Saturday, June 6, 2015

How I’m Fighting the Aging Process, and How You Can Too!


My sister and me.  

In about 3 months, I’ll turn 40.  It’s not unusual, though, for people to think I’m in my early thirties, or even 20-something!  I mean, I’ve had people look at me in total shock when I tell them my age.  It actually happened just yesterday when a woman, who is 35, thought I was for sure younger than her! 

My sister actually gets similar reactions, so maybe some of it is genetics, but I think there has to be more to it than that. I don’t say this to brag about myself, but I’ve just been thinking about it lately and wondering what it is about me that I seem younger than I am to other people.  I know women everywhere want to stay young-looking and are constantly looking for ways to turn back the clock.  So I’ve come up with a few tips based on what I do that might help.

1)   Eat Clean  While I haven’t always done this, it has recently become a focus of mine.  I had some weight left over from my last baby, and finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t that healthy of an eater.  So I changed it.  I started eliminating junk food from my daily diet.  Replaced white flour with whole wheat flour, replaced sugary cereals with oatmeal sweetened with stevia, replaced milk with almond milk.  Instead of crackers, I now eat a handful of nuts, and instead of candy, now I eat fruit.  I’ve added more vegetables too.  I try to fill up half my plate at dinner time with veggies and then a fourth with meat or other protein and another fourth with a whole grain. When you’re not eating clean, you’re loading your body with foods that are stripped of essential nutrients, like antioxidants.  By switching to more whole and natural foods, you naturally get those antioxidants that help slow the aging process.

2)      Stay Active  I also recently made working out a priority.  Just about every day I’m doing something to be active.  I usually do a workout video in my livingroom, but sometimes I mix it up with a run outdoors and weight-lifting session.  Exercise is critical in staying young.  The less you move your body as you age, the less you’ll be able to move it, and the typical issues of old age will start to set in.  I’m not saying that by working out you’ll avoid all the issues of aging, but you can definitely avoid or reduce your risks for a lot of them.  For example, by lifting weights, not only do you keep muscles strong, but in the process of lifting, your bones are also strengthened, helping prevent osteoporosis.  And strong muscles means you’ll be able to do things for yourself instead of relying on others.  Also, regular movement increases circulation, which benefits your body in so many ways!  Your heart will stay healthy, your mind will be clearer, you’ll have more energy—and the list goes on and on…

3)      Use Natural Ingredients  I realized that I really don’t use a lot on my face.  I know some women use lots of cleansers, toners, firming creams and moisturizers, and anti-wrinkle creams, etc. on their faces in an effort to stay young looking.  I don’t know if these products work or not.  I’ve tried some of them, but never used them consistently enough to prove if they did anything to make my skin look younger.  Honestly, I normally just wash my face with a wet washcloth, gently scrubbing to exfoliate.  Once in a while I’ll mix up some honey and sugar or olive oil and salt and do some deeper exfoliating.  After washing my face, I moisturize it with a commercial moisturizer that has oatmeal on it, a store brand of Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion.  I use the store brand because it’s a lot cheaper.  I also use this to moisturize my entire body.  I like it because it is fragrance-free and with the oatmeal, it seems to calm irritated skin, like after I shave my legs, or after exfoliating my face.  For wrinkles around my eyes, I use a little vitamin e oil.  I also use this on my lips instead of lip balm. It’s really smooth and moisturizing, and I think it helps prevent wrinkles around my lips.

4)      Avoid Wearing Heavy Makeup   I know it might seem counterintuitive, but the fact is, as we age, if we pile on the makeup, it simply makes us look older!  Think about it; the makeup settles into our fine lines, emphasizing them.  And if you’re putting on dark eyeliner and eyeshadow, it’s going to do the same thing to the eye area.  I do use makeup, but have never been a fan of an extremely obvious, “made-up” look.  I use Mary Kay’s liquid foundation, which of all the ones I’ve tried, it goes on the smoothest, especially when I use the special brush Mary Kay has just for applying it.  I like to use a white or light colored eyeshadow because I like the way it brightens my eyes.  I like a dark brown eyeliner by Mary Kay (no, I don’t sell Mary Kay, but I do happen to love their makeup!), and a black, waterproof mascara.  Mary Kay makes really smooth cream blush, and I like to use a color that matches the natural undertones in my skin.  Oh, and I use a little eyebrow pencil to shape my eyebrows a little, but mostly to fill in my left eybrow because I have a scar running through it.

In short, use makeup just to enhance your natural beauty, and don’t put it on so much on that it’s the thing people notice about you.  I promise you, no one will look at you and think, “Wow, her thick layers of makeup make her look so young!!”

5)      Have Your Hair Dyed  No, this is not a “natural” thing to do, but it is one of the top things you can do to stay looking young.  And I highly recommend not doing it yourself from a box, but instead go to a professional.  They’ll be able to do different highlights and lowlights to make your hair look more natural. 

6)      Have a “Young” Hairstyle  Now I don’t necessarily mean wear pigtails, but I what I do mean is style your hair based on what’s current.  There are few things that age you faster than living in 2015, but having a perm and a pouf from the 1980’s!  Look at current magazines to get ideas for hairstyles and talk to your hairstylist and they’ll be able to help you find a style that fits you.

7)      Dress Like You Care  Ladies, DON’T LET YOURSELF GO!!!  I can’t stress this enough.  You are so wonderful, and so important, and so WORTH it to dress in a way that shows confidence in your own beauty!!  It makes me sad to see women who I know are about my age, but put us next to each other, and you would easily think they were 10-15 years older than me. I’m not telling you to dress like your teenager, but please dress in a way that flatters you.  Avoid “mom” jeans, the ones with the super-high waist and are tapered at the bottom.  Instead go for a mid or low-rise jean with a little flair at the bottom or even “skinny” jeans.  These are so cute with a pair of flats, and in the winter I love to wear my skinny jeans with boots!  T-shirts are fine for busy moms, but at least go for fitted ones that flatter your shape, and not the shapeless ones I see so often on women that look like they were made for their husbands!

8)      Be Young at Heart  If you’re going to truly defy aging, you have to play the part and be young at heart!  Instead of slipping into “serious mom mode,” relax and have fun!  Of course, as moms we absolutely have our responsibilities, but let’s not forget what’s most important in our lives.  It’s not our career or how much money we make; it’s our family and friends.  Make time for them, and make time for yourself, to do what you like to do.  Go on a bike ride with your kids, make an appointment, not with a client, but with a friend to have coffee or lunch.  Go on a vacation, or just stay home and relax on the weekend.  Enjoy your life and fill as much time as you can with laughter and fun.  Out of all the other things, this is probably the most important as far as staying young.  It’s the one thing that will leave a lasting impression on others and allow you to affect others in a positive way.

In short, I don't feel almost 40, so I'm not going to act almost 40!  I'm acting the way I feel, which is about 25 (or younger!lol)

I hope these tips help you to defy aging in your own life.  There’s nothing wrong with growing older in years, because a lot of good things come with being alive for longer, like wisdom and self-confidence.  I just believe we can make our older years just as wonderful, if not more wonderful than our younger years by taking care of ourselves.

Mine's about 25! What's the age YOU'RE sticking with??!

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