Is this mirror lying to me? A question I ask myself every morning as I get ready for the day, I look at my reflection and wonder who the hell is that woman looking back at me? Are my eyes really that baggy? Do I honestly have crows feet that large? Why is my skin falling south? Just to prove the mirror wrong I then get out my 20 x magnifying mirror and it confirms my fears that I look 20 times more haggard than I first thought! How many times have you started your day like this? With your positivity running out the door when realisation arrives because you can’t find the face or the body of the girl you hope will be looking back at you.
I now absolutely love skin care, but I never realised the real benefits until my early forties, before then it was soap and water and a flick over with a flannel (I know this face should be a whole lot worse but thankfully there are some reasonable skin genes somewhere in the family). There’s the science side to why we age as we do, from around the age of 25 our skin starts to produce less collagen and elastin in our dermis layer and over time lines and wrinkles start to form around the areas where we use the muscles more, notably the eyes and mouth, our skin tends to dehydrate more quickly (probably not helped because at a certain age we don’t want to drink too much water due to bladder issues!) We have less oestrogen so hairs sprout from the chin, we have usually incurred damage from the sun causing skin pigmentation and so the list of ageing facial ordeals goes on…!
Then there’s your hair, white hairs start to appear usually around the temples and hairline, hair is not grey there is no natural grey colour in hair, it is white, the follicle loses its natural melanin, it only looks grey as it grows next to a coloured hair. But those white hairs are wiry and unruly when they first grow that’s because the cuticle scales that protect the inner part of the hair become thickened so any colours you put on your hair don’t take as well because the white hairs are resistant, and pulling them out is a definite no, there’s no melanin so when the hair grows back out the follicle again it will still be white.
Our bodies change shape during peri, menopause and post menopause, with the falling levels of oestrogen the hormone in-balance within us our abdomen becomes thickened, it doesn’t help that during the peri and menopause stages we crave white sugary foods, and the thought of getting your body out to exercise is a daunting prospect.
With all that going on it’s no wonder we can feel less positively about ourselves and that’s before the mood swings from the hormone deficits and fluctuations kick in making us feel isolated, insecure about ourselves and our once outgoing personalities seem lost.
More than anything else when you look at that woman in the mirror you are looking at someone who has lived, is surviving and actually thriving. The odds of us being born are 1: 400, 000, 000, 000 that’s one in four hundred trillion, we truly are miracles. So we got here, we are on this planet, we have built a life, we can select the people we want in our life, and we hopefully have the freedom to choose how we deal with what happens to us. We can opt to eat more healthily to nurture our bodies, to go for that walk, swim, cycle, run or do a yoga class; use our hands to learn new skills when we feel we could not possibly learn anything new.
Yes the alcohol, unhealthy foods, work, stress, family, and most days paddling like crazy to keep your head above water all play their part in how that person in the mirror looks, but we have defied the odds to be born. So the mirror doesn’t lie but that gorgeous person reflected back at you in the mirror may not be the girl you once were with the skin and body you think you should still have, with your body parts all in the right places (youth is definitely wasted on the young!) but it’s you, the woman you are in your superb glory the one who has lived and still has plenty yet to give and learn.
Failing all of that Spanx, fillers and botox are always a plan B!
After chatting to a friend last night about the post, we talked about the loss of a friend of ours who was taken too young a few years ago t cancer, so remember we are the lucky ones we get to see the wrinkles and appreciate the memories our bodies give us.