Monday, January 19, 2015

On the virtues of wrinkles.

Hooray for the Beauty Update section of the Sunday Times magazine.
Edwina Ings-Chambers wrote a wonderful article extolling the joys, virtues and beauty of aging. Apparently, there is no "negative equity" in having wrinkles.

She validates her theory by citing examples such as Dame Helen Mirren who, at the age of 69, is the new face of L'Oreal.

Helen Mirren, the face of L’OrĂ©al at 69

On her recent visit to Vero, my best friend bought a mirror that had magnification of 20.
20!  Even without my glasses, I swear I saw the roots of  evolving hairs on places of my face that should be hirsute free!Absolutely terrifying.  Why is it that the older we get, the more hairs sprout up in areas in which they have no business?  Why is it that the white ones require the likes of a pair of pliers for removal?  It is as if the hairs have a team of elves who are pulling back as strongly as one tries to pull them out.

Due to the fact that I put on wayyyyy too much weight over the past 18 months, I no longer had a chin.  Merely, one extended neck that was close to resting on my sagging boobs.
I would avoid mirrors at all cost, truly loathing my own reflection.  

"At least I still have a sense of humor" was how I would console myself.  

More like fool myself.

It took a long time for me to get off my diet of salt and vinegar chips, washed down with gallons of apple juice.  These were my go-to comfort foods and will power was not winning over the need for instant gratification.

Once I finally got a grip, I churlishly started returning to the gym, profoundly embarrassed by what I had become.  What I had done to myself.  I had no one to blame but myself.  I knew that my age compounded with a sluggish metabolism would mean that I had to work out twice as hard as I used to to make even the slightest dent in my immensity.

The fact is, for my height I was "'morbidly obese".  Christ, what a confession.  When my Dad, bless him, would waddle in on stick sized legs that miraculously balanced his rotund frame, Vic would just look at me as I scarfed another piece of cheese down and just say "it's in your genes".


I am not the best at self-discipline, unable to resist the little red devil's voice whispering high caloric words of pleasure into my ears.  

"Chips.  Cheese.  Bread".

For the first time in my life, I really started thinking about the possibility of the benefits of a short cut via plastic surgery.  The neck would be the first to go.  Then my jowls.  Then, as my list started expanding, I went down to tummy tuck, thigh and bum lipo ...  I couldn't believe it.

In a country that values youth, it would take more than a sense of humor if I were ever to get back into the dating game.  I was getting older and I was fat.  

That was that.

As if by miracle, something amazing started happening during my recent sojourn in London.  Even though I was unable to take my usual walks, due to circumstances at home, my clothes started loosening.  So much so that when Peter was in the hospital, I saw a scale standing in a corner of the corridor.  

"Do it!" angel on my left shoulder said.  Strangely, Devil on the right agreed.  Normally, when I weigh myself, (which is a rarity), it is stark naked, first thing in the morning in the privacy of my own home.  It is also a machine that I tend to avoid like the plague.  If I am at a doctor's office. I will take off my shoes, belts, glasses, anything and everything to keep that nasty balancer as near to the left as possible.

When the corridor coast was clear, I gingerly stepped on the scale, boots and all.
I registered the number in kilos and quickly got out my iphone to translate the information into pounds.

"No freakin' way!"

I was down.  A lot!  With jeans and boots and glasses on.  Suddenly, I felt hope.  I call it the "London Stress Diet" and although it comes at a very high price, I am thrilled with the results!  No starvation involved.  Just a house lacking in cheese, breads, juices and those pesky, delicious salt 'n' vinegar chippies.

Emboldened, the other morning I snuck a peak at my face in Peter's magnifying mirror for a laugh. Apart from seeing my mother looking back at me, my neck was retreating and a chin was showing signs of a springtime reemergence.

Maybe I would not need to go under the knife.

And then came article, titled "Read between the lines.

If Joan Didion is the new face of Celine at 80, and Jessica Lange fronting Marc Jacobs Beauty, there sure is hope for me!


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