The Heck With Aging Gracefully

‘Aging gracefully’ – what does that really mean?  Generally speaking, it refers to those who accept the physical changes that come with aging without putting in much effort to reduce or overcome them.  These folks ‘embrace the gray’, they accept the pounds that creep on over the years, and they dress with comfort as the top priority.  If living life to the fullest is a goal, I suggest rethinking this approach and committing to the efforts of looking your best. The benefits might surprise you…

Let’s suppose you try something different – maybe you color your hair, join a gym, commit to eating a healthier diet, update your wardrobe, perhaps even get a bit of Botox. You think the only benefit will be how you look?  Think again. There will be a significant effect on how you feel.  Not only will you feel more energetic from a healthier lifestyle, but when you look in the mirror I’m willing to bet it puts a smile on your face. Your reflection is no longer the tired woman in stretchy pants and flat shoes, it’s a vibrant, fit, and stylish woman who is ready for   adventure, whatever that may mean to you. 

Looking good leads to feeling good, yet that’s not all – there is another benefit that cannot be denied.   The world will treat you differently. Today’s society, more than ever before, is so very careful not to be discriminatory, but instead to ‘embrace’ everything when it comes to physical appearance. While this is an admirable philosophy, as visual beings it is unavoidable that looks do matter. Your overall appearance does affect how people perceive you, like it or not.  It is one way that we judge character, our safety, and obviously, sexual chemistry. How you present yourself to the world with grooming and dressing is essentially your ’book cover’, a way that you are communicating with others, sending a message about who you are, your values, even what your intentions may be.  Isn’t this worth some effort? Do you really want your ‘book cover’ to be ‘Woman Who Loves Sofa?  

Let me be clear – it is not every gray-haired person, or every ‘curvy’ body that conveys ‘Woman Who Loves Sofa’.  Surely you can think of that stunning gray or white-haired woman, or a full-figured gal that always looks fabulous by putting effort and attention into style, makeup, and how clothing fits.  Looking one’s best encompasses all shapes and sizes, all colors, and all ages. What I find so bothersome is the ‘giving up’, the diminished interest and lack of effort that often comes with aging. 

The amount and type of effort that one decides to commit to can vary tremendously, and is always a personal choice.  But nothing of value in life comes without some effort.  Our careers, relationships, children, our homes, athletic pursuits – any successful outcome requires ongoing effort.  As we age, it definitely requires significant effort to look your best, but the rewards are ongoing, plentiful, and life-enhancing. 

As a 64-year-old woman, aging gracefully is clearly not for me.  Putting in the effort to be fit not only contributes to my confidence on the beach, it also allows me to carry my suitcase up three flights of stairs when the escalator at Amtrak is broken.  As for hair, I will not be joining the ranks of ‘silver sisters’ – covering my gray hair every three weeks is something I plan to continue for years because gray is not a flattering color – heck, I don’t even embrace gray sweaters!  And speaking of sweaters, no oversized, comfy clothes for this gal. While my business attire is always professional, after hours the high heels and leather pants come out.  Aging disgracefully is way more fun!  😉

Would love to hear YOUR thoughts! Please share under COMMENTS and remember…

Work hard. Play hard. Enjoy every day.

Candy

Candy Costas

14 Comments

  1. I also work hard to maintain a youthful and vibrant appearance . I am fortunate to share my love of exercise, cardio and especially strength training , by teachng fitness classes. Fitness allows one to do the things they love to do ( dance, hiking, snow shoeing, cycling, swimming, tennis etc, etc) rather than let go of these actvities . So often I hear of friends who have given up an activity they enjoyed because it became ‘too hard’ or fear of getting injured. We ‘give up’ so quickly and before you know it , you have become less and less active. Physical thearpy is a instrumental tool in regaining strength, but you have to commit to doing the exercises on your own. We need to stay motivated and committed to getting better, to ‘feeling our best’. Staying motivated to ‘looking our best’ can also be a challenge. Its just easier to cut our hair short, let it go grey and wear basic glasses, Yes, its easier, but we also become somewhat invisable. and I fear we also feel that way. I make note of anyone of a mature age who looks youthful . The things I see in common are, attractive rather bold jewelry, stylish mid length hair, clothes that fit and have a shape to them, stylish glasses, moderate makeup. All this takes work and commitment , but not enjoying about how you feel and look can also work against you, psychologically and physically. How we enjoy our capabilities is empowering…empowered rather than defeated !

    • I very much enjoy seeing you being active and youthful on FB! You bring up some good points here; one, how important it is to stay motivated/committed to being fit, and two, how “not enjoying” how you look and feel can work against you. Once you get over the hump, once you see/feel that it is possible, then you start to ENJOY it and want to keep it going. I’m sure it is much harder to START the process and trusting that over time it is worth it. Nothing good comes easy.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thought provoking comment.
      Candy

  2. Agree wholeheartedly. As I like to say, “I’m not going down without a fight”!

    • Hahaha! And some days it sure does feel like a fight! Thanks for the comment!
      Candy

  3. Wow, I love it. Keep it up girl, you’re an inspiration, a demonstration of what’s possible. Yey to aging disgracefully!!

    • What’s also interesting is that this was NOT how I was raised – if my mother was alive she would be mortified at how I dress!
      Thanks for commenting!
      Candy

  4. I too don’t want to age gracefully! I’m a soon to be 66 year old yoga teacher, retired dental hygienist who enjoys lifting weights regularly, eats a healthy diet ( I’ve increased my protein to build more muscle mass) plays golf, loves to garden! I never use the “old” word… I’m a chronologically enhancing queenager!!!

    • Hooray to being a “queenager”! It’s amazing how all these things we do really make a difference in how we look AND feel.
      Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading!
      Candy

  5. Age 71 I recently joined a master swim class. I’m using and exercising my body in new ways and feel reborn!

    • That is so great!!! If we keep challenging ourselves the benefits are multifold. Thanks for commenting Mary!
      Candy

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