Connie Britton: ‘It’s true what they say, your body really does change’ with age

Connie Britton covers Health Magazine’s January issue. Her interview is so highly quotable that it’s hard to know what to excerpt. I found myself just nodding along as I was reading it. She’s goals to me in so many ways and I’ve been mesmerized by her since seeing her on American Horror Story’s first season. Connie is currently starring on Dirty John, on Bravo, which tells the true story of a woman whose boyfriend was a dangerous con artist. I have it sitting on my DVR waiting for me. She said the character she plays, Debra Newell, is a product of her environment and societal expectations. Connie also discussed her workouts and how her body has changed with age. She’s 51, and said that she can see the difference in her body the past few years especially.

What is your workout philosophy?
I don’t love the gym. For a good part of my 20s, while I was pounding the pavement auditioning for acting roles, I taught aerobics in New York. I did step class or good old high-impact aerobics and calisthenics. I spent a lot of time in gyms, but now I really love a mind-body-spirit kind of a workout, and that’s more easily done outside—swimming, hiking, or yoga.

Do you keep a strict diet?
I’ve done a bunch of cleanses over the years. Raw food really worked for me, and so did the Blood Type Diet. But now that I’ve turned 50, it’s not so easy. I used to be able to exercise or change what I eat, and in a few days I was good, but that doesn’t happen anymore. I’m in a new phase, and I haven’t figured it out yet. But moderation is important. I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and clean proteins. And I try to stay away from sugar—it really is a drug for me. It not only impacts my weight, it impacts my body chemistry. Though if I could have a chocolate chip cookie or really anything that is chocolate, I would be a very happy camper.

How has your sense of your self changed as you’ve gotten older?
It’s true what they say—your body really does change. And I do for sure have those times when I don’t feel good in my skin. In your 40s, you have this genuinely acquired grounded wisdom, and your body is still recognizable. In your late 40s, it’s like, “What is happening?” But I’m not super hard on myself, and I allow myself to feel sexy. We have to be patient with ourselves. We are constantly evolving.

[From Health]

There’s so much more in the interview. Connie answered a question about social media by saying that it’s hard to do as a parent and feels like a job. (She is on Instagram though and seems to know what she’s doing.) She has a seven-year-old son, Yoby, and said she never thought she would have a son or that she would adopt but her life is turning out in ways she couldn’t have imagined.

I could relate a lot to her thoughts on diet and exercise. It’s disappointing to hear that she’s had success from cleanses and a blood type diet (that’s based on bad science but it may work as a diet anyway), but at least she’s not selling anything or telling other people to do it. I’m a few years younger than her and it’s true that things change and you have to be more regimented with your diet as you get older. I can’t imagine not being able to eat chocolate or ice cream as a treat though. That’s dedication, to give up chocolate.

Here’s Connie’s cover and photoshoot (mouse over and click the arrows to see). Her head looks odd in these photos, like it’s too big for her body, but she looks gorgeous anyway.



photos credit: WENN and Health via Instagram

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51 Responses to “Connie Britton: ‘It’s true what they say, your body really does change’ with age”

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  1. Darkladi says:

    What…is happening in those photos?

  2. Jenns says:

    I’m really enjoying Dirty John. I love me some Connie Britton and Eric Bana.

    And I think she looks great. And while I think a woman can do whatever she wants to do, it is nice seeing an actress over 50 who isn’t going crazy with the fillers and Botox.

  3. Lala11_7 says:

    Man…THIS IS IT SO TRUE!!!!

    Back in the day…I used to do aerobics with Kathy Smith and Jane Fonda….the BEST OF THEM…and this year when I started back in the gym…taking Zumba and step classes….however, I’m 51 now…and my body can’t take the pounding anymore…feet issues with Tailor’s Bunions…I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THAT WAS A THING!!!! My knees giving me fits for the first time in my life….I’ve had to resort to water aerobics…which I am NOT HAPPY ABOUT because I have to go to the pool…in the Midwest…in the WINTER…and I’m learning to use weights aerobically….and stretching and Yoga…will save your soul!!!

    I’ve also had to REALLY start watching what I put in my mouth, just so that I don’t end up being 300+ pounds…and dealing with peri-menopause issues with my skin…which has been HELLISH (thank you Amazon and YouTube)…plus dealing with ASTHMA…which can also be a result of peri….yea, I’m learning to get comfortable in this new middle age skin….but it’s worth it…cause now all of the things I took for granted…are getting LOTS AND LOTS OF ATTENTION!

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      I have 10 years more and honey, it just keeps coming. But like you say, we have to keep moving.

      If I could toss in one thing: middle age is a great time to take up using free weights (or weight-bearing machines) for your bones, muscles, posture, breathing, even your brain likes them. Losing estrogen is hard, so nutrition and weight-bearing exercise have to help compensate especially for bone strength and muscle mass. And when I say muscle mass, I’m not talking body-builder, I’m talking not becoming frail. (look it up: sarcopenia)

    • Chaine says:

      ITA. I never felt like I needed a facial until my mid 40s. Now it’s just essential, I have to budget to go every two or three months as my skin gets so dry and itchy, esp with this winter weather! You can still stay fit without the aerobics, too much for my knees too, I do core workouts and free weights.

    • Hotsauceinmybag says:

      @Lala11_7, you are my FAVORITE! Thanks for always sharing, I love reading your posts 🙂

  4. Erinn says:

    “It’s true what they say—your body really does change.”

    WHAT!? You mean they weren’t lying to us this whole time? I am shocked. Thankfully Connie Britton is hear to bring us the truth.

    Cleanses are stupid. Eating healthy and moderation is an obvious thing. Sugar isn’t the same as drugs – I know she probably means added sugar – but I really wish celebrities would clarify when they go on about the evils of sugar. Your body NEEDS sugar. Now we’re hurting ourselves by eating all kinds of super processed foods and added sugar, sure. But it really annoys me when celebrities get on their talking point about how bad sugar is when it’s specific types that are causing the problem. Of course we’d all be healthier eating whole foods; it’s just common sense. Unfortunately availability, convenience, and price are all factors for people and there’s a reason we rely on processed foods so much. But it’s hilarious when you have someone famous talking about how they often did cleanses and fad diets while promoting health – then talking about moderation and then going on to say they don’t eat any cookies or chocolate or anything like that. And beyond that – it’s as if she’s finally sharing with us some kind of secret – she’s this beacon of truth and hope that the plebs can finally look to for answers.

  5. DesertReal says:

    She looks fantastic.
    I mean, I don’t think people should be the same weight or build they were in their 20s, 30s, etc. As we get older, you need to be a bit curvier/fuller to look healthy. Otherwise, you look sunken, tired, drawn, and for what? To be able to wear some 30 year old jeans? That’s crazy. Our bodies change, so we should adapt accordingly, in order to find what makes us comfortable.
    I don’t have a beef with anything she says, other than giving up what she so clearly loves (not that I can relate, a steak or a cheeseburger > chocolate in my book).

  6. Electric Tuba says:

    Well now she’s confirmed this I guess I’ll start believing science again.

  7. Spicecake38 says:

    She and Faith Hill could be twins

  8. Snowflake says:

    Oh, no, I’m scared by this article. I’ll be 43 next month. But i guess I’ll be okay. My mom is 77 and looks great. I feel like I’m seeing new wrinkles and it’s like nooooo. It was traumatizing getting my first wrinkle, but I’ve since adjusted to the light wrinkles. But idk, I’m scared of getting really wrinkly and being considered “old.” Do you any of you feel the same way? I know its vain but that’s how i feel.

    • Eden75 says:

      I’m not scared of the wrinkles, they are what they are and there’s not much I can do other than take care of my skin now and hope for the best. My parents look great (my dad is just turned 70 and looks 55ish) so I hope that carries over.

      The only thing that I may do in the coming year is have some of the sun damage spots removed from my face. I never let my face out in the sun anymore but I am of the baby oil and sun-in generation, so I did as a teenager. A light dermabrasion should get rid of most of it. That’s going to be my vanity of 2019. Oh, and getting my chin and upper lip lasered. WTF is up with the hair once I turned 40?????

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Oh yeah thanks for reminding me to pluck my chin😉

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah I’ve been debating laser for years because of sun damage (I guess we’re from the same generation 😉 ) but I’m so scared. Plus just the hassle of the downtime, probably having to take time off from work etc..

        If anyone has done laser and has recommendations, I’d love to hear about it.

      • Mumzy says:

        @Kitten—I have done both laser hair removal and laser for sun spots. Just turned 50 and am doing my second round of laser for sun spots after initial round about 10 years ago. Laser for hair removal is no big deal —feels like snapping of rubber band. You can opt for numbing cream if you want. I didn’t bother. There is no down time at all. Laser for sun spots is called IPL and there is no downtime…none. They do remove your makeup, so reapplying makeup is your only downtime! My IPL is done in a series of 5 treatments, done about 2 weeks apart. Again, you can opt for numbing cream if you want but after application it takes about 20 minutes to work. I don’t bother with it as it’s not painful to me—just quick zap like a snap and that’s it. The whole treatment takes about 15 minutes from makeup removal to getting out of the chair. Some people have what’s called “peppering” days after treatment…just little flakes of what looks like pepper on their skin, which is where the sun spots are surfacing and then they flake off. You’d have to be very, very close to your face to see it and it’s easily covered by makeup. I haven’t had that this time around.

        So IPL sun spot treatment is no down time and to me, not painful. It has helped my complexion overall too, beyond treating discolouration. I highly recommend it.

        Note that you have to be religious about wearing sunscreen during your weeks of treatments as it makes you much more apt to burn. Also no peels or acids during the treatment period. I am religious about daily sunscreen anyway so no problem. I just visited my 20-year old daughter at college over in Scotland and we were mistaken as sisters (happens frequently). I laughed and told the person that I was mom and had just turned 50 and she honestly did not believe me.

      • Kitten says:

        @ Mumzy-Thank you so much for the detailed description. I have a friend who’s done IPL a few times and raves about it. She said she had what looks like a sunburn afterwards but nothing beyond that. I’ve read so many reviews about IPL and the reactions are so mixed, with the worst ones claiming that it ruined the elasticity in their skin. After reading your post, I think I will buy a package within the next few months and take my chances. Thanks again!

      • phlylfiremama says:

        IPL is the BEST!! Absolutely no downtime, and the results are amazing! Collagen production increases, freckles & other pigment issues (including the pre-cancerous age spots!) go away. I recommend 6 treatments over 6 months, and MAKE SURE you take pictures so you can see the progress.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      I just turned 43,and I’m well aware of pushing into mid 40’s territory,it’s weird.I don’t feel so much the worry about wrinkles,but I still know what you mean.I think it was Paulina Poritzkova(?sp)just gave an interview where she talked about feeling invisible.That I can relate to,sometimes it’s nice because I am much more relaxed about my appearance,but then I realize I could do more…
      I do notice lines,sagging,etc when I’ve not slept enough,or if I’m not feeling well.There is no more slacking off and getting by with it!I’m sure you’re beautiful Slowsnow!
      Cheers to 43🍷🍷

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Avoid the sun, moisturize, and you’ll be fine. It’s impossible to avoid collagen breakdown as you get older, so smile and enjoy having laugh lines. It’s the puppet lines in the lower face that bother me and the idea that I’ll get … jowls.

      As for the hair thing, OMG. It fades from where it used to be and grows where it never did before. Lower estrogen allows the androgens to have more sway. I finally got electrolysis for my chin, it was a lengthy process but worth it.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      There’s definitely a mourning. You have a few years left of ‘you’ as after 46, 47ish, things plummet. Fast and hard. All literature will advise regular exercise and healthy diet, but that’s a given for all of life right? But trust me, you’ll crave healthier because you won’t recognize your digestive system anymore. You won’t recognize your hair. Your eyesight will betray you. Anything you experienced as a young to mid-adult, like headaches or migraines or back, neck, knees, ankles, joint pain, etc. will achieve new impressive heights. In other words, your moves must become more calculated and pushed through.

      I sincerely wish more women discussed the sadness and sense of loss aging can and may bring, but I really think a lot of women who’ve gone through it get some sick sense of schadenfreude watching women flounder in the deep end without a flotation device. Plus they may want to appear above it all and how they breezed through the major changes. F^ck that. If you can medically receive biologicals or any amount of safe hormones to ease the myriad of symptoms, do it! Mom passed away with breast cancer so my doc didn’t wanna go there. I’m basically a bitter angry bitch most days lol. And when I’m not, I really notice it and so does my family… It’s like I’m human again! Thirty minutes later, they look at me in horror watching my skin turn from white to lobster red. ALL OVER. I’m about to faint so I stand in the freezer. Wah.

      • SJhere says:

        You are 1000% correct! Everything you said is true. And, I’d like to point out that women are held to the beauty standard much much longer than men ever are. But, mourning the loss of our younger selves, isn’t just women. I have an older brother who has heart condition and he aged 10-15 after his bypass, and due to the heart meds he must continue to take. At 54, within a short time he aged a ton. Now at 65, he says he feels closer to 80. Mobility, weight control, finding an interest, etc. makes a big difference in how we feel about ourselves as we age, IMO. Also for me, since Trump has taken office I have really become an angry, bitter person. I’m fed up with fools getting ahead and/or the lack of decent behaviour now. Blech!

      • Kitten says:

        OH. MY. GOD.

        On one hand, I really appreciate your honesty but on the other hand, I want to dive into a handle of vodka after reading this. *sobs*

        (40 years old in a couple weeks)

      • Mumzy says:

        @Kitten — don’t worry. Everyone ages differently and having just turned 50 I feel no different than I did at 35. I don’t look different either. I do notice small things changing, but it’s not as though you wake up with a beard, creak when you walk with bent shoulders, and feel your crepey skin flap in the wind. You might have a hair or 5 that like to grow where they didn’t before. Your menstrual cycle will change (not a bad thing to me!). That’s all easily managed. Just like every other change in your life you adapt and manage and it becomes normal— like all else that changed before. Life is change, no matter your age. Take care of yourself as best you can, body and soul. Be kind to yourself and others. Find joy wherever you can. You will still be you no matter what your age. My mom is in her late 80s and looks about 65. Despite double scoliosis and the lifelong back pain that comes with that she is fit and happy and has no complaints.

        Don’t worry about aging. You’ll still be you.

      • Eden75 says:

        I am in peri-menopause and an having a hysterectomy tomorrow morning. I am so looking forward to all of this being over that I don’t care anymore. I am not scared of the hot flashes and being cranky. I am the most vile woman on the planet 99% of the time due to a horrible hormone issue that it makes no difference to anyone in my house. Soon this will be over, soooonnnn….. (btw, I am almost 44).

        Edited to add: The ladies in my family live into their 90’s as a general rule and are fabulous, so I am looking forward to it. My 40’s have been amazing, my youngest graduates next year, so I am almost an empty-nester (been a mom since I was 17, I’m looking forward it) and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life in a kidless house, enjoying my hubby when and where we want. My female issues have interfered with that a lot and, well, kids. The second half of my life is gonna rock!

    • maxine ducamp says:

      Everyone ages differently and worrying about what might or might not happen will only give you more wrinkles ;-)! My body did change; my metabolism slowed down dramatically BUT not until a few years into my 50s. I have practically no wrinkles (some crowsfeet under my eyes) and, yes I know it’s horrible, but I smoked for years (since quit). My eldest sister is in her 70s and has always been out in the sun and bad about sunscreen and she too has very few wrinkles except under her eyes. Obviously, I am not saying that that tanning without sunscreen or smoking are good for you, but ultimately your genes will win out, although there are things that you can do to mitigate the damage (don’t smoke, use sunscreen, take care of your skin and body, eat well and exercise).

      I have gained a fair bit of weight, but I don’t exercise nearly as much as I should and I’m working on that and I’ve never had to cut back on food (or even desserts) before, although, I’ve mostly eaten healthily, but this is a bit harder for me and it does take a lot more being vigilant to see results. I’ve heard from acquaintances who did not gain weight during and after menopause. They all exercise regularly, not a crazy amount, but probably more than average and even for them, while the weight stayed the same, some of it shifted to other areas, although it’s probably only something that they would notice.

      Now the chin hairs, that I could have done without.

    • Kitten says:

      Ugh. Yes, Snowflake. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t stress about getting older. Sigh. I wish I could be the breezy, go-with-the-flow type that focuses on the positive but alas, that’s just not me.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        It’s never been me either, but who knows? You might surprise yourself. I can say I’m an emotional person and wear my heart on my sleeve, when I have a heart that is lol. So everything I’ve ever experienced through pregnancies and now menopause, is plainly evident on my face. I can’t lie. So when I’m asked how I’m doing it’s, “Frak off. I’ll let you know in a couple of years.” Every night when I finally lie down to sleep, I get one last monster of a hot flash. It’s like a big FU sweetie, we start again tomorrow lol.

  9. Keira says:

    Dirty John originally was a podcast. A review I read said the pod is better than the series. #podcastnut

    • Chaine says:

      The podcast was fantastic. I’ve not watched the series as I felt I already heard it all from the podcast and it’s quite fresh, might watch the series in a year.

    • Julie says:

      The podcast is mindblowing. I listened to it earlier this year and was obsessed. It’s crazy, infuriating (because of Debra’s complete stupidity), shocking, frightening – and wildly entertaining.

  10. Lindy says:

    I love her and think she’s so talented! I just turned 42 at the end of November and it feels to me like new territory. For the first time I can’t just roll out with zero makeup (other than just sunscreen).

    Mabs, what you said about mourning really resonates with me. I spent 12 miserable years in a terrible marriage and looking back I often feel sad that I wasted my 20s and 30s. I wish I could get that body back, but with the wisdom and growth I have now at 42.

    I also had a baby in April (that part of things apparently still works like clockwork–it only took 6 weeks of trying to get pregnant). My first kiddo is 9, though (I’m remarried) and the difference in my stamina and ability to power through now and when I did it almost ten years ago is enormous.

    Right now I can’t seem to carve out enough time for exercise, for the first time in my life. I’m working full time with the two kids and even with a supportive hands-on husband, I can’t drag myself out of bed to go for a run when the baby’s still getting up twice a night.

    But reading this is lighting a fire under my butt! I really do need to start lifting weights and shoring up bone density and really eating better. I’ve always been pretty fit and healthy but having a baby at 41 has knocked me flat.

    • Myrtle says:

      You might try to start saying “I really WANT to” vs I need to. Most of us are better at finding time to do the things we want to do, vs the things we think we should do. xx

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I had my youngest at 40. He was terror on wheels, but he kept me laughing 24/7. By the time he was around 7, I heard my first, “Are you his grandmother?” I swallowed hard and laughed it off. But I kid you not, it hurt. I was always the one carded even into my 30s. I’m five feet and have forever looked like I was in my 20s. My hair was so thick and wavy and long, I never had to do anything to it but, “Bend and Snap.” My friends were jealous. I dealt with men’s attempts until about 44. Now. I’m a grandmother who isn’t a grandmother. I cried for a very long time, but it is what it is. I’m fluffy and gray and riddled with acute cynicism and acerbic wit. I’m Shirley McLaine!

  11. SJhere says:

    I want to go on record…that outfit she’s wearing is Ugly! Burn that ASAP.

  12. Myrtle says:

    58 here, ten pounds heavier than I was in my 40’s and learning to accept it, embrace it. Can’t run or do pushups anymore but hike, yoga and Chataranga, yes. The phrase “use it or lose it” takes on a deeper truth as I head into my 60s … and beyond. Someone mentioned sarcopenia up above and it’s real. Protein needs actually increase for that reason in older adults/seniors. But the biggest challenge, for many of us, is acceptance. Like Connie says, it WILL happen to me, too! P.S. Don’t hide yourself! Wear beautiful clothes, and colors. You won’t feel invisible…you’ll be an inspiration!

  13. Sunnyjyl says:

    Thank you for including Connie Britton in Celebitchy profiles. She is an actress I’ve been hoping you would cover more.

    • Ann says:

      I agree! I love her and I hope she gets tons of work for the rest of her life. I also think she is gorgeous and like, mesmerizing. She is aging beautifully. Reminds me of Julianne Moore a bit.

  14. Gottasayit. says:

    Been a lurker for a long time and just havd to chime in here. I have never heard so much fahooey. I am 48 and I feel great. I have my finances in order and 2 beautiful young kids. Yes I started the motherhood train when I was older. Did I have men running after me when I was younger. Yup. Do I now? Yup. Why ? Coz I have a great smile and an authentic twinkle in my eye. Am I worried if men aren’t coming after me? Nope. Older you get the more you realise they arent worth the work. I have chin hairs and mustache but I always did. I am meditteranean. In my older years the hairs get thicker so easier to see and eliminate. The baby hairs of youth hurt to pull !! And one last thing to Lindy ! Dont even !! You just had a baby ! Give urself a break ! Take some nice brisk walks once in a while and when that baby is 2 years old plus then find a gym with a great group of women and do cardio core classes for the social aspect AND the health benefit ! Or get a couple of gfs and do basic weights a few times a week. But make it social and give ur body a break to heal and have rest while you have a young one. Your body and mind needs it to be kind to urself. Not finding ways to add more to ur schedule ! My two cents !

    • Lindy says:

      Thanks for the pep talk!! My husband is constantly telling me to be easier on myself. I think some of it is just the constant comparisons I do mentally because I had my kids so far apart. I bounced back much faster ten years ago (imagine that haha!).

      I think once I stop breastfeeding it’ll be easier for me to feel like I’m myself again.

      I love all you CBers–coming here is such a spirit-lifter!

    • Wisca says:

      Thank you for your wise words and saying it Gottasayit.!

  15. DenG says:

    My body will change as I get older? I’m 65 so it’s late to inform me now.

  16. Molly Fulton says:

    50s – yeah. Trying to make peace with it. That last photo she looks so much like Sarah Chalke!

  17. Valerie says:

    I hate the gym too, but I love working out. I haven’t set foot inside an actual gym in almost 8 years. Working out at home (if possible!) and getting outside is really the best way to do it. KInd of regret that I spent my 20s pushing myself to go to the Y and not really loving it, but that’s just how it was!

  18. Dizzy says:

    So true. I’m 52 and the old tricks and diets don’t work anymore. I have to very low calorie and low carb to lose weight. You can either give in and let it go or fight it. I’m still fighting

  19. Ellie says:

    Can someone please explain why all the headlines about women over the age of 40 have to be about aging or how they’re aging well? Is there nothing else interesting about them at that age or something? Jesus…