Aging Well Without Botox or Plastic Surgery

Posted: January 24, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

So This is What 60 Feels Like

 

IMG_3874 Mid December

 

Photo on 2012-01-06 at 13.29

Though saying what I am about to say means having to admit to what I am about to say, for the purposes of this blog, (sigh) I will admit that I am 60.

I lied. I’m actually 61. The reason I have a hard time announcing the fact that I am 60 is because 60 sounds sooooooo old. Being 60 means understanding gravitational pull, and oh, do I understand gravity. Read The Butt Race into Old Age: Fighting Gravity for some insight.

Sadly, being in a low financial bracket means having no money to get Botox, face lifts, or liposuction. No, for me and others my age who want to look better, looking better requires some necessary skills in accepting the fact that we are 60, that we are middle aged, and that we are closer to statistical death than we were 20 years ago.

But even at 61, I don’t FEEL old. I honestly thought that when I got to this age, I would feel like a shriveled prune. I don’t. When I’m not suffering from respiratory problems, I feel vibrant and energetic and still filled with hope.

How old is old anyway? At 61 I don’t feel the way I thought I would feel at 61. Perhaps because I’ve always had back problems, the aches and pains I feel are familiar. My energy level hasn’t dissipated. Does lack of energy define age? How about white hair? I used to wear mine proudly until I got cancer and lost it all. When it grew back in, it was the texture of straw. It didn’t look old – it looked like something the birds would pluck to add sparkle to their nests.

So if it’s not the way I feel that defines my age, it must be the way I look. Let’s start with the butt. Who doesn’t notice a sagging butt? Mine used to be described as a bubble butt, but some of the air has leaked out of it, because while it doesn’t look hideous, because I’ve been exercising, it’s still not “up” to par. What I used to do to keep it perky was to tighten the muscles when I thought about it, stand up and pull my legs up behind my back by holding my ankles, jog in place for a minute or two (after I let go of my legs ;), and walk laps around my kitchen island and living room wall in an 8 pattern.

Last year, when I actually turned 60, I took up lawn mowing. It took me several days to complete the task, but lucky for me, I have a lawn that has more holes than a golf course in random spots throughout the yard, and my front yard is on a slant, which makes lawn mowing so much more fun. To make this exercise really “kick butt,” however, because I live on a corner, I actually mow two front yards, because with over 2,000 square feet in my home, the yard surrounding my home is considerable. YAY me!

Despite the work I’ve been doing to improve my looks, the tummy is an ongoing problem. I spent three months one year doing sit-ups every day and NOTHING – I repeat NOTHING worked. As a matter of fact my stomach protruded more AFTER three months, so I quit.

My biggest problem was – HOLD ON – if you have a weak stomach you may not want to read the rest of this paragraph – that though I gave birth to four beautiful children, I pushed so hard with the third child that I pushed my uterus out over my pubic bone. I had to wear a wrap around my tummy for several months after my third and fourth children were born, because the pain was so unbearable. (Maybe I should continue to wear one.) Sadly, my tummy never recovered after I destroyed all the muscles.

So I know my tummy will never be flat, but I also know that I hold a lot of FAT around my tummy and THAT is what I want to get rid of. My kids got me a BOSU ball one Christmas and I use it occasionally when I’m home, mostly to stretch my back. I’m hardly ever home, though, and the grandkids have bounced most of the air out of it. Note to self: fill BOSU ball.

I lift 10 pound kettlebells 12 times on each arm and I recently added to my agenda one particularly harrowing exercise – lunging. My Marine son taught me how to do them properly. The first day I lunged, I almost fell to the ground. Lunging HURTS! And then I broke my toe. At least I think I broke my toe. It’s been several months now and I still can’t bend it, and I also can’t lunge well anymore (darn), so stretching has become my friend.

Another obvious sign of aging is the eyebrow. If you’ve ever really looked at old people, you will see that shaggy white or gray eyebrows make a person look years older than he or she feels. To avoid that aged look, I dye mine, and it makes a HUGE difference in giving my face a more youthful appearance.

The next problem on my “to do” list is repairing the jowls on my face. While they haven’t disappeared completely (yet), they have tightened up a little. Ever since I turned 29, I have exercised my face every time I wash it, morning and night. Recently though I noticed jowls beginning to form and I quickly looked for ways to help rid myself of the ugly protrusions.

Thanks to my own regimen – with a little bit of added help from YouTube instructions on how to rid myself of jowls (just go to YouTube and enter “how to get rid of jowls”) – I have figured out a way to rejuvenate my face! While my face is still moist, I open my mouth wide, tilt my head back and form a coyote howl with my mouth. I repeat the process of opening my mouth wide 30 times and every third time I perform the coyote howl.

Best way to get rid of those jowls while you’re still exercising them away? Laugh! A lot! As soon as your cheeks rise, the jowls disappear!

I have included photos for you to see the amazing transformation between the before and after. OK, I exaggerate. They’re not so amazing, but I can see (and feel) a difference. Before I started the exercise, I could run a finger along my jaw line and feel a bulge. But now it’s disappearing!

Eating right is not always possible, but I try to eat well, and I’m conscious of those times when I fail to eat the right foods. I’m not a sweet lover, so eating nutritious foods is easy for me. I also drink lots of water and, when I have them, I put lemon slices into my drink. Every morning I have either a veggie omelet or a breakfast smoothie. I posted ingredients for the smoothie in my blog, Breakfast Smoothie For Kids Who Hate Breakfast (click the link if you want to read it).

Despite everything I am doing to improve my body’s condition, I am STILL trying to overcome that turkey neck look. I’ve been using moisturizer for many years but recently I have employed the use of sunscreen as well, even when I’m not in the sun. And maybe I’m under some kind of delusion, but I think it’s working. I’m taking a wait-and-see approach. If it doesn’t work as well as I hope it will, I may have to walk around with my hand covering my neck at all times or move to a colder climate so I can wear turtlenecks every day. Scarves help to hide the flaw, but in summer? NO! Now I know why a lot of older people wear turtle necks. OH NO! It just occurred to me – I AM an older person – YIKES!

I have also heard that Tretinoin (Retin-A) is effective in dealing with “turkey neck,” but it seems awfully expensive, so I’ll continue to look for other remedies. In the meantime, I feel I’ve come up with a solution for some of my aging problems, and I hope they have helped you.

And there you have it – words of wisdom from a 60-year-old – ahem – 61-year-old – trying to look – and feel – better as she ages.

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Comments
  1. I guess this is what a “collective consciousness” is all about … I thought of the very same theme for an article myself to give the younger set the real down & dirty look at aging. I told my husband we will love this year of our lives because when we are 80 or 90 we’ll think 47 and 48 were pretty young! I feel like you do – inside I feel like the same “me” I’ve always been. I still like to get a running start in the grocery store parking lot and ride the cart as far as it will roll. I still like bubble gum & gummi bears!! On the flip side, facial hair is a battle, when I tweeze, I wonder to myself who will help me when I can’t see it or my hands aren’t nimble enough to do it? Will I have a bunch of 1 – 3″ wild hairs on my face and neck? Who will dye my hair for me? Or shave my legs? Ah, gravity – I had four children, too, and I have that crepe-paper kind of tummy – so in a bikini, I’m a mummy! Oh well. And the butt thing you mentioned, so glad to see it here! I’ve noticed at 40+ a lot of women start to get triangle butt, where it’s wide at the top, and tapers down to a point, hence the triangle! I started to get one this time I lost weight, and I was mortified! I used to have the Kim K-Beyonce_JoLo booty back when those big round booties were not in style and the pancake a&$ was! I liked my butt though, and I never imagined it would morph like that! So I’ve been working it hard, squats too, and it’s re-inflating thank God! lol! Other things I’m seeing is brown age spots, more “crepe paper” skin on back of hands, arms, and legs when I bend certain ways, and dark circles under eyes in photos. We can only do so much as far as eating clean, drinking water, and exercising, and beyond that, I have to learn to love me and accept that this darn human vessel isn’t built for long term use. Great article here! 🙂

    • theresawiza says:

      Crepe paper – I never thought to describe my aging skin in those terms – apt visual. I found out recently that I’m having two more great grandbabies later this year. Part of me wants to give myself permission to look “grandmotherly,” but the bigger part of me says, why not act and be the kind of grandmother I want to be without adhering to any preconceived notions about what a grandmother is supposed to look like/act like. Like you, I’m proud of the way I’m taking care of myself. I had that J-Lo butt too. Let’s pump it up!

  2. I’m always looking for my lost youth… I am the same age as you. I grieved so long, still do at times for the ‘younger me’… I ‘search’ in the mirrors for ‘me’… I might get a glimpse… once in a while. :)))

  3. As far as I’m concerned you and your sisters have always been beautiful, no matter what age you all are.

    • theresawiza says:

      And you’re not even a little bit prejudiced, are you? If anybody is reading the comments on this blog, I’d like to introduce you to my mother, who I aspire to look like when I’m her age. Now HERE is somebody who takes care of herself!

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