Windber Medical Center

WIN 2014

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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Page 18 of 31

E at less. Move more. Help others. Those six little words are the best self-help book anyone could ever want, says Jamie Lee Curtis, who's living proof that aging naturally is a beautiful way to go through life. "It's that simple. Period," says the 55-year-old actress and children's book author. "Eat less, move more, and get out of your own head by doing some service for anybody, anywhere. It will bring you into alignment." Curtis readily admits that finding her own alignment hasn't always been an easy journey. A child of Hollywood (she's the daughter of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh) and of divorce, Curtis made her own path in the entertainment industry, first as a horror movie "scream queen" and then as a comedic actress in films including "A Fish Called Wanda." But she says breaking free of others' expectations was essential to her evolution into a healthier, happier life. "I was such a 'good girl' that it took me time to find that I had a mind of my own," says Curtis. "But [having a mind of her own] has been instrumental to my understanding and myth busting [about women and aging]." EXERCISING VARIETY Instead, Curtis channels her self-improvement efforts into eating healthier and taking care of herself, both physically and emotionally. She's an enthusiastic exerciser, RUNNING STRONG Perhaps her greatest fitness triumph, though, is the 5K Santa Monica Classic race that Curtis ran in May 2012. She had finished her latest children's book, which focuses on bravery and trying new things, and decided it was time to confront her own fear of running. "I've just never run," she says. "I'm sluggish as a runner, and it hurts me physically to run. I've never had any wind, and I would get side stitches." To prepare for the race, Curtis used a mobile app called C25K (Couch-to-5K) and followed its training plan to gradually build up her endurance. "I got less afraid as I did it," she says. And she was pleasantly surprised on race day to find that her time was actually competitive for her age group, she says. "It was a huge thing for me to do," says Curtis. "I just wanted to show up, stand on the line, hear the gun go off. It was a personal best, not a public thing for me, and it literally made me weep." • 12 3 PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREW ECCLES A BEAUTIFUL DIALOGUE Perhaps the most famous myth Curtis has busted is the one about the "perfect" beauty of celebrities at any age. In a 2002 MORE magazine article titled "True Thighs," Curtis appeared in "before" photos sans makeup, sporting spandex underwear that revealed every lump and bump. She did it, she says, to "open a dialogue that needed to be had." "I had succumbed to the very things that every woman feels she needs to do [cosmetically], and I did 'em all," she says. "And yet I still felt badly about myself and the way I looked. The process of self-acceptance has been hard fought, but I have a 'tool belt' on now to handle that process as it continues." Today, she also wears her cropped hair in its natural silver color as another testament to the beauty of aging without artifice. "Long ago, the first time I had to dye my hair [and experienced] the smell of that hair dye and the feeling of it on my head, I knew there was something wrong with this," she says. "It was sort of like, 'This is what we do, and this is the process to do it,' and I hated it." she says, although she sometimes tends to jump from one activity right to the next. "Pilates, step aerobics, yoga—I've tried a lot of them," she says. "I do them class by class for weeks. I think it's for me. I buy the 10-punch card—and I never go back." Lately, however, Curtis has been exercising closer to home by climbing up and down a steep set of outdoor stairs near her house in Santa Monica, Calif. "I walk out my front door, and within two minutes, I'm huffing and puffing and sweating," she says. "It works for me. I don't have to ask anybody else, there's no specific gear, and I don't have to pay for it. I'm trying to do it four times a week, which, for me, is a lot." JA MIE LEE CURT IS by the numbers 40+ Feature flm roles 12.26 Minutes/mile pace in her frst 5K race at age 53 10 Published children's books 2 Children – Annie (27) and Tom (17) 1 Husband – Actor Christopher Guest (married since 1984) w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m W I N T E R 2 014 SPI RIT O F WOM EN 19

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