Over40.it, our new e-zine dedicated to you, a splendid over forty-years-old woman who looks at life as the best part is here and now.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Menopause Puts Your Life Under a Microscope

It is no secret that relationship crises are a common side effect of menopause. Usually this is attributed to the crazy-making effects of the hormonal shifts occurring in a woman's body at this time of transition. What is rarely acknowledged or understood is that as these hormone-driven changes affect the brain, they give a woman a sharper eye for inequity and injustice, and a voice that insists on speaking up about them. In other words, they give her a kind of wisdom--and the courage to voice it. As the vision-obscuring veil created by the hormones of reproduction begins to lift, a woman's youthful fire and spirit are often rekindled, together with long-sublimated desires and creative drives. Midlife fuels those drives with a volcanic energy that demands an outlet.

If it does not find an outlet--if the woman remains silent for the sake of keeping the peace at home and/or work, or if she holds herself back from pursuing her creative urges--the result is equivalent to plugging the vent on a pressure cooker: Something has to give. Very often what gives is the woman's health, and the result will be one or more of the "big three" diseases of postmenopausal women: heart disease, depression, and breast cancer. On the other hand, for those of us who choose to honor the body's wisdom and to express what lies within us, it's a good idea to get ready for some boat rocking, which may put long-established relationships in upheaval. Marriage is not immune to this effect.

"Not Me, My Marriage Is Fine"

Every marriage, even a very good one, must undergo change in order tokeep up with the hormone-driven rewiring of a woman's brain during the years leading up to and including menopause. Not all marriages are able to survive these changes. Mine wasn't, and nobody was more surprised about that than I. If this makes you want to hide your head in the sand, believe me, I do understand. But for the sake of being true to yourself and protecting your emotional and physical health in the second half of your life--likely a full forty years or more--then I submit to you that forging ahead and taking a good hard look at all aspects of your relationship (including some previously untouchable corners of your marriage) may be the only choice that will work in your best interest in the long run, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

From the standpoint of physical health, for example, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the increase in life-threatening illnesses after midlife, which cannot be accounted for by aging alone, is partly rooted in the stresses and unresolved relationship problems that simmered beneath the surface during the childbearing years of a woman's life, then bubbled up and boiled over at perimenopause, only to be damped down in the name of maintaining the status quo. The health of your significant other is also at stake. Remaining in a relationship that was tailor-made for a couple of twenty-somethings without making the necessary adjustments for who you both have become at midlife can be just as big a health risk for him as it is for you.

This is not to say that your only options are divorce or heart attack. Rather, in order to bring your relationship into alignment with your rewired brain, you and your significant other must be willing to take the time, and spend the energy, to resolve old issues and set new ground rules for the years that lie ahead. If you can do this, then your relationship will help you to thrive in the second half of your life. If one or both of you cannot or will not, then both health and happiness may be at risk if you stay together.


Preparing for Transformation


At midlife, more psychic energy becomes available to us than at any time since adolescence. If we strive to work in active partnership with that organic energy, trusting it to help us uncover the unconscious and self-destructive beliefs about ourselves that have held us back from what we could become, then we will find that we have access to everything we need to reinvent ourselves as healthier, more resilient women, ready to move joyfully into the second half of our lives.

This process of transformation can only succeed, however, if we become proactive in two ways. First, we must be willing to take full responsibility for our share of the problems in our lives. It takes great courage to admit our own contributions to the things that have gone wrong for us and to stop seeing ourselves simply as victims of someone or something outside of ourselves. After all, the person in the victim role tends to get all the sympathy and to assume the high road morally, which is appealing; none of us wants to feel like the bad guy. But even though taking the victim role may seem a good choice in the short run, this stance is ultimately devoid of any power to help us change, heal, grow, and move on.

The second requirement for transformation is more difficult by far: We must be willing to feel the pain of loss and grieve for those parts of our lives that we are leaving behind. And that includes our fantasies of how our lives could have been different if only. Facing up to such loss is rarely easy, and that is why so many of us resist change in general and at midlife in particular. A part of us rationalizes, "Why rock the boat? I'm halfway finished with my life. Wouldn't it just be easier to accept what I have rather than risk the unknown?"

The end of any significant relationship, or any major phase of our lives, even one that has made us unhappy or held us back from our full growth and fulfillment, feels like a death--pure and simple. To move past it, we have to feel the sadness of that loss and grieve fully for what might have been and now will never be.

And then we must pick ourselves up and move toward the unknown. All our deepest fears are likely to surface as we find ourselves facing the uncertainty of the future. During my own perimenopausal life changes, I would learn this in spades--much to my surprise.

By the time I was approaching menopause, I had worked with scores of women who had gone through midlife "cleansings"; I had guided and counseled them as their children left home, their parents got sick, their marriages ended, their husbands fell ill or died, they themselves became ill, their jobs ended--in short, as they went through all the storms and crises of midlife. But I never thought I would face a crisis in my marriage. I had always felt somewhat smug, secure in my belief that I was married to the man of my dreams, the one with whom I would stay "till death do us part."


Delirious Happiness and Shaking Knees


I will always remember the happiness of meeting and marrying my husband, a decision we made merely three months after we met. He was my surgical intern when I was a medical student at Dartmouth. He looked like a Greek god, and I was deeply flattered by his attention, especially since I wasn't at all sure I had what it took to attract such a handsome man with such an Ivy League, country club background. Something deep within me was moved by him beyond all reason, beyond anything I'd ever felt before with any other boyfriend. For the first five years of our marriage my knees shook whenever I saw him. There wasn't a force on this planet that could have talked me out of marrying him. I remember wanting to shout my love from the tops of tall buildings--an exuberance of feeling that was very uncharacteristic of the quiet, studious valedictorian of the Ellicottville Central School class of 1967.

He, however, was considerably less eager to display his feelings. I couldn't help but notice during the years we were both immersed in our surgical training that my husband seemed uncomfortable relating to me when we were at work, and often appeared cold and distant when I'd try to show affection in that setting. This puzzled and hurt me, since I was always proud to introduce him to my patients when we happened to see each other outside of the operating room. But I told myself that this was because of the way he had been raised, and that with enough love and attention from me, he would become more responsive, more emotionally available.


The Childbearing Years: Balancing Personal and Professional Lives

My husband's life didn't change much when we had our two daughters. Mine, however, became a struggle--one that millions of women will recognize from their own experience--as I tried to find satisfying and effective ways to mother my children, remain the doctor I wanted to be, and at the same time be a good wife to my husband. Nonetheless, these were happy years, for both of us adored our daughters from the beginning and enjoyed the many activities we shared with them--the weekend walks, the family vacations, the simple daily contact with two beautiful, developing young beings.

I did sometimes resent the disparity between what I contributed to the upkeep of our family life and what my husband did. Once, when the children were still young, I asked him if he'd consider working fewer hours so that I wouldn't have to give up delivering babies, an aspect of my practice that I dearly loved. He replied, "You've never seen a part-time orthopedic surgeon, have you?" I admitted that I hadn't, but suggested that this didn't mean it couldn't happen with a little imagination on his part. It was not to be, however. It was I who, like so many other women, became the master shape-shifter, adjusting my own needs to those of everyone else in the family.

In the early years of our family life, I was also becoming increasingly aware that the inequities that bothered me in my marriage were a reflection of inequities that existed in the culture around us. I saw many people like my husband and me--people who had started their marriages on equal grounds financially and educationally, even people who, like us, did the same work--and always, once the children arrived, it was the wife who made the sacrifices in leisure time, professional accomplishment, and personal fulfillment.


Change Yourself, Change the World

During those often exhausting years, I began to put into action some of the ideas I'd been developing about women's health--while always being careful not to say much about those ideas at home, where I knew they would not be welcomed by my husband. Inspired by my own experiences as well as those of my patients, and buoyed by the conviction that my ideas could make a difference in people's lives, in 1985 I joined three other women in the venture of establishing a health care center we called Women to Women. The idea of a health center run by women for women was virtually unheard of at that time. Our central mission was to help women appreciate the unity of mind, body, and spirit, to enable them to see the connection between their emotional health and their physical well-being. I wanted to empower women, to give them a safe place in which to tell their personal stories so that they could discover new, more health-enhancing ways of living their lives.

I knew that sometimes this would involve challenging the status quo, because the inequities of the culture take a terrible toll on women's bodies as well as their spirits. But as I practiced this new, holistic form of medicine, which was quite revolutionary for its day, I realized that the fact that I had a normal, happy family life, as well as a husband with conventional medical ideas who practiced in the same community, provided a kind of cover for me. It made me appear "safe" at a time when my ideas were considered unproven at best, dangerous at worst.

My three partners in Women to Women and I bought an old Victorian house that we could convert into a center for our new practice. We all agreed that we wanted to keep our husbands out of our new venture, lest their participation undermine our enthusiastic but still tender confidence in ourselves as businesswomen.

Of course, in my case, at least, that didn't necessarily mean that I didn't want my husband's support. I clearly remember a day at the beginning of the building and site renovation. Two bulldozers sat on the lawn, workers were everywhere, and the existing building had been torn apart. At that moment the whole project suddenly became real for me, and I realized that my colleagues and I were now responsible for paying for all of this. This was an overwhelming thought. When I came home that evening, I uncharacteristically reached out to my husband for help in calming my fears. "I'm scared," I told him. "I'm not sure I can do this." He replied, "I hate it when you're disempowered like this." I quickly realized that I'd been foolish to expect anything from him.

His response to my uncharacteristic and risky moment of emotional vulnerability simply reinforced the coping style I'd developed in childhood, a stoicism that was a necessity in a household where emotional neediness was frowned upon and we were told to "keep a stiff upper lip." Another favorite saying in my family was "Don't ask for a lighter pack, ask for a stronger back." So, as usual, I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps, dug into my inner resources, and pretended that I wasn't afraid.

As it turned out, Women to Women became a great success. Our work struck a resonant chord with our patients, and the center grew steadily by word of mouth. As excited as I was about what I was doing, I could never interest my husband in any of the ideas about alternative medicine that were at the core of my new clinical practice. We did, however, have enough other areas of mutual interest that I didn't think his attitude toward my work mattered. In fact, I was rather proud of myself for being able to sustain a loving relationship with a card-carrying member of the American Medical Association.


Marrying My Mother


Looking back, I see that in marrying my husband I had made a secret and mostly unconscious vow that I would do whatever it took to make this marriage work and be the woman I thought he wanted--as long as I could also pursue the work that I loved. Unbeknownst to me, I was re-creating with my husband many aspects of the unfinished business I had carried over from my relationship with my mother, a fact that would only begin to dawn on me some twenty-two years later, as I entered perimenopause.

Excerpted from

The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing during the Change

by Christiane Northrup
Buy this book online at Barnes & Noble



Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Neutrogena anti-aging solutions

Everyday exposure to the sun's damaging rays can bring on deep wrinkles and fine lines. Now there's help. This daily moisturizing formula, infused with concentrated Retinol, helps accelerate surface cell turnover, pushing new, younger cells to the surface. Meanwhile, Hyaluronic Acid replenishes skin with line-plumping moisture, as patented Helioplex-stabilized sunscreen technology provides superior anti-aging protection. Rejuvenating skin to look younger and healthier has never been so easy!


Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser
Effectively combines two cleansing steps into one. This gentle dermatologist tested formula removes dirt, oil and make-up. Then it removes eye make-up without soaps or oils that can sting or irritate the sensitive eye area. It rinses completely.


Neutrogena has developed a breakthrough new sun protection technology complex called Helioplex, specifically engineered to deliver very high, very broad and photo-stable UV protection.


Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF 20, Deep Wrinkle Moisturizing Treatment
A Concentrated Retinol Treatment with Hyaluronic Acid & Helioplex™
* Intensive
* SPF 20
* Dermatologist recommended

How it works: The moisturizing formula, infused with concentrated Retinol plus Hyaluronic Acid, helps accelerate surface cell turnover pushing newer younger cells to the surface. In just 2 weeks, see even the deepest wrinkles start to fill in an smooth out.

* Concentrated Retinol helps provide a powerful advantage against deep wrinkles and advanced signs of photo-damage.
* Hyaluronic Acid helps replenish skin with line-plumping moisture, rejuvenating skin to look younger and healthier.
* Helioplex™ stabilized broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen technology provides superior anti-aging protection to help prevent deep wrinkles caused by everyday exposure to the sun's damaging rays.

Formula clinically proven to:
* Soften and smooth skin
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* Fill the look of deep wrinkles within 2 weeks
* Reduce the appearance of age spots

This product is:
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* Non-comedogenic
* Fragrance-free
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Dermatologist Note
Retinol vs. Pro-Retinol: The names seem identical, but there is an important difference.

* Retinol is the purest form of Vitamin A, well known for its ability to help fight visible wrinkling. Retinol has been deemed scientifically superior to other forms of Vitamin A in penetrating the skin.
* Pro-Retinol refers to less active forms of Vitamin A, including Retinyl Palmitate, commonly found in anti-aging products. In scientific studies, Retinyl Palmitate has not proven to penetrate nor perform in skin's surface as well as Retinol, even at higher concentrations.

with helioplex™ broad spectrum uva-uvb




Neutrogena Healthy Skin Night Cream, Deep Wrinkle Intensive
This intensive night cream formula, designed with a potent concentration of Retinol plus Hyaluronic Acid, helps accelerate cell turnover with every use. As newer, younger cells push to the surface, wrinkles visibly fill in and smooth out to look less noticeable.

Concentrated Retinol helps provide a powerful advantage against deep wrinkles and advanced signs of photo-damage.

Hyaluronic Acid helps replenish skin with line-plumping moisture, rejuvenating skin to look younger and healthier.

Formula clinically proven to soften and smooth skin, reduce the look of fine lines & wrinkles, fill the look of deep or persistent wrinkles and reduce the appearance of age spots.

This product is:
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Neutrogena Healthy Skin Eye Cream, Anti-Wrinkle Intensive
This intensive eye cream formula is designed with an effective yet gentle concentration of Retinol plus Hyaluronic Acid.

Retinol provides a powerful advantage against all types of wrinkles and advanced signs of photo-damage.

Hyaluronic Acid helps replenish skin with line-plumping moisture, revitalizing eyes to look younger and healthier.

The formula is clinically proven to reduce the look of fine lines, fill the look of deep under eye wrinkles, fade the appearance of dark circles and diminish the look of crepiness.

This product is:
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Neutrogena Healthy Skin Serum, Anti-Wrinkle Intensive
Concentrated Treatment
Dermatologist recommended

How It works: This intensive serum, designed with a potent concentration of Retinol plus Anti-Oxidant Multi-Vitamins absorbs quickly into skin's surface, helping to accelerate cell turnover with. As newer, younger cells push to the surface, wrinkles visibly fill in and smooth out to look less noticeable.

Works quickly to fill the look of deep wrinkles, diminish the appearance of age spots and other signs of photo-damage.
Restores softness, smoothness and a healthier, more youthful texture.
Within weeks, you will see noticeable improvements even to the wrinkles you've found most difficult to treat in the past.

Formula clinically proven to:
* Improve skim texture, tone and clarity
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* Diminish the appearance of age spots

This product is:
* Dermatologist tested
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* Non-comedogenic
* Fragrance-free
* Dye-free



Monday, April 28, 2008

Microdermabrasion At-Home System


icon
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Microdermabrasion At-Home Systemicon
Help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and discoloration while cleansing and hydrating dry skin. This professional-quality microdermabrasion system is great for all types of skin. Use on your face, neck, decolletage or your entire body.

Gently exfoliate and condition your skin using the sponge applicator and microdermabrasion cream. Special pore refining attachments remove impurities deep below the skin's surface. Activate the refreshing fine mist spray to close pores after treatment.

Comes with seven interchangeable facial attachments: a rolling massager, cleansing brush, three reusable sponge applicators and dual-size pore refining suction cups. Includes dual-speed rechargeable facial tool, 2-oz. microdermabrasion cream, storage case and drawstring bag.

Available online at The Sharper Image websiteicon

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Live to 80? The No. 1 Way to Do It

The best way to live a long life and live it well is a combination of staying safe, staying healthy, and embracing your spirituality. Prevention is the key. Some things are obvious, like always wearing your seat belt and avoiding illegal drugs. Others take a bit of health education so you know which foods and vitamins are best for promoting longevity.

As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says: None of us is born with an instruction manual on how to stay alive until 80 or beyond. It takes guesswork, good common sense, and a bit of luck. But there are things we can do to maximize our longevity odds. And some of these may surprise you.

Be Safe

Accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults. To avoid the grim reaper at such a young age, the Post-Dispatch offers this common sense list. Make sure you always:

* Wear a seat belt.
* Drive safely.
* Avoid harmful drugs and substances, legal or illegal.
* Avoid family violence and violence with strangers.

Be Healthy

* Exercise:
The No. 1 way to stay healthy--whether you're a little tyke or a grouchy geezer--is to exercise. Find something you enjoy and do it for 30 minutes a day most days of the week. No excuses. The Post-Dispatch asserts that some doctors say exercise is so powerful it can even lessen the severity of illnesses passed through your family genes.

* Eat right:
Eat fish three to four times a week, load up on fruits and vegetables, get plenty of calcium and other vitamins, and don't smoke. Enjoying one or two alcoholic beverages a day may be beneficial, but more than that is harmful.

* Maintain a healthy weight:
The secret to a long life may be maintaining a healthy weight in your young adult years and staying physically active in later years--and this holds true even if you suffer from diabetes, heart disease, or cancer as a senior citizen. Reuters reports that researchers from the University of California, Irvine have determined that elderly people who reported weighing the least at age 21 and who participated regularly in physical exercise as senior citizens were the most likely to eventually celebrate their 90th birthday.

Be Spiritual

None other than the venerable Mayo Clinic has suggested that one of the best ways to improve your chances of living a century is to recognize the value of spirituality in your life. "Nurture your spirit, no matter what you call your source of inspiration," advised a recent health letter the clinic published.

Other research has shown that people who regularly attend worship services, live longer. It's not the act of going to the church, synagogue, or mosque that extends lives, but rather the involvement in the religious and spiritual activities.

One other theory: People who are involved in religious groups benefit from the social networks they form. If they get sick, others look out for them. Religious beliefs may also lead to less risky behavior. In addition, a well developed sense of spirituality may help people better cope with life's tough psychological demands.
Source: Netscape.com

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Friday, April 25, 2008

The No. 1 Way to Not Get Breast Cancer

There is one thing more than any other that women can do throughout their lives to protect themselves from breast cancer: Don't gain weight.

Women who gain weight after they reach menopause increase their risk of developing invasive breast cancer by 18 percent, while women who lost and kept off 22 pounds or more since menopause and did not take hormones actually reduced their risk by 57 percent. Why? Weight loss after menopause lowers circulating estrogen hormones in women, and because estrogen is directly related to breast cancer, weight loss is thought to decrease risk of the disease.

But lifetime weight gain also counts. Women who gained 55 pounds or more since age 18, upped their risk of breast cancer by 45 percent, compared with those who maintained their weight. There was an even stronger association among women who never took postmenopausal hormones.

That's the word from researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who analyzed data from the long-running Nurses' Health Study to assess the risk of breast cancer from weight gain during two stages of life--since 18 years of age and since menopause. A total of 87,143 postmenopausal women ages 30 to 55 years were followed for up to 26 years to analyze weight change since age 18. Weight change since menopause was assessed among 49,514 women, who were followed for up to 24 years. During this period, there were 2,376 cases of invasive breast cancer among postmenopausal women in the study.

The bottom line: The researchers concluded that 15 percent of the study's breast cancer cases may be attributable to weight gain of 4.4 pounds or more since age 18 and 4.4 percent of the cases may be attributable to weight gain of 4.4 pounds or more since menopause.

"These data suggest that weight gain during adult life, specifically since menopause, increases the risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women, whereas weight loss after menopause is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer," lead study author A. Heather Eliassen writes in Journal of the American Medical Association.
source: Netscape.com



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Too Much Perfume? Ominous Sign

When women spray on too much perfume, it might have an ominous meaning: It could be a sign they are clinically depressed. It's not that the scent has an effect one way or the other on mood. Instead, depressed women can't tell their scent is too heavy because they can't smell it. Israeli researchers from Tel Aviv University have concluded that women who are depressed may also have lost their sense of smell. "Our scientific findings suggest that women who are depressed are also losing their sense of smell and may overcompensate by using more perfume," lead study author Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld, who is a physician and autoimmune disease researcher, told LiveScience.com.

Using autoantibodies to cause depression in female mice, Shoenfeld found that the chemicals turned off olfactory gland cells, which are responsible for a sense of smell. The treatment blocked the rodents' ability to smell and caused them to lose weight. "Loss of weight is one of the first signs of depression in autoimmune disease patients," Shoenfeld told LiveScience. "If you can't smell, you don't eat because you don't enjoy the food. If you don't eat, you lose weight."

Not all women who are depressed suffer from an autoimmune disease, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes or thyroid disease. Is the link between depression and overly scented women limited to autoimmune disease patients? "Depression operates similarly in people who do and do not have a disease," Shoenfeld explained to LiveScience, which might explain why some men pour on too much cologne, too.

The takeaway: Doctors need to focus more on smell to discern what might be affecting an individual's health. "We are aware of all the senses, but have neglected smell for a long time," Shoenfeld told LiveScience. "It was only three years ago that two scientists won Nobel prizes for deciphering receptors for smell in humans. We still have a lot of work to do in what I believe is an extremely important area."
source: Netscape.com

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Do Attractive People Earn More Money?

You'll never find a section in your annual review that discusses your looks. But if researchers from the University of Texas are right, attractive people may get higher raises than folks who aren't as good-looking, reports Reuters.

Two different studies of college professors and lawyers that were both conducted by researcher Daniel Hamermesh arrived at this surprising conclusion.

College Professors

Six students--three men and three women--were asked to judge the looks of 94 members of the University of Texas faculty. The researchers then compared those attractiveness ratings with classroom teaching ratings given by students in 463 courses those professors had taught. It's important to note that the classroom ratings help determine the professors' salary increases. It was startlingly clear that the good-looking profs got significantly higher student ratings than the professors who weren't as attractive.

"The effects of differences in beauty on the average course rating are not small," said Hamermesh. This was especially true for men who received "more of a premium" for good looks, as well as "more of a penalty" for bad looks.

While he and his research assistant Amy Parker told Reuters that they do not claim student ratings are necessarily good benchmarks of a teacher's classroom productivity, they insist their findings "leave little doubt" that perceived good looks do indeed drive up the scores.

And consider this question: Are better-looking professors better teachers? "What if students simply pay more attention to good-looking professors and learn more?" Hamermesh and Parker ask rhetorically in their study findings. "We would argue that this is a productivity effect. We would claim the instructors are better teachers." And if they're better teachers, they deserve to be paid more money.

Lawyers

It's not limited to just the classroom. Earlier research conducted by Hamermesh and Jeff E. Biddle that was published in the Journal of Labor Economics showed the same link with lawyers.

  • Better-looking attorneys earned more money after five years of practice than ugly lawyers, and that effect grew even larger by the 15th year of practice.
  • Attorneys working in the private sector are better-looking than those in the public sector.
  • A male attorney has a higher probability of attaining an early partnership if he is good-looking. One possible reason: He is able to get more clients because of his looks.

Maybe it's time not only to dress for success, but also to groom for success.
source: Netscape.com


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5. Money, Money, Money (60-minute CD) - $19.95 value
The concepts you'll learn in my CD will shift your limiting beliefs about wealth and money, into limitless realities. Learn how to increase your income immediately; Overcome your fears about money; Put your money to work for you.

6. Complete copy of "Get Out of Debt" on CD (sent 4-6 weeks after teleseminar completion) - $19.95 value

7. Complete copy of the teleseminar on MP3 and a copy of Brian's notes - $19.95 value
These will be emailed after completion of the teleseminar.

Save The Date:
Wednesday, April 30th, 2008
2:00 p.m. Pacific Time
3:00 p.m. Mountain Time
4:00 p.m. Central Time
5:00 p.m. Eastern Time

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