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Ann Brenoff
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Ann Brenoff is a Huffington Post Senior Writer/Columnist. She works out of the Los Angeles office, where she is a senior manager. Prior to joining The Huffington Post in 2011, she was on staff at the Los Angeles Times.

Entries by Ann Brenoff

5 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself By The Time You Hit Middle Age

(49) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 7:46 AM

You know when you are lying to yourself, right? It's something we all do on occasion -- for various reasons. But by the time you are 50, there are some lies you need to stop telling yourself because they could actually hurt you.

1. I just can't lose those last 10 pounds.

Let's put it this way: The final 10 are as hard to lose as the freshman 15 were, but if you put your mind to it, you can do this. And here's why you should: Your risk of health issues increases if you don't and if you are 50 or older. According to a study published in JAMA that followed 50,000 nurses over two years, women who gained 22 pounds or more following menopause had a significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer. Another study of 7,000 women aged 45 to 50 whose body mass index was 25 or more found that their risk of developing diabetes was greatly increased.

And yep, it's not your imagination: It's harder to lose weight as you grow older. After age 45, the average individual loses around 10 percent of their muscle mass per decade, according to the National Institutes of Health. This equates to losing about one-third to one-half a pound of muscle each year and gaining that much in body fat. Because muscle mass burns a lot of calories compared to fat, the total number of calories we need every day goes down, say our good friends at Weight Watchers. And anything more than that, you have the scale registering higher.

You need about 200 calories a day less in your 50s than you did in your 40s, according to WebMd. Experts in weight management for post-50s suggest ramping up the exercise rather than just cutting the calories.

2. Nobody cares what I look like anymore.

So the construction guys at the corner stare at your teenager's boobs and not yours. Surely you aren't missing that kind of attention! But here's the truth: Nobody ever really cares what any of us looks like, we just think they do. They are too busy worrying what other people think of them to really notice you. Still, we get it. We want to be seen as viable, strong, self-confident people who make a viable contribution to society -- not as a generation ready to be swept under the rug. So start with yourself. Look in a mirror and see who you are. Are you happy? Do you behave with kindness? Is your life interesting, rich and full?

As for the rest of it -- phooey. Dress for yourself, not others -- which frankly is how you should have been dressing in the decades leading up to this one. Everyone has their own style. Everyone knows what's important to them. We've entered the No Judgement Zone. Wear what you want, do what you want, live like you want. But don't say nobody cares about what you look like because one person should absolutely care what's in the package: You.

3. I'm going to work until I drop.

Only if you're lucky, friend, only if you're lucky.

Long-term unemployment among older workers has been a major concern since the recession, said the AARP Public Policy Institute. On average, 45 percent of job seekers age 55 and older have been looking for work "long term," which the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics defines as 27 or more weeks without work. The situation has gotten so bad that last year, Obama launched an initiative to encourage private and public companies to hire the long-term unemployed, noted AARP.

But the ability to find gainful employment aside, deep down, aren't you feeling a wee bit tired of working for the man anyway? It's been what -- 40 or so years of rising with the roosters, juggling work with raising kids, caring for elderly parents and living for the semi-annual trip to a tropical beach in the years you can afford it?

Most people who are planning to work past the traditional retirement age are doing so for one reason: They need the money. Do you really want to be the guy they carry out on a stretcher?

4. I don't have enough money to retire.

This, too, is a lie you tell yourself. There is one simple way to have enough money to retire and here it is: Find a way to be happy with what you have. Make peace with the fact that you can live on less and do it. Yes, your Social Security and pension and 401k combined will still all be less than what you earn on your job, but whether that's a problem depends on you.

5. I'm the only one who could do my job.

Sadly, one day you will learn this is not true. Saying this is a lie we tell ourselves to feel important. You can sell your business or leave your job and the world will not stop spinning. Saying this feeds our need to be important. Instead, try upping the value on what contributions you make to the world. And those generally don't come from your workplace.

Perhaps the antidote to telling ourselves lies are in the words of S.E. Hinton in The Outsiders: “I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.”


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When Are You Too Old To Be A New Parent?

(1) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 7:22 AM

We brought our daughter home from China when she was 5.5 years old. I call her the "best birthday gift ever" because we landed home on what was my 53rd birthday. I am now 65 -- the same age as a German woman who was artificially inseminated using both donated...

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The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Planning For Retirement

(14) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 6:31 AM

When it comes to retirement planning, most of us behave like teenagers. You know that sense of immortality that teens have? Yeah, well, that's us with retirement. Fully blinded by our carpe diem glasses, we are too busy living in the moment to think about what happens when we no...

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Senior Citizens Show They Can Still Cut A Rug At College Prom

(2) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 11:22 AM

Proving again that you are never too old to cut a rug, members of the J.K. Lewis Senior Center and students from Rhodes College, both in Memphis, held a shared "prom," where everyone got dressed up to the nines and danced the night away -- OK, they danced...

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Arts And Crafts Activities May Ward Off Dementia, Study Finds

(4) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 9:39 AM

Please, no more snark about midlife knitters, potters and jewelry-making hobbyists. They may be on to something when it comes to staving off dementia in later years.

People who participate in arts and crafts and who socialize in middle and old age may delay the development of the thinking and...

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7 Lessons From A Whirlwind College Road Trip

(5) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 6:47 AM

Spring break of a high schooler's junior year marks the official starting gate of the college application season. Up until this point, your student may have toured a few colleges near home -- and rejected them all based on that fact -- but spring break of junior year is when...

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'Golden Girls' Lego Set Gaining Steam On Fan Ideas Page

(6) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 10:53 AM

Imagine a world where you could have Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sophia around all the time, just to play with? Lego, the company that makes those tiny little construction pieces that kill your feet when stepped on, has a fan site where loyalists can submit their ideas for prospective Lego...

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Iowa Case Sheds Spotlight On Whether People With Alzheimer's Can Consent To Sex

(87) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 9:11 AM

When is someone who is suffering from dementia no longer able to consent to sex? That is the big question that is drawing the attention of Alzheimer's disease experts and elder law scholars to an Iowa courtroom this week.

Henry Rayhons, a 78-year-old former Republican state legislator, was...

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Adopt-A-Grandparent Programs Reap Awesome Benefits For Both Sides

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 10:32 AM

In a way, it's the older persons' version of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America -- the program that matches up single-parented kids with role models from the community who visit and spend time with them. Most Big Brothers/Sisters report that they wind up getting as much out...

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The Day I Realized No One Cares About Woodstock

(144) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 6:18 AM

As the Huff/Post50 senior writer, I'm regularly sent books on topics that publicists think are of interest to our audience. This includes things like cookbooks with recipes promising to cool down hot flashes and explainer books on how to succeed at online dating if you are 50+. There are books...

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5 Things Parents Of Teenagers Say And What They REALLY Mean

(8) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 5:49 AM

I am the very proud mother of two teenagers. Teenagers are what you get when adorable, loving, cuddly children move towards independence and young adulthood. Throw in some raging hormones -- both theirs and yours -- and let's just say it's not always easy navigating the waters right now. I...

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101살, 한 세기를 넘어선 사랑(사진)

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 6:00 PM

101 love

이 사진엔 마치 신화의 한 장면을 극사실 주의 조각가 론 뮤익이 재현해 놓은 듯한 아우라가 있다. 그러니까 이건 꼬박 100년을 넘어선 101년의 사랑이 담긴 장면이다.

애리조나 길버트의 사라 햄(Sarah Hamm)은 이제 두 달 된 자신의 딸 케일리 롤런드가 그녀의 증조할머니인 로사 캠필드의...

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Esta imagen de una mujer de 101 años con una bebé genera una increíble respuesta en la red

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 10:11 AM

Evan Patrick Quinn, co-fundador de la popular red social para papás Life of Dad, quedó impactado con el mar de imágenes que el sitio recibió luego de publicar esta fotografía de "101 años de diferencia" entre una recién nacida y la persona más longeva de su familia.

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5 Things NOT To Say To Your Teen About College Decisions

(8) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 7:03 AM

It used to be that all college admission notifications were delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. You didn't even need to open the letter to know what was inside: If it was a thick package, you had gotten in and the envelope contained a zillion forms to fill out. And...

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Image Of 101-Year-Old With Baby Sparks Unbelievable Response (UPDATE)

(238) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 6:23 AM

Even Patrick Quinn, co-founder of the popular Life of Dad social media network for dads, was shocked by the flood of photos the site received after posting this picture of a "101-year difference" between a new baby and the family's oldest living relative.

baby

The...

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완전히 기억을 복구하는 알츠하이머 치료, 쥐 실험 성공

(2) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 3:23 PM

호주의 한 연구팀이 수술 없이 알츠하이머 환자의 기억력을 회복하는 초음파 기술을 개발했다.

이 달 초에 호주 퀸즐랜드 대학 뇌 기관의 두 연구자가 발표한 연구에 의하면 초음파 치료로 뇌에서 신경독성 아밀로이드반(neurotoxic amyloid plaques)을 제거할 수 있었다고 한다. 신경독성 아밀로이드반은 알츠하이머 환자의 기억력 상실과 전체적인 뇌 기능 저하에 일조하는 요인으로...

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Centenarian Lands First Solo Art Show -- And Her Work Is Amazing

(6) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 8:35 AM

When you publish your autobiography at age 88, you must think that's it, right? Not so for Frieda Lefeber, who recently turned 100 and is celebrating her first solo art exhibit of 65 landscape and portrait paintings, now on display through April 7th at Rosemont College in Pennsylvania. Truth is,...

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I'm Not Trying To 'Age Gracefully' -- So Stop Pressuring Me To

(51) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 7:48 AM

I am apparently guilty of one of the last social offenses against humanity: I am aging while female.

I plead guilty. I am 65 and a few months ago had that day that everyone eventually has -- the one when you look in the mirror and see a stranger,...

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Potential New Alzheimer's Treatment Fully Restores Memory -- At Least In Mice

(11) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 2:33 PM

A team of Australian researchers has come up with a noninvasive ultrasound technology that could restore memory in Alzheimer's patients.

In a study released earlier this month, two researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland found that the ultrasound therapy clears the brain of...

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5 Ways That Commuting Ages You

(7) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 5:24 PM

The long commute has become a staple of the American work experience: The average round-trip commute is close to an hour and at least 10 percent of the workforce spends more than an hour getting to work. In all likelihood, if you're employed, you knew that; heck, you live that....

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