It's no secret that aging is a natural process. However, the way we age is largely up to us. Do we brace for it and fight against the signs of aging, or do we embrace it and take care of ourselves as best as possible? Let's explore some of the pros and cons of both approaches so you can make the decision that is right for you.
Brace for Aging
The brace for aging approach is supported by the idea that it is normal and natural to want to look younger than one's actual age, and maintaining a youthful appearance can help us feel confident about ourselves. The brace for aging approach also offers plenty of ways to fight against the signs of aging, from using multiple anti-aging creams, getting filler injections, exercising, eating a balanced diet, etc...
On the flip side, brace for aging is not without its drawbacks. A woman should never feel pressured to look younger than she actually is. And there are some dangers associated with a brace for aging, such as putting harmful chemicals on one's skin or having invasive procedures are done that can cause injury and scarring. Or worse, having work done and being unrecognizable. How many of us have looked at women who have had "too much work done" and thought "hmmm....maybe less is more".
The embrace aging approach is based on the belief that everyone ages differently and there is no one right way to do it. Embracing aging also acknowledges that wrinkles and other signs of aging are a natural part of life. This theory doesn't necessarily mean we need to "let ourselves go", rather it means we don't have to obsess about every calorie we put into our bodies or count the calories we burn each time we exercise or get expensive and painful treatments that may not even help. If we embrace aging, we can focus on living a healthy and happy life, instead of trying to look like we're still in our 20s.
Embrace aging also has its own set of pros and cons. On the plus side, embracing aging means accepting yourself for who you are - both inside and out. It also allows you to focus on enjoying life and living in the moment, rather than worrying about things you can't control. However, embracing aging also has its downsides. It can be hard to let go of our youth and all that comes with it. And sometimes accepting ourselves means facing difficult truths, such as the fact that we are getting older and cannot do the same things we did when we were younger. Our bodies have changed and continue to change. We know that some of these changes can be unpleasant and unwanted, but some can also be liberating. Not getting a period anymore can be a relief for many who had an unpredictable cycle. Many women I know have decided to embrace their grey and are no longer slaves to their hair appointments. This, for some, has been the most liberating experience of aging!
When I was in my 20's and 30's I ran marathons and competed in triathlons. I had a pretty rigid training schedule that I stuck to every day. Somewhere in my late 30's I discovered running for fun...as a social activity. I began running with girlfriends each morning. This was our time to catch up with each other without having our children or spouses around. I began to run for myself. Today, I have moved away and sadly no longer have those girlfriends to run with. Today I often exercise alone. But I no longer run for the competition, or to burn the calories...today I like to say I exercise for chocolate. It is the push-pull between trying to fight the aging process and embracing it. I am not who I was, I am who I am...
So, brace for aging or embrace aging? It's up to you! The most important thing is that you do what feels right for you and make sure you find a way to have a healthy relationship with who you are.