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Today, Cindy Hattersley and I are interviewing a different over 50 woman for our Ageless Style series.

Since she was in her 20s, Candace Leslie Cima has never understood why aging has had such a negative connotation. Now, at age 76, Candace has a popular Instagram page, @lifeinmy70s, and a YouTube channel that offers suggestions for becoming the woman our mothers and grandmothers never dreamed of being.

Join me as Candace and I discuss what it means to be healthy and stylish as we age.

Candace Leslie Cima believes that staying healthy and aging well doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and effort, like choosing better foods, staying well hydrated, moving our body in some form of exercise, and keeping our mind active.

CANDACE: Even when I was very young I was interested in aging, but one of the pet peeves I had growing up and as a young mother were the magazine covers that said how to look your best in your 30s, 40s, and 50s and they just stopped after that.

BRENDA: I know. Older women didn’t matter. So many facets of our culture continue to see aging in a negative light. One of your missions is to show women that aging is a gift to be embraced. I love that about you.

CANDACE: You’re very nice to say that so thank you. I would love in some small way to have an effect on the dialog about aging.

BRENDA: The other thing I like about you is you encourage women to stop chasing age and beauty.

CANDACE: Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t tell you how many times I look at a “before” and “after” picture of someone who’s had a facelift and I always choose the before. I wonder what they see when they look in the mirror.

BRENDA: Sometimes I see a woman who’s gone too far, and I want to say, ‘Stop messing with your face.’

CANDACE: With aging, I think it’s important to practice acceptance and embrace it. When we look in the mirror we’re going to see an older version of ourselves, but why is that bad?

BRENDA: In my case I’d say it’s more sad than bad. LOL! I think I borrowed that from Nora Ephron. Remember her book, I Feel Sad About My Neck? I’m struggling with accepting the face I see in the mirror, but in the next minute I think, I’m grateful to still be here. Let’s talk about your yoga practice. How long have you been doing yoga?

CANDACE: For thirty or forty years. I was doing yoga before it was mainstream and very popular.

BRENDA: You have a lot of yoga routines on your YouTube channel.

CANDACE: I think someone who’s older can definitely do yoga, but they need to take it a little at a time. If you’re trying to suddenly go into a yoga class, especially if you’re not into exercise, and trying to do the whole class and achieve those poses is not a good idea. My approach to yoga is to learn one pose at a time so that’s what my Inner Yoga series of eight classes is, and then you learn to put them together. Then I have a more basic one. Inner Yoga with Modifications where I show women how to get into the poses using blocks and different things without having to do anything too dramatic. Once you’ve learned some of the poses and know what you’re doing and what your body will do, then you can go into a yoga class.

BRENDA: Your arms are in incredible shape. What do you do to achieve this?

CANDACE: I have a set arm workout I’ve been doing for about 25 years or more…A physical therapist put it together for me when I had problems with my shoulder. You can find my basic Arm Workout I’ve been doing for all these years on my YouTube channel. I wouldn’t recommend starting out with any more than two, three-pound weights. BTW, I’ve never had another problem with my shoulder.

BRENDA: I’ve noticed a lot of us start stooping as we get older. Is there something we can do to prevent that?

CANDACE: I catch myself doing that too, so I’m constantly reminding myself to stand up straight. But I think my yoga poses are good for that…Yoga is so much weight-bearing exercise and I think it helps with posture, balance, and strength, not to mention flexibility.

BRENDA: And mental wellness.

CANDACE: Right! I can’t think of another thing a woman could do for herself that covers as many bases and is as important as starting a yoga practice.

BRENDA: Let’s talk about fashion. What I love most about your fashion sense is it tells us we don’t have to wear “older woman” clothes defined by our mothers and grandmothers.

CANDACE: If you look at a picture of your grandmother at a much younger age than you are now, I’m sure she looked a whole lot older.

BRENDA: How would you describe your style?

CANDACE: I guess classic. I like elegance and simplicity so I don’t wear a lot of bows and frills. I’m more of a classic, clean-lines.

BRENDA: What are your favorite brands?

CANDACE: If I had to pick one favorite brand it would be Ann Taylor which is very moderately priced. I’ve been wearing Ann Taylor since my daughter was in high school. I used to take her shopping there. Their clothes are quality and they work for lots of age groups.

BRENDA: I like what you said in one of your videos: “A woman doesn’t have to be thin to look good in her clothes.”

CANDACE: I don’t think you have to dress a certain way because of your age or your body shape. If you choose the right things in the right proportions and the right colors, you can look good at any size.

BRENDA: If you look for #plussize on Instagram, you can find so many plus-size women who are stylish and beautiful. Do you think some women are afraid to step outside of the fashion box they’ve put themselves in?

CANDACE: Oh, absolutely. I’m always saying you need to reinvent yourself every ten years because you’re not the same person you were ten years ago. Your style, personality. Try new things and create a style that goes with who you are now. I think a lot of women are in a rut: “I’ve always worn my hair like this.” But that was you when you were younger.

BRENDA: Is there anything you wouldn’t wear now?

CANDANCE: I don’t wear anything above the knee, too cutesy or girlish, and I won’t wear Mary Janes…I wear heels every day. They’re very comfortable for me. I think they create a good look for an older woman…The one thing I still wear from high school is white Keds. They also make a brown leather slip-on that is really great.

BRENDA: I wish I could still wear heels, but I love Keds! How can we can look casual but still look polished and put together?

CANDACE: I think any outfit, whether casual or dressy, depending on how you put it together with shoes and accessories is what counts. A lot of women put on things that don’t look like they put a lot of thought into it. Even with casual, you can tell when a woman took care choosing what to wear. I always wear a necklace and earrings.

BRENDA: Thank you, Candace. I’ve enjoyed our conversation.

CANDACE: It was wonderful to talk to you so thanks for asking me.

Thank you for reading Ageless Style with Candace Leslie Cima. Please leave me and Candace a comment or ask a question and then visit Cindy Hattersley’s blog to meet the woman she’s featuring this month.

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  1. Always an interesting interview, with woman comfortable in their own skin.
    Yes we have to work at keeping mobile 10 mins a day keeps me able to get about to keep up with grandaughters 23/21/17/14. Thankyou for reinforcing .

    • Thanks Jo! I love Candace’s comment that we need to plan to get old. Be well. xoxox, Brenda

  2. I can only hope I look as great as Candace when I’m 76, but i haven’t been the best at staying out of the sun or eating the right things. Thanks for the inspiration Brenda

    • I hear you, Paula, but I always think of the saying, “when we know better, we do better.” I’m kind of like the “Princess and the Pea.” The least little thing I eat or drink that’s not good for me, my body lets me know. The opposite is also true. When I drink at least 8 glasses of water and eat enough protein, I feel infinitely better that day and the next. Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment. xoxo, Brenda

  3. I’m absolutely in with Candace! My favorite brand is Ann Taylor and I just bought a new pair of grey Keds sneakers! I also love stripes, as I see Candace does, too. Great article, thanks Brenda!

    • Thanks for weighing in, Lorraine. I believe a trip to Ann Taylor in my near future. It’s been a while since I visited them. xoxo, Brenda

    • You’re continuing to remain stylish at an age when many women stop trying, so brava, Lorraine!!!!

  4. You always feature the best women and I learn so much. Candace is right in that we need to plan how we get old by eating well and exercising. So good. Thank you Brenda

    • Thanks for letting me know that you receive helpful nuggets of information from the women I interview. I think all of them are special which is why I want to introduce you to them. xoxox, Brenda

  5. Thank you for telling us more about Candice. I’ve run across her in the past. Also, would love to know where she got the blue button up dress!

  6. How lovely Candace is! I love and agree with her philosophy on aging. We are not our grandmother’s or our mother’s. This is time to embrace where we are, embrace the now but do our best to be healthy and happy. Great to see this being emphasized here.

    • Thanks, Kim. Isn’t she beautiful? There are several women I haven’t interviewed because I don’t like their approach to diet and lifestyle. Candace thinks about health and wellness, not how skinny and Botoxed to the max she can be. xoxox, Brenda

  7. Hi Brenda – Candace looks attractive and stylish in her photos and I love her wardrobe. I watched one of her You Tube videos and I thought she was so ladylike and elegant. I intend to checkout more of her videos.

    • Candace will be happy to hear that, Colleen. “Ladylike” is not a term we hear any more. Kind of sad, don’t you think? xoxox, Brenda

  8. Hi Brenda – What a beautiful classy lady! Enjoyed reading! You have that same class and beauty as well!

  9. Hi Brenda,
    Candace has her act together. I so relate to what she has shared. Wow, she is the Princess of Yoga, longevity speaks volumes. Candace wears the crown.

    • I agree, Katherine, and I’m happy to say there are a number of younger women who are working on their diet and exercise and are aging well… Like Nikol Johnson-Sanchez. She’ll still be a beauty when she’s Candace’s age. xoxox, Brenda

  10. Candace is an inspiration and love her message.. Wonderful tips about yoga and dressing for you… I agree I think most women look better without a lot of intervention! We just need to see it embraced more.. I notice especially on British tv people aren’t so filled and lifted and look fantastic. I have been following her and she’s fun. Great interview Brenda! x Kim

    • Hello Kim! How are you? When I was younger, I thought I’d be one of the ones to get a facelift, but as it turns out, I haven’t even had Botox. From my observation, after a while it turns on you and together with the weird way women are doing their eyebrows and the eyelashes that are way too long, it’s not a good look. xoxox, Brenda

  11. However I am the same person I was as a child!Ive just become more ECCENTRIC WITH TIME!
    Yoga is the BEST FORM OF EXERCISE we can do.I knew that as a child when I studied ballet for years.
    Keeping the mind active and putting thought into dressing is spot on!
    Somewhere along the 1980’s and now we became LAZY!
    The American women !
    Not the rest of THE WORLD!
    Why is that?

    • Elizabeth, I don’t know if it was the 1980s, but I think men and women dress too casual. There’s no longer any demarcation between “casual” and “mow the lawn” clothes, and it translates into lack of pride in how we look. People seem to roll out of bed, put on the first thing they see, take out the garbage and then get on an airplane. I want to look nice and for a while, I became self-conscious when people would say “You look so dressed up.” But now, I don’t even hear it because they’re the ones who’ve lost sight of what “dressed up” is. xoxo, Brenda

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