By Lauren Edwards
Now that I am in my 45th year, I definitely feel like I have hit my middle age. In my youth, I could get away with a quick slap of moisturiser, a bit of concealer and a lot of eyeliner (it was the 90s). These days, my skincare and make-up application has become expensive and a little more time consuming. I now indulge in a whole routine and layering approach before I feel like my coverage is complete. I am so thankful for our resident skincare expert in her weekly AION column Here’s Looking At You who always has a magic potion up her sleeve to help me Glow.
My battle with my grey hair means that I’m dyeing my hair every four weeks and, in between time, ‘colouring in’ any stray greys with special dye powder, which I have to do liberally and also carefully so that I don’t look like Paul McCartney during the ‘aubergine years’.
I exercise as much as I can with a full-time job and as a Mum to three teenagers. My favourite form being studio classes as I tend to work harder if I have an instructor cheerleading me from the front (thank you FitGlow Studio) rather than me coasting on an exercise bike watching Netflix in a gym situation. I also stretch the glutes on many a dog walk with my delinquent Labrador, although as he approaches 10 years old, it’s less of a brisk walk and more of an amble with about a million wee stops – do dogs develop prostate problems as they age too?
I try not to let the ageing process worry me though and I think it’s vital to embrace the mantra of ‘life’s too short to not drink the cava/eat the chocolate/plan a trip to Ibiza’ (Covid rules permitting). However, during a recent mindless scroll through social media, I happened upon an article entitled ‘The 37 habits Jennifer Aniston swears by to stay young and fit at 51’.
Firstly, why 37? That alone is playing havoc with my OCD, round it up or down for God’s sake! Secondly, where is the happy part of the title? It’s all very well staying ‘young’ and ‘fit’ but is that really achievable and if it is, will you end up miserable in the process?
I mean Jen does look amazing, so perhaps I could learn something useful here. I’ve always admired her swishy salon perfect hair and glowing tanned skin but figured this is due to her having hair stylists and make-up artists at her disposal. I have tried to adopt her beach wave locks with limited success, by using my hair straighteners in an impossible twisty technique, and no amount of powdered bronzer will make me look like a sun kissed Californian.
So what did I learn? Jen likes to work out five times a week, each session lasts an hour and a half, and she will happily work out in the middle of the night when she’s filming. Her favourite workout is boxing, and she loves to plank. Apparently, she likes ‘to think outside the sit ups and loves doing V-ups’. Yes, I had to Google that too. Basically, you have to pretend you’re a collapsed deckchair and lift your toes to your fingertips.
Jen’s also loves smoothies, which generally include bananas, cherries, blackberries, chocolate almond milk and collagen peptide. Hang on a minute, that last ingredient isn’t exactly a cupboard staple in my kitchen? Jen’s favourite snack is frozen red grapes, and she likes to do intermittent fasting and says, “I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours.” I followed a similar diet when I had a 3-year-old and newborn twins, it wasn’t intentional, it was just a case of not having time to eat and having to feast on my toddler’s leftover potato skin with a few cold baked beans whilst juggling babies.
However, one of Jen’s weekly rules is something I can definitely get on board with. Every Sunday is her ‘spa day’ where she indulges in some treatments, facials, and just having some good old ‘me time’. Now, if I could only just find an empty house every Sunday so that I could do the same.