by Nancy Deville:  The early 40s are the years to make significant changes to head off accelerated aging. It’s a “make or break it” time of life. You can tailspin into aging, or you can revamp and renew yourself.Making Significant Changes in Your Early 40s

Week One
Love yourself. Every morning tell yourself how great you are. Really lay it on thick. Say, “I love you,” out loud in the mirror while smiling.

Week Two
Switch to eating only real food. Yes, factory food is everywhere, but I have been in the most horribly toxic food environments and have managed to find something real, or close to it. Many diet books such as mineWeight Loss Made Easy, have several weeks of breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes. Cook a bunch of things at once. Pick the recipes you like and can whip together.

Week Three
Start exercising. All you have to do is break a sweat every day. You can exercise for 10 minutes before you take a shower. If you can do more, great, but if that’s all you can do then be consistent. You can jump rope, do sit-ups, get some free weights and learn how to use them. Do a little yoga.

Week Four
Commit to getting enough sleep. Don’t stay up till all hours. Your body needs repair time.

Week Five
Be mindful. If you can’t formally meditate, then tie a red string around your wrist. Every time you notice it, remind yourself to be in the present moment.

Week Six
Find and an enlightened hormone doctor and make an appointment to see where you are hormonally. I believe bioidentical hormones have saved me. I have been on them for 16 years and would never, ever give them up.

Week Seven
Now it’s time to start weeding toxins out of your life. Get rid of all chemical self and home care products. Buy chemical-free cosmetics. Toss out weirdly coated pots and pans (you can buy affordably-priced stainless steel at TJ Maxx), get rid of your microwave, have a water purification system put in (reverse osmosis, not the cheapie counter ones — they don’t filter much). Be mindful of the toxins you expose yourself too. Toxins age you!

Week Eight
Face off with your addictions: smoking and caffeine (sodas, coffee, tea, energy drinks) are two biggies.

Throughout your transformation, express gratitude. Research has demonstrated that gratitude is a powerful force that can radically alter your life in a good way. Be sure to direct some of that gratitude to your physical self for all of your efforts. You deserve it!

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Nancy Deville

Author, “Healthy, Sexy, Happy”