I was in the drugstore the other day and had to kill some time while my mom did a little shopping. I decided to go check out the magazines and there it was ... it caught my eye right away: A headline that seemed too good to be true shouted "Take 10 Years Off Your Body."
Although I know that only exercise and healthy eating are the natural ways to keep those extra years from being too obvious, I was still curious. Could there be a way to look like I am only 35? You know, 10 years younger than my current age. ... Of course I am dreaming - I've confessed before that I am 56 and proud of it, but who wouldn't like to look like they were only 35?
So, I decided to pick up that magazine and check it out. But what caught my eye next was even more interesting. Right below the headline touting how you can look 10 years younger was another headline: "America's Best Pies." I wondered what they were trying to tell me, that if their ideas about taking 10 years off your body did not work for me I could just whip up a few delicious pies and that would make me feel better?
I guess the magazine editors, in all their wisdom, were just giving us women what we wanted- to have a great body, and to have our "pie" and eat it, too! I decided to check out both articles, in the spirit of good investigative journalism!
My first move was to look at the article on how I magically would look younger. To my pleasant surprise it was excellent. No hocus pocus, no gimmicks, just some great information on the fact that there really is NO magic fountain of youth and that exercise is the closest thing that scientists have found to slow the natural aging process. From outlining aerobic exercise to strength training to stretching, it gave some great tips that we could all use. And yes, don't we all know that these things are good for us? But sometimes we must hear something over and over before it finally sinks in or we are finally ready to put that exercise plan into motion.
Now you might wonder, how was the article on "America's Best Pies"? I must say the pictures were very good and the pies looked just yummy. But, you know you are in trouble when they do NOT list the calories and fat grams per serving. Sort of scary, like when they don't list the price on a menu at an upscale restaurant.
The good news is that I have never been much of a pie maker and I wasn't really tempted. The only time I think I ever made a pie from scratch was when I was a young mother and had two small children and no car to go to the store. We had this brainy idea that I would get the older one to go out in the back yard and collect apples after I threw a basketball - several times - at the apple tree located next to our back deck. Well, the kids laughed and laughed and it took us forever to collect enough apples. We did make a big apple pie and I don't think it was really very good, but they had such a good time in the process that no one complained!
I don't have any apple trees in my back yard anymore, and I won't be baking any of the pies found in the magazine!
But, I do love to read magazines and after checking several of them out I came to the conclusion that magazine editors are marketing to us women who need to lose weight and like to eat! Just check out some of the titles of different articles:
"Four Week Ab Makeover"
"Great Thanksgiving Recipes"
"New Weight Loss Laws"
"The New Dessert Diet"
So, whether your goal is to lose weight, flatten that belly, make great pies, cook the best Thanksgiving dinner ever, or just look younger, you can probably find an article that fits your need. Just remember that if they say they have an easy fix for your health or wellness issues, it probably IS too good to be true.
Mary Velez is director of Employee Wellness and Volunteer Services at Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital. She obtained a master's degree from West Virginia University in community health education. She has a bachelor's degree from West Liberty State College in physical education and special education. Sehe taught school for nine years.