Nancy Roman

The Big Reveal

I’m going to deviate from my normal format –  Silly Vanity, and venture into

Serious Vanity.

For more than a year, I’ve been sharing my desperate attempts to be young, and six months ago, I decided on how much younger I wanted to be. I decided to be forty-six. I figured that subtracting fifteen years would about right.

So my husband and I began to think about food differently. That is, we decided to eat only REAL food. We have come to believe that when we eat junk food, we tend to overeat. Because no matter how much we eat, we want more, because our bodies are STILL looking for some NUTRITION.

So we started to eat real food in reasonable portions. And you know… we weren’t as hungry. We watched our intake of carbs too, but we didn’t eliminate them completely. We just cut back a little on the bread and potatoes, and upped our fruits and veggies instead.

And it didn’t take very long before our weight started coming down. And coming down.

But I didn’t want to be just slim and old. I wanted to be slim and YOUNG.

I’ve been practicing yoga for more than ten years. And I love it. But no one is kinder to me than me. I have always gone very easy on myself. So my yoga could best be called “yoga-lite.” So I decided to try just a little harder.  And I got stronger.

But yoga doesn’t provide much of a cardio workout. Like my yoga-lite, I had also been playing around with a little zumba-lite. So I stopped shuffling my feet and swaying my hips and started jumping and dancing  – faster, bigger,  and more often.

Now I still can’t balance on one leg in yoga, and I still zumba to the right when everyone else is zumba-ing left. But I’m putting a lot more energy into my mistakes.

The whole point I am trying to make is this:

Keep at it.

Because getting and staying healthy is so great I can’t believe it.

I truly haven’t felt this good (or this young) in a lot of years. It can be done. And you can do it. It’s not easy, but it also isn’t that hard. Wholesome food simply prepared tastes good. Being able to walk a little further or dance a little longer is really satisfying.

And on the vanity side, looking good is awesome!

My husband has lost more than fifty pounds (!). I have lost 24 pounds and I’m down two sizes. I have discovered that I have fabulous legs.  I have a decent belly.  I even have a neck.

And guess what?

I’m forty-six again!

Me at sixty-one going on forty-six.


  1. pharphelonus

    AWESOME! You look 43, Nancy, if that.

    • Thanks! Forty-three! Maybe I should shoot for 41!

  2. “I’m putting a lot more energy into my mistakes.”
    If you’re going to do something, do it big, not halfheartedly. Something always emerges. Congrats!

  3. Wow this is perfect and well said. A change doesn’t happen over night and it doesn’t need to be drastic. Very inspirational. Don’t tell hubby but I am liking the picture. Congrats and you look great!

  4. You look fabulous. I am close to your age and set my goal at 48, but 46 is looking pretty darn good to me. I have always looked young, so I am going to start eating better on a more regular basis–my weight is not much of an issue, but as my tummy has been flattening of late–I have been happier. I truly enjoy your blog and your humour, and you are as cute as a 40 year old button!

    • Thanks. Once my husband joined me, it got a lot easier. We’ve supported each other through this. And I didn’t have to watch him eat cookies while I had grapes!

  5. Karron

    You do look very nice.

    With all due respect, what is wrong with looking your age? Being healthy and being pretty are two different things. I agree with the being healthy part. Do all you can for that. However, I refuse to buy into the whole looking young propaganda that is touted by all the magazines and media. I just don’t see the need to put all that effort into something that isn’t going to make any difference in the long run. You are still the age you are, and eventually, you will look that way. There is a huge difference between looking younger and being younger. Your body will continue to age, no matter what.

    Look, I EARNED every single silver hair on my head and every battle scar I have from life is something that I survived. I don’t want to denigrate the happenings in my life by trying to deny life happened. I guess I have better things to do in my life than worry about how young I look or not. I enjoy my age, and is such a RELIEF to just be who I am and not worry about what other people think. BTW (I am almost 58 and will be a great grandmother in February.)

    • I agree with you completely – in theory. And when I was younger I thought I would look forward to being older since that wouldn’t be any “looks” pressure. But it just didn’t work for me. I hated looking old. Sure I’m still 61, and not 46. And my body is continuing to age. But I want to be the best 61 I can be. I’m healthy and I look nice, and that adds to my happiness. Of course I recognize that my real happiness is derived from deeper stuff. But the superficial stuff can be a lot of fun.

  6. WAY. TO. GO!

  7. You look fantastic!!! As far as age goes, I think it’s simply about looking and feeling as good as you possibly can. I’ve worked (or been part of) the fitness industry my entire life. I taught for fifteen years. I think we are used to seeing people who DON’T really look their age, people who don’t work out and don’t eat healthy. 50 can be cruel if you don’t take care of yourself. Yet every single woman I know who does these things looks vibrant, sexy, youthful (if you want to use that word), and full of life, and some are well into their eighties. The key: keep going. It’s all about consistency (and intensity). Yes, don’t be afraid to push yourself. You are stronger than you think – WAY stronger. Women generally underestimate what they can do in this respect. Also, try as many things fitness related things as you can – Zumba, yoga, swimming, spinning, weight training, etc. Change it up and mix it all together, and you’ll never get bored, which means, you’ll never stop. And your body will thank you. Most importantly, have fun!

    • I’m thinking about trying spinning too. My biggest obstacle now is time. Three times a week for yoga and zumba is already a tight squeeze. When would I blog?

      • Yes, time is always a limiting factor. Just remember that time adds up, so ten or fifteen minutes here or there means something. You don’t necessarily have to have an hour and a half to make a difference.

        The trend in fitness these days is body weight, plyometrics, sports-related conditioning. It doesn’t take much coordination to do, but the best part is that you get a lot of bang for your buck, and you can do it anywhere (like at home) with very little or no equipment. Check out It is amazing. And free. The exercises will, for lack of a better term, kick your ass. What I mean is, if you do them, you will see changes. For sure.

        Yes, the main girl on the show has fake breasts – I’m not a fan of that. But the exercises are really great and REALLY effective. And she does meal suggestions as well. The best part, you can pick and choose what you take from it, and tone down the intensity if you have to. So if you are already in relatively good shape but might like to do something more, this is a good option. It is always nice to have lots of things in your fitness “bag of tricks” I like to call it. Try skipping too. It is another awesome cardio option. It takes a while to build up, but once you get it, you can really work it. I do it in my garage with my iPod. It’s great.

        Anyway, enough rambling. Have fun. You look fabulous. And it sounds as if you feel fabulous too. And it can only get better. :)

  8. Wow. This is wonderful. You look great and you feel great. Congratulations! I feel inspired. :)

    • If I can inspire someone in the tiniest way to eat a little healthier, then writing this post will have meant more than me just showing off. Junk food sapped my energy. I just didn’t realize it until I stopped.

  9. You look fabulous!

  10. I am sincerely inspired! You look fabulous and I would say you have far exceed your goal of 46. You are 43, maybe 43.

    • Well I owe a couple of years to soft lighting…. but thanks!

  11. msmeta

    Fabulous. I and a friend of mine have always railed against “fake food.” That’s why I like the autumn abundance so much. Good for you!

    • I’m a fan of Michael Pollan, but I dragged my feet about implementing his ideas into my life. But now I find that if I buy real food – which is easy to identify – it has have no ingredient list on the packaging because the food itself is the ingredient (i.e., a crown of broccoli) – my energy level is at a completely different plane. I am actually sleeping a little LESS – because I am not conked out at 9:30. Imagine that!

  12. Dor

    Seriously – you look fabulous! Now I want to be 61 (truth revealed) and will set my goals accordingly. You are an inspiration! :)

  13. You look amazing! Being strong and fit and healthy isn’t vanity, it’s smart living. Enjoying what you see in the mirror is just a bonus. :-)

    When I turned forty, I was in such poor shape it was an effort to get out of my car. I started working out, and it took nearly four years before I could even run once around the track at my gym, but I kept at it. I’ve lost nearly 30 pounds, and I started kickboxing when I was 46. These days I run, kickbox, and lift weights, and I’m in better shape than I was in my 20s. And yeah, I’m proud of my body. The face? Well, it kinda does its own thing, but that’s okay. Let’s just say I haven’t been asked for ID at the liquor store for a very long time…

    • Good for you! And no one really wants to look underage at the liquor store anyway!

  14. You look terrific and certainly not anywhere near your age but best of all I’m sure you feel even younger than you look. I changed my diet several months ago with 50 on the horizon, started Pilates and changed the stress level in my life and the result has been amazing. Keep it up, it’s working!

  15. Awesome!

  16. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    Oh my! You look 36! Isn’t it great to feel so good? Maybe we should form a zumba class for those of us who don’t know left from right.
    Have you thought of swimming as exercise? I have nothing but GOOD things to say about being a member of a US Masters swim group. Let me know if you’re interested in learning more.
    Congratulations on your fortitude!!

    • I wish there was a pool at my gym… I’d definitely swim!

  17. dragonhavn (@dragonhavn)

    Damn … you have incredible genetics! I didn’t look that good when i was that age … And losing weight has only given me saggy skin … of course, it’s more organizedly saggy when I walk … (Note to self: stop procrastinating. Walk) You look incredible! And mucho congratulations on the changes that are keeping you looking good!

    • I do have to give credit to good genes. My mother is still beautiful at 88.

  18. You look great! And your post is full of wonderful advice. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  19. You look really good! I have been on a similar path for the past five years–I’m 67, and sometimes I know my face does not look as young as I’d like, but my body is much fitter than most 67-year-olds. I totally agree with you about healthy eating and exercise. I’ve gone from a size 8 (sometimes 10) to a 4 or 6.

    • Feeling (and looking) good does wonderful things to your self-esteem…especially after 60.

  20. divaforaday

    Sensational!!! Replace the profile picture, she’s a ‘old’ girl lol!

  21. That’s fantastic, Nancy! I’ve been doing a bit of the same thing lately and I feel much better. You look FABULOUS!!!

  22. You look mahvelous, Dahling. Keep it up – and you’re quite an inspiration to us!

  23. Nancy – time to change your profile photo! And I like the idea of being the best 61-year-old you can be.

    • Not a bad idea….. Me in my Zumba clothes would say a lot about my blog!

  24. Way to go, Nancy. And thanks for the encouragement.

    As a result of my health problems, I’ve gained so much weight in the last 5 years that I can no longer say I resemble a cow but have had to move up to dinosaurs. Recently I started working with a dietitian and holy cow (holy dinosaur?) I am losing weight and I feel 100% better, which enables me to exercise more. It is wonderful. And losing weight was not really my intent — it’s the bonus.

    You really do look fabulous. Perhaps you should use the full length photo for your gravitar!

    • That’s amazing, Elyse, because that was part of our experience too. I lost a tiny bit of weight but not anything significant until my husband went to see a nutritionist. And it really made sense. Then it all came together…between the two of us we have lost 75 pounds.

      • Elyse

        Wow! I’m down 7, but then I am supposed to eat potatoes! The Irish in me is perpetually dancing a jig!

  25. Michelle Gillies

    You are an inspiration and you look fabulous!

    • Thanks! All these great compliments (and I was fishing hard) really makes being old a lot easier.

  26. Looking great :-) thanks for the inspiration!

  27. Looks like I’m going for 37! You are proof it can be done. Thanks for sharing ;)

  28. You look like you are in your 30s. Good work.

    • Good lighting accounts for 10 years…. I may want to photograph myself in the closet at all times.

  29. Deborah the Closet Monster

    Hot! Count me inspired–way, way inspired!

    • You can do it! And it doesn’t get harder as you go… it gets easier.

  30. Shazam! You know what I love the most about this post? You are redefining whatever the # is! Vanity schmanity – hard work pays off :)


  31. You look great Nance! You need to post a before photo too…fun to see the comparison! Well done!

  32. Wait a minute. Is this photo taken in your home closet? It looks bigger than my entire house!

    • This is just my husband’s (messy) half – where the big mirror is. It is a huge closet – 14′ by 14′. We lived for the first 15 years of our marriage in a old farmhouse built in 1840 – no closet space! I made sure when we built this house that I had a HUGE walk-in closet. But it was okay with my husband – you should see his garage!

  33. Wow! Thanks for the inspiration. I think you should go for 39 :-)

    • I was thinking the same thing – but I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up with myself!

  34. OMG, you lied about your age, AGAIN. You look 40, if a day…!

  35. wow! you look really, really great. i’m a few years younger than you, but like you i feel the best, strongest, and healthiest i have in a long time. i am trying to eat way less preservatives, more real food and i am working out every day. i’m back down to my pre-children weight and more importantly i am toned up better than before. i’ve decided i really want to have a makeover and finally learn how to do makeup for my age. i remember you doing a post on that and i think i’ll go over to ulta and get some help. thanks for the photo of you – it’s a huge reminder that it pays off!

  36. Kathy

    I’m in awe of what you have accomplished…but more in AWE of that CLOSET!!! Wow.

    • I like the way I look now… and I LOVE my closet.

  37. JSD

    Wow, you look awesome!!! We’ve been doing the diet routine and walking, but I realize that I’ve got to seriously get back to yoga. Thanks for sharing with us and inspiring us. :)

    • I’ve been practicing yoga for more than 10 years. Nothing works quite as well for my overall well-being. But combined with healthy eating and some fun zumba-dancing – Wow – fantastic synergy!

  38. You’re an inspiration. We’ve been ‘eating healthy’ for over a year and I’m starting yoga next month (one of those things I just kept putting off but have always wanted to do) but my daughter-in-law has been trying to get me to zumba for months – after reading your post and seeing your AWESOME results, I’m thinking I might just try it in January (one thing at a time!) I’d like to be 45 again (that’s how old I was when I my husband fell for me!) You look great (you should change your avatar to reflect the ‘new you’).

  39. You look marvelous and I am thrilled for your healthy changes. I am inspired.

  40. OMG! I am so jealous! You look fabulous, girl! You have completely motivated me!

  41. Very well done! You look great!

  42. Holy moly, you look awesome! I love the hair, too. Congratulations to you both!

  43. You are gorgeous! Congratulations! And please keep posting forever. Both your silly and your serious sides are inspiring to me.

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