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OVER 40 AND FABULOUS! TOP 10 CONTEST WINNERS Doug Barron Cont'd What is your favorite getaway? Any beach – it is the one place I can truly shut down and do nothing. “I try to find something enjoyable in every day and try to perform one act of kindness daily.” Dr. Neil Cooper Silly, sophomoric humor. Bio: Dr. Cooper is the chief of diagnostic imaging services for Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. He is also a physician, husband, father, volunteer and motorcycle enthusiast. After surviving a heart attack, he changed his diet and became even more passionate about his health and the health of others. Where do you go for “me” time? What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40? What makes you laugh? The nail salon for a manicure and pedicure. There is something about a good pedicure and foot massage that is so relaxing. I do catch some grief from friends, but don’t knock it until you have tried it. Also, [I like] being outside doing yard work. Who are the experts/ professionals that help you be your best self? I would have to say my motherin-law, Wendy. Right up until the time of her death, her strength and composure never ceased to amaze me. I became involved with ovarian cancer awareness in her honor and continue to be guided by her actions. How would your family and friends describe you? Trustworthy, dependable, goofy, dedicated and devoted. What is your favorite way to give back to your community? Educating women of all ages across Georgia about the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer. I know my strengths and weaknesses, have learned to accept who I am, understand my limitations and realize I can only control what I can control and not worry about the rest. The most important thing I have learned since passing 40 is not to take life’s ups and downs too seriously. I have learned that staying connected with friends and family is most important. At this age I realize our time here is limited. So I try to find something enjoyable in every day and try to perform one act of kindness daily. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Recently, my best accomplishment has been returning to school for a Master’s degree in health administration and now working on a Master’s degree in health promotion and exercise science. Studying at this age is good exercise for the brain and keeps the cobwebs cleared. What is your favorite book and why? I have many favorite books, but the one with “staying power” that can be read over and over is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. It’s a reference book and a way of life. My favorite chapter and the one thought that stays in my head is Begin with the End in Mind. Very powerful. What is your favorite way to work out? I have exercised routinely for years with many good trainers. Up until a year ago, I thought training meant lifting heavy weights for strength. If it didn’t include a bicep or a pectoral, it wasn’t worth my time. How wrong I was! More recently, my trainers and my own reading have helped me see the light. I have learned that working out starts with a strong core. Next is flexibility, followed by balance, then strength, endurance and power. My favorite workouts are at FormWell Personal Fitness Training where they mix it up with circuit training, resistance, CrossFit and endurance. What is your favorite new experience/ discovery? My new favorite discovery is the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet. With my wife, Shelley, leading the charge, we are on a path of discovery — learning how to stop and reverse chronic disease such as coronary heart disease. Together we are reading books by authors such as Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, attending conferences like Georgia Organics and Farms to Forks, and discovering wonderful vegan restaurants and ways to eat vegan in any restaurant. Giving up animal products and substituting with healthy grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits makes mealtime empowering, healthful and energy-boosting. After I became convinced that plant-based nutrition truly leads to a better lifestyle, I have found the journey to be a lot of fun, full of new flavors and experiences, and very satisfying. BEST SELF ATLANTA JUNE 2013 43

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