“We are all going to age and soften and mellow and transition. All of us. If we are lucky. There are plenty of things to be anti about. Anti-discrimination, anti-drug, anti-oppression, anti-poverty, anti-sickness. Aging shouldn’t be one of them. We need to become pro-aging and embrace the opportunities that aging provides.”
When I told someone my age the other day the shock horror that pursued had me more than smiling 🙂 They estimated my age as mid-30s, 40 at a push. Wow! I turn 50 in 2016!
The fact that I even told someone my age is such a different Jane of years gone by. I have lied about my age for nearly 3 decades; always wanting to be younger, fighting the aging process and doing everything I could within my financial means to ensure that wrinkles and sun damage were erased. I have not gone to huge extremes due to cost but I have tried IPL, Fraxel and Thermage but all of these treatments to be effective require ongoing sessions which I could never afford. I have, however, up until the last 18 months, always included Botox in my budget with quarterly injections. All these treatments are VERY painful! And yet you won’t find any of the clinics offering these services that are not running huge profits. Does it really have to be this hard and costly?
As women we are under constant pressure to not just be slim but we are also supposed to keep our youthful complexion. With constant bombardment from the media of beautiful, thin, youthful women is it any wonder we have developed these anti-aging complexes that undermine our self-worth. Gosh I saw a picture of Jennifer Lopez the other day at 46 looking 25! And we all know that Elle looks amazing still and she is my age 🙂 It is great that these women look so awesome and provided it has been achieved naturally… then good on them! But as celebrities with never ending supplies of cash you have to wonder how they have maintained their looks. How can we possibly compete? And more importantly, why do we feel we have to?!
For me now as I stare down the barrel at 50 I feel more energetic than I have in years, my skin literally glows, my nails grow so strong and long they not only annoy me they are painful if I don’t get them cut, my hair is nearly back to its youthful length, I still don’t have any fillings in my teeth, I stopped having Botox 18 months ago as I swear I have seen wrinkles disappear, the bottoms of my feet are silky smooth with no hard skin in sight, my eyes are bright and clear, I never get sick and feel incredibly healthy and have so much energy I cant sit still! I am gaining muscle in the gym and I still have that bikini body I competed with 3 years ago. And while my motivation is no longer about vanity but about premium health and longevity I now have a passion to maintain this state of being well into my 90s! Who wouldn’t?!
So how do I defy aging and look nowhere near my biological age? Yes; I know I don’t have kids… but it is a lot more than that. And I am sure if you incorporate even a few of the following tips you would see an improvement in your skin and complexion. A lot of these tips were on recent blog my top 10 health tips but are worth mentioning again with a pro-aging perspective.
- Eat Clean – Yep; you cant get around the fact that if you want glowing, youthful skin it all starts with what goes in your mouth. The food you eat is what your body uses to regenerate itself; the nutrients from your food is the fuel that ends up in every cell of your body including your skin. What is eating clean? If it was recently alive then eat it ie. plant or animal. If it comes in a package, box, jar, bottle, can ie. made by man, don’t! Eating clean is going back to our primal diet of fresh everything. Go organic where ever you can on this one; there are so many additives to conventional food that even if you are eating clean you are still exposing yourself to toxins.
- Hydrate – There is no getting around the water factor either. You have heard it many times now from a health, well-being and weight loss perspective but it will also improve your skin tone. Dehydration in the skin shows with dryness and flakiness; dry skin is less resilient and more prone to wrinkling. Water is the very vehicle that delivers nutrients to the skin and with all your clean eating if you are not drinking adequate water then the goodness is not getting to where it is needed. Water is also the vehicle for waste removal; with the incredible amount of toxins our bodies endure flushing out through urine is critical. How much should you drink? 2 litres minimum and more if you are exercising.
- Zzzzzzz’s – Lack of sleep is the quickest way for your skin to look older. While we sleep the body repairs damage and rejuvenates.The time when all those nutrients are used to repair your body. It is also the time that growth hormone and melatonin is produced. The latter is claimed to be the anti-aging hormone. Adequate sleep also reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. Stress causes the skin to wrinkle and loose collagen and elasticity. I get 9 hours a night! As it is when my muscles grow but try and aim for 7-8 hours every night.
- Sun Avoidance – I used to worship the sun and had a deep, golden tan for 8 months of the year. I never wore sunscreen…. Baby oil was more my style! You would think after 38 years of baking myself I would be a wrinkled prune but thanks to my current lifestyle I am reversing the damage. I now avoid the sunbaking scene and will enjoy the sun for a walk only with a hat and sunscreen. Avoiding the sun is a no brainer for pro-aging!
- Sup it Up – Our food supply and the soil we grow our produce in is nowhere near the same quality of only a generation ago. Not to mention all the additives, antibiotics and pesticides. So even if you are eating organic clean, whole food you will still need some sort of supplementation. From a pro-aging perspective these are the sups that work for me. COQ10, fish oil, probiotic, turmeric and Biotin. I also include an antioxidant to assist my body to eliminate toxins with glutathione and green tea extract being the ones I take at the moment.
- Super Foods – Although the term super food is a marketing tool rather than a category of food and every nutritionist, dietician, health expert will have a different view of what is included, the term is useful in describing above average nutritional value food. For me, the super foods that I include that contribute to my youthful looks would be bone broth, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and bi-carb soda, coconut oil, green tea, green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, nuts with an emphasis on walnuts.
- Avoid Alcohol – None….I don’t drink at all anymore which is HUGE for me. Alcohol accelerates the aging process due to the dehydration affect, excessive additional toxins and affects the body’s ability to eliminate those toxins, not to mention the effect on your general health. Did you know I am allowed red wine on competition day due to the diuretic effect it has? Alcohol will see you having to drink twice as much water to compensate!
- Avoid Smoking – this in an obvious one..but need to mention it. I don’t think I need to go into details on this one…Quickest way to bring on the aging process is to smoke!
- Avoid Sugar – sugar has an oxidant affect which is the opposite effect of an antioxidant. Antioxidants help the body eliminate toxins. Sugar therefore increases your toxic load which quickens the aging process.
- Beauty Products – it takes 26 seconds for the chemicals in your moisturiser, soap, make up, sunscreen, deodorant, perfume, whatever you put on your skin, to enter your blood stream. Have a read of the ingredients list; would you eat them? So why would you put them on your skin…? Go organic, paraben free, alcohol free, fragrance free, chemical free etc. etc. and stop believing the incredibly clever marketing of the beauty industry. I am astounded at the promises made to eliminate wrinkles simply with a chemically laden, very expensive night cream. It seriously is rubbish. I use organic rose hip oil at night.
- Exercise – many would say this is the number one pro-aging tip. It is no mistake that all athletes look younger than their years. It relieves stress, improves circulation (which improves the skin), improves bone density, strengthens the heart, etc. etc. You know this!
- Self Confidence! I have left this one until last but it is my far the biggest factor to my youthful appearance. I am now comfortable in my own skin, I am no longer trying to hide the real Jane nor lie about my age. Happiness and contentment with where you are in life is the one of the most attractive traits a women can have. Yes I know this is a tough one; it took me 46 years to work it out!
We are all aging, every day, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The quicker you can accept that growing older is actually a privilege denied to many, that it brings all sorts of personal rewards, wisdom, peace, enjoyment and satisfaction, the quicker you will slow down the aging process. I am now so damn proud of my age! Can you say that…?