I am a 63-year-old woman, and this time of year causes me a certain amount of distress. Yes, it is commonly called spring, but it is called “Sixty Days to Swimsuit Season.’ And every year, I think about the time I should have spent this winter working out, getting fit, putting all the bits and pieces where they are supposed to be but instead, I watched reruns of Dateline. (It was murder!)

Swimwear for anyone over the age of 45, regardless of gender, is something most people dread. Oh sure, I have a ton of confidence, sometimes too much, but the first day at the pool leads to anxiety and a search for the perfectly draped cover-up. That small piece of spandex or whatever swimsuits are made of is my Achilles heel.

This year, instead of wanting to look a certain way (not like the Pillsbury Dough Girl), I want to feel a certain way. So, I turned to my friend and wellness consultant Valerie Silberman for advice on the easiest, most efficient way to actually feel and look younger. I want to know the minimum amount of work this Dough Girl needs to do.

The first thing Val told me was not to make this complicated. Most of her suggestions are free and pretty easy, though I will need to turn off Dateline. Every day can be different so don’t wallow in what you might not have done but celebrate what you have done!

First, drink a full glass of water when you wake up. Add some fruit to your breakfast and vegetables to your evening meal. Set small goals for yourself. Okay, so far, I can do all those things.

Then it is time to move, move, move or walk, walk, walk! Park further away from the entrance of buildings, take stairs instead of the elevator and set a timer to remind you to get up and move every day. Most importantly, make it fun, which can mean dancing around the house, biking around the neighborhood or swimming instead of laying on the raft. Always keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your car because you never know when you are going to be by a park and have time for a little stroll. Whatever you decide, make sure it is fun for you. Small changes can make a big difference in your overall health. You can find more about Val’s approach at linkedin.com/valeriesilberman or email her at vsilberman510@gmail.com.

Hmm, Val is making this too easy. No club memberships, cross fit training or running until you barf! I can do this. She encourages you to choose three things and do them every other day until it is a habit. And what I think is Val’s best suggestion is find something that makes you laugh out loud. Yes, my laughing, guffaws and giggles count as exercise. 

So, this year I am not going to panic. I am going to try what Val suggested. Good news is I am past the age where anyone notices me lounging by the side of a pool. Better news with Val’s suggestions, I might not only look a bit better but my health will be a lot better. This year, I might just forget to find my perfectly draped cover-up and strut around the pool in a perfectly appropriate swimsuit. So, think about joining me on my wellness quest.

Peace my peeps. With love, the Dough Girl.