Journalist Wess Verbeek specializes in healthy aging. Her mission: to teach you all about how to age in a healthy and fun way. She shares her findings on her online platform, BLOW. Such as: How do you make short work of the extra kilos?
“People often think that they have to live their lives as a health freak in order to age healthily, that they have to exercise a lot and can no longer do anything unhealthy. But that is not fun. You can really achieve a lot with steps very small.
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“I don’t want to be a missionary, but I do want to show how nice it is to be fit and healthy.”
As a journalist, I have made healthy aging my specialty. I now have my own website with blogs and vlogs, give workshops and do podcasts with Jaap Jongbloed. And now there is a book too. I don’t want to be a missionary, but I do want to show how nice it is to be fit and healthy. Especially when you get older. Of course you could get an unpleasant disease, there is always that chance. But you have a lot on your hands. Life can’t be made, but you can make a touch.
My cradle was in Enschede. I am the youngest of a family of six children, three boys and three girls. So our parents had to split their attention a bit, but as Benjamin I had nothing to complain about.
I played a lot outside with friends, but I could also swing or jump rope for hours on my own. Or play inside with the dolls. My mother was very relieved. We were allowed a lot, and there was almost nothing crazy about it. She organized the best children’s parties and made beautiful carnival costumes for us.
My father was more strict, he took care of order and order. He believed that it was important for you to achieve something in your life. He did not distinguish between boys and girls. I got hard work and sincerity from him. My mother taught me not to complain and to be thankful for what you have.
She was herself and always remained positive, even when things went against her. She loved to share everything she had with another person. Unfortunately, she passed away last year, after a nice warm life. As a result, I don’t go to Twenty very often anymore. I miss the beautiful nature and the wonderful sober mentality.
After primary school, I went to pre-university education. When my parents moved to Oldenzaal, I had to go to another school. I thought that was terrible. I went from 4 vwo to 4 havo.
After school I was in Geneva for a year. Then I went to study Communication Sciences in Groningen. In 1989 she left for Amsterdam, where she began working as a production assistant at IDTV. She then became a production assistant in a sound studio where commercials for radio and television were recorded. Eventually I became a producer on RTV in an advertising agency.
It was a fun time, though I mostly worked on other people’s ideas. I had a great desire: to work in the world of magazines. She worked as an intern at Margriet’s weekly magazine. I was 38 and starting over in a whole new industry.
it was good. I was allowed to stay and work on almost all Dutch magazines, including Nouveau. It was at this time that I became interested in topics related to healthy aging. Especially since I had to deal with it myself.
“If you’re under 40, you generally don’t have problems.”
If you’re under 40, you generally don’t have anything. But when my wrinkles began to appear and I heard about the physical and psychological ailments of aging in my area, I thought: Gee, how can you handle this process in a gentler way without getting jittery or throwing in the towel?
Personally, I became very ill at the age of thirty-six. I had a high fever, and I felt terrible. Blood tests showed nothing. In the end I recovered physically, but not mentally. I didn’t work anymore, I couldn’t work anymore and I got depressed. There was no reason for that.
“What left me was the fear that this black hole might return one day.”
But I thought: blues, then you have to work with yourself. I started looking through psychologists. Nothing came out. The drug was not prescribed to me until a year later. That helped. What left me was the fear of the return of this black hole.
That’s why I started looking for tips against rejection. Both physically and mentally. I’ve seen many doctors, both on the regular and alternative circuits. Nothing concrete came out. What I’ve seen is that healthy living will do a lot of good. This is where I started.
I went looking for tips that are easy to apply in everyday life. Because by living healthy, you can handle everything better. But I didn’t want to turn my whole life upside down. Slowly but surely I specialized as a journalist and started Blow, on Bit Leuker Ouder Worden.
“How do you maintain your tightness without going too far?”
As a layman, I go to other scientists or experts with a question. For example: Why do our eyes deteriorate as we get older and is there anything we can do about it? Or: What are the best supplements to take to age healthily? How to prevent an old crooked back? How do you maintain your tightness without going too far?
It’s not about diseases, but about preventing them, and how you can continue to feel good, both physically and mentally. I think staying positive is the most important thing about getting older. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can always do something new.
Personally, I feel like I’m doing what I love right now. I don’t want to think about having to stop working at sixty-seven. What is the pension now? I just came to see. Did you know that being out of work increases the risk of dementia?
“Why is there still no annual medical exam?”
In addition to my personal mission, I am amazed at the government’s health policy. Why is there still no annual medical examination? A hotline that checks your blood pressure, weight, and blood sugar.
Overweight has become an epidemic that Corona can absorb another point. According to the World Health Organization, more than 2.8 million people die from obesity each year. Face masks and vaccines, but no support to help people eat healthy.
I don’t mind it, but it’s exaggerated that eighty percent of supermarket offerings consist of unhealthy products, that fruits and vegetables are more expensive than sweets and snacks, and can you find stroopwafel, gingerbread nuts, Nutella or a sweet shop? stop this!
The same applies to healthcare. We have a wonderful team of specialists who are willing to anesthetize people with clogged arteries, but do little to prevent it. I’m not saying it’s easy, but the focus should really be different. Before I start blaming the government for all this obesity, we should, of course, look at ourselves, too. They are tough opponents, those extra pounds, but don’t give up. The fight against it is worth it in every way.
polo with neighbors
I live with my friend Paul in a wonderful apartment in the center of Amsterdam. Because I’ve lived there for over thirty years, we still pay very little in rent. It gave me the opportunity to start my own platform. I couldn’t have done that with a high rent or a mortgage.
The house consisted of three parts, which were separated by walls. As a result, I have three front doors. The neighborhood is a village. Indeed, I was not very fond of being fat with neighbours, but there are now a number of people with whom we have become very good friends. We go regularly through the room in Bolognese.
“Always be nice, it doesn’t do you any good”
Am I happy with where I am now? Yes, of course. I have a nice husband, a beautiful family, and a rich social life. I am grateful for that. Of course there are also things she’s less happy about. I still find it important what other people think of me. Very annoying, but it is what it is. I dare not say what I think because I am afraid of offending someone. I’m working on it, because always being nice doesn’t help.
I still feel more confident now than before. I dare more now, I know what I can do, and I live more in the moment. But sometimes I find it hard to get through. Then I see sexy 30s in a short dress and then I think: no, this doesn’t suit me anymore.
Sometimes I miss the reckless and energetic. I would go to Roxy’s every weekend and stay till dawn. Youth is over. I still don’t want to go back. It’s okay the way it is now, I’m okay with who I am. Later, when I’m old, I hope to live on a farm. With two little pigs, two children, chickens, a dog and a cat. And those animals, just like in those fun TikTok videos, are all playing with each other. Maybe it will happen again.
You can order A Little Fun Aging here
This interview was previously published in the print edition of Nouveau (c) Nouveau / DPG Media 2022.
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