Paula Bennett opens up about her health journey and DNAᵃᵍᵉ [NZ HERALD]

Paula Bennett opens up about her health journey and DNAᵃᵍᵉ [NZ HERALD]

I turned 53 a couple of weeks ago. I have never understood people who don't like to declare their age. I have earned every single one of those 53 years and my wrinkles and sags and bumps and scars all tell a story of my life to date. Can't say I love ageing and the body aching a bit more but, as they say, the alternative to ageing is worse.

A few years ago I decided I had to do something about my aches and pains. Most of them were in my knees, as I have arthritis. Most of the pain was caused by the fact that I was very overweight and I was putting a lot of pressure on my joints. So I made the huge decision to have weight loss surgery. I had a full gastric bypass. That is where they effectively bypass your stomach and, over time, you build a new smaller stomach. It is quite major surgery and pretty much re-plumbed my insides. Not something to undertake lightly but once I decided to have surgery I went for the most extreme – go big or go home (by the way, all of these puns are intended).

Then there was the decision whether I would share something so private. I get a lot of comments from people about the clothes I wear and the fact I like bright colours, etc. I knew people would notice my weight loss and I felt by not telling people how I lost the weight I would effectively be lying.

My body, my decision - and one I have never regretted. It was four and a half years ago. I lost nearly 50kg within 12 months. In the last couple of years I have put about 3kg on – I think about losing them but they don't really want to get lost.

It was the best decision I have made. I feel fitter, I like clothes more, I jump at the opportunity to try something new and I don't huff and puff and perspire so much. I just feel better.

I joined nutraceutical company SRW Laboratories about eight months ago and now the pain has gone. I have learnt through them that I have two ages. My chronological age and my DNA age - and the DNA one can be improved and help me age more healthily. There's stuff I still want to do and I need my body to keep up with me.

I did the test and my DNAage is 55 years – two ahead of my chronological. I was surprised it was only two years due to the stress, overwork, lack of sleep, consumption of wine, lack of exercise and poor diet I have put my body through over many years. It has been a wake-up call. I now take natural supplements, try to exercise and sleep more and definitely have reduced my stress. I have worked out that I need to look after my insides if I want my outside to look healthy.

Fifty-three feels good and I look forward to my health journey but still plan to go screaming to my grave with a chardonnay in my hand – just hopefully not for a while yet.

Read the full NZ Herald article here