Take a load off
Losing weight is the best, but not the only, weapon against ageing
The belief that the skin is a lot smoother when you are plump than if you were 10 kilos lighter is the excuse many women give when they are resistant to losing weight.
I used to console myself with that rationale as I slipped into my favourite chocolate shop to get my fix. As I bit into a rum truffle, I told myself that at least I would never look haggard – but in fact I did look older than my years.
Alas, there is nothing more ageing than a matronly figure. You move more slowly and fashion becomes more about camouflaging the lumps and bumps than making any sort of frivolous statement. I wore a lot of heavy black last winter and I became panicky if I couldn’t find one of my many pairs of Spanx.
Now, after signing on at Jenny Craig and losing some serious kilos, I can’t remember the last time I needed a body-shaping garment. And they didn’t really fool anyone; the fat merely shifted upwards, especially when I was seated. My body only looked passable when I was standing up very straight in high heels and sucking in my stomach – a Herculean effort.
Fat isn’t always kind to the face either. For every pleasantly rounded cheek, there is the danger of a big fat jowl underneath and so many chins they start to look like an optical illusion. So which is really better: a plump, smooth face or a lean, toned body?
Thankfully, in this enlightened age, we can have both. I have always been a fan of fillers because as the face begins to hollow out with age or weight loss, an injection under the skin of a hyaluronic acid filler such as Restylane Vital Light and Juvéderm Refine will add volume. You might not look five years younger overnight but you will start to look fresher and healthier.
Finding a good cosmetic doctor is crucial. The best way to find one is through one of the following three organisations: the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia, the Australasian Society of Cosmetic Medicine or the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery.
There is some discomfort in the procedure, as there is with any injection, but a skilled doctor will administer local anaesthetic and keep bruising to a minimum.
Fillers can now be injected into the “rings” around the neck, the region which is the biggest traitor in the war against ageing. The noted American author Nora Ephron named a book after it, I Feel Bad About My Neck (Random House). She pointed out this region starts to go at 43 and said that was why many of her friends had resorted to wearing turtlenecks – in fact, she said there was an entire generation of women in New York who never reveal their bare necks.
The bad news is that whether a woman is thin or plump, fillers in the circular lines around the neck can only go so far. At present, the only real way to improve the area is though surgery – a neck lift that is usually part of a lower facelift. This is something I have been considering for the past couple of years but, since losing weight, I have had such fun rediscovering my body and my renewed zest for life that I really don’t care what my neck looks like anymore. Not even the finest rum truffle can compensate for that.