AARP Eye Center
Many of us feel we know Joan Lunden, 69, — really know her personally. After all, the longtime Good Morning America host, author, spokesperson and mother of seven, has been in the public eye for the last three decades.
She has written about weight loss and cancer, but it's Lunden's latest book, Why Did I Come into This Room? A Candid Conversation about Aging, that is her most personal to date. In it she takes a poke at the aging process and addresses everything from hot flashes to doing Kegels at red lights to the age she feels in her mind ("today I pick 45"). She also provides a funny and poignant look at the inevitable parts of growing older, with an emphasis on creating a vibrant and active blueprint for the rest of your life. (P.S. Don't call her a senior citizen.)
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Why write a book about getting older?
I used to hear from people and they'd say ‘You still look so vibrant. Why don't you write a book about what keeps you this way?’ So, I was working on this book that I called ‘Live Younger Longer’ and then I was diagnosed with cancer. So, I stopped to write Had I Known [her 2015 memoir about her battle with triple negative breast cancer]. And then I thought, I don't want to write how to live younger longer. I want to write how to understand your body. And how to be the best that you can possibly be — mind, body and soul — at whatever age you are.
The danger in thinking, ‘I look good ... for my age'
It affects the way we think about what our capabilities are and what our possibilities are. People are staying engaged in the world and in life longer, but somehow while this change has gone on — this incredible shift — I still don't feel like the whole society has consciously embraced it. We still think of a 60-year-old or a 70-year-old in a completely different way... . Our possibilities now extend way beyond what we used to think of as a retirement age.
On being replaced by ‘Good Morning America’ at age 45
I wanted to be honest about that, which is the first time I've really talked about it. For years men have been working and at some point, they're made to leave because they're that age. It's tough because, what's your identity then? I certainly had that leaving GMA. My hosting role was so intertwined with who I was — you couldn't separate them... .