.

But Dale has a word of advice for bringing them to work: “If it’s not in your job description, don’t write it in.” Cleavage in the workplace doesn’t help your credibility unless you’re a waitress or in the entertainment industry.

“You wouldn’t wear shorts to a job interview, you wouldn’t wear tennis shoes with a suit,” she says. “What’s the message you’re trying to send?”

The next post with Elisabeth Dale will be about the breast health – how to get it and keep it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

40licious Birthday: Surving Singlehood

Today's entry comes from Nicole Flier, who lives in Florida and works as a business, PR and marketing consultant in Florida. She also has a dating column in a monthly magazine about her single life and the quest for Her Man. Today is Nicole's birthday, so please welcome her to the 40licious community! If you have any advice that will help her on her 40licious journey, please enter it in the comments section.

1. How is being single at 40 different?
Happy birthday Nicole! Hope your wishes come true.
I never thought I would be single at 40. It is much more difficult to meet like-minded men as you hit 40. Most men between 35-40 are in no rush to get married and/or have kids. Those over 40, usually have a marriage under their belt and one or more kids. Being a successful and single woman at 40 with no kids and no baggage, is certainly not easy. We come off as a threat to some men as they can’t handle our success and our ability to be total independent. If we seek younger men, we look like cougars. Trying to find a man 40 and above, who actually wants more children if he has them already from a previous relationship, is like finding the cure for cancer. Good luck with that! Most men have done diaper duty with their first wife and/or girlfriend and have no real desire to start over even if it is with someone new. This makes it tough to date in my age range because I still really want to have a child within the next 5 years. The men I meet and date have made a pretty final decision, NO KIDS EVER or NO MORE KIDS which prompts me to move on, very quickly.

2. You're looking for Mr. Right. How will you know if you've found him?
Relationships should evolve easily without drama or tons of work to make them actually happen. Finding Mr. Right is not an easy task, believe me, I am still wishing, hoping and actively looking. As we all get older, we become more independent and more set in our ways. I believe that if and when I finally find Mr. Right, the relationship will connect on all levels, fairly instantly. Chemistry is there from the start, both physically, emotionally and mentally. It just clicks from the onset, without really trying! We both will be on exactly the same page, at the same time. We will both be independent but stronger and better, together as partners. We will both have the ability and desire to give in to the other, just because it is the right thing to do sometimes, be less stubborn or always assume we are right. We treat the other as an equal, making it an “US” or “WE”, not a “ME” or “I”. We allow for the other’s idiosyncrasies without judgment and with patience and understanding. When it’s RIGHT, its RIGHT! Finding Mr. Right is finding the man who chooses to live his life with the same morals and ethics, and who want the same things out of life, ie: marriage and kids on the very same time line as me! If I can find these simples ideals and can see myself going to sleep and waking up next to him for the next 50 years, then I have finally stumbled upon “HIM”!

3. What's the best way for a 40licious woman to meet someone?
We're beyond the bars at this point. And some of us have families and demanding jobs. It’s 2011 and we have all partaken in the online dating craze. My experience with online dating has been less than positive and somewhat a waste of time. For me,the best way to meet someone of any depth or potential is via set up from a trusted friend, colleague or family member. I also like to attend networking, professional/industry related and charity events as I feel they draw a more professional and philanthropic type of crowd. These are the types of people I would rather be exposed to as opposed to trying to meet someone at a bar or club.

4. What else is important for people to know about being single and 40?
Although I have accomplished some great things in my life, the truth is, I feel like I have so much more to achieve. Aside from the obvious; marriage and kids, there is a whole wide world out there calling my name. I have quite a few more miles to go, and I am just getting started! So if you are reaching the end of your Dirty 30’s like me, just remember 40 is definitely the new 30. Life definitely begins at 4-0 and the possibilities are endless! Embrace it, live it, love it! Don’t get down; age is only a number. Life is a journey, so enjoy the ride!

Happy Birthday to me! Today I am 40 and F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!

Friday, February 11, 2011

40licious Relationships: Embracing Your Accidental Adult

Author Colin Sokolowski. Cute, right?

We'll go into our weekend with some deep insights about bridging the gap from being a fun kid to growing up into a boring, stuffy adult. Colin Sokolowski, can’t tell the difference between a Chianti or a Cabernet, and he really doesn’t care. He's the author of The Accidental Adult: Essays and Advice for the Reluctantly Responsible and Marginally Mature. He lives with his wife (who must be a complete saint) in St. Paul, Minn., and gives scooter rides to their three children. You can read about his reluctant journey into adulthood here and be his Facebook friend.

1. You can put off growing up for only so long, and women at 40 and beyond have really no excuse not to be grown up. Jobs, families, retirement accounts, it's all so much! How can we retain the irresponsibility of youth but keep it all together?

I think we all need to master the art of caring less without becoming careless. I’d never advocate blowing off life’s responsibilities – and most women wouldn’t listen if I did. Instead, go about your day’s activities (job, family, friends) but also nurture an inner monologue that continually reminds you that you may appear to be an assimilated adult, but inside you’re not really one of them. You might have to act like you really care about your child’s PTA fundraiser, but you know deep inside you’d rather be organizing a trip to wine country. And that’s OK.

And please. Never, ever slip on those super comfy Mom Jeans. And if you overhear someone referring to you as a MILF, don’t be offended. That’s a compliment. A huge compliment.

2. What advice would you give to a 40licious woman who wants to play hooky from work and home one day? How should she make the most of that 10 hours?

If you’re talking about my wife, I’m not sure I support this radical idea. But for other women, I’d say don’t do anything for anyone else – family, friends, co-workers. Women who spend their day off grocery shopping, writing invitations to a six-year-old’s birthday party or buying their husband socks aren’t really addressing their own needs. I know plenty of women who’d say, “But I enjoy doing those things for my family.” Sure. But is that really “free time?” I’d bet a good book, or a massage, or a wine-infused lunch with friends can nourish the soul just as well. Probably better. Again, that’s unless we’re talking about my wife. In which case, I could use some socks.

3. We loved the man-boy in our 20s and maybe even a little in our 30s because he was so fun and played guitar and took us cow tipping and we could go drinking at lunch together. But honestly, at 40licious, we're a little tired of him. We don't need an extra kid. Discuss.

No one wants to feel like they’re hitched to a slouch. But on the other hand, is your man the guy whose tools are alphabetized in the garage? He may have a better grasp of classic male adulthood than me, but if he’s forgotten the best quotes from “Caddyshack” and doesn’t remember how to tap a keg of beer, he doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to me.

I really caution women against elevating that typically responsible, all-knowing man. Sounds more like a father than a fun life-partner. Those men are the classic assimilated adults – people who seem to breeze through life without the slightest air of uncertainty about them. They’re professional adults who have embraced all the trappings. They know what kind of mileage their car gets. They understand their credit score. That’s just never been me. No one asks me to help them install a kitchen sink. I don’t get golf invitations anymore for two reasons: I suck, and I think that it’s funny that I suck.

Accidental adults might not always inflate the tires before a roadtrip, but I guarantee you we’ll take you on a fun (and marginally responsible) ride.

4. Do you have some care and feeding tips for those of us who are lucky/unlucky enough to be partnered with a man-boy?

The worst thing you can do is expect him to buy into assimilated adulthood. That means he gets a free pass when drinking beer at the fancy dinner party or clamming up when the conversation turns to the subprime mortgage crisis. Instead congratulate him for properly answering the rarest music trivia questions correctly to the astonishment and delight of the adult guests. He’s just playing to his strength.

Same goes for women who are accidental adults. Don’t beat yourself up over sending your nine-year-old daughter to the neighbor’s house to borrow a bottle of wine. Or when you forget to leave money for the tooth fairy (two nights in a row). Or when you’re short on cash, and you “borrow” some from your grade-schooler’s piggy bank on your rush out the door.

Life’s too short to worry about projecting the perfectly adult appearance at all times.

5. What's the cutoff point where someone needs to get a "real job" or just end up like my Uncle Seamus?

I’ve never been one of those “Let’s backpack Europe for 18 months before figuring out a career” types. So I can’t really relate to the 25-year-old dude who sleeps on the couch until noon. I’ve had fairly responsible jobs from age 22 to today, but I’ve always felt I was the youngest person in the board room. And I usually am, even now into my early 40s. That makes me feel more connected to a fun, youthful and carefree spirit. Accidental adults hold serious jobs, but they realize they’re just playing a role, and they’re not letting the job play them.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

40licious Money: Working Moms Have Fatter Kids

How fat do you think Rosie's kids were?
There's this new study in the journal Child Development that shows a correlation between how long a mother works and her children's body mass index (BMI). Apparently the more a mother works, the fatter her children will be. They're not really sure why this is. The study spanned many socio-economic and ethnic groups.

There are a couple theories: That working moms may not have enough time to prepare nutritious meals (they also allowed for dads who helped, but no change in results) and that people who are taking care of kids let them watch more TV, rather than invest time and energy getting them off their tuchuses.

I'm not a scientist. I didn't measure 990 kids and weigh them, and interview their moms. But something about this stinks. I can't tell if this is some weird patriarchal subterfuge to add another layer of guilt to working moms, or real science. But it's making me pissy.

I don't know. I don't have a kid yet.

Gloria Steinem, if you're reading, what do you think about this? 

And everyone - do you have kids? Do you work? Are you kids fat? Tell us about it and maybe we'll find out what's really going on here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

40licious Relationships: Women Fall for Men Who Play 'Hard to Get'

Lucy, give it up. He's just not that into you.

A few years ago, I was embarrassingly besotted with an adorable Englishman who was in a Famous Band. Never mind that he was a hopeless alcoholic, had custody issues and was openly pining for his baby mama. He was charmingly elusive. Which made him even more desirable, as I felt I had to work to earn his attention. Which I got, sometimes, when I became elusive too. Of course this turned out to be a complete romantic flop, and I soon met the very good, accessible and emotionally intelligent man who became my husband.

So now there's this new study that reveals what many of us already know: There's scientific proof that women tend to fall for the guy who is wobbly in his affections, the one who plays hard to get. The article in Science Daily says: "As other research has found, women who believed the men liked them a lot were more attracted to the men than women who thought the men liked them only an average amount. However, the women who found the men most attractive were the ones who weren't sure whether those men were into them or not."

The study was done with undergrads, who tend to skew in their teens and 20s, so here is what I would hope 40licious women everywhere have learned: Don't waste your time on the guy who is not into you. You will know if he likes you because he will seek you out and send you sweet texts and keep asking when he can see you next, and then actually keep the date. If he's a contender, he will call you if he's traveling, working, with his kids or having open heart surgery. Your man will want you with him, no matter how complicated his life is.

Need a reminder primer? He's Just Not That Into You was one of the most important books I'd ever read and goes into a great deal of guy psyche. (Don't bother so much with the movie.)

You've got better things to do than wonder if someone wants to wake up with you every morning for the rest of his life. Like hang out with your friends, enhance your career, launch your business, hike with your dog, call your mother, have tea with the elderly neighbor, and save the little corner of your own world.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

40licious Relationships: How to Save Your Marriage and Be Happy

Author Alisa Bowman went from planning her very-much-alive husband's funeral to falling back in love with him.

"I had married the right person. Ditching him was not the solution. And I was the source of a lot of our problems. I had issues with assertiveness. Once I learned how to be assertive, my marriage transformed."

Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir about how she went from wishing her husband dead to falling back in love. She’s also the creator of, a gathering spot for recovering divorce daydreamers. The 40s seems to be a real turning point in many marriages, so I thought Alisa would be a great source of wisdom for us.

1. You've become a "happy marriage" expert. What are the three most important things people should keep in mind for a blissful union?
  1. Accept that a good marriage requires effort. Many people make the mistake of believing the following myth: If I marry the right person, marriage will be effortless. This just isn’t true. You are two different people with two different brains, two different nervous systems, and two different sets of values, habits, opinions and ideas. There will be times when you are not in sync. There will also be times when outside stressors—health problems, job loss, financial issues, meddling inlaws and more—force you to grow. Growth is hard, and most of us try to avoid it. Yet, if you try to avoid it, your marriage will suffer.
  2. Learn how to be assertive without being aggressive. Effective communication can help you navigate every relationship in your life—including the one you have with your spouse. Learn how to ask for what you want succinctly, without blame and with a positive tone of voice. Good communication is the foundation that solves all marital ills.
  3. Focus on solutions rather than dead ends. It’s natural to feel frustrated when things don’t go our way. Yet anger, resentment and frustration don’t solve problems. Solve marital problems using the scientific method. Try one solution. Test it. See if it works. Then try another. Eventually one will work.

2. How is marriage different for someone in her 40s than, say, in her 20s or 60s?

I think of the 40s (and 50s) as the transition between youth and old age. These are the decades when you are aware that you are aging and that your youthfulness is slipping away.

These are also the decades when most of us are at the height of our careers. We’re the most confident we’ve ever been about our abilities. No longer are we the “young green” person at work. We’re the experienced employee that people rely on.

These two factors can work together to make a marriage quite vulnerable. I know many women who were very happily married until their 40s. Then, suddenly, they found themselves struggling with attraction to men who were not their husbands. They craved romance, affection, and attention—and they were not getting it at home. I often tell folks who develop the Mid Life Wandering Eye that they must recommit themselves to their marriages all over again. They also must rediscover their spouses all over again. And they must teach their spouses to give them what they seek: attention, romance and affection.

3. Marriage seems more complicated these days. There are step children and exes and lots of family configurations. How to stay sane?

You navigate these issues the same way you navigate all life issues: an open mind, a dose of creativity, and lots of problem solving and communication. Let go of your idea of how life “should” be, how people “should” behave, and how you “should” be treated. Shoulds and reality usually don’t intersect. And once you break out of your “should” thinking, you will open yourself up to lots of other workable possibilities.

4. How do you save a marriage that's gone stale after many years? Why not just start over?

You could start over, and many people do. The problem with that approach, however, is that you will probably end up in the same place. Statistics bear this out. The divorce rate for second marriages is even higher than that of first marriages. And the divorce rate for third marriages is even higher than that of second marriages. It might seem as if swapping spouses is the solution. Chances are, however, the real change needs to happen inside of you. As a good friend once told me, “You can work on your stuff with your husband. Or you can work on your stuff with your next husband. Either way, you’re going to end up working on your stuff.”

Starting over is a way of procrastination. It’s a way of delaying in inevitable. You can grow into a better, stronger, happier, more complete person now. Or you can do it in your next marriage. It’s your choice.

So if your marriage is “stale,” become the exciting spark that your marriage needs. Be the change you want to see in your marriage. Initiate more conversations. Suggest activities you can do together. Surprise your spouse in the bedroom.

Take the initiative. You just might find that solving the problem of a stale marriage has very little to do with your spouse and everything to do with you.

5. Why did you start Project Happily Ever After?

My marriage was once so bad that I planned my husband’s funeral on the off chance he might conveniently drop dead. During that time, I bought into all of the myths that I mentioned here. I thought that the only solution was to ditch the husband. I thought that I’d married the wrong person. I thought he was the source of all of our problems.

You know what? None of that was true. I had married the right person. Ditching him was not the solution.

And I was the source of a lot of our problems. I had issues with assertiveness. Once I learned how to be assertive, my marriage transformed.

As my marriage improved, I began talking about marriage with others. Those connections made me realize how alone people felt. So I started blogging about it. Then I started writing a book about my experience, too. The result is and the memoir Project: Happily Ever After.

6. Anything else you'd like to add?

When people struggle in marriage, they tend to feel alone. They feel like losers and failures. I want them to know that they are not losers or failures, and they are not alone. There are lots of recovering divorce daydreamers out there! You really are normal. Marriage is a challenge—one that few people talk about. It has many wonderful benefits, and, if you keep working at it, those benefits far outweigh the hard times. Most couples who have been married 40, 50, 60 or more years tell me that they went through some incredible rough patches along the way, but they do not regret staying together. They say that marriage is worth it. And I agree.

COMMENTS: How do you keep your marriage going when it seems like all is lost?

Monday, February 7, 2011

40licious Health: Eating Disorders Harder to Treat in Older Women

"If you are bingeing and purging and/or starving and cannot seem to stop, it is time to contact a professional who can guide you onto a healthy path. These dysfunctional behaviors won’t stop on their own unless you get to the underlying cause of them."

Lauren Lazar Stern, author of "The Slender Trap"
Today’s guest post comes from Lauren Lazar Stern, an art psychotherapist and professional counselor who has practiced for more than 25 years. She maintains a busy private practice in Pittsburgh, treating girls and women who suffer from eating disorders and body-image disturbance. 

There are a lot of issues that can trigger negative coping mechanisms, such as eating disorders, for people in their 40s: being unhappily single, divorce, infertility, loss of a loved one, and issues with children. Overcoming an eating disorder is very hard work.

In the 25 years that I have been in practice, approximately one third of my clients have been in their 40s. Women in their 40s who have anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders are usually veterans of this disease and more than likely they have been struggling with food restriction and negative body image for many years. Most of the time these behaviors are so comforting and emotionally soothing that letting go of their obsessive food thoughts and hatred towards their bodies is unheard of. To change these behaviors is quite a difficult feat because of the habitual nature of the disease, and it takes a huge amount of work to undo the long-term damage. Young girls and young adults have an easier time recovering because their disease process is not so entrenched. In general, the earlier the disease is addressed, the more hopeful the prognosis becomes.

Over the years I have come to refer to “the slender trap” as my term for the food and body traps that women find themselves in when they are lonely, sad, out of control, and just plain miserable. They become obsessed with their bodies and their weight and they begin to take out their misery on themselves. They can barely think of anything else but how thin they want to be. These thoughts become obsessive. These women lose touch with life’s realities and need to find a way out.

In general, the three most important things to do if you think you might have bulimia, anorexia, or other eating disorders are:
  1. admit that you may have a problem
  2. seek help
  3. commit to the recovery process

If you are bingeing and purging and/or starving and cannot seem to stop, it is time to contact a professional who can guide you onto a healthy path. These dysfunctional behaviors won’t stop on their own unless you get to the underlying cause of them.

Although I always recommend strongly that women with possible eating disorders seek professional assessment and treatment, I have also written The Slender Trap: A Food and Body Workbook for those who cannot find an appropriate therapist right away or who are not ready to go through that process for one reason or another. Readers of this self-help manual are led through a series of forty drawing and writing exercise that enable them to clarify whether or not they have an eating disorder and/or body image disturbance and to work on these behaviors in a non-threatening way.

The Slender Trap has been extremely effective in working with women of all ages, including those in their 40s. One 45-year-old woman, after having worked through the entire workbook, hasn’t binged or purged in a full glorious 54 days. Another woman who just turned 40 wrote in and reported that she had her first donut since her 15-year break from sugary foods, and that she did not feel guilty eating it. She told me: “The Slender Trap taught me that I am allowed to have a sweet once in a while … just not 10 of them!”

COMMENT: Have you ever had an eating disorder? What did you do?

See Lauren on WPXI Pittsburgh 
Order The Slender Trap: A Food and Body Workbook

Friday, February 4, 2011

40licious Money: Women Aren't Putting Enough Away for Retirement

Every little bit counts. I bet she's got about $40 in here.
Ladies. Ladies! We need to talk. But that is why you're here, yes?

Wells Fargo did a study on how well women prepare for retirement and found that we are sorely lacking in the financial fitness department. A key finding: "Almost 30% of women between the ages of 40 and 69 are 'not sure or can’t estimate' how much they will need to withdraw from their retirement savings annually while in retirement, and about 32% of women in their 40s and 50s estimate they will withdraw 11% to 30% or greater each year."

The survey also showed that in addition to increased household tension since the recession began, "Women in their 40s are the most likely of all respondents to have cut their spending on both discretionary items and basic necessities (42% vs. 29% overall) and reduced their retirement savings since the recession started (25% vs. 20% overall) and the most likely to say they cannot save more because of other financial priorities (69% vs. 55% overall). They are most worried about health care (59% vs. 47% overall), inflation (58%vs. 37% overall), meeting day-to-day expenses (30%vs. 17% overall), and the potential to outlive their money (30% vs.17% overall)."

I know the economy is sucky. I know that most of us are still trying to save up for a house, kids' college, the bathroom remodel, the Christian Louboutains, Whole Foods, or even just the rent, and that we keep putting off retirement planning for just a couple more years. It's magical thinking that someday the money will sort itself out, and that we'll be rescued by an inheritance, a lottery ticket, a better-paying job (which is the premise of Barbara Stanny's book, Prince Charming Isn't Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money). Those things may never happen. And even if they did, how would you know what to do with the money if you got it?

40licious women learn all they can about taking care of themselves and their families in the future. Even if all you can do is put away $20 a month, at least you're on the road to retirement and security.

If you haven't started thinking about this, it's bewildering and overwhelming. (And if you have, please share your stories and tips with us!) Here's a good first step: Have a conversation with someone who is smarter than you about money, and ask, "What's the most important thing I should know about money?" Your answer will lead you to another question, and that to another answer, and so on. And then one day you'll wake up and you'll be really, really comfortable about making financial decisions, and working with people who can help you.

Here are some resources to get you started:

COMMENT: How are you feeling about your retirement fund?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

40licious Profile: How Monique Caradine Transformed Her Body

Can you believe this is the same person? Monique's transformation only took a year.

"Honestly look at yourself in the mirror from head to toe and ask yourself, 'Is this my best me? Is this really who I am? Is this what I want to look and feel like for the next 40 years?' If not, stop with the lame-ass excuses and do something."
At 40licious, we love stories of personal transformation. Today we're thrilled to have a Q & A with  Chicago-based TV and radio host Monique Caradine about her 40licious physical reinvention. You can see more pictures here.

What was it about turning 40 that made you want to transform?

By the time a woman turns 40, she’s what I call a real “grown-ass woman.” At that point, she deserves to be her most confident, most adventurous, most secure, most successful, most sexy and most satisfied. Enough with settling for less. This is the time of your life where you need to feel free to be your best self. In my opinion, it’s when life really begins! Unfortunately I’ve seen too many women view this age as the beginning of the end. They see themselves as “middle-aged” and begin to buy in to all the negative connotations that come with that.

Yes it’s middle age, but I asked myself at 38, when I was headed down the fat road, “is this really the way I want to go into the next half of my life? I started to feel myself slipping into middle-aged mediocrity and I didn’t like it. So I decided that at 40, I wanted to be my healthiest, most energetic, most beautiful ever in every way. I simply refused to just accept the idea of “letting myself go” like so many others. More than that, I wanted to be an example to other women of what 40 can really look like!!! At 40, I wanted to walk into a room and OWN it. Thanks to a lot of hard work I do!! I also own the playground. I can also play basketball, skateboard, run and hang out with my son and nephews. That’s the way life should be!

What was the hardest part about getting into shape?

The hardest part about getting into shape was committing to it. I worked with an amazing trainer who was committed to helping me, but when we first started working out, I came to it half-assed. He basically told me to stop wasting his time if I wasn’t going to go full throttle. So I made the commitment. I worked with him twice a week including on Saturday mornings at 7 am (WTH!!). Now you know there were Saturdays when I cussed him from sun up to sun down because I didn’t want to do it, but I did. It was hard because I swear, he trained me like a pro-football player. I couldn’t believe some of the stuff he made me do. I would literally break down in tears because I thought it was too hard. Then, I would think about my husband, son and my future. I could either keep going down the fat-ass road or get healthy and feel great every day and look good too. I chose the latter and kept working.

Most of my life, stuff has come easy to me. I’ve been known to quit when stuff gets hard. When it came to getting in shape, this was one of the hardest things I’ve done and stuck with even though it was hard as hell. Now, I can bench press almost 100 lbs. I am so fierce!!

A lot of women in their 40s have so many competing interests, such as families and careers. How can they make time to do what you did?

Working out became a part of my schedule, just like other important meetings or appointments. I just refused to miss a workout. On workout days, I would just tailor my day so that I would have no excuse to miss it. Even my clients understood that Thursday was a workout day! That strategy worked. The key is planning ahead and sticking to the plan. I also was fortunate that my husband was extremely supportive. He saw my commitment and he saw my results and gave me the freedom to do what I had to do.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to get into shape after 40?

Honestly look at yourself in the mirror from head to toe and ask yourself, “Is this my best me? Is this really who I am? Is this what I want to look and feel like for the next 40 years?” If not, stop with the lame-ass excuses and do something. Regain control. Just because you are 40+ does not mean you have to join the frumpy-and-dumpy club. Commitment is the key. Start by being active everyday, whether it’s jumping jacks, squats, doing the treadmill with 5-pound weights in hand. Just do something. Also, a trainer or accountability partner is helpful as well. They’ll challenge you and push you beyond your boundaries.

What's the best part of being 40 for you?

Freedom from insecurity! I’m a grown-ass woman so I don’t sweat the insignificant stuff that creeps into my thoughts or my life. I have a millionaire mindset. I feel good in my skin and I embrace my imperfections. I am in love with me and I thank God for every aspect of my journey. At 40 I am bold, fearless and fabulous!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

40licious Health: MRIs Catch More Breast Cancer than Mammograms

My favorite picture of me and my dad, circa 1973
My father, Patrick McGrady, was a tireless advocate for cancer patients. His business was to find the best treatment for people, even if it meant they had to go to a doctor halfway around the world, or soak their feet in a weird vegetable brew. Most of all, he helped people find their voice when it came to their health. He made them insist on better treatment, not to take a death sentence as truth, and to fight like hell until they got what they needed. When they had no fight left, he fought for them.

A study announced yesterday affirms that although MRIs may initially have false positives for detecting breast cancer, repeated screenings can better identify trouble areas than mammograms.

Women in their 40s know their bodies. They know when there's trouble, even if they can't explain exactly what it is. They know when a doctor or insurance company is trying to get them out of the way, on the cheap.

I bring this study to you as a reminder to tell your doctor to look further if you think there's a problem. To go to another doctor if you're not getting what you need. To insist on that extra test, just to make sure. To climb the ranks if your insurance company is being a jerk.

It's been said that well-behaved women don't make history. When it comes to your health, nice doesn't have a place at the table either.

I feel like my father's daughter every day of my life, but today, especially so.