I can’t count the number of women that say that they cannot believe that they’re 40, 50, 6o or even 70 because they feel like a 30 year-old! But, they wish they could look younger! You know when you catch sight of yourself in a weird or awful mirror (a bad fitting room – Ugggggggh!), or you’re about to snap a selfie and you catch sight of yourself (I’m talking neck and chin situation) at an unfortunate angle? I know, this can even happen to my 16 year-old daughter, but after a few years of going round the block, things change that we really wish did not, and we kind of can’t believe that the mirror isn’t reflecting back the young girl that many of us still feel is alive and kicking… and seriously ready to take on the world.
I’m lucky because my Mom is going to turn 80 next year, and she could easily pass for 60. I’m lucky because I have an inspiration (and decent genes), but I’m mostly lucky because she shows me how to look as young as I feel. So, I asked for her 5 top tips. She had to rack her brain because most of her charm and youthfulness comes from the fact that she rarely thinks about herself, but I prodded her. This is what she came up with.
Keep moving no-matter-what. My Mom lives an extremely active life. She rarely sits for more than 30 minutes at a time (unless she is at dinner), she takes two stairs at a time. She goes for long, strenuous walks with the dog (serious hills involved), and does the backbreaking work that only a strapping yard man in Los Angeles would do. She does Pilates twice a week, and a bit of yoga. My Dad (93) works out in the gym everyday, and plays a very hard form of Tennis (Real Tennis) twice a week. As a result he is the youngest 93 year-old I’ve ever met.
Moderation: They eat and drink in moderation. They are mostly vegetarian and eat a little meat and fish as a treat. They enjoy wine, chocolate, bread, and pasta but in MODERATION. My Mom’s philosophy is to be able to eat most of the foods she loves in moderation. She’s lucky because she lives in the bucolic English countryside where grass-fed beef (still challenging her on the meat thing!), is really grass-red (like grazing on the farm nearby), and most of her veggies are home-grown and organic. She eats a ton of fruit everyday and year round. She also eats tons of tomatoes, garlic, greens, beans, potatoes. And she really dislikes most processed and convenience food.
She laughs A LOT! Mom puts a lot of her youthfulness down to her sense of humor. She has a wickedly naughty and quite hilarious sense of humor. She surrounds herself with people who enjoy laughing together. She has a really strong sense of community in the village where she lives. I think her most endearing quality is that she has never taken herself too seriously.
She’s of service to everyone in her life. She’s always ready to see what she can put into every situation, and how she can be of help. This makes her feel useful, and feeling useful (and that your life has meaning), is more important than even she realizes.
She’s authentic. And I think this is the most important tip of the lot. She doesn’t call it “being authentic” – she just calls it being “herself”. She doesn’t try to be what she’s not, and ironically she’s NEVER tried to look a day younger than she actually is. And this is probably one of the main reasons why she has such a youthful spirit and demeanor…she just doesn’t ever think about her age. When I asked her how old she was last year, she honestly could barely remember.
I’m stepping in to add a Sophie/daughter tip here. She does suffer from a little arthritis. I’ve just got her on to green smoothies (even though she hates them), and encouraged her to cut her dairy consumption down by half. Her sporadic pain is already getting better!