Stop the Middle Age Spread!
For most of 2018, I was taking a class called Silver Fit. I attended it with women aged from their late 50s to early 80s. What attracted me was the class’ emphasis on balance. Most people, as they age, lose balance. Thanks to childhood hip injuries, I never had much balance to begin with.
Perfect class for me. And a perfect opportunity to observe aging… to see up close changes in the human body that happen in seniors, even with daily physical activity.
Watch the 50+ crowd. You’ll see there’s a lot of “extras” that grow on the human body as people get older. Compared to its 18-year-old self, the body becomes wider, thicker, stockier, and bulges show in all the wrong places. The waist becomes practically non-existent. Double chins, puffy faces, and bulging stomachs prevail. Moles, age spots, and different skin blemishes cover the faces, shoulders, arms and hands.
I created the picture on the right by stacking stock photos of models in the 55-plus age group. I used stock photos of “mature” women. This is how society views women of this age—my age. And indeed, it’s how most women of this age group look.
I too was getting wider up to age 37. In my 20s and 30s, I dieted all the time - and still my size was increasing. From size 4 in my teens, I was size 14 at age 37. But then this spreading not only stopped but started to reverse. What happened?
1. Raw Foods
I started on my raw food journey. It was a gradual process. But I soon became convinced that cooked food is to blame for making us sick, old, and unattractive.
My results motivated me to write my first book, Your Right to Be Beautiful. And in my class, I was seeing a proof of everything I had said 15 years ago in that book.
I have been 100% raw since 1997. When I first went raw, I lost 30 pounds initially. I am a little over 5’2 and I have been steady at about 112 pounds ever since. Thanks to regular exercise, there was some weight re-distribution. Now my waist is smaller than ever. In my twenties and thirties, I struggled with excess weight. Now I stay slim, with no “extras” on my body, effortlessly. I consider my discovery of the beautifying properties of raw foods one of the biggest blessings of my life.
Am I saying that on raw foods you’ll stop aging altogether? Of course not. Sure, I’m aging. But on raw foods I’m aging quite differently from my peers on cooked food. The age-related distortions I mentioned earlier just aren’t there.
Yes, even on raw foods, around age 60 there is indeed some loss of fat and muscle tone. And it’s somewhat harder to gain muscle mass than in younger years. But overall, aging is considerably slower. Most importantly, on raw foods you’ll still move and look like a young adult. Slim and limber. And none of that withered, brittle look that often happens to thin people as they age. Add a brighter, more youthful complexion free of blemishes and the raw food regimen is decidedly your ticket to slower aging.
2. Juicing. The surest and the fastest way to see improvements in your health and appearance is to begin a practice of daily juicing. Freshly squeezed juice! See my article: How to Juice at Home.
3. Stop Eating at Least 4 Hours Before Going to Bed. When you stop eating several hours before going to bed, the stomach is sucked in during the rest of the day and remains so for a prolonged time during the night. An empty stomach creates a situation in which pressure inside is less than outside, pulling the stomach in. Because this happens every night, over time the stomach will retain its flatness, even without you doing a hundred crunches. This is practice is crucial for preventing or eliminating the middle age spread. Read my article How to Curb Your Appetite at Night
4. Stretching. To keep your young adult youthful look indefinitely, it’s very important for your body to look pliable and bendy, as you can move your body in every direction with no effort. This impression is best achieved with a full range of motions in your joints, from your feet to your neck. Muscles give us physical strength… Muscles look good… But it is invisible tendons and ligaments that tell our age. You are only as young as your connective tissues. It is the flexibility of the joints that gives us ease and lightness in the body.
It is in the connective tissues where old age stores its waste and toxins. Your connective tissue doesn’t respond to brief, repetitious stretches the way muscles do. They stretch best when pulled with steady tension like a rubber band.
My favorite yoga style is hot yoga. Holding postures for 30-60 seconds with moderate stress in a heated room is the ideal way to address aging. Only through the serious stretching that hot yoga provides does the nasty stuff stored in your joints get flushed into the blood, bringing your vitality to a new lofty height. See my book Raw Food and Hot Yoga.
5. Cupping massage. The body will lose some fat, even on raw foods, as I mentioned earlier. Muscle is what’s needed to compensate. Don’t miss any gym workouts to keep your body in good shape! When it comes to your face, facial exercises can definitely help, but they alone are not enough as you get older.
Our visual sense of youthful good looks hinges on the notion of nicely rounded curves. Our visual sense of age and ill health hangs on a picture of concave shapes—that “sunken” look.
As you age, the absence or presence of fat will determine your face’s shape, both subcutaneously (just under the skin) and deeper. A youthful face shows mostly convexities—outward bulging shapes—as distinct from concavities—with a generally inward arc. To simplify, convex = young, concave = old.
Over time, rounded, full cheeks and smooth, unbroken outlines from cheek to chin flatten. Then, when we’re seen as “old,” these outlines take on a hollow look as they go concave.
It’s bad enough that fat disappears. Worse, remaining fat deposits begin to appear as discrete blobs or bulges. Fat, accumulating this way, will appear as sagging. The only thing I know that can slow down this process significantly is body and facial cupping. Read my article: Cupping Therapy Cups.
Do these 5 things and you'll look like a young adult at any age.