Thursday, May 19, 2011

Loving Our Bodies at Every Age

Patti Davis, the daughter of former President Ronald Reagan, wrote a very insprirational piece for More magazine.  In it she discusses her journey from drug addiction to loving her daily work-outs.   If you're the kind of person who needs some motivation to exercise, I recommend reading what she has to say.

Her journey from drug addiction, to posing nude for Playboy Magazine when she was 42, to posing nude again for More at age 58 got me thinking about how exercise can fill the voids that many of us tend to fill with drugs, alcohol or food.

Here's what Davis says about her drug addiction:

Not yet because when I looked in the mirror, I still saw the girl I’d been for so much of my life. The girl who had fallen willingly into the deep and dangerous waters of drug addiction. I was 15 when I discovered both pharmaceutical amphetamines and tiny white tablets of speed, concocted in home labs or garages and sold on the street. The sound of pills rattling in a bottle was a lullaby to the pain in my soul. Over the years, I went on from speed to coke, and by the time I was in my twenties, I was in trouble. My body was wasted, my muscles thin and barely visible.

I did finally quit, late in my twenties, grabbing onto some rope in my heart that I hadn’t even known was there. A stubborn determination took over, a buried part of me that wanted to survive. I resolved to work my way back to health.
And here's what she says about working out:

WORKING out has remained a priority for me. It’s as natural as washing my face or brushing my teeth. My body is the house I live in, and I’ve never stopped trying to make it better. I don’t understand the common attitude that after 40, you might as well just accept that your body is going to sag and fold and expand in unflattering ways. Really? Our muscles are actually pretty democratic; if we work them, they’ll respond. I also don’t understand the attitude that who you are on the inside is all that matters. Obviously our interior landscape is profoundly important, but we are integrated beings; we don’t have to make a choice between interior and exterior. One has a lot to do with the other.

I recently turned 58. My kickboxing teacher, who has known me for almost 20 years, recently commented, sort of in passing, that my body is in better shape now than when I posed for Playboy. I heard him, but I was concentrating on my spin kicks, so I put it on the back burner of my mind. That night, I stood in front of the mirror and thought, He’s right. My muscles are leaner, longer, more defined now, and I felt again a sense of victory over the years of abuse I’d subjected myself to, and also over the huge amount of time I’d wasted on addiction. With every workout, I feel as if I’m winning back lost time.
BTW, here's what she looks like at 58:


  1. Being fifty-six now, I'm inspired by the article you're discussing here. Thanks for putting it up. For all the days the gym seems a chore, this will help.

  2. Great post. She is an inspiration. It gives me hope.

  3. WOW What an amazing body and a real boost of a post!!