Synopses & Reviews
In this age of lunchtime lifts, wrinkle-erasing injections, furrow fillers, and lip plumpers, there's no question that anyone who aims to look younger easily can. But Lauren Kessler wants something more than to follow the cosmetic path to youthfulness. She wants to live with energy, stamina, vitality, resilience, and health for a very, very long time. Her goal: to reverse her biological age from the inside out. Guided by both intense curiosity and healthy skepticism, a sense of adventure and a sense of humor, Kessler sets out to discover just whats required to prolong those healthy, vital, and productive years called the "health span."
In her yearlong journey, Kessler investigates and fully immerses herself in the hope and hype of the anti-aging movement. She delves into the new science of "biomarkers" — objective, measurable indications of how old you really are on the inside — going as far as getting a muscle biopsy to determine the state of her mitochondria, the parts of cells that control metabolism. She tries Tabata training, calorie restriction, a diet centered on 20 superfoods, HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), hypnosis to achieve a youthful mindset, and much more. In a voice that speaks to every woman who feels her date of birth and sense of self have little in common, Kessler explores her own fears, attitudes, and assumptions about aging. The result is a thoughtful, hilarious, and informative tale of what's really possible when you get serious about taking charge of how well and how quickly you age.
"The human smile is an anti-gravity device. Kessler's delightful, witty book actually takes 20 years off your face!" Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Gulp
"Lauren Kessler's bold, bad-ass take on aging solves one of our great modern dilemmas: how to stay young and vibrant without spending the rest of our lives obsessing over how to stay young and vibrant. I feel a decade younger just having read it." Karen Karbo, author of How Georgia Became O'Keeffe
"Lauren Kessler has journeyed to the far frontiers of the anti-aging movement and, using herself as an ever-willing guinea pig, delivers insights that are at once funny, reassuring, practical, and real." Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter
"Counterclockwise is an amateur cultural anthropologists smart, inspiring narrative. It identifies the sensible, the ridiculous, and the dangerous and ultimately teaches that your birth date rarely reflects true age." Sally Koslow, author of Slouching Toward Adulthood
"Finally a woman writer takes on lady aging without flinching. Honest, playful, and smart, Lauren Kessler's Counterclockwise gives us a chance to read the story of our own lives without cringing and cosmetic surgery. Run, don't walk, to buy this book before your next birthday." Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water and Dora: A Headcase
A bootcamp in Utah in 118-degree heat. A raw food diet. Hypnotic suggestions. A team of crack computer scientists who can age — and de-age — a face with the click of a mouse. The World Convention on Anti-Aging Medicine in Las Vegas (headlined by Suzanne Somers). These are just a few of the stops Lauren Kessler makes on her journey to reverse time from the inside out.
At this moment, one in three Americans are entering midlife and many are wondering, "How did I get to be this old?" Plenty will turn to miracle creams, injections, fillers, and surgery to reverse the hands of time, but Kessler investigates the largely unexplored side of antiaging: what it takes to be younger, not just look younger. Guided by both intense curiosity and healthy skepticism, a sense of adventure, and a sense of humor, she investigates America's youth obsession and decides, on a very personal level, what to do about it. She is at once the careful reporter, the immersion journalist, the self-designated lab rat, and a midlife woman who is not interested in being as old as her drivers license insists she is.
Kessler's mission isn't about vanity (well, maybe a little) but about discovering ways to maintain stamina, vitality, fortitude, and creativity right to the very end.
About the Author
Lauren Kessler is the author of My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence; award-winning Dancing with Rose; Washington Post bestseller Clever Girl; and Los Angeles Times bestseller The Happy Bottom Riding Club. Her journalism has appeared in the New York Times Magazine; Los Angeles Times Magazine; O, the Oprah Magazine; Ladies Home Journal; Womans Day; Prevention; and Salon. A national speaker and workshop leader, she directs the graduate program in multimedia narrative journalism at the University of Oregon. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her writer husband, Tom Hager, her teenage (werewolf) daughter, four carefree chickens, and a cat that thinks its a dog.