Aging in the Information Age


agingI recently went to my OB/GYN, and we chatted. I should tell you that I want to be best friends with her, but I recognize it might be weird. She has had her arm inside of me retrieving a placenta, and I fully want to share the hot gossip about my in-laws from my daughter’s birthday. The lines are murky, but when you are as fun as she is, boy, do I walk that line.

I digress. We were chatting about getting older, and she told me she could add a cholesterol and blood sugar test to a blood panel I was already going to have done. Absolutely, yes, I will because if this woman told me to walk off a cliff in the name of health, here I go. 

The next thing I know, I have a message from her in my health inbox explaining my bloodwork and how I should proceed now that I have been identified as very close to prediabetic and have high cholesterol—a moment of silence for the horrors of aging.

My thoughts upon receiving said results were layered:

First, okay, but do you know how much willpower I am showing to barely not need cholesterol medicine? Admittedly, my clothes have been too tight and uncomfy since the birth of my daughter, but I have been going to a group fitness class five days a week and training for a mini-marathon just six weeks before the bloodwork, which will henceforth be known as “the reckoning.” Plus, I almost never eat Crumbl cookies out of the trash!

My second thought is, what in the world do I do? I sat and realized that my guidance on being healthy primarily came from Instagram–(what do the kids say? Cringe? Double cringe because I just attempted to use cringe? Someone help me.)–and trainers at the group fitness gyms I’ve attended. I had absolutely no idea how actually to be healthy. I thought I was healthy-ish. I exercise, but I also love Chick-fil-A and some weekend libations. I drink tons of water from my stupid Stanley and focus on the protein. Am I not the picture of health?! But my own mortality was staring me in the face, and I realized I was drowning in information that may or may not be accurate. I was desperate for someone–anyone–to tell me the truth about aging. 

I texted my sister, who, unbeknownst to me, had a similar reckoning, and she told me she read a book titled “How Not to Die” by Gene Stone and Micheal Greger. This book has changed my life. Full stop. Dr. Greger is a self-proclaimed nutrition nerd and has sifted through study after study with a discerning eye for influencing factors. His mission is to find health facts and make facts available to the public because, my gosh, we are drowning in the information age. At least I am. I do not want to muddy his words or message, so I’ll reemphasize what I said just a moment ago: this book changed my life. I immediately messaged my OB/GYN/BFF upon buying this book. As of press time, she hasn’t responded, but I know she is living for my life updates in her overflowing inbox.

Aging in the information age is overwhelming. Whenever I open my phone, someone tells me they have the answer to aging healthfully and gracefully. Everyone with a social media account has a platform to share anything, and it has truly overwhelmed me to the point of defeat. It feels like when I get time with a professional I trust, like my doctor, I just want to hang out with them for a 48-hour bender where we get to the bottom of every mole and heart palpitation I’ve ever had. I have been drowning in information, and somehow, simultaneously, I am starving for more. For me and the close people with whom I’ve shared this book, Dr. Greger has provided clarity and renewed hope in a healthy lifestyle.  For that, I am so grateful. 


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