A touchy subject for many people- your weight. I’ve heard it said that in the Western world, 60% of people are overweight, and 40% are clinically obese. When I first heard this I was amazed, and I just didn’t believe it. I thought the numbers were highly exaggerated and couldn’t possibly be true. So I downed tools and went out for a walk around my local town centre. Usually I would just go with my usual habit of looking in all the shop windows and maybe going inside some stores, trying things on – you know how it goes! This time I changed what I was doing and just looked at the people rather than the shops. And I was staggered – what I had heard was right! It was actually a huge shock. I hadn’t realised so many people had a problem.
And excess weight is a problem for anti aging. But oddly enough, so is being too thin. For different reasons! Ideally for anti aging, you want to be slim, fit and healthy. If you are too thin, you can look scrawny, and believe me that is not a good look! It can actually make you look older than you are, with thin skin, wrinkles, sunken cheeks, bony elbows and so on. You may be physically well health wise, but you may look much older, and that’s what we don’t want, right?
Too much weight – well that’s obvious. I don’t want to labour the point.
But for anti aging, you have two aims. One is to have a nicely balanced weight, that fits your height and suits your bone structure.
And the other – and this may surprise you – is to get there slowly and steadily.
You see, one of the most important thing to keep you young is in maintaining a steady weight. Health wise, you do a considerable amount of damage to your system by constantly yo-yo dieting – shrinking down rapidly with stringent dieting, then letting loose and ballooning up again to a much bigger weight over a short period of time. The body suffers.
It’s not just your health it adversely affects, it’s your whole anti aging lifestyle. As you balloon up, you stretch out your skin and may gain stretch marks. (this happened to me as a teenager). As you shrink rapidly down, you lose the fat (and possibly muscle), and to begin with the skin may shrink at a reasonable rate and catch up with your smaller body size, maintaining it’s smoothness. But each time you do this, the skin loses some elasticity, and eventually as you are in the shrink phase, you can be left with wrinkly skin on your face and neck, and sagging loose skin all over your body. With some people this effect is so pronounced the skin can never catch up with the new slimmer figure underneath, and they opt to have the excess hanging skin removed surgically.
So for both health and anti aging, the aim is to lose or gain weight to a happy size in a comfortable controlled way and then maintain that weight steadily over time. This way, the skin doesn’t get over stretched or left sagging and wrinkly.
If you have a healthcare professional helping you, fantastic! Especially if you have an eating disorder or a related health problem, you need this and don’t ever neglect it. But if for you it’s just a case of regular yo-yo dieting, then you can start to take charge in a much better way.
For me and my figure, it was a multi-disciplinary approach. I used hypnosis to reformulate my whole relationship with food. I read books on nutrition till I understood the principles much better. I joined a gym and took up weight training. I started walking a lot. I was lucky enough to find an excellent coach who encouraged and trained me. I improved my wardrobe so I wanted to show off my nice new clothes with a pretty new figure. I got a new hairstyle so I liked better what I saw in the mirror and that encouraged me. I did some personal development to get a happier outlook on life so I wasn’t eating through misery. Looking back, it was all a huge shift, but done one step at a time, in a slow and steady way, with a few sudden “aha!” moments along the way.
Later, with anti aging, it became skincare, facial and body treatments, haircare, different exercises, fun facial anti aging gadgets to try, supplements, and so on. Again, making one change at a time, letting it settle in, then moving on to the next one to try. Discarding what didn’t work, and keeping what did.
The tools I used may not be ones that appeal to you. But good health, figure control, and anti aging, are lifestyle things, not just something you do for 5 minutes at a time when you happen to think about it and you’ve got nothing better to do. So what I would say is, start somewhere. Work on your diet, your weight, size or shape, your attitudes, find what exercise and activities work for you, what advice helps you, what books to read, which coaches can help you. Don’t do it all at once, it’s too much. Do one thing, let it settle in to your lifestyle till it’s easy, then introduce the next change, and so on. Remember – slow and steady!
You’ll look in the mirror one day and be stunned by what you see! I showed one of my patients a picture of me I’d had on my hypnotherapy website years ago. She commented on how different I look today, and I laughed and said “that was ten years ago, I was a lot older then!”
Please do let me know what works for you, and what doesn’t! It’s a journey for us all, and we can all help and advise each other. Let’s get young together!