SUSAN LOVE, MD| 58 | MEDICAL DIRECTORTHE SUSAN LOVE RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Starting point "My body was just something to carry my brain around. As a surgical resident and then a surgeon, I was working insane hours; I had all but abandoned swimming laps. At 40, I gave birth to my daughter, Kate. Pregnancy definitely changed my body. Although I was giving talks day after day, leading the opposition against HRT, making the argument that lifestyle was the way to go, I wasn’t doing it myself. I really believed it, so why wasn’t I acting on it? It finally hit home."
Considering family history "My mother died in her 50s — and I realized that if I wanted to be around to see my grandchildren, I needed to act. I’ve gone from taking my body for granted in my youth to using it to keep me young."
Get with a group "I started to exercise at 43, when my partner, Helen, and Kate and I moved from Boston to Los Angeles. It’s so much easier here — the weather’s better and there’s more support. I started walking, then running. I joined a running group, the L.A. Leggers, when I was 50. I found out they were training for a marathon, and thought, ‘I guess I could do that.’ At 51, I ran my first marathon in Los Angeles. I’ve done two more since then, in Dublin and Boston. Now I’m planning to run Boston next spring."
My better-body payoff "I’m 20 pounds lighter than I was in my 40s, way more energetic than I was in my 20s and much smarter about what I eat and drink. Frankly, you think twice about overindulging in alcohol when you have to get up and train the next morning!"