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From Your No. 1 Health Advocate

As if the bar were not high enough …

Now we have two fabulous 40-somethings to aspire to. We start with movie star, mom, and global health activist Salma Hayek and wrap up the issue with Olympic multi-medalist, mom, and soon-to-be book author Dara Torres.

I do admit that I don't know how fabulous I personally feel as I look at this issue of WebMD the Magazine: Gorgeous Salma shares with us that (so far) she's too busy to indulge in altering herself unnaturally for beauty (oh, what any of us would do to look like her), and Dara confides that her worst health habit is craving and sometimes indulging in sweets (I'd take her six-pack abs along with a slice of key lime pie any day).

You might be asking yourself: Are these role models for women today or just another daily reminder that our aspirations should be greater and that we mere mortals better get in the pool? Well, I for one will not be intimidated (said somewhat hopefully and with inspiration).

Let's face it: These women are inspiring. I love that middle-aged women of all shapes and sizes increasingly attract interest and attention for many reasons beyond youthful good looks these days. In fact, despite my comment above about the bar being too high, I feel fortunate to grow older in a world where female beauty and achievements continue to break through barriers and defy cultural stigmas around gender and age -- as Ms. Torres herself puts it in the title of her new book, Age Is Just a Number. So it is.

Never mind the actual digits when it comes to how old you feel. But caring about the following numerals really does make a difference in your life: How many hours of sleep do you get each night? How many calories are in that trendy new cocktail -- or your favorite fast-food lunch break? What about your cholesterol total, LDL, and HDL; your triglycerides? Do you know your blood pressure and waist circumference?

How many times do you laugh each day?

Now these are numbers to obsess on. And we can even make it fun for you, with our new Food-o-Meter and Fit-o-Meter tools and Health Checksin WebMD.com's Healthy Eating & Diet center. All deliver fully personalized results and analysis with ease, convenience, and anonymity. At WebMD, we understand that anonymity may at times help inspire honesty, and the more honest you are with our medically designed assessments, the better the insights we can provide to help you manage your health and well-being.

Do enjoy spring. Allow fresh hope to blossom and chilled motivation to thaw and heat up! Take some precious time to feel better about yourself. And visit WebMD a few more minutes each day and learn something new. It's good for you.

Nan-Kirsen Forte

Nan-Kirsten Forte, MS
Editor in Chief, WebMD the Magazine

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