As she attempts to transform herself from her current movie role as a
bride-to-be in Mr. Woodcock, co-starring Billy Bob Thornton, after
just wrapping up another in Cameron Crowe's latest venture,
Elizabethtown, one thing is clear: Susan Sarandon is too busy, and in
too much demand, to give into the assumptions of age.
Her body seems to agree. In fact, after the 58-year-old Academy
Award-winning actress underwent her first screening colonoscopy at age 50, her
doctor likened her colon to a 22-year-old's. "To which I said, 'That's
probably not the thing of a 22-year-old I'd want, if I had the choice,'"
she tells WebMD.
Colon aside, this mother of three has a few other natural traits that many
22-year-olds would kill for -- and many 50-somethings spend top dollar on.
That's why Sarandon was recently tapped by Revlon Cosmetics to join Halle
Berry and Julianne Moore in the cosmetic company's "extraordinary
women" ad campaign. It wasn't the first time she had been approached, but
it was the right time.
"When they asked me this time, my friends said, 'Hey, it would be great
for women over 30 to see someone their age who hasn't been altered drastically
by cosmetic surgery and is still
accepted as a standard of beauty.'"
In a nation where women (and growing numbers of men) hunt for the fountain
of youth through cosmetic surgery and procedures, pills and creams, Sarandon's
secret to staying young is surprisingly simple -- and non-invasive. "[My]
emphasis is on being healthy ... rather than what you inject or reconstruct.
Beauty comes from inside -- it has to do with what you take in."
By eating a diet replete with antioxidants -- those nutritional powerhouses
found in many fruits and vegetables that are
linked to decreasing the risk of heart disease and cancer -- and
by making time for regular exercise, deep breathing, visualization and
volunteerism, the actress stays sound and sexy.
A former vegetarian, Sarandon admits she got bored with the meatless
lifestyle. "I [still] don't eat a huge amount of red meat," she says,
adding, "I can't eat as many carbs as I used to, but I've never been able
to do anything as severe as the Atkins diet." After
menopause hit at age 54, she cut back on carbs; like many menopausal women, her
metabolism changed and she found she was accumulating more weight around the
middle. When she does indulge, she chooses whole-grain products over refined
grains such as white bread and pasta.
"I went through menopause late and uneventfully," she says. "A
lot of people I knew were on hormone replacement therapy ... but I never went
down that road." Once considered a standard treatment for menopausal
symptoms, estrogen and progestin (the other hormone in HRT regimens) fell out
of favor when the landmark Women's Health Initiative (WHI)
study was halted because the combo was found to have more risks -- for stroke
and a slightly increased chance of developing breast cancer -- than previously