From a long time ago, I had the impression that early 20's is the best time of our lives.
Fresh out from school, you're young, possibly the prettiest you can be after outgrowing the acne from pubescent age and fit too, since you still have time to head to the gym.
Conventional wisdom and even the experiences of people around me suggests that marriage and especially motherhood tend to make one age faster and look more drabby over time. (Who has time to take care of themselves after devoting so much time to your family and your children?)
But look at my contribution to the #howmuchhaveyouchangedchallenge on Facebook
2010 vs 2021
I know I started with a really low base but still, it gives me a kick when people come up to me and say:
Agent G, you really change a lot since the first time I saw you. What did you do ah?
Particularly after they realize my son is going to Primary 1 next year.
TBH, I tried many many things to get to where I am today but which is the most instrumental to my transformation... and my crusade to defy aging?
Read on to find out!
After evaluating all the actions and causes, weight loss is, I think, the biggest contributor to my transformation. We can say all we want but losing weight often makes a person look and feel younger. While no one here disputes that, the question is how I made it happen in the first place.
Those who know me personally know that I struggled with my weight all my life and managed to successfully slim down only in the last 3-4 years (after giving birth) and without going for any aesthetic procedure or slimming package!
Some part of me wonder if this is what they call fetal-maternal microchimerism: the phenomenon where your child's cells live on in you. Was it the presence of my son's cells that helped me slim down afterwards? That is certainly a controversial thought and very possibly an unscientific one.
I shared about the more scientific reasons on how I managed to lose weight some time ago here. TL;DR, the solution that worked for me was intermittent fasting. I've been doing low-carbohydrate diet for a few years before that but it was after I started the 16-hour intermittent fasting (sometimes extending to 24 hour intermittent fasting) that I really started to lose weight.
Within the first 3 months, I dropped about 10 kg, which was major for me... the best part is that the weight stayed off even after I tapered to 16 hour and 12 hour intermittent fasting. Even now, I don't follow intermittent fasting as strictly now.. fortunately, I haven't yet rebounded (fingers crossed)
Since it is safe (for those who don't have gastric issues), natural, free and doesn't require you to put in additional time and effort, I think its worth a try for those looking for an effective way to slim down!
After you lose quite a bit of weight, one of the first few things you'd want to do is to revamp your entire wardrobe - both out of necessity and vanity. Many of your old clothes won't fit well and when you head to the shops, you'll find that you can now pull off many designs that don't look good on you previously.
When you start experimenting, you'll likely be able to find styles that make you look and feel younger, be it cropped tops, skinny jeans, fitted dresses or backpacks.
And that can make you look younger instantly!
Guess how old I am in this photo?
I may have been 26 then but my straight hair and red spectacles sure made me look old and just plain dowdy. My world changed, however, the day I discovered perms.
For the very first time, my hair had texture.
For the very first time, my hair has life!
Those who follow me through my different makeovers will notice that I look more and more feminine over time too.
Not just because I've got perms but also because my hair has finally grown longer.
As much as certain stylists may recommend you to cut your hair short, it is easier to look younger with longer hair than with short hair. With the hair such a dominant feature on your face, people will see it before they see you, which can be a good thing when you're trying to distract attention from other less attractive features.
That assumes that your hair isn't perpetually looking like grass, which will once again make you look older 😩
(Cue hair treatments)
You can perm your hair but if your hair is losing massive volume, those curls will not be able to mask your thinning hair either. I have hence been putting in major effort to go for scalp treatments or head spas regularly. I was particularly impressed by S.E.P. Scalp Treatment at Papilla Haircare and was blown away by how much less hair fall I saw in the weeks that follow.
More importantly, I embarked upon a strict homecare routine where I learned to apply scalp tonic to my scalp every time I wash my hair. The combined effect of the two has gone a long way to helping me retain my hair volume over the past few years!
As your hair, clothes and body make up 80% of anyone's first impression, doing the above would make you look younger immediately. But when you get them out of the way, you start noticing everything else and the next most obvious ones that will catch your attention is likely: the lines on your face.
While they're not huge, the wrinkles and nasolabial folds are what everyone sees when they first meet you. Bad news for those who've slimmed down quite a bit? The lines (and even stretch marks) are especially obvious for you. Ageing in hot Singapore won't do you any favours either as our UV rays tend to make the sun spots all the more prominent if you don't protect your skin enough.
Fortunately, I have a facial therapist at The Bund Beauty I go to regularly to help me slow down the development. She doesn't just do a painless extraction, Winnie and her team often goes the extra mile to give me a pampering lifting massage, light chemical peel as well as microneedling to keep the lines away.
Thanks to her, my skin remains relatively clear of lines, something I've been thankful for.
No matter how busy I am, I set aside time for two things every month: facials and eyelash extension.
My eyes were never big to start with but an investment in the monthly lash extensions draws attention to the eyes, bringing life and thickness to my eyes.
Best part is that I never spend more than $50 each time because 3-week return price is only $40 at Flamingo Eyelash Studio at Tiong Bahru.
I don't know if it's obvious in photos but my teeth have undergone some major change this year after my teeth alignment with SmileDirectClub.
No more worries of ugly side profile photos as my teeth no longer protrudes out.
#nofilter #nomakeup photo of my side profile
The change may be small in photos but I think there is some minute change in my bone structure, giving me a sharper jawline as well. Whether that's the case, the resulting confidence boost is definitely welcome.
I don't know about you but I've been starting to fear the effects of aging ever since I turned the big 3-0. Does 30 mean that it's all downhill from here?
As many of the beauty professionals on Beauty Undercover share with me, that is certainly not the case. Even if you can't fully reverse, one can certainly delay the appearance of the effects with the right services by the right people - something I've demonstrated above.
So if there is one thing I'd like you to take away, it is to know that nothing is impossible! If there is a change you want to make in yourself, believe and find someone you can trust and you'll definitely get there one day.