Take a load off

Los­ing weight is the best, but not the only, weapon against age­ing

Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - AGEING DISGRACEFULLY -

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.

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