Reverse aging: sign me up!
A friend of mine who I have not seen in person for four years said point blank: “You are aging in reverse. Please tell me what you’re doing because I want to look like that!”
Well, ah… thankyouverymuch! I will keep that compliment in my pocket for a rainy day…
No but, thank you, friend. 😊 That’s really cool to hear.
While there is some fossilization to expect by the age of (nearly) 42, I’ve found there are some magical qualities about aging, too. With age, you seem to become less encumbered by triggers that have make you instantly cry uncle (or CRY) throughout your entire life. You can FINALLY save your fucks (as in, “I give zero fucks”, fucks) for truly worthwhile moments and pursuits. The butterfly eventually emerges from its cocoon; the zitty prepubescent transforms into an intellect-wielding megababe; and the horse could turn into a magical unicorn (IF YOU BELIEVE!!!), etc. All the things!
Gravity is not kind, but age can be surprisingly so. Having two parents who bequeathed a very favorable DNA chessboard to me—and who were definitely hotter at 40 than in their early 20s— BELIEVE ME, beautifying while aging happens a lot more than you think! However, the real truth serum behind DNA: it’s just an inanimate, apathetic, chessboard. At first, it’s shiny as a Washington apple, and cute as a puppydog… until you trample it with your craptastic habits just one too many times. In my 20s, cigarettes and diners were my refuge. In my grad school days, I thought champagne and olives could and should be a meal. In my early career days, I was, “coffee and wine all d time (if there are no cigs around)”. How am I still here?!!?
And so, to my very lovely friend who complimented me on pulling off some unicorn-style (haaaaay 😉) “reverse aging”, I answer: “THANK YOU 😊, but” it took a few years (and a lot of strategy) to disabuse myself of those cloying, clogging, damage-manufacturing habits, and to start the righteous babe habits I (try hard to) live by today.
Horse blinders, b’gone!! Long-term damage to your one and only self ultimately suxx. Trust: you will come to regret poor decisions made at 21, that then stayed rent-free on your couch until you finally kicked ‘em to the curb at 38! If you wanna start to grow back those telomeres, long and strong like lotus root, here are six suggestions for a proper strategy:
1) Vigorously sweat a few times a week: In 2005, Matthew McConaughey famously shared his fount, “My rule is to break one sweat a day”. Primal AF as this sentiment is, I pocketed that nugget back then and started to live by it a few years ago.
How to consistently sweat 😉: Try 3-4 sessions/ week of high-intensity exercise, 40-50 minutes each time; you know, the kind that leaves your face beet red.
Workouts: spinning, stairmaster intervals, SolidCore-style reformer. Get your sweat on and your skin will gleam like dew on a leaf.
2) Go to bed “Grandma-Early” most nights: My friend Sylvia, who’s got a couple of years and kids on me (like anyone would EVER know that!), and I have a lil secret — most nights, we are countin sheep by 8:30pm! Getting a full, unadulterated night of gorgeous sleep turns the toxic landscape on your face into a beautiful glittery salt flat… overnight!
How do I get myself to sleep that early?: For those who have done significant damage to your sleeping habits over the years (ahem… MYSELF), try melatonin (3mg pills for decent sleepers; 10mg for horribly messed up sleepers like me), an herbal supplement that actually helps you to stay asleep!
Say quesooooo!: Sylvia (the gorgeous blonde) ain’t no grandma yet, but she has the good sense to go to bed early like one!
3) Sweat out/ Water in: Rinse and repeat. It’s easy to be forgetful about this one, but WATER IS LIFE. Because first you sweat out the toxins, then you replace them with water. Telomeres grow exponentially with water, shrivel with coffee and wine… rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. WATER IS LIFE!
How can I remember to drink that much water: Try carrying around a sizeable (32ox) water bottle, drink and refill at least once throughout your amazing day 😊
4) Stop furrowing that brow: Say NO to ugly-stress. It’s sometimes unavoidable. The ugly side of life gets to you, nesting right there in your upper forehead, that “figure 11” between-the-eyes area. You have to really make an effort NOT to let the ugliness you see around you (think: elections; people trash-talking you; being asked to do the same task over and over and yet never impressing your boss; dealing with unsatisfactory relationships and/ or experiences on dating apps) find its way onto your beautiful, inquisitive, open face.
How: Schedule walks away from your desk; give yourself a facial massage when the stress starts to creep in; take deep active breaths. AS MANY TIMES AS YOU NEED TO!
5) Masks, acids, creams… yup: Don’t worry, they are a “treat” for me too. 2-3 times a week, I apply a masque and let it sit there for at least 40 minutes. It’s my Face Time and nothing is more important.
Which Ones? Anything with hyaluronic acid is great, AND you can even apply hyaluronic acid on a regular basis at a low cost! Yes, I’ve tried lasers, peels, and they are awesome! But for the day-to-day, TRUST in the elements. Hylauronic acid is it!
6) STOP.CARING.ABOUT.WHAT.OTHERS.THINK: Listen, I know I alluded to this already in #4 but really—please listen to me on this one. There is not a single person who remembers you didn’t get that promotion five years ago. Nor does anyone care or judge for more than one hot second that you didn’t get invited to dine or party with the elites. No one goes to bed wondering how you were truly single for eight months or eight years, despite that many more people than you think stay single for long periods.
You said something dumb once. You goofed at work once. You got into an argument with a person in your work space once. Let the dust settle and wipe it off. Trust me: No one worthwhile is spending their precious time on earth contemplating your fuck-up, plotting your demise with popcorn at the ready (laaaaaame) and so, neither should you be imagining that they are!
Til next time,
(all of the above!)