War on Aging
I didn't think it would ever happen.
Or at least not for a while.
I took my little sister shopping after Christmas this year. I love shopping with her. I love spending time with her in general really - she's funny and smart and beautiful and just a really cool human to be around. As we were having our awesome bonding day, we stopped at a shoe store to check out some new kicks for her. I hadn't bought her a Christmas present so I already told her I was going to buy her something that day and low and behold, the shoes were on sale (yay)! I could see the debate in her mind between two pairs and because I love her I thought she needed both so I told the cashier, "We'll take them both please" with a smile on my face as I watched hers wash over with surprised joy. It was such a feel-good moment you guys - my heart swelled - I felt like the best big sister in the world - and then the words came.....Words out of the cashier's mouth. Words that make your eyes squint up a bit and your lips pucker.
"WOW, I wish MY mom was that nice!"
(insert sound of screeching tires)
All of a sudden I had visions of super wrinkled skin and I wanted to rush to the nearest restroom to see first hand what I had done to my makeup that day to make this lady think that I was the mother of a 16-year-old.....I mean...that would put me in my 40's in most cases and for the love of God I'm only 36!
Then the mental chatter came "am I an old looking 36 or a young looking 36?", "have I been thinking I look young this whole time and NOBODY told me the truth?". All I could muster up was a smile and then refused to join their email list, that oughta team them, right?! LOL
So, obviously, the above story, although true, is still told from my point of view with a twist of my sense of humor sprinkled in. It didn't ruin my day or my weekend, but it did have me think a lot about the concept of aging.
(image courtesy of Pinterest
You can declare a war on just about anything these days, so I call this blog the War on Aging.
But, let's take a look at it from two perspectives:
1. War on why we feel we need to look younger (not look our age), and
2. War on our aging process itself
I think we need to first ask ourselves why we are so concerned with age.
Why do we look at age as a thing to cringe at? Why do we groan and complain at our birthday celebrations? I come from a family where the women live very long lives. (One of my great-grandmothers will turn 101 this year, the other passed when she was 94.) Think of what we know of most tribal cultures - the elders are revered for their knowledge, not chastised for their wrinkles. If we look back through our lives and really remember the person we were in our teens, our twenties, and so on, we will notice a trend. Each year we are here on earth we become just a little bit wiser - a little more experienced - and hopefully a little more compassionate.
So if we keep improving ourselves each year as we age, isn't that something to be celebrated?
Why have we accepted from society, and why are we joining in to send the message that we must never look our actual age? Why do we focus on what we look like and not what we think, feel, or desire? Why are we allowing our self-worth to be tied to one small aspect of our selves? The mismatch of our insides and our outsides needs to shift.
It starts with me. It starts with you.
I have two small daughters. When I first became pregnant, as many moms experience, you go through a lot of your own childhood and make notes on what you're going to do and what you're going to avoid like the plague. The one thing that stood out the most to me - whether it was a mumbled comment, a loud comment, a picture taped up, a heavy sigh, or a wincing expression - was that almost every female in my life was unhappy with their body and their appearance overall. Learning these behaviors as a young girl signaled that it was good to deflect a compliment, that talking poorly about yourself was a great way to bond with other women, and introduced me to unhealthy habits around food, exercise, and relationships with others. It took until I was out of college to realize how these actions impacted my life. This was the thing - the one thing - I was going to make sure I did not pass on to my girls. We were going to teach them body love, self-love, and healthy mind/body habits. Yet here I was, in a store with my sister, instantly triggered by a simple comment that immediately told me "you're OLD and you're not valued". How can I share a message when I still get triggered?
How to work through this:
- proudly accept your age, after all, your body has worked hard to get you there
- accept compliments with a smile (and feel free to spread them)
- help stop self-sabotaging conversations and negative self-speak
- be mindful of how your ideas around body image are shared with those around you
- focus on our thoughts, feelings, education, accomplishments, and goals rather than our appearance
- realize that not everybody is aware of the impact of their words or actions (you can choose to constructively explain the impact on you, or you may choose to walk away when bothered)
Let me tell you one thing - even as an esthetician who is ALWAYS scanning people's skin during a conversation (sorry) - not ever have I said: "Gosh I sure enjoy spending time with her because she looks 23 and just glows." Not. Ever. Going. To. Happen. We value people for who they are. So let's start within, by valuing who we are right now at this age. Then let's get out and
spread the message to stop beating yourself up about crow's feet, fine lines, and wrinkles, or the loss of elasticity.
Women - it is not right! We have to be good to ourselves and lift other women up with us. So the next time you're out for coffee or run into an old classmate, do your best to see past their appearance and toss out a compliment on how great their accomplishments are instead of their looks.
I can hear you thinking....so here's the Part 2 of the discussion:
War on the aging process itself.
All of us know that men age better than women. I actually wanted to have a photo here of a good looking older gentleman but got sidetracked just staring at them instead of picking a photo! Men age better than women because their body produces more androgen than the female body and because men typically carry stress differently than women. The combination of these two hormones plays a critical role in our aging appearance.
But instead of diving under the knife why not just attempt to age gracefully instead of not aging at all? Let's face it (pun intended) looking 25 when you're 65 is just plain odd to most of the world. There are so many things we can do nowadays to reverse and slow the aging process, and going in for fillers, injections, and invasive procedures should be limited as the last resort option.
There are two main issues that increase aging appearance. These issues develop physically but are tied to the mind in many ways. Having a poor lymphatic system (think toxin flush) and experiencing increased inflammation will speed your aging process along rapidly.
Now that we wrapped our mind around how we are going to view aging from an external stance, there are ways we can wage this war from an internal perspective:
WATER: You need to keep flushing your body of toxins every single day. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of regular water (add a lemon for extra pH balance). This will help all organs function appropriately and allow for all the ick to get out of your body.
DIET : Being sure to consume majority of your foods through fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish and small portions of dairy and grains, balancing meals on the pH food chart so you are neither too alkaline or too acidic, and making sure the food you take in is real fuel for your body and not a junk filler.
EXERCISE: Your skin needs an outlet to release what your body is attempting to filter out - let it sweat! You don't have to run a marathon for Pete's sake - just make sure you get that body moving to improve circulation and clean your body out. Vacuum like Martha Stewart is watching, chop onions like Emeril - go to a sweat lodge - sit in a sauna - or go to the gym - heck who cares how you do it - just get after it.
SLEEP: Your body has all these magical ways of healing itself while you sleep - like little fairies walk about your body and go POOF! with their wands - rest is important and allows time to regenerate what we are depleting daily. If you have small children, grab a nap with them, try to hit the hay a bit early even if it's just one night a week. You get extra points if you turn off your cell and your television.
POSITIVE MINDSET: People that practice mindfulness or meditation are said to be happier and are able to handle stress better. Facing issues with a silver lining approach, knowing you can get through all of it, helps calm the production of cortisol levels, therefore decreases the impact of aging.
For those who are looking for a product to help, here is my list of "go-to" products that complement the lifestyle above!
Bioelements Skin Editor: Imperfection-editing leave on AHA peel creme – with 3% glycolic acid and 7% lactic acid, in kombucha-infused organic shea butter
Bioelements Sleepwear: An overnight creme for dry to combination skin with calcium, retinol, peptides and cranberry seed oil.Smoothes the appearance of lines and wrinkles, Dramatically improves moisture and tone, Replenishes and energizes for a more youthful and rested complexion.
Crave Virgin Skin Serum: This time-release serum is formulated to visibly firm up slacking skin, smooth skin texture, brighten and even skin tone, and revive the natural beauty you were born with–all the while helping to prevent future damage to your precious epidermis.
Professional Treatments Can Save the Day!
Receiving a professional facial every 6 weeks will dramatically improve the health of your skin's appearance. The combination of professional strength product, with stress relieving massage and therapeutic sound healing - a facial is your fastest route towards tackling every bullet point in this email! My top facial picks for anti-aging are:
A one-of-a-kind treatment designed to lift and sculpt the look of sagging, aging skin. A skin analysis & consultation will evaluate your most urgent concerns, followed by deep cleansing and exfoliation to prepare your skin for clinical ingredients. We’ll intensify the treatment with an application of our powerfully active Bioelements Flaxx-C Firming Mask, LED therapy and micro-current, and facial massage designed to lift and tighten. You’ll see and feel the renewing benefits immediately, as poor elasticity, dullness and lines improve. Signature facial massage, hand and foot massage included. Good for all skin types. 70 minutes $80
herbal contouring facial*
This treatment focuses on the most powerfully targeted approach to direct results possible in one service. The facial uses a 30% lactic acid peel, lymphatic drainage, LED therapy and galvanic current to promote a deep exfoliation, increase collagen production, speed healing, increase circulation, flush toxins and push active ingredients deeper where they can focus on addressing concerns at the root level. Custom additives based on your skin concern are added to each step. Signature facial massage included as well as hand and foot massage.. (Please note: this service cannot be performed if you are experiencing certain health concerns. The major contraindications to manual lymphatic drainage are acute congestive heart failure, acute renal failure, active blood clots, active infection, active bleeding and undiagnosed cancer.) Good for all skin types.
There are only a few spots open in the month of March, so if you are looking to take a step towards healthier skin, take a look at my online schedule and let me know if we match up to get you in!
The calendar for April and May has also been posted and I am already accepting appointments - it is never too early to schedule - prebooking is welcomed!
If you are interested in purchasing product, you may set up an account through Bioelements and Crave directly or you may order through me. Benefits of ordering through the company directly is they are able to provide samples at no charge with each order! I order on the 15th of every month so if you are in need of product, I am glad to help you out!
Crave order link: http://www.craveskincare.com?afmc=66
Bioelements link: https://www.bioelements.com/
Refinery Schedule: https://www.refineryestheticsbar.com/schedule/?view=calendar&month=March-2018
Now get out there and tell someone how beautiful she is!
much love to you - enjoy your weekend!