Do You Embrace or Fight the Aging Process?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It’s hard for me to believe that I’ll be married 10 years this summer.  It doesn’t really bother me to get older- I think age is just a number- but time just goes so quickly.  There are days when I think “Wasn’t I just in high school a few years ago?”, and then I remember that it’s been more than a few years and my oldest will start Kindergarten this fall. 

When I look in the mirror, I’m like most other women who are critical of what they see.  My body is healthy and strong, but let’s be honest:  I’ll never look exactly like I did before having three kids, no matter how hard I try.  I’ve got circles under my eyes from sleepless nights with babies and brown spots on my face from being careless about wearing sunscreen.  Although I don’t love these things, I do my best to accept that regardless, I can still be fit and happy. 

I’ve never been one to dwell on my looks.  Sometimes I envy those moms at school who always look so put-together, while I’m usually dressed in sweatpants with my hair up in a ponytail.  For me it’s all about choices.  I’d rather spend 30 minutes exercising than styling my hair in the morning.  Exercising makes me feel good, while that other mom feels good because she put in the time to look good. 

I think part of this attitude is why the aging process doesn’t bother me.  I know I’m getting older and things are going to change.  Training for races or getting stronger might not be quite as easy as it once was.  I can’t just assume that most clothes will look fine on me- I have to find clothes to fit my shape (which is different than it was before kids, even though I’m the same weight).  For the most part, I’m okay with that, but there are other people in my life who seem to struggle with aging. 

One family member has said she doesn’t want to celebrate her birthday anymore because she’s gotten too old.  She’s in the best shape of her life, but is always very critical of her body.  She has explored different cosmetic procedures, hoping to regain some of the look of her youth.  I think it’s sad that she can’t be more accepting of the changes age brings, and just be happy living in the moment.  I love birthdays- I don’t care if I’m turning 10 or 100.  I just want to be around to celebrate as many of them as possible.

Do you struggle with the physical changes aging brings?  How do you cope with them?  Have you learned to accept it, or do you find yourself constantly trying to fight it?

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Comments

TAHOSA 6/18/2018
I'm almost 71 still work full time as a Chef in a retirement center, have a pacemaker and a knee brace, and the work quit is not in my dictionary.
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CRABBYLIONESS 6/2/2018
I'ld like to thank the world for sticking around long enough for me to grow old in it. That was not a given in my youth. Report
97MONTY 5/4/2018
I'm 67 and love who I am, body don't work as well, but I push on and enjoy life every day and live it to it's fullest. Report
MJLUVSANIMALS 2/15/2018
I've since gotten over all the make up and "super" creams advertised. I view them as hacks and any way to get our money. You get to a point where it doesn't seem to be as important as to when you were younger, plus you see it for what it is. And the comment about wanting to be older, because of carding? Enjoy it while you can because someday you won't be, then you will miss it, and feel like an old lady. Don't push aging, it's not for everybody. Report
HOPE4TODAY2 2/11/2018
This is the perfect article for this time in my life, and week. For a while I have fought being older after I turned 51 I guess. Before that I really didn't think about it. That may be because I was taking care of a loved one who had cancer and passed away in 2016. But then I was busy. I didn't have time because my thoughts weren't on me. But now there is no one else to care for on that level, so its just me. As for grey hairs, I have 2 streaks on each side of y head like Mortisha Adams. I like her and I think its cool to look like her in that manner.

I don't like birthdays as much as I used to and every morning I wake up I find myself asking what now. AS in what experiences will I be met with today? I am still working on making me a priority and changing my mind set to remember I am worth it. Report
XREPHA 1/27/2018
I'm proud to be almost 58 years old. I'm probably in the best shape of my life and eating healthy thanks to SP. I stopped dying my hair over 10 years ago and get complimented all the time on my beautiful silver hair. I recently started Pilates to strengthen my core and support my low back issues, but does that make me feel old? Absolutely not! My husband of 36 years loves me just the way I am and we have an amazing life together. We celebrate the life God has blessed us with and choose to embrace our age by taking care of each other and the "temple" God provided. Report
POLSKARENIA 1/23/2018
What is this ageing you speak of? Lol Report
4LMHJCR 11/21/2017
It doesn't bother me that I am getting older or all the wrinkles and grey hairs that have been appearing over the past few years either. It is all a part of life and I have no intention of dying my hair or doing anything about the wrinkles either. I just want to work to keep my bones strong and healthy as well as the rest of my body and mind.
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GETULLY 10/23/2017
I do not mind the age, I mind the way older people are treated. Report
KAREN_EDMONDS 9/20/2017
I get excited about getting older! Love that I can say I am 70! No way do I feel it or look it. I just want to be the healthiest and and as fit as I can be. Report
KMF2018 9/5/2017
I'm not afraid of getting older, not even of dying (that's part of the joy of being a Christian!) But that being said, I must admit, I am not enjoying the "look" of being older. I do feel good though, I could lose weight and feel even better, but I have great health and great strength, so I am appreciative of that, and aim to keep it that way as long as possible. I appreciate the SP site and the encouragement it gives us! Report
GETULLY 8/28/2017
For me a birthday is just another day. I do see effects of aging (knee does not work as well; getting stiff sitting at the computer) but I feel I am doing OK. Report
CACUJIN 8/23/2017
The only part of aging that concerns me is the number of years used verses the number of years available. Seems like there is never enough time to do everything I think I want to do. Time keeps rolling on and some times I find myself doing nothing important. This troubles me. Looking old doesn't trouble me as that is how I am supposed to look. Report
SUNSET09 8/21/2017
Women tend to fight it while men embrace it. People judge us by our age and I'm enjoying getting wiser and using it as a benefit. I do dye my hair, work out and eat right as it's how you feel displays how you look. Report
CARBMONSTERII 8/16/2017
Never had a problem with getting older until I turned 60. Not sure why that age really bothered me, I still feel like me (the same me that stepped out the front door and eagerly drank in the early morning cool air, sunrise and sounds of the first day of school so many decades ago!). I am not happy about how my hair has changed, but hey, its just hair! I have some beginning crows feet around my eyes- chalk it up to so much laughing and smiling and sunshine, and well, just the "mileage" of living. My goal is to continue to love what I do, make someone feel better every day and feel that I am making a positive difference in my little corner of the world. Even though I am working on and glad that I am losing some of my extra weight, I am still sort of afraid if I lose a lot of weight, the fat won't keep the wrinkles puffed out and they will be more obvious. (How's that for a messed up perspective?!) Report
CATE195 8/14/2017
I turned 65 this year and had to sign up for medicare, but you know what? I'm glad to be around and to have a loving husband and a happy and healthy family. Report
GREYTDOLPHIN 8/11/2017
Age never really bothered me. I always looked younger than my calendar years, but sure wish that I had the same body as in my youth. Infirmities have gotten to me, but I think that my mind and way of thinking are still young. I don't color my hair, just glad that my hair is still naturally a medium dark brown, but now with more grey creeping in. I look on those greys as free highlights. My husband is 15 years younger, so he keeps me with a youthful attitude. I wouldn't even consider plastic surgery---after having knee replacements I'm in no hurry to do anything that's painful. LOL. Report
I'm 65. I'm looking forward to retiring next January. I'm married to the love of my life for last 43 years and he still wants me and compliments me and that is all that matters. Report
Easy for a 30-something to warble about how she accepts aging and the physical changes it brings. As others have already said, if you are female, you ARE judged on how you look. Moreover, by your mid-fifties, you become the incredible INVISIBLE woman. There's NOTHING "sad" about exploring cosmetic procedures for looking younger if they boost your confidence if you can afford it. After all, you maintain the exterior of your HOUSE don't you? Maintaining your body is no different. Report
Women are "focused on looks" because men JUDGE you by them. Doesn't matter it it is "fair" or not, it just is. I have four grown sons and they have all told me "If I was a woman I'd do everything to look as good as possible, because men judge women by their looks." Report
I've never understood why people are so focused on looks. It has nothing to do with the person inside. But people talk about it all day. I love getting older. I'm 59 and loving my life. I no longer worry about what others think about what I do. (Did they ever really care anyway?) It's so freeing. A group of us meet every day at the dog park and socailize and play with the dogs. And Sp is getting me healthy and fit. Enjoy your life wherever you are.
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Great Blog! I love getting older-it beats the alternative! Spark On! Report
I only obsessed about getting older when I turned 30. Turning 40 and 50 was absolutely not problem. When I turned 60, I looked at what my life had been (good), but this was the milestone that leads toward retirement. Oops! that's not in the cards. So I've had to backtrack a little.

As I've gotten older, I've had some health issues that make it just a little challenging. Can't clean my house all at once, have to break up my exercise into shorter sessions, and so on.

As far as surgery goes, yes, there are some areas I'd like to have fixed. Will doing that make me a better person? Absolutely not! That's just icing on the cake.

My advice, for what it's worth, is live each day to the fullest. Delight in the little things, stop and smell the roses. Give thanks for every day you have. You are God's creation, and wonderful. Report
LUNABELL87
I am only 24 and I am freaking out about aging, I already started using anti-aging products. Report
I've been noticing lately that my facial skin isn't "young" any more. I have lines that don't go away and it is getting "crinkley" looking in my cheeks. I really don't like that and I notice it. I'm 50 this year and single "again" for the last 14 years.
All of that being said, I've never even worn makeup regularly and I wouldn't know where to start. I don't mind the gray hairs--in fact, I kind of like them. It feels like I earned those!
Anyway, it is all part of "growing up" which I'm not sure I will ever do entirely (or that I want or need to). I look at my Dad and still see the same guy I saw when I was 18. May my sons say the same in 30 years!
There are many more important things to me than that skin I don't like. Supporting my family. Getting back to my ideal weight. Excercising and feeling more energized. Finding the next challenge at work.
I guess my face will just have to take care of itself! :) Report
WEIGHT4ME59
To be honest. I hate growing old. I turn 60 this year and the makeup just doesn't hide all the wrinkles and more.
Yes, I am vain and I would have a facelift in a haert beat if I had the money to be frivolous. I can make my body look it's best but I can't fix the wrinkles and the sagging that comes with the aging process.

I would gloadly go back to being 25 again but with the wisdon I have now.
I do however thank God every day for giving me life and for allowing me to be able to live healthy. I have had a wonderful life with travel and children, grandchildten and a loving husband and soul mate.

Every birthday I do have, I show my grandchildren how I can still get my legs up and stand on my head without any help. Report
I think it depends on what parts of growing old are being referred to.

I've had an increasing number of white hairs since my early 30s at least. I don't dye my hair or try to change them. I notice that my hands don't look as smooth or that I have wrinkles at the sides of my eyes and I'm fine with those kinds of changes. Appearance items just don't bother me. I'll wrinkle and sag and go mostly gray and that's all completely fine.

Aches and aging related disorders worry / concern me a lot more. I see older people hobbling along with walkers and don't want to lose my mobility until as late as possible. I don't want to lose my ability to lift things, my balance, my vision and hearing. But unlike all the surgical procedures to nip, tuck, smooth, and the like ... there isn't any way to really stop the aging process in those areas.

So I work now to get as fit as possible, as active and alert as possible, in the hopes I'm not at 96 like my grandmother who passed last year and hadn't really stepped outside much in over a decade. I don't want to live a life incredibly diminished in scope because I didn't do something now while I could. Report
GMAGEE
Sometimes I do both - accept it AND fight it! I'd be happy to let my hair go gray and dress comfortably ALL the time, but there is such ageism if you are still (lucky enough to be) working. I absolutely agree with CIRANDELLA and anyone else who has opined on this blog that age is a state of mind. At 62 and with 32 years of marriage under my belt, I try not to think about where I've been, but where I still want to go!

My favorite, personal 'age' anecdote is this: when she was 6, I said to my daughter, "You were in diapers half your life." She got totally incensed that I reminded her of her 'baby years.' Report
I think it's great to be old in BOTH body & mind/heart! I wouldn't want to be 21 again; what little wisdom I have has been hard-won over years of struggle, & I treasure it. I'm working hard to age well. I'm letting my hair go gray (Proverbs in the Bible says it's a crown of honor!), & I won't get plastic surgery to lose wrinkles or forestall a bit of normal sagging. Keeping my knee muscles strong so walking & occasional running don't hurt--THAT's important. Eating right to avoid high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, bone-density loss--THAT's important. Smiling & laughing a lot so the wrinkles in my face are good ones--THAT's important.

I don't always feel like it, but growing old is a mercy. Report
MRE1956
This is why I have the strongest contempt possible for Hollywood and the entertainment/media/fashion industries - their mindset is so un-"age friendly" that it's scary ....... and don't even get me STARTED on their contempt towards us women! Of course, the way gals have been socialized from almost the beginning of time has been no help, either!

Everyone - PLEEZE - let's toss those stereotypical "gold watches" and damned rocking chairs, get out of your stinkin' houses and start LIVING LIFE! There is NO age limit on doing that! Report
CIRANDELLA
Age is a state of mind. I'm a perennial 15-year-old in a 90-year-old body :)
Any day I'm still above ground is a GREAT day, seriously! Report
SEPTLEFTY
The healthier u are the better u look. Report
I'll be 65 this summer, but in my mind I am still 21. I was in my late 20's before my mind realized that I wasn't a teenager any more. That said, I've never been one who cared about looks. I would rather be outside playing in the dirt than sitting in a styling chair. I have to remember to use lipstick; I don't have any other makeup in the house.

I thank God every morning because I can get up out of bed under my own power. I'm glad that I'm finished with worrying about attracting boys, putting up with teasing, experiencing TOM, and looking for a new job. Life is good! I can take a walk when I want and for as long as I want. I have time to do things that I've always wanted to do and learn things because I'm interested in them and not because someone else has decided I should learn about them. My body isn't ideal, but then it never was. For me it's the journey, not the package, that matters. Report
I believe I will grow old, but never grow up! I just have too much fun with life. Now, I have to be honest here...I will be turning 50 next month! FIFTY! FIVE O!! I can't believe it! I get rather reflective about that thinking I have lived more than half my life. But I quickly remember that I am living the best years of my life with a wonderful husband, 5 kids, (5 dogs as well!!) and a much healthy happier life and 45 pounds gone forever! Thank you SparkPeople!! Report
I totally struggle with the aging process! I'm so vain, and it bothers me that I'm getting older and that my body will eventually slow down, and my face get wrinkles or my hair go grey. I think it's a sin to think this way, so I'm trying to work on it. I mean, last year I turned 30 and I was almost in tears about it! And now I'd prefer for people to not ask me about my age - just wish me a Happy Birthday and leave it at that!
I envy people who embrace getting older - I think they're much more happy and therefore healthy-minded. Report
Right now I am not trying really to "fight" the process. BUT i do want to take care of myself better, and my skin is one of them. I know there is a fine line between taking care of yourself and fighting the process. I think i'd love to age gracefully and take care of myself better.

on the other hand, if I was offered plastic surgery - for health reasons - i would take it in a second. Report
Amber512, I used to have the same problem! Now I love it when people take me for early 50s instead of nearly 67! Oh yeah, I've EARNED the wrinkles!! Report
No, I welcome my age. Sure, I'd love to have the body of a 20 year old and i'dlive to get my Jolson fixed but with my age has come wisdom, peace, contentment. It's nice to see all of my laugh and smile lines and know I earned those. Turning 50 was freeing! Report
I'm 62 and if I had the money, I'd go get a facelift tomorrow. Have nothing against getting back to where I was. But getting to a normal weight and exercise is what I can do. Report
I think that attitude has a lot to do with how "old" you are. I remember as a teenager thinking that my stepgrandmother was a young person in an old body--she was in her late 70's at the time. She had a young mind. She kept up on current events and fully supported activities of our church's youth group. My husband's stepgrandmother will be 108 this year. She doesn't move around like she did a few years ago and her eyesight's not a good as it was, but she has a young attitude. I turned 60 the other, but mentally I FEEL much younger. However, I don't think I'm OLD; I'm mature, I dress and act my age (not trying to fit myself into teeny-bopper styles). I don't WANT to be young again, but I want to FEEL young. By making wise and healthy food choices and exercising, I can accomplish that feeling. Report
It took me a LONG time as a child to not think I was ugly - I grew up with a very pretty older sister, and I was overshadowed and overlooked. I was 14 when I realized I wasn't ugly. (I look back at photos and realize I was an adorable child, just not gorgeous.) Anyway, so yes, I'm doing what I can to stave off the aging process. I get monthly facials to keep my youthful skin. I use some rather pricey face products for the same reason. (Vitamin C for the face!) I also color my hair, because at 57 this is my last chance to still be a redhead.

But I don't compete with 20-somethings - if I can't reach something, or can't carry something way heavy, I ask for help. I dress in age-appropriate fashion. I stay fit and healthy, and work to stay as strong as I am currently.

But the wrinkles and the grey hair and the age spots? I fight those. Report
like my mother wrote on her birthday card to me when I turned 30: "Congratulations, you are a year older than your mother!". Ok, I will never be able to look like I am 29 now that I am well beyond 30, but given the stocked shelves in the cosmetic department in every department, drug and grocery store, I am not alone. Sadly in two years, I will be a year older than the age my mother was when she died from cancer. At that time, I plan to look younger than my age and be happy in my skin because I am taking care of myself and using whatever modern chemistry and good SparksPeople living can provide! To feel young and look young -- kindles a happy energy inside me!! Report
My Nana always took great care of her skin. I can remember as a child spending the night and sleeping in bed with her. She always removed her make-up, cleaned her face and put some type of skin cream on. She had lovely skin well into her late 70's. I have done the same since I was a teenager and will 56 in March. Yes, there are a few wrinkles, but I have earned everyone of them (I use to lay out in the CA sun as much as possible, big mistake of youth, but all my friends did the same thing, using baby oil).
I don't think I would use botox because I am allergic to so many medication, so why risk it. Besides the women I have seen that do fillers and botox don't look real, lips too large and face's frozen in place. Not natural at all. I have gained weight over the years, so I am no longer a size 3-5, like I was until my late 20's and b/4 kids and having Lupus (but I am alive when the doctors said I would be dead by the age of 40). People always tell how lovely I am and never guess my age correctly, so I guess I am doing something right? I am proud to be aging gracefully. Report
My first reaction to this blog was "Seeing the picture, I can see that this article doesn't relate to me!" I'm 65, and the thought of the 20-something in the photo worrying about aging seems like a bad joke.

Actually, I would love to have smooth skin with no wrinkles, but I prefer my wrinkles and sagging skin to a strange, surgically-enhanced face. As for my body, I'm happier with it now than I ever was in my life. I'd hate to return to my teenage self-consciousness and obsession with looking exactly like everyone else. Today I am active and I love shopping in 2nd hand shops for wonderful and outrageous clothes. I look good and feel great! Well, most of the time. I do have to be careful, especially with exercise, to work up slowly and not overdo things or I pay for it later. Does this mean that I embrace aging? I'm not sure, but I certainly love my life more now than ever before, and I value my abilities, even though running a marathon is not on my bucket list. Report
Funny you say this - I don't have a problem until someone makes some type of reference to my age. But the body thing - that's a different story . Having lost a bunch of weight and being the healthiest in my life (btw - I'm 53) I was just telling my sister, I tried on some pants tonight at a great sale - store closing and didn't buy any - the area around my hips were too tight, while the waist was too big. I don't have an extremely large rear end - but I have an "apron" of fat or as my sister suggested skin from having lost 110 pounds. That is extremely frustrating. Nicer clothes that aren't baggy on me "show" that front pouch - bulge - what ever you want to call it and I'm extremely self conscious about it. I'm afraid to have major surgery and can't afford it. It's not causing an irritation, so I don't think insurance will pay for it. I need help in finding a way to either get rid of it - or deal with it.

Also by the way - my 50th birthday was the BEST! Report
My first eve encounter with the gym was 3 years agfo when I turned 65, now I am a regular attendee 5 days per week, and a few months ago increased my cardio by another 20 minutes daily taking it to 45 minutes. Since I was 30 I started showing grey hair and have dyed my hair for 36 years, then a year ago I decided to go au naturel, and yes I am very white, but don;t have to worry about the condition of my hair anymore and am saving $$$. Aging is an attitude, just accept and make the best of each year as it comes, rewards come with all ages. Report
Okay.. I admit it... I do NOT look forward to birthdays.. however with that said, I appreciated soooo much the message I received from Sparkpeople on my birthday that said "Don't count the years... but make the years count". That message really came at the right time. Birthdays we have no control over... but making the years count? Yes, that is something we can do! Thank you SP!! Report
LYNNCOOP
I hope more people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s respond to this article! I will be 70 in March and I have never fought the aging process except with dieting. I always have to diet to keep weight off, I can't seem to get on a maintenance plan. And I think no matter what we do to ourselves to "look" young it doesn't stop the aging process! Report
It is hilarious to read a blog on aging, written by someone who is SO young!! I'm hoping in 30 or 40 years, she writes another one on this topic!

I don't "struggle" with aging. Every day I get up and do the best I can with what I've got. Here and there, there have begun to be some limitations. BUT wisdom truly DOES come with age, if you pay attention and learn some things along the way. I have earned every last wrinkle and age spot, every stretch mark and bit of sagging skin. Would I want to go back and be 30 again? NO WAY! Report
I'm 40 and people tell me all the time I look younger. I think "clean living," non-smoking, proper hydration (3L/day) and SUNSCREEN since the early 90s are do it for me. :) Report
 
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