Great news from the longevity front: scientists have successfully tested a gene-editing technique that permanently lowers cholesterol, potentially stopping “the biggest killer on earth.”
This is one more step towards cures for the diseases of aging, the practical implications of which we often talk about here at Further — for example, the need to increase our wealthspan along with our healthspan. But another aspect of aging can be a killer if we don’t take an active stance before it’s too late.
I’m talking about how our bodies betray us and bust our confidence by bulging, wrinkling, graying, and drooping. Ageism isn’t just something others foist upon us; we have no problem sidelining ourselves for not looking as vital as younger people or our former selves.
What we need is a good nip and tuck — not just on the outside but on our inner conception of what it means to be appealing, attractive, and alive.
Do you know why we look older over time? Sure, some of it’s genetics or old bad habits (curse you, Hawaiian Tropic, SPF 0!), but there are other biological imperatives that science won’t necessarily change. As Gary Wenk, Ph.D., explains, what we do to survive – eating and breathing – are also what underlie the aging process.
This single critical activity, called oxidative metabolism or respiration, that is absolutely essential for your daily survival, is the most important factor that very slowly, minute-by-minute and day-by-day, ages you until your skin sags, your internal organs weaken, and you die.
While it’s feasible that scientific breakthroughs may reverse that someday, for now, all we can reliably do to slow the aging process is consume fewer calories. Still, that won’t stem the tide enough, and plastic surgery, hair dye, and injectables aren’t the answer. (I’m an LA resident, so saying that might get me kicked out for insubordination…)
The solution to stopping feeling bad about your neck (and other body parts) is all in your head.
Our generation is known for non-conformity and beautiful cynicism — like Janeane Garofolo, we’ve never been into selling out.
In an article by Polly Green, founder of Other Side Channeling Academy, she relates the story of being mistaken for 70 when she was 52. While initially it “knocked the wind” out of her sails, Green — an avid surfer and yoga practitioner — advocates claiming our age and voicing our truth.
Why is it an embarrassment to have old-looking skin? Why can’t I have wrinkles and grey hair and own it? This is what the body does. It ages… We are allowed to age.
Research shows your thoughts about aging determine how well you wear it. If you want to feel confident in your own skin, radical acceptance is a beautiful thing.
We Are Allowed to Age: Why I Don’t Care That I Look Old (Tiny Buddha)