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by Arlen Kane
Good Morning America celeb draws a map for aging well
In the pages of Joan Lunden’s latest book, Why Did I Come into This Room?, Good Morning America fans will recognize the lighthearted delivery of news we all need to hear. Although subtitled “A Candid Conversation about Aging”, and presumably non-gender specific, the book definitely talks louder to the ladies. While some topics she tackles, such as nutrition, exercise, job loss, and dealing with cancer, can benefit both men and women, the better part of the book deals with women’s issues.
More specific to the readers of this book than her arduous and inspiring trek up the Grand Tetons at 45 years old are her experiences of aging. Ms. Lunden’s life is never more relevant than when she shares her very personal anecdotes, some of which are pee in your pants funny, and she addresses that too. She pulls no punches and holds nothing back. Whether you’re a fan or not, one has to admire the guts it takes for a public figure to reveal all she does. Despite her celebrity, Lunden is one of us as she grapples with a Spandex undergarment during a black tie event.
Despite her celebrity, Lunden is one of us as she grapples with a Spandex undergarment during a black tie event.
There are a few inconsistencies, including the perplexing advice not to drink water while standing up, accompanied by a less-than-strictly scientific reason. The author presents her thoughts with spritely humor on drinking water, exercising, managing stress, and many other healthy choices that bombard us daily. Women will appreciate the reluctance to get on a scale. Ms. Lunden recounts an opportunity for an exciting bungee jump in Australia which she almost curtailed because they needed her weight for the safety equipment.
“When I asked for a smoking hot body, menopause was not what I had in mind.”
For most of us, information is more easily digested when served up with some entertainment. Quotes pop up liberally throughout the book. They range from inspirational such as this one from Eleanor Roosevelt: “A woman is like a teabag, you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”, to just plain fun: “When I asked for a smoking hot body, menopause was not what I had in mind.”
A look back at your life should help you look forward
The third and final section, “Soul,” opens up a variety of topics that bring both genders into the fold. With chapters that deal with regrets and mistakes, planning and changing, it’s a shout-out to never give up on a good life. I particularly like her perspective that a look back at your life should help you look forward, Most of all I admire a book that suggests being of good character is a component in living well and healthfully.
Lunden reveals her journey from divorce, to birthing two sets of twins in her 50’s, cancer, caring for an aging mother, and a host of other experiences personal and public. She uses herself as an example of how we can trip up and go on, and adjust our bodies and minds as we grow older with hope and humor.
About the Author:
Arlen Hollis Kane is a Manhattan-based award-winning healthcare writer, who turns over every rock to help find the road to well-being for her readers. She writes a regular column for 50PlusToday called Memos From Manhattan. After reaching 50 Plus years, she pursued a childhood passion and enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is now a designer and maker of handbags, scarves and jewelry. Her design work in fashion blends perfectly with her art. Juried shows in New York featured her photograph,”City Birds”, and her abstract acrylic, “Big Bang,” Her one-woman show, “Off The Wall,” that featured both her photography and art was a major exhibit at the Gallery of the Borough President of Manhattan.