How hard times made her rethink
Last year was a tough year of change emotionally, spiritually, psychologically. There was a lot I hadn’t dealt with from my divorce [from actor John Callahan] that needed to be cleared out, and it ended up being a cleansing year. I learned how to meditate. It’s hard, I mean really hard, to clear your head. I try to take a little space every day. I also started working out a lot, changed my eating habits, and lost 20 pounds—the “anger and resentment pounds” I’d gained since my divorce.
Her new way of thinking about food
I’m a total stress eater, and comfort food is my downfall, namely potatoes in any incarnation and Mexican food. But I started cutting out carbs, and found that if I stuck to vegetables and protein, I felt less sluggish and bloated. And I choose grass-fed beef and organic foods whenever possible, [to avoid the] effects of chemicals and hormones that we end up consuming. But I still love an occasional burger; I’ve learned not to deprive myself and to take small portions of something and really, super enjoy it.
Her post-40 workout regimen
I’ve been working my upper body because I had lost so much muscle in my late 30s. I used to be a dancer, and I do Pilates and yoga, which keeps you toned but doesn’t quite build muscle. Now I use machines and free weights, doing three sets of 10 to 15 reps with the heaviest weight I can lift, three days a week.
Getting her body back after pregnancy
I was 35 when I had my daughter; my body is totally different now. I used to be able to lose a few pounds in a week—all of a sudden I had to work my butt off. I was down to my original weight after a year of really working at it, but I still couldn’t get back into my original jeans size. I had the lovely muffin top; my butt got saggy. I don’t think anyone’s immune to looking at her body and going “dammit!” But I do think it makes you more forgiving of yourself. I think, “Why didn’t I prance through the streets naked when I was 20? Why wasn’t I in a swimsuit, and proud of it, all the time?”
On being an advocate for your own health
A passion of mine is support of the Ovarian Cancer Coalition. My grandmother and great-grandmother died from the disease. With ovarian cancer, there are few clear health markers, and the only way to find it is with a transvaginal ultrasound or a CA-125 blood test, which is not always accurate. And because it can present in many ways—diarrhea, back pain—it can be misdiagnosed as well, meaning late-stage diagnosis, and your survival rate goes down significantly. Women are intuitive; when you know in your gut something’s wrong, you can’t sit back and let symptoms go. Get a second opinion!
By Cara McDonald