Colette's late fifties were probably the happiest and certainly the most fecund years of her life. ... She continued both to live and to work like an Olympian, and as must all champions, she kept in training. She walked and swam vigorously. She smoked and drank very little. She kept her muscles toned with massage. She and Maurice apparently had an athletic sex life. During the summers, she adopted a frugal diet and began losing weight. Back in Paris, she consulted a fashionable quack who gave her blood transfusions--the donor was an attractive young woman--and these, she claimed, improved her vision and increased her vitality. But perhaps her most essential beauty secret was to surround herself with a circle of younger friends, male and female, whose hunger for life helped to recharge her own. "The pleasure I take in contemplating lives on the ascendant reassures me about myself," she told Germaine Patat. "I see so many people who, as they age, find joy only in ... their diminution!"
Judith Thurman, Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette