My entire life has been a struggle with weight. I like chocolate, french fries and late night pizza. In my 40s, I have discovered that you must increase your exercise regimen and decrease your food intake, unless you are genetically blessed.
This is so much easier said than done.
Drink water, skip the soda—even diet soda! Sugar-free gum has become a best friend, along with my trainer and a great deal of willpower. My family history of high blood pressure and diabetes haunt me, because these are clubs I do not want to join. I exercise seven days a week obsessively and at 5’6” am 133 pounds, wanting to be 120. I am sort of at peace but not really. At a size four or six I know I need to calm down. But I will not!
This needs critical self-assessment. If you cannot be objective, consult a board-certified dermatologist. The best time to fight frown lines, hair on the chin, dark circles and a sagging face is early. Simple techniques like not rubbing your eyes, wearing an SPF 30 sunblock daily, not losing and gaining a lot of weight constantly and using moisturizers, anti-aging serums, lasers for hair removal or a little Botox® can go a long way. Fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra) add volume to a sagging face and can make one look years younger.
Understand though, that one person’s face ages very differently from the next. Do not over-pluck your eyebrows or pick at your pimples. Focus on your strengths in your physical appearance and highlight them. And get more sleep—you will feel and look better rested.
Update yourself. Dark lip liner and shag haircuts are no longer in style. Again, if you cannot be objective, seek help from a stylist, or just an honest friend. Go through your closet once every six months and give extra things to Goodwill. Concentrate on looking classic and timeless, not trendy and soon-to-be-outdated. If the outfit does not fit, do not wear it! Glasses, shoes, handbags and even workout clothes should not look like antiques (even if they are).
Use your resources, if you have them. There are millions of Americans who have health insurance but never go visit their doctors. We doctors are not so bad and we can and will keep your body fine-tuned. Routine check ups are essential from your internal medicine doctor, your cardiologist, your dermatologist, your opthamologist and your ob-gyn, among others. And for Pete’s sake (and your own sake), if you smoke: QUIT! I recommend acupuncture, hypnosis, the nicotine patch and Chantrix or Wellbutrin to help stop smoking. Exercise at least four days a week with weights and cardio for at least 45 minutes. Like Nike says, “Just do it." Exercise boosts your circulation, your mood and your agility. It helps control your blood pressure and your weight.
We ignore this aspect of ourselves, as it is difficult to quantify. This is a challenge, and an area many feel a void in. Read books, speak to trusted friends, meditate, pray and check out different religious venues. Always remember that faith and religion can be areas that can enhance your energy and your life force. Also remember to be careful so you are not taken advantage of by false prophets and bad people. Your life path should offer meaning, purpose and peace. Everyone deserves to find these things. The bottom line is that you need to make yourself a priority. Volunteer for the charity of your choice. Charitable giving enhances your life and the lives of others. Give back.
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