Brooke Shields on staying fit: ‘The older you get, the harder it is’

Brooke Shields is representing a new laser sculpting procedure called Sculpsure, which is an approximately $1,500 laser treatment that is supposed to target and reduce fat around the stomach and back, depending on the treatment area. It takes about three months to see result and reviews are somewhat positive, but it’s hard to tell which sites are legitimate. It’s similar to CoolSculpting in that it’s a non-invasive treatment that’s touted as an alternative to liposuction. Anyway Brooke, 53, is featured in People’s Most Beautiful issue. She talks about the challenges of staying fit as you age and how this procedure can target that. I wanted to talk about the fitness aspect in particular as it rings true to me. Here’s some of what she said.

At an event in Los Angeles on Tuesday celebrating her new partnership with the body-contouring treatment, SculpSure, the 53-year-old actress told PEOPLE she’s learned to accept that aging is simply “going to happen.”

“I think you have to embrace it, but at the same time, be willing to do what you feel comfortable with,” she said, adding that she looks her best when she’s “working out all the time, getting enough sleep, drinking a lot of water [and] drinking less alcohol.”

“I work out a lot and I always try to stay really fit and really healthy — it’s a lot of work,” Shields said. “And the older you get, the harder it is. There are some spots that no matter what I did, no matter how much weight I lost, they were still there. They caused me to be insecure, and for all of the hard work that I was doing, that was really frustrating to me. SculpSure addresses that.”

While Shields was willing to try this non-invasive procedure, she said she’s a bit more reluctant when it comes to other plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures — although she “can’t ever say never.”

“It all makes me hesitant, but I’m not against it,” she said. “My mom [Teri] had a face lift when she was in her early 40s, and by the time she was 70, she looked 50. It helped her. But I saw how hard the recovery is.”

[From People]

I think it gets harder to stay fit the older you get because the little things add up. You start to feel more tired so you work out less, then that makes you feel more tired and less likely to push yourself, rinse and repeat. Plus my god you get hungry as you approach menopause. The hormone changes really make you want to eat. You can definitely stay active and eat less but the older you get the more work it takes. That’s a good way to describe it. Also I’m all for women doing whatever they want to feel better about themselves but these type of treatments seem iffy to me and I don’t have the cash for them.

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49 Responses to “Brooke Shields on staying fit: ‘The older you get, the harder it is’”

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  1. LT says:

    Yep – it definitely gets harder. My OB/GYN used to get on me for not doing more weight training because women lose muscle mass as they age. I’m still not great about doing weights, but I do push ups in addition to cardio, which is better than nothing!

    Recently, I’ve committed to running for at least 15 minutes a day, no matter what the day throws at me. I read a study recently that just 15 minutes of RUNNING can stave off depression. Other activities work, but you have to do other things (like walking or gardening) for an hour to see the same results. I’m not prone to depression, but I figured it can only help – and I have noticed a difference in my moods and ability to manage stress. I usually run quite a bit longer, but on those days when I don’t have time for a full 3 miles, I will at least run for 15 minutes.

    • Celebitchy says:

      I really like this advice to just run for 15 minutes. Hecate wrote something similar recently, that she’s trying to go easier on herself and even just getting out there makes a difference.

      • Snowslow says:

        Love it too and made this decision this morning before I read this! I am super super stressed with work (CB is my only distraction) and do not have as much time at the Gym as I’d like so I ended up not going. Which is far worse than 15mns or running everyday.

      • Lindy says:

        I love this advice, too. I’m going to commit to 15 minutes and really hold myself to it. That somehow feels manageable, even on busy days.

        All I can say about aging and staying in shape is that the struggle is real! I took my body for granted for a long time. It’s really, really hard to get rid of the creeping pounds, prevent them in the first place, and stay injury free when working out with a little intensity.

    • Esmom says:

      Great plan, LT. I also have always read that getting out the door is the hardest part and that once people are out they do tend to run longer than they might have initially thought they would.

      Running has been one of my front line tools in my own battle with depression and anxiety, for over 25 years. It helps so much. I can try to solve a work problem while I run, listen to a podcast or just let my mind wander. No matter what I do I always feel better when I finish.

      But in recent years I’ve started to run a bit less, adding one day a week for spin class and two days a week for strength training. The thing that keeps me going, waking up at 5:00 for early classes, is the thought of keeping my mental health stable.

      Consistency is key, for both physical and mental benefits. Since I started strength training two years ago, my arms are more “ripped” than they ever have been and in general I think I look better and stronger than when I was mostly just runnning. I definitely feel better. And now I am going to add a 15 minute run to my day! 🙂

    • Isabelle says:

      Weight training 100% is the ticket to staying in shape as you age and not small lady weights. If you can buy the weight at Walmart, its not heavy enough. Women should lift /train with heavier weights and at least 3 times a week.

      Women’s Fitness magazines are the culprit of the horrible misinformation when it comes to fitness. Throw them in them in your recycle and research weight training & then add cardio (but not too much like your 15 min of running) in with it.

    • Vizia says:

      One of the problems of aging for me is that running is not on the menu–all of my old ski injuries have turned to arthritis and running is just painful. This old body just can’t! But walking an hour + is do-able for me, especially since my dogs would chew my leg off if they didn’t get the exercise…

    • noway says:

      This is good advice, and for those who say they can’t run. I saw this one article which was similar to your 15 min. routine and it said start with whatever amount you can, and build up. If it’s 5 min. start with that. The key is to make it a habit, and any little bit really does help.

      Now $1500 for a maybe fix, I think it’s too much for my tax bracket. Plus, I’ve just embraced I won’t look like I’m 20 anymore, but I’m not an actress/model either. That career and Hollywood must be really hard on women. I mean I feel self conscious sometimes too, but I don’t think I would do well with that kind of attention.

  2. Millennial says:

    The only plastic surgery-related review site I trust is Real Self, fwiw.

  3. Becks1 says:

    She looks really good, but then, she’s Brooke Shields.

    I like to hear someone like her talk about aging, who has been in the public eye basically her whole life. I’m sure its hard to age gracefully when people have seen you grown up like we have seen her.

    I’m only 37, but I’m having issues with my body changing too. I was so prepared for the wrinkles, gray hairs etc and ready to be okay with those (don’t love the wrinkles, but I’ve accepted them) but its things like how hard it is to lose weight that are frustrating me. I want to lose 5 pounds – that’s it! 5 pounds! – and I basically want to do it by running and biking, without major adjustments to my diet. (I don’t eat poorly, overall, but I’m not eating only fish and vegetables either). But at this point I cant even lose one pound. I’ve been trying Weight Watchers because it seems to be the most reasonable, but ugh, its hard, especially considering how easy it would have been for me even 5 years ago.

    And even if I lose weight, the weight still sits differently than it did 10 years ago. Sigh.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Becks1, I totally feel you. I am five years older than you are, and once I passed 35 it was like my metabolism decided to only work when it felt like it . When I was in my 20’s I could eat whatever I wanted and barely gain an ounce (my primary form of exercise was going out dancing) and now I have to make a serious effort to keep my weight stable, though of course it does fluctuate by 5 lbs or so, depending.

      The worst part for me is that I have a troublesome back – I’ve injured it 4 times – so even when I want to go exercise I can’t do it for as long as I used to, and I’m worried if I try to push myself too much I’ll reinjure myself again.
      Getting old…it’s fun and not fun. LOL.

    • Redgrl says:

      Becks – same. I’m a decade older than you and always had a fast metabolism. Mid -30’s gained 10 pounds. Mid forties another 10. Had surgery and the medication added another 5-10. For someone who was always slim it was a shock. I realized I used to walk everywhere in my 20s – ( @ladymtl – uphill several blocks to the top of Peel to school for several years- ha!)and the change to driving ( commuting) didn’t help. Peri menopause also kicked the hell out of me – hard to stay fit when all you want to do is sleep because you’re exhausted from constant insomnia. Recently I consciously cut out bread, snacks, added more walks – lost 10 pounds and then for no discernible reason gained 7 back. It’s a bit about vanity, yes, but I also struggle with how I feel – which is not like myself and not as healthy as I would like.

    • Esmom says:

      Becks1, Yeah, the body changes can be very dismaying. I know what you mean about the weight sitting differently, it’s weird and disconcerting. As someone who always ate a ton but also worked out a lot, I have found that eating less really is the only way to lose weight/keep it stable. I gave up alcohol a number of years ago and I think that’s helped me a lot, too, in keeping my weight steady. I know that’s not a choice that appeals to everyone but I don’t miss booze a single bit.

      • Snowslow says:

        Definitely. I “skip” a meal when I can (sometimes I’m too hungry for that), meaning that I eat some greens or a salad (with avocado, tomato, seeds and nuts etc), or a lot of red fruits + some hummus, and sometimes I skip it altogether. I avoid eating too many carbs and sugar. It really is about working out and the quantities for me. But I always felt that you don’t need to eat as much as you get older because you are no longer preparing your body to grow, or grow a baby inside you etc. It’s a natural curve. Anyway, as a society, we eat way more than we need which is not very sustainable to say the least.
        Moreover, for hormonal balance, I feel better if I eat super healthy.

      • Becks1 says:

        I know that carbs are my downfall. I LOVE PASTA. And yeah I do just need to eat less, so I’m trying to make that mental leap. I think if I consciously shrink portion sizes and maintain that, I’ll do better overall, and my body will adjust. And I have noticed when I eat crappy, I feel worse, so I’m trying to make smarter decisions there (like last night my husband ordered a pizza, and I knew I would feel gross, so didn’t eat any.)

        Sigh. It’s hard. I WANT TO EAT THE DOUGHNUTS.

      • Elaine says:

        OMG I have to tell you guys this thing about pasta! If you cook it, cool it for 6 hours and reheat it, it contains 1/3 of the calories and fewer carbs!

        NOT KIDDING!

        Its called ‘resistant starch’ and it turns pasta into something that is indigestible and so more like fibre than a pure carb.

        Please PLEASE look it up.

        Carbs are not cancelled! 🙂

      • Esmom says:

        Slowsnow, Your eating habits sound similar to mine, I definitely skip and graze in small portions and don’t really eat full, big meals anymore unless I’m going out to dinner. That’s a pretty radical adjustment from how I ate prior to hitting 50 a couple years ago, but it was sort of a gradual process.
        Becks1, I love carbs, too. I have been known to eat a whole loaf of warm bread and a whole pizza and giant bowls of pasta. And prior to 50 it really didn’t affect me. Consciously cutting portions really does help.
        Elaine, Really? Hmm, I’m intrigued. Skeptical but intrigued.

      • Wow, Elaine, I just looked it up and you’re right. They also mentioned that rice does the same thing. I would’ve never guessed.

      • LT says:


        I’m pretty close to giving up alcohol altogether. It gives me heartburn and I can’t sleep if I have had ANYTHING to drink – and sleepless nights are bad bad bad. I have given up alcohol periodically over the years and I lose weight, my skin looks better and I get better sleep. Sigh…I think that is where I am headed.

    • Elaine says:

      I know what you mean, was having problems with a thickening waist 🙁 I figured it was gut health and hormones. This book by Stephanie Moore CHANGED MY LIFE. Just yes. The title is embarassing, but its all about intermittent fasting helping to reset your liver and gut. “Why eating less and exercsiing more makes you fat”

      Good luck to all my sisters 🙂

      ps I think the advent of vegan donuts is of the devil. seriously, wtf Satan!

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        I low carb and IF, and I’ve dropped 15# in three months. I just turned 53. This article, is about the effects of fasting (on lean, obese and anorexic individuals) indicates that fasting ( anorexia in this study) increases ghrelin (satiety hormone) and reduces leptin (hunger hormone), and suggests this alteration could be the genesis of some eating disorders.

        My takeaway? My hunger has greatly diminished since adding IF; consequently weight loss has been painless and steady.

      • Diana says:

        @elaine…. this is the positivity I need in my life right now!!!! Seriously- cooled down pasta and then reheated has less carbs? I freeze leftover pasta a lot… would reheating that work the same? Totally looking this up!!

  4. Snowslow says:

    That first photo looks like she just interrupted whatever she was saying to fart.
    What were they thinking?

    • Lena says:

      That’s the worse part of aging for me – I have to consciously smile all the time because my resting face has fallen!

      • Snowslow says:

        It’s funny I’ve been noticing that in Charlize Theron. Even if she did have something done, or botox, her face is even crankier now. But I love it on her – she has such an icy beauty that it really goes with her character. I am sure you also look like a a cold beauty!

      • Carol says:

        LOL! My face has fallen too – like overnight. I’ve always had somewhat youthful skin but my dermatologist told me once that when you get to a certain age, your face just falls dramatically. Now I’m constantly wearing my hair up for a slight “lift.”

        Also, my joints have just run a-mock. Even though I still exercise (although not as much anymore), I’m in constant pain. my IT band has decided it wants to be a jerk all the time now so that sidelines me from working out. Ugh, getting old sucks.

      • Ali says:

        @Carol – my face has fallen and it drives me insane that I can pull a little on my cheeks and look ten years younger and I swear it happened overnight. I’m only 43 but a facelift sounds oh so tempting.

        I got the flu – type A flu – and was down for 4 days and I lost those 5 pounds I could not otherwise lose. Basically a forced fasting. It’s been about a month and with effort (smaller portions or skipping meals, more exercise and water, less wine) they’ve stayed off but I haven’t lost any more weight.

        The struggle is real.

  5. Vanessa says:

    I am turning 50 this year and Becks1 said it well; just losing 1-2 pounds is an exhausting battle and even so it all sits differently. On the one hand I accept that, but on the other hand I have a young son and I am determined to keep fit and not look like a granny at his graduation.
    ‘As a 50th birthday present to myself I went in for CoolSculpting this week. It’s only been 4 days so obviously there are no results but I’d be very pleased if it reduces the pooch that I have no matter how much I exercise.

    • Trillion says:

      I had CoolSculpting on my backrolls about 3 years ago when I was 49. (I’m only about 4 or 5 lbs over my personal ideal weight, but have always had these weird backrolls) and I feel confident in a bikini. Weight lifting and portion control are my two key pieces of advice. The women in my family tend to be (very) overweight so I am in constant vigilance mode. Sucks about the genetics, but overall it’s a bonus because it has behooved me to learn about healthy eating and exercise over the decades.

      • Vanessa says:

        Trillion, you were happy with the results? How many treatments did you have? I am also basically at my good weight +/- a few pounds but the belly pooch is just not going away and I feel like if I lose more weight (assuming I even could at this age) my face would be gaunt. So that’s why I went with this procedure.

      • Sienna says:

        I’ve had both of these body sculpting treatments done (I work in the industry) …. the problem with cool sculpting is that it can also make fat deposits grow back larger:
        SculpSure has a low success rate and is actually the subject t of a current class action.

        Both worked for me in that they took off a little bit of fat, but honestly if I’d have paid my own money I would have been disappointed with both. I don’t have much fat to lose just a little more of a pooch since babies so I am an ideal candidate.

        I recently started lifting heavy and wow the results are amazing! Yes it’s more work but I’m astounded.

      • Trillion says:

        Vanessa, I only had one treatment and the results were exactly what I wanted. It was a very small area. I discussed multiple treatments with my clinician, but after 3 or so years, I think I’m happy with just the one. Also: I agree w/ Sienna that lifting heavy is transformative (and fun!). I’ve been lifting heavy for a few decades now. It really helps your metabolism (maintaining muscle mass requires energy).

    • Isabelle says:

      Is it expensive and do the results last? It looks interesting.

      • Vanessa says:

        The results are permanent, but it is pricey. I’d say between 1500-3000 depending on how many areas you target and how many treatments per area. They say results are 25% fat lost in the treated area per treatment, results varying of course.

  6. claire says:

    Has Brooke gone through menopause? Hard to tell from the article but the Fail did a piece on her and some of the commenters seemed to think that she had. What I found interesting is that when they were commenting on her apparent increased breast size, they attributed it to menopause (v.s. a padded bra). I’d never heard that one before.

    • Snowslow says:

      My breasts are bigger now – I went from not having much going on there to having a bit of a boobage thing (don’t love it to be honest). I am 43 years old and haven’t gone through menopause yet.

    • (THE OG)@Jan90067 says:

      I hate to tell you, but after menopause, your chest seems to deflate (hormonal changes). I feel like I have two tube socks with a rock at the bottom! And they used to be so perky!! Another “perk” of menopause, your waist expands. I weigh less now that ever, and yet, my lovely waist has expanded 3 inches! Ugh… middle-aged spread is NOT a rumor!

      I’ve lost a lot of weight, and maintained it for a long, long time. And now, I’ve had 6 lbs. creep up out of nowhere (as vigilant as I’m being!) and I can’t get it down, no matter how much I cut out. AARRGGGGHH!

      • anony7 says:

        I’ve read the waist increase is due in part to the inevitable shifting (aging) of the internal organs within the body.; they drop, spread out more, etc….so the natural waistline has to widen to accommodate these shifts.

  7. Pete Booty Jig says:

    I’m 49 and have lost interest in the gym. I’m usually too tired and time poor to go. Plus I find it boring and the music they play there is annoying. I’d rather put more effort and attention into having a better diet.

  8. BuddyJack says:

    I lost 20 pounds in the 3 month lead up tp my 60th birthday and it was hard as hell. Uggghhhh

  9. Jb says:

    If I had the money the sky’s the limit to what I’d do!!! Seriously tho I’m thinking of getting some facial work done…I’m not talking Botox but maybe a peel and less invasive stuff that will give me 35yr old face a boost without scaring young children! I’ve done regular facials but I think I need to look into the extras….

  10. Mel says:

    I watched that video and omg minka kelly is still sooo stunning.

  11. Try tweezing your eyebrows for once. It’ll take ten years off your age.

  12. Granger says:

    I started going through “early” (not premature) menopause at 43 — which I didn’t realize was menopause until I stopped menstruating at 46. Looking back at everything I’d gone through, it was like a lightbulb went off — “oh, so THAT’S why my waist expanded/my brain was foggy/my moods were different/etc.!” I wish I’d known I was going through menopause when it was happening because I would have been more prepared. But in my mid-40s, none of my friends were going through it, and my mom didn’t stop menstruating until she was nearly 54, so I thought I’d be the same.

    I just turned 48 and feel like I’m finally getting my exercise and body back on track. I’ve found it difficult over the last few years to exercise regularly, and I was eating like a younger/pre-menopausal woman whose metabolism hadn’t totally changed, so I was gaining a little extra weight every year. But it’s more than just menopause that impacts women of a certain age. Just as I was entering menopause, my kids were entering puberty, and man oh man, pre-teens/teens are a whole other type of stress than little ones, and their schedules can be crazy, so you really do feel like a chauffeur/counsellor/cook/cleaner! At the same time, I was promoted at work — which isn’t unusual in your 40s, right? — and my workload got way busier, so suddenly it was super hard to find time to exercise when I was working 9 or 10 hours a day and rushing home to get supper, help with homework, and rush a kid out the door to hockey or soccer or music or whatever — all while helping kids deal with a lot of emotional pubescent issues, and taking that all on as part of my own emotional labour. I just found that all of that combined made it difficult to exercise and focus on my own health and well-being, which I think exacerbated menopausal symptoms for me.