#019 TCF: Aging in America as a Woman
One of the reasons, actually the main reason, I started this newsletter up again was my experience going through menopause and my frustration with how poorly the medical system and our culture deals with aging women.
Even Mother Nature seems to devalue us once we pass child-bearing & rearing age. Our hormones are just shut off, seemingly overnight, leaving us to wither on the vine.
I've been constantly thinking about what can we control and how can we improve our health, so that the best years are still ahead.
And I do believe the best years are ahead.
I absolutely adore my 50's! I would never trade the wisdom, confidence, abiltiy to set a healthy boundary & releasing the 'need to please', that age affords you. 😊
At this point, we've been through all the things, have the receipts and know who we are. I LOVE that!
I've been contemplating how I want the next phase of my life to go. How would I reverse engineer my life today to give me the best shot at how I want to live decades from now?
Turns out, the current life expectancy of a woman in the US is 80 years old. That sounded pretty awesome to me.
But then I started researching the current healthy life expectancy of a woman in the US and it stopped me in my tracks!
Years ago I read Tim Urban's excellent post Your Life in Weeks. It gave me the idea to use a similar graphic for what our life expectancy vs healthy life expectancy actually looks like.
So, here we go...
Life Expectancy of US Woman
Each row is 48 weeks = 4 years
There are 20 rows = 80 years (the lady in pink is me!)
Honestly, not too be bad. BUT when I applied the latest data on average healthy life expectancy for women in US. I was pissed again!
Healthy Life Expectancy is defined as average number of years you are living in "full health"; when your daily life is not limited by disease or disability. Take a look.
Same timeline but now with Healthy Life Expectancy data.
Here's what the data tells us.
By 55 years old (grey lady), over 50% of US women will have 2+ CoMorbidities (Chronic Disease). In other words, she is living with disease burden, having some level of activity limited and a reduced quality of life.
By 65 (lady with a cane), she's experiencing moderate disabilty, ambulatory issues and requiring some form of assistance. Quality of life continues to decline.
By 75 (wheelchair), her 'healthspan' has completely ended and she is often living with severe disease burden and disability for the last 5 years of life expectancy.
But there is good news! Most of this can be completely reversed with lifestyle changes. To a huge degree, we are in control of our quality of life. This is a true blessing because let's be honest, no one is coming to save us.
For years, I've been relentlessly researching and curating all the best clinically proven effective tools and strategies for healthy, vibrant living. I know from speaking with clients, friends and just a few seconds on social media, there's a lot of confusion, misinformation and everyone is trying to figure it out.
Now, I'm putting all the tools in one spot to make it super easy and clear.
This is going to be HOW not WHY course. I'm giving you a step-by-step framework that you can begin to immediately implement so you can control your destiny and quality of life.
This is NOT some 6 week program. You're busy and time is wasting.
You'll be able to go through the entire course in an hour and walk away with a solid game plan.
I'm calling it the MED Method for Healthy Aging.
MED stands for Minimum Effective Dose, the smallest changes with the biggest impact.
The road ahead can be a truly beautiful, enriching and empowering expereince. You have the ability to control your destiny. I want to help you do that.
It's simple but it's not easy. Of course, neither is aging in America. Take your pick.
With love and gratitude, xo- Anna