Yesterday as I was sitting in the waiting room while my daughter tried on yet another outfit, so I started chatting with a well-dressed woman in her mid 50’s who worked in the store. This woman obviously watched her weight and took meticulous care of her appearance. Her hair was attractively colored and cut. Her makeup was impeccable and her nails neatly manicured.
Her clothing was a little too young for her age, but her small frame made it less offensive. In chatting with this woman, she mentioned her osteoporosis. She explained how she suffered from an acute case.
Continued to Observe
In our conversation, she told me she walks every day and takes large doses of calcium. She tried Boniva (a prescription drug), but it was too strong and she felt an internal burning sensation throughout her body.
She also underwent a chemotherapy type procedure where the medicine was administered via IV. She had to go several times a week (or month) and sit for hours while the drug was administered. That didn’t work either.
It is her belief that taking thyroid medication in her 20’s is the reason this 50 something-year-old woman had the bones of an 80-year-old.
What I didn’t Ask
During our conversation I let her talk. I didn’t ask if she engaged in any weight-bearing exercises. Although in looking at her thin arms and legs, I didn’t think she did. There was not a hint of muscle tone. I didn’t ask her if she smoked, existed on coffee, diet drinks and ate a sparse and unhealthy diet. Her lack of tone and ailments told me she did.
I might be wrong but this woman’s appearance told me she did whatever it took to maintain a thin and stylish look at the cost of her health. Let’s face it, her job requires her to be on her feet all day and she wore shoes with 5-inch heels.
The Other Side of the Coin
I’ve met 50 something-year-old women who were probably not as stylish as this woman, but were in much better health with an appearance to match. Middle-aged women who are thin, fit, healthy and toned don’t seem to go through the same bone density problems as their fad diet, cigarette smoking, diet soda drinking counterparts.
That waiting room conversation helped to reinforce my belief that slow and steady wins the race.
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Weight bearing exercises are essential – especially for us women – as we age. I can attest to that. I can also attest to how quickly muscle atrophies when you cease to do weight bearing exercises. With my Polymiositis, I haven’t been able to do what I used to and my strength and muscle tissue has decreased drastically and quickly. Definitely a bad thing!! I’ve gotta stay with it – something is better than nothing! 🙂