I have spoken to many women in their 50’s who have reared families and worked hard at their careers whilst juggling time and family obligations as well as trying to manage themselves in the process.
The message I’m hearing is that women, particularly in their 50’s are genuinely tired and just worn out with life. It appears they’ve lost their sense of identity and struggle to regain some self-control.
But it is possible to re-develop your personal sense of self again, however in order to do so there has to be an element of selfishness involved.
I underst and that family is the most precious element of the complete package of how we live life but there’s no reason to put yourself last in the equation.
For women in their 50’s, we all remember how our Mothers worked hard at rearing which was sometimes very large families and whom had little time for themselves let alone dream of ever having a career. Subsequently their independence was eroded due to having to rely on the man of the house to provide financial support.
Thankfully those days are now long gone with women fulfilling careers and providing an independence unheard of years ago.
However, there is an inequality about the total running of the family / household whereby frequently the female in the home not only has to fulfil a career sometimes working very long hours, but she is also expected to have planned and budgeted for household groceries, university fees or paying household bills, and many women I have spoken with complain they have very little of their hard earned salaries left over at the end of the month to spend on themselves.
But isn’t it time that women did think beyond taking responsibility for “everything?” In my opinion all women and especially those in their 50’s need to do some soul searching by allowing themselves to finally live life. Play golf, go clothes shopping for yourself if that’s what you want to do. Have a massage or facial and not because someone else treated you for Christmas but because you want to do it for yourself. Doing something for yourself is not about being completely selfish, it’s more about thinking of yourself for a change. It’s about regaining your sense of self, or you could call it finding yourself again.
And I’m sure you’ll agree, there’s nothing wrong with that?
There’s no doubt about it, weight ages a person. Lots of people are of the belief that it has the opposite effect and that extra lbs. fill out the cracks and wrinkles making you look younger. Well I have to strongly disagree. I’ve had the opportunity to witness hundreds of clients reach their weight loss target over the years, many of those are women in their 50’s and it has to be said, they look fantastic when they lose excess weight.
If managed correctly weight loss shouldn’t make a person look gaunt or unhealthy. It should get rid of excess fat with no loss of muscle mass. On my programme it has often been commented by clients that they feel as if they are just a “reduced version” of themselves, and that’s the way weight loss should be.
Weight loss for people over 50 can have many health benefits, including reduced blood pressure and cholesterol, the alleviation of knee and back pain. Not to mention a potential reversal of type 2 diabetes.
Therefore there’s no reason why anyone over 50, let alone women including myself shouldn’t be capable of losing weight and feeling fantastic in the process.
The quest for youth is doubtless making companies billions of dollars, and largely in the form of expensive moisturisers. And it has to be said, I was a push-over for the “latest” product on the market. I’d think “this is it! This is the one that’s going to make me look 10 years younger, only to discover there was really no difference between a product which cost €300 and one which cost, say, €15. Sure enough, I did see a difference in the texture of my skin with the more expensive products. Certainly my skin was softer but it didn’t “reduce the signs of ageing” as the tag line suggests.
We’re all susceptible to the clever ways in which Ad agencies make us believe in a product. That’s their brief after all. And we desperately want to believe the enthusiastic sales person in some upmarket department store when they tell us this is the product “to the stars.” But I’ve tried the lot, the facials, the creams, and now in my 50’s I’m of the belief that in order to hold back the years you need to take good care of your skin (as last week’s blog suggests) and possibly consider a facial filler like Botox or Juvederm.
I started using Botox when I turned 40 and haven’t looked back. I wanted to freshen my appearance and to lose that tired washed out look we all suffer from occasionally, so I decided to research the product. There was a lot of negative connotations about Botox 10 years ago “It’s a poison,” “no one can tell what will happen in future if you use it” etc…but I have to say having used it for all these years, it’s the only product that has made my skin look 10 years younger, kept the wrinkles at bay and given me a more “rested appearance.”
A couple of things to be mindful of, though. Be very careful of whom you get to administer any facial fillers. There are people who really shouldn’t be practising and don’t have the experience that say a qualified medic would. Always check the medical credentials of whomever you choose. You don’t want to end up with that frozen look.
Also, once you experience what Botox or any facial filler can do for you it’s very difficult from keep getting it topped up. Be prepared for the cost factor here. However it’s not expensive compared to the amount of money wasted on moisturisers and facials and in my opinion it works.
I don’t intend this article to push any particular product but to date, and for me, there hasn’t been any other discernible breakthrough in anti-ageing treatments on the market that can actually deliver a younger looking appearance. So for that reason alone, I ‘m definitely an advocate. However as we’re all aware, it’s completely a personal choice.
It’s really important that you should take care of your skin from an early age. Just ask any of us who used “cooking oil” to tan in the 70’s! Frytex being the most popular oil of choice I believe. Hence why are we so surprised when, years later we find ourselves ageing at a rate of knots?
Needless to say the sooner you start thinking about skin protection the better. With so many ways to tan there’s really no necessity to tan in the sun at all. Or at the very least, sun-tan for a maximum of 15minutes.
There are a few basic rules I swear by that have stood the test of time for me. In my late 30’s I started using factor 50 on my face. And not just whilst in the sun. I used it, and still do as my daily base to replace a regular moisturiser. There are lots of creams with SPF’s, but I use a complete sun block all year round. So if you’re not protecting your face from the sun and are approaching or are over 50 then start doing so.
Water is very important for keeping skin hydrated and we often underestimate its importance. My clients are aware that I advocate water for weight loss but it’s also essential for keeping skin clear. Personally if I don’t have two litres per day my skin visibly takes on a parched look. An adequate amount of water plumps the skin making it look younger.
Alcohol is another huge factor in the skin ageing process. The amount we consume plus lack of water during the drinking process results in skin becoming dehydrated, resembling a paper-like appearance, not to mention acquiring the appearance of enlarged pores bringing about that familiar leathery aged look.
Needless to say smoking is absolutely a “no go” option if you’re serious about trying to keep your skin healthy and looking fresh through to your latter years. Smoking ages the skin like nothing else.
Sugar is also extremely ageing. Unfortunately sugar is in most foods these days however it’s not only harmful from a weight management perspective but hugely important for keeping skin clear.
These are simple yet very effective steps everyone can take in order to give your skin the best possible chance of maintaining a youthful appearance well in to your 50’s and beyond, and these are some tips that have worked well for me. Wearing a high factor sunscreen, drinking lots of water, cutting down on alcohol and refraining from smoking are all very important factors in reducing the risk of accelerated ageing.
Reaching the age of 50 nowadays doesn’t have to be all bad! In fact I’m having an absolutely great time. I feel younger and more confident now than when I was in my 20’s! The same goes for all of my friends who are living life to the full and not “giving up on themselves.”
A lot has to do with career independence. Women are working well in to their 60’s before they even consider retirement. And it’s a good thing too because our pensions won’t sustain the lifestyle we’re currently used to. I know of more women my age now who are starting their own businesses, or changing careers and seeking promotions in the workplace.
Attitude is another major factor. We have a younger outlook on life than say our Mothers who were mostly rearing lots of children. They really had no time for a life outside the family home.
We have more financial freedom than our Mums ever did. The best piece of advice my own Mum and indeed many of my friends Mums gave was to have your own bank account to that of your partners, and to this day we do.
It’s true that women in their 50’s are taking control of their lives, taking care of themselves, and thoroughly enjoying their independence.
So over the next few weeks I’ll be blogging about what it is that women in their 50’s are doing to keep themselves from going stale. I’ll be interviewing lots of women and discovering how they keep themselves looking and feeling wonderful and also how they’re embracing a healthier lifestyle which enhances their self-confidence and self-esteem.