Monday, April 26, 2010

Aging: What Are We So Afraid Of?

by Staness Jonekos
I live in the land of angels, but in Los Angeles these guardians are nipped and tucked with crooked smiles and lopsided eyes frozen on a static expression.
At 52 I am really pissed off that aging -- a thing that happens as soon as we take our first breath -- is such a big deal! Why does a large part of our population struggle with aging?
Considering that the average lifespan in the early 1900s was 49, and now it's 77, perhaps old age is a more recent phenomenon. Thanks to modern technology and medical advances, we have an easier life compared to our ancestors. A hundred years ago when the average person was dying by age 50, wrinkles were a badge of honor displaying wisdom and earning respect for a life long-lived.
My first signs of aging appeared as a growing colony of spider veins and brown spots that surfaced after years of sun damage. Witnessing these skin tone imperfections sent me running to the nearest celebrity dermatologist for a quick fix. Six months and $1,200.00 later, those spider veins and brown spots reappeared. Don't they know I paid good money to banish them forever?
I revisited that famous dermatologist insisting the procedures did not work. She said, "Staness don't you know? You have begun your journey chasing youth." What? I have no intention of chasing youth, just fix it so I can move on with my life as I was -- young with perfectly clear, tight skin.
A few martinis later, I decided to cover up those spider veins and brown spots with a spray on tan. Living in Los Angeles this is a perfectly acceptable treatment. Ahhhh, with just one spray tan session for $36.00 I felt much better with those brown spots and spider veins artificially covered. But, this trick only lasted a few months. Self-tanning is a time consuming job with sketchy results. This last ditch effort to conceal brown spots and spider veins, left orange evidence around my elbows, fingers, and ankles. Now what?
When the elasticity of my skin started to relax, the anti-aging battle seemed hopeless. I was now wearing a permanent suit styled with a draping midsection, accessorized with paisley spider veins, and finished off with a set of droopy boobs and a deflated tush to match. It wasn't pretty! An aging alien was trying to squeeze into my body and take over.
Keeping up with aging was a full time job without any benefits. My self-esteem was being tested daily. No one prepares us for this transition of fading youth.
Thou shalt not lose your youth and beauty in Los Angeles. Breaking this unwritten commandment can contribute to job-related age discrimination, result in a divorce or secure a spot in the never-married line.
Men and women in Los Angeles have an unusual attraction to altering their looks, and demanding flawless skin. They are willing to give up their human right to have natural expressions by electively going "under the knife." We have many versions of Angelina Jolie living in Los Angeles with perfectly plump lips, high check bones, full breasts and tight butts. People in their 20s, 30s and 40s casually chat about who did their implants, and where to get the best price for Botox injections.
Don't get me wrong, having surgical and non-surgical cosmetic options available can change someone's life for the better. A nose job can promise better self esteem, removing a scar can boost confidence, and reconstructive procedures can give hope after devastation.
Botox, fillers, and plastic surgery can relax, plump or pull a wrinkle out of existence - temporarily. These technologies can be helpful, but don't depend on them to deliver everlasting youth.
Personally, I refuse to rely on cosmetic procedures to cling onto my youth. It was time to investigate how the beneficiary of youth -- beauty -- was defined in my life.
Growing up an Air Force brat, we moved almost every year. I learned at an early age that if I was the helpful girl, not the pretty girl, I had friends. My worth was not defined by my looks. That changed when I moved to Los Angeles where beauty was a cloak of power. When that cloak wears out after years of use, people will do anything to keep it looking youthful.
Do I miss my youth? Yes, a little now, probably even more later. I miss having joints that don't ache when I exercise. I miss the ease of not working hard to be healthy. I miss the days my purse was not full of reading glasses. I miss the cheaper health insurance. But, those inconveniences are nothing compared to knowing who I am.
I feel some sadness as my youth leaves center stage and a more wrinkled version of myself claims the spotlight. In another decade I become an official cast member of "Cocoon." Fortunately with good nutrition, exercise, and a few beauty products my aging process will hopefully be a graceful one.
The good news -- I am not alone. According to the 2005 U.S. Census report, by 2030 there will be 72 million Americans aged 65 or older. That is more than double the 35 million in 2000. Our population is getting older.
If the youth of America sees a generation of baby boomers ashamed to age, what message does that send? Twenty year olds are having Botox parties, plumping their lips and changing their body shape. Is this obsession with body altering the result of our fear of aging?
We see our local newscasters come back from vacation "refreshed" with tighter skin, and that wide-eyed surprised look. Networks pressure newscasters to stop aging after 40, studios hire the 20 and 30 year-old actors for the lead parts, and magazines completely retouch their covers and editorial spreads.
Why are we not obsessing about being older and wiser? I applaud Kaiser Permanente for having the right attitude in their commercial campaign "When I grow up I want to be an old woman."
Mother Teresa spent her life dedicated to helping the poor and helpless. Do people look at her and say, "Check out those wrinkles, that girl needs some Botox?"
As I try to make peace with my own signs of aging, it was challenged when I visited a dermatologist for an irritating skin condition and at the end of the appointment the doc said, " I can make you look 10 to 15 years younger with some Botox and fillers." Ouch, I thought I looked OK. After the blood from my face started flowing back to the rest of my body, I proudly said, "I love my wrinkles, dammit!"
After our 40s and 50s aging isn't necessarily pretty. Can there be beauty in age? Most definitely. Those permanent crinkles between my eyebrows are the result of fun times in the sun riding horses and sailing boats. The lines that cradle my eyes are a reminder that I have had a life full of smiles. I invite those surprise lines in my forehead to stay forever. They remind me of the unexpected moments I learned great lessons.
When I was 10, anyone over the age of 30 was ancient. When I was 30, anyone over the age of 50 was a dinosaur. Now that I am in my 50s, being 60 isn't looking so bad.
These days I am committing my life to things more important than wrinkles. Maybe the only one who cares about my wrinkles is moi. Maybe the only one who cares about your wrinkles is you. Maybe it is time to get on with things that really matter.
Do I love my wrinkles? I am trying to, dammit!
Speroff, L. and M.A. Fritz. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005.
Jonekos, S. and W. Klein. The Menopause Makeover. Ontario, Canada: Harlequin Enterprises; 2009.
Staness Jonekos is the co-author of The Menopause Makeover, speaker, advocate for women's health. For more information about Staness Jonekos visit You can also follow her on

Monday, April 19, 2010

Midlife Rocks

by Lissa Boles

I remember the first time I read ‘Midlife Is The New Beautiful!’ in my tweet stream.

My first reaction was ‘Ya baby!’  As a (prematurely) silver-headed, late-in-life reinvention artist, the sentiment rang loud and true to me, and the faces of my three favourite women in the world flashed through my mind.

First, there was Sheryl, my oldest girlfriend.

A bootlegger’s daughter who would’ve found it odd if the town cops hadn’t been at her door a least once a month while growing up, her beginnings could easily have set her on a life-track that would have meant nothing more than more of the same. But it didn’t because she wouldn’t let it.

The first and only one in her family to go to college, my girl Sheryl’s an inspiration to all who know her – and the epitome of a self-made woman.

Determined to create the home and family life her much loved but rascally parents just couldn’t give her, she’s been the top sales producer in her field for over 12 years. Together with her husband and son, they bought – and restored – a glorious old home in a tony Toronto neighbourhood, living the exact lifestyle she’d dreamed of as a girl. 

When mid-life middle threatened to decide for her what size she’d wear, she wouldn’t let that decide her destiny either. She started running – and running and running. 

Sheryl now has 4 half-marathons and 1 full marathon under her still-svelte belt, and and she’s having a blast booting around in her never-been-better midlife bod.

Then I saw Maureen.

A child of ‘The Blitz’, and one of the thousands of kids parcelled off to ‘safe’ strangers in the countryside, she returned to London to find everything round her – including her parent’s marriage – in ruins.

She could’ve let that perfect storm of tragic early-life circumstances decide who she’d become and what her life would be about, but she didn’t. Instead, this vibrant 73-year old woman is one of my life’s heroes, mentors and major ticklers of my (sometimes hair-trigger) funny-bone.

When diagnosed with leukemia out of the blue 5 years ago, the prospect of death jarred her into admitting that her marriage wasn’t working and hadn’t been for a long time.

Within 4 months, she’d begun a year-long protocol of well-researched alternative medicine, left her marriage and struck out on her own – moving clear across the country to become what she’d always wanted to be: a non-denominational minister.  Today she’s a much respected leader in a renowned spiritual retreat centre in the pacific north-west – and she’s kicked leukemia’s butt to the curb.

And then there was Shadi.

Born in 1959 to one of South Africa’s very few educated, native physicians, Shadi lived a somewhat privileged life till Apartheid started ripping her beloved country apart. Terrified by what was happening to neighbours and friends, her family fled the country, taking only what they could of their belongings and wealth with them. 

They did the refugee-shuffled for more than 7 years, using up all their resources. Unable to find a stable place to land, and often not permitted to work as a doctor, her father became a broken man, and her mother lost without his strong lead.

When the family finally settled in Canada, Shadi was 13. Determined that the only source of stability in life was herself, she proceeded to cut a path to a life that made it possible to do work she loved while staying in touch with her roots: she become one of the countries leading fund-raising and marketing consultants to the arts, with a focus on native and ethnic expressions.

Never one to do anything half-way, a few years ago she up and sold (or gave away) almost everything she owned after feeling a restless urge to explore the deeper aspects of life.  She moved to Diamond Mountain University to study Buddhism, throwing herself into a life that obviously agrees with her: she positively beams. I talked to her just the other day, and she told me what my heart’s suspected for a while know: she’ll be taking her vows to become a nun later this year.

You know the old saying, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?’  Well all these woman are beautiful to me, but not because of what they look like, what they have or what they’ve done.

They’re beautiful because when they behold themselves they see something more than where they came from or what’s happened to them - without denying, hiding, shrinking from or apologizing for any of it.

When they look at themselves they see opportunity, and they decide – again and again – to rise and meet it with the very best of who they are, creating a life that’s beautiful to them.

Midlife (whenever THAT is) never looked so good.


Wise & deeply skilled at making the mysterious magically make sense, Lissa Boles breaths fresh new life into the ancient art of astrology. Her contemporary take on it – Soul Mapping – allows anyone to see what we’re up to and WHY, as we’re living it – both as individuals and as a collective.

As a speaker, teacher, master life coach and Soul Mapper, Lissa has been working with astrological charts for nearly a decade. She’s helped hundreds finally make sense of their lives so they can step forward and live with greater purpose, intention and personal empowerment. To learn more visit

Monday, April 12, 2010

Irregular Periods During Perimenopause

by Staness Jonekos

One of the first symptoms you may notice during perimenopause is irregular periods.

I was on birth control pills so I did not experience irregular periods. But for those of you not on birth control pills, noticing a change in your period may be an indication you are perimenopausal.
Interview with Dr. Wendy Klein, leading menopause expert and co-author of The Menopause Makeover
Staness: What is one of the first symptoms of perimenopause?
Dr. Klein: The hallmark of perimenopause, which is the phase prior to menopause, is irregularity. We all grow up thinking that when you enter the change of life and become menopausal, your periods just stop. That is not the case.
What happens is your periods start to become irregular. You can have too many periods, you can have too few, you may skip a period and then get regular again, and you may skip a few periods. You may think, “oh my, I am in menopause,” and suddenly your period comes back again.
Staness: Why does this happen?
Dr. Klein: Prior to menopause your periods are usually very regular. The amount of hormone that you are producing is very regular and predictable. However, as you approach menopause, entering the perimenopausal phase, the ovaries are unpredictable. You will have months when you don’t ovulate, and that causes irregular bleeding.
Staness: How long does period irregularity last?
Dr. Klein: How long that lasts is highly individual. Could be a year, could be two years, could be three years and that is all normal variation. I like to say that the ovaries are stuttering. You don’t always ovulate and your previous hormonal milieu begins to change.
Eventually you will experience fewer periods and finally your periods will stop. You are not officially in menopause until you have skipped 12 consecutive periods.
Staness: How does a woman know her periods are irregular?
Dr. Klein: You may get too many periods. You may get too few. You may skip them. The bleeding may become heavier, or it can become lighter.
Staness: What should a perimenopausal woman with irregular periods do?
Dr. Klein: Well the easiest thing to do is keep track of your periods. Write them down in the your calendar and track them. Keep a record of when you are having your periods and what your symptoms are, so when you visit your clinician you can discuss the changes using actual dates.
If you are troubled by irregular periods, you can discuss the option of low dose birth control pills. This can help with regulation, with excessive flow, and also with contraception.
One of the issues of which you should be aware is that even in perimenopause you can still become pregnant and since your periods are not regular you have an increased risk of unintended pregnancy. Birth control is still necessary as long as you continue to ovulate, even if you are irregular.
Menopause is a normal and natural part of a woman’s life. Arm yourself with knowledge, build a strong relationship with your clinician and manage your menopause empowered.


Staness Jonekos is an advocate for women's health, wellness and empowerment. An award-winning television writer, producer and director, she was one of the original executive producers who launched the television network Oxygen Media, cofounded by Oprah Winfrey. Following her commitment to health, Staness co-executive produced the premiere season of VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, and post produced Lifetime's Speaking of Women's Health. Recently, Staness launched into the publishing world sharing her 8-step 12-week Menopause Makeover program in her first book The Menopause Makeover, co-authored with menopause expert Dr. Wendy Klein. Visit Staness at

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Ultimate 10 Minute Face Lift!

by Candy Dye
Apriori Beauty Specialist

So called “beauty gadgets” are earning a popular place in the cosmetics industry.  Why?  Because they work!  Here we breakdown the benefits of four different technologies on the market – ultrasound wave, vibration, FIR, and galvanic ion technology – to help you understand what they do!

Ultrasound Wave Therapy | Ultrasound wave technology uses sound waves that are greater than the upper limit of human hearing.  These waves generate approximately 5 million vibrations per second and generate heat that raises the skin temperature by 0.5 – 1.0°C, benefiting skin in the following ways:

  • Pores are opened, allowing for the removal of impurities
  • Vibrations activate skin healing mechanisms and push nutrients deep into the skin
  • Elastin and collagen production increase, reducing the appearance of lines/wrinkles
  • Blood and lymph circulation increase
  • Skin cell turnover increases as ultrasonic waves aid in dead cell removal
  • Cell metabolism increases, resulting in a reduction of facial fat
Vibration Therapy | Vibration technology functions to both relax facial muscles and activate your skin cells’ natural healing properties to promote skin recovery.  Elasticity increases, rendering the skin more youthful and luminous.  Vibration technology also functions to push the Nutrient Reservoir™ into the deepest layer of the skin where it can help repair and protect the life of every skin cell.  Benefits include

  • Skin and facial muscles are relaxed and rejuvenated
  • Elastin & Collagen are strengthened
  • Nutrients are transported deep into the skin
Far Infrared (FIR) Therapy | Infrared light is a type of electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun whose wavelength falls out of the visible range.  Despite the fact that we cannot see far infrared radiation, it is perceived by thermoreceptors in the skin as heat.  FIR has the following benefits:

  • Skin is warmed, unclogging pores and expanding capillaries
  • Blood flow increases, helping eliminate toxins associated with aging and fatigue
  • Mitochondrial stimulation results in increased enzyme activity and metabolism
  • Promotes the breakdown of cellulite, fat, trapped water, and wastes
  • Promotes the regeneration of skin tissue
  • Increases oxygen and nutrient delivery to cells resulting in increased skin vitality
Galvanic Ion Therapy | When accompanied by an appropriate conducting agent (such as the Celloxylin™ Precision Skin Rejuvenator), galvanic ion therapy works by supplying a current of positive and negative ions through the skin.  Positive ions cleanse pores by clinging to dirt, oils, and makeup and extracting these impurities.  Negative ions increase the skin’s ability to absorb nutrients from treatment products by pushing them into deeper layers of the skin.  The results:

  • Energy from galvanic ion exchange attacks bacteria and promotes skin cell regeneration
  • Impurities are extracted resulting in cleaner pores
  • Beneficial nutrients are transported deep into the skin
  • Skin is more hydrated, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is reduced

Candy Dye is a Nurse Practitioner who focuses on helping people look beautiful as they age. Her new company, Apriori Beauty, offers skin care and an in-home beauty device called the Derma Firm Illuminator™, whose combination of technologies makes it unmatched in the industry today.  Together with the Celloxylin™ Precision Skin Rejuvenator, the Derma Firm Illuminator™ helps to visibly reduce wrinkle length and depth while improving the tone, texture, and brightness of surface skin cells.  The best part – 10 minutes daily will give you results for a fraction of the cost demanded by professional spas, salons, or combinations of single function beauty devices!  The Derma Firm Illuminator™ . . .  why not make your skin healthier and more beautiful?

When you purchase a 30-Day Celloxylin Set on Autoship at 20% discount, you can  purchase the Derma Firm Illuminator Treatment Set for $250 – (a $109 Savings! )
Please let me assist you by answering all of your questions about Apriori Beauty’s Fabulous Products, and Incredible Consultant Opportunity- I would love to have you join my team!

Thank you so much for stopping by and Making My Life Beautiful!    Hugs, Candy