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Ageing Gracefully

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

Ageing is a privilege - and yet in so many areas of society it's seen as something undesirable. Or at least we seem to want to grow old, but we don't want to show the visible signs of ageing. 

It doesn't really make sense, does it?

How about we view the lines on someone's face as badges of honour instead of something to be hidden?

If we imagine that every line was hard won. Each tells a story. A tale of joy, of sorrow, of love, hard work. 

If we consider it this way, why would we want to get rid of the lines on our faces? 

If you think about nature. For example, a  tree, if we cut open a tree we see the rings, beautifully etched into the bark. A heartwarming story of every season and year the tree has survived. We don't see that as a negative. 

So, why is there such prejudice against ageing in humans? It's in all elements of society.

The media plays a huge role in that, as does celebrity culture, and the beauty industry, where there is a huge interest in selling us the idea that we are not enough.

And what role models do we have?

It's not always easy to find celebrities who let nature take its course, when it comes to ageing.

Obviously, being in the public eye, there is an exceptional amount of scrutiny, and many celebrities find it almost impossible to show signs of ageing.

It's understandable to a large extent - I mean, who would want to be the person pictured on the front of the magazine or as the next click bait headline.

The media loves a comparison: "shock, horror, look how much they've aged since they became...erm...older!".

So, celebrities go to any length to hide their real age - and with huge disposable incomes to hand and a team of people at their service, those things are perfectly within their reach. 

Of course, there are some celebrities who are notable for rejecting the status quo and always have done. 

The likes of Helen Mirren, Just Dench, Helena Bonham Carter -  to name a few. 

Courtney Cox who played Monica in Friends has recently come out and said she wishes that she hadn't started having treatments and she can't believe that she began having botox in her 20s. 

Now, she looks back and thinks "what was I doing?" And she makes the point that with the treatments she was having, she experienced gradual changes meaning that she couldn't tell what it was doing to her face.

Sadly, it was probably the media that pointed that out to her. 

I remember the articles, they ran about how much she had changed and what she'd done to her face and it's like people can't win. The media will always go after them. 

I think that makes ageing a really, really difficult thing for celebrities to accept, but it's a really difficult thing for all of us to accept. I don't find it easy. 

But it's something that I have come to accept, and more than that, have come to embrace because I am proud of the years I have served on this planet and I am proud to show the world who I am.

There was a time when I thought of getting botox, a few years ago in my late thirties. I chose not to ultimately, for a variety of reasons. I am embracing the changes that the years have brought and actually like seeing the signs of ageing because it reminds me of how I earned those stripes, and how grateful I am to be here.

Acceptance has been a process, and one that hasn't been easy. I understand what drives the desire to look younger because these messages about how we should look are all around us constantly.

I just feel overall that what we should do if we feel the need to change our appearance, then we must question our motives for making changes, and if it's to please ourselves, because it's what we want and believe in and it makes us happy then of course, that's brilliant.

However, if it's because of worrying about what other people think, or trying to compete with someone who's younger or because our worth is tied up in being told that we look younger than our age or if it's some kind of age dysmorphia whereby we are never satisfied with our look, then that's not good.  And certainly won't bring happiness.

But it's a really difficult one because there is a huge huge pressure. Ageing has become one of the last taboos. 

There are cultures and societies where signs of ageing and indeed mature members of society are revered and worshipped and seen as great sources of wisdom. 

I firmly believe that's how we should be viewing our more mature members; a good sense of respect for the wisdom that they have and for the paths of life that have been trodden and worn, and the experiences that they have to share.

Equally younger people and midlife people should be listened to and respected - everybody has valid experiences.

It just seems that people who show signs of ageing start to experience a bit of an uphill climb, and they shouldn't have to. It makes no sense. 

So, what can we do about it? How can we embrace ageing and love the skin we are in?

Look after your physical health. 

Taking part in regular exercise and finding an exercise you enjoy is of benefit to your body and your mind. Being physically active, and incorporating functional movements, resistance & balance training into your routine can 

reduce the impact of ageing on our physical health and help us to be as healthy as we can be. 

And in turn, you can actually experience changes to your appearance, your skin, your hair, your nails, your teeth, will all benefit. 

When you look after yourself with health goals in mind, you can create holistic changes in your life. This is in contrast to setting unachievable goals such as trying to look 25 years old forever. 

Nourish your body.

Make sure that you are putting into your body what you want to get out from it. The midlife and beyond is a great time to reassess habits and to ensure that you are taking care of yourself in the best way. Time to ditch the fad diets, poor body image, and rollercoaster of weight loss and gain, and create lasting, healthy and achievable connections with food. Most importantly, create a focus on health outcomes rather than weight.

Another thing we can do is to spend more time learning new things and doing what we love. It's worth taking the time to find something that we really like what we enjoy. New hobbies or new experiences, or things you have tried and loved in the past - it's never too late in life to learn something.

Go out and help in community groups if you have the time and the desire to make a difference to others. If you have the time and the inclination and would like to give something back, this can be a way to find meaning and purpose. It can also be a way to gain work experience if you're considering a career change.

Connect with others.

Whether that's old friends, family members, work colleagues, reach out. Say "hi", send them a message. I really recommend it.

There are many things that we can do to show our love of ageing.

So hold your head up high and fly the flag for being proud of aging. 

Because, If we go out there and set an example, with confidence, and love our lines and creases for what they represent, then we can take back the narrative. 

Eleanor Mills (Noon) coined the excellent term "Queenagers" to describe ladies at the midlife and beyond. 

So come on people, it's really okay to grow old gracefully. We can celebrate our maturity. Be proud to be a Queenager.

More than that. Go out there. Fly the flag. 

Have fun. Love who you are. Every day is a blessing.

Learn to embrace the changes. Your body will keep changing. And that's ok.

You're here, you have the chance to live. 

Don't waste your time worrying about what other people think about how you should look, and feeling you need to spend extortionate amounts of money on anti-ageing treatments - because you'll have to go and spend the same amount of money or more again. 

Learn to love yourself and live for the beautiful, wise soul you are right now, go and look in the mirror and tell yourself everything you have come through. Every battle you have won.

Tell yourself:

 "I love you. I love who you are and i'm going to make the best of every moment because every moment I have is precious."

So go on. Don't waste one more second. Go out there and have some fun. 

If you enjoyed this blog post, please listen to my

🌱Live Yourself Better podcast episode 'Ageing Gracefully'. Available on Spotify and Amazon Music.

As a personal trainer and perimenopause and menopause specialist, I can work with you to create a tailored exercise and nutrition plan to meet your needs.

Why not get in touch for a free, informal chat and we can discuss your needs, goals, and how we could work together.

Best wishes


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