When I was young, I feared growing older because I was led to believe that feeling tired, getting wrinkled, and gaining weight were an automatic by-product of aging. I spent many hours of my young life worried about the “inevitable.” If only someone had told me that it just wasn’t so! And truth be told, I was an overweight child, I felt horrible most of the time, and I was plagued with skin problems. Looking back now, I realize that my poor diet and lack of exercise were at the core of my condition. Yes, at times I do meet people who tell me that they had such a great figure when they were younger, lots of energy, and flawless skin. Because of just naturally having these traits, many of them never realized that in time it would take effort to maintain these things. And they see it slipping away. Like the tortoise and the hare, a steady endeavor will always pay off and put you ahead.
Most of us would agree that many things get better in time…experience serves us well, the lows aren’t as low because we’ve learned resilience, and our confidence level increases. It’s just the signs of aging that we don’t want to see! While it is true that we are all technically “aging,” the good news is that the body does want to repair itself. Proper nutritional support and sleep are essential to this repair process.
Habits and lifestyle definitely play a role in the aging of our skin. For example, excessive sun exposure, smoking, and poor diet will accelerate the way the skin ages. And, ladies, it’s also imperative to wash off your makeup before bed if you want beautiful skin. Bacteria and pollutants can get trapped in your pores and cause breakouts and other rashes. When you sleep, your skin goes through a renewing process and needs to absorb oxygen. If the pores are blocked by dirt or makeup, your skin cells are deprived and the collagen in your skin breaks down. Collagen helps keep the skin firm and free of deep wrinkles. Also, many foods offer support to destroy free radicals which attack healthy skin cells.
Many of us have been faced with trying to lose the weight that somehow just creeps up on us over the years. Not really paying attention to what we are eating, adding a few holiday pounds that we never really drop, and combining it with not getting enough sleep will lead to increased body fat. Lack of sleep drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Also, ghrelin levels rise, which means your appetite is stimulated. The two combined can set the stage for overeating. Time goes by with this pattern and weight gain occurs.
So is it really “aging” or neglect over time? No matter where you find yourself on your anti-aging journey, learning to make healthy choices will prevent many of the conditions that we have come to think of as aging. And thankfully, many signs of aging and health issues are reversible! As it’s been said, “Knowledge is power.” And when it comes down to the age-old question of how to turn back the clock…the answer is that it takes a plan of action along with a consistent effort to support your body to rejuvenate, reenergize, and renew.