Anti-Aging Expert Blasts Dr. Weil’s Decision to “Age Gracefully”

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From my 76-year-old perspective, Dr. Weil, at 63, is a youngster who has decided to become a poster boy for acceptance of early decline. What does he know about being old? He hasn’t been there yet. He should be gearing up to do combat with old age. He needs to rethink his decision.

Author and nutrition authority Dr. Andrew Weil has announced he’s decided to age gracefully. Barbara Morris, youth preservation expert, pharmacist, and author of Put Old on Hold is not one bit happy about it. She says he is not only setting a bad example for Boomers, but is also setting back the anti-aging movement 50 years.

“From my 76-year-old perspective, Dr. Weil, at 63, is a youngster who has decided to become a poster boy for acceptance of early decline. What does he know about being old? He hasn’t been there yet. He should be gearing up to do combat with old age. He needs to rethink his decision.”

Morris admits it’s difficult to disagree with Dr. Weil. She acknowledges he is “right on” about many things and agrees he has earned the respect and acclaim he enjoys.

“Unfortunately, many people will confuse Dr. Weil’s belief that aging can’t be reversed with the reality that the aging process can be managed and controlled,” says Morris. “He’s a role model. People look to him for guidance. In effect, he’s telling them to just kick back and let life happen. It’s a disaster.”

She agrees everyone should enjoy life, especially in older years, “But you have to kick back with a wallop. You have to stay in charge.”

“Aging gracefully is giving up, caving in, and waiting for death. Nursing homes are full of people who have chosen or allowed themselves to age gracefully. Old age can last a long time. To get the most out of it, you have to be tough,” says Morris. “You have to live defiantly. You have to live with purpose and passion.”

Morris believes that people who learn how to manage and control the aging process can do in their 70s and 80s what they were able to do in their 40s and 50s. “I know it’s possible, because I’m doing it. It’s true that old age is not for sissies, and it’s certainly not (with all due respect) for sweetie pies who choose to age gracefully.”

“Gerontologists know that 70 percent of the aging process is controllable with wise lifestyle choices. That’s an enormous amount of power to have over the outcome of your life. Why give it up for indulgent graceful aging?” she asks.

Morris says the ultimate payoff for defiantly managing the aging process is far more than staying young. “It’s a priceless gift to family, friends, and society. When you are able to give, to stay productive, to enrich the lives of others – that is aging with zip and zing. It is a positive alternative to woe-is-me, just-let-it-happen graceful aging.”

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Barbara Morris
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