How You Age is Your Personal Choice
Updated: May 29
Age is what you make of it. Stay the same, get worse, or become BETTER!
For those of you who don’t know how old I am, I will be turning 45 this August. I’ve always been a believer in “preventative maintenance” in all aspects of my life from health to fitness.
My goal has never been to be anyone else but myself, only better each day.
There is no doubt that time and age has certain effects on our bodies both from a mental and physical standpoint with each decade that passes.
We cannot stop time, but we can choose to stay the same, get worse or get better with age. It is a PERSONAL choice. There is no right or wrong, but only what makes YOU HAPPY.
Being healthy and fit is also a personal choice. Every individual’s idea of “health” and their approach to achieving it is different. Each person’s journey is unique. We are all here to share and learn from each other. Not to criticize and tear each other apart. We must each find our way and find what works best for YOU!
I know that what I am about to share is very personal, controversial, some may not agree with it and it may hit a sensitive spot for some. However, my philosophy has always been to share my personal journey in hopes that it will shed some insight and invaluable information on various topics through my own experiences.
I know many choose to keep the use of anti-aging and cosmetics treatments private to avoid criticism because let’s face it, some people are easy to criticize and pass judgment on what they do not understand or find no use for. That is their own personal choice and this is mine.
It is much more commonly used than most will admit and I have always been open about how it has helped me over the past 10 years. I hope that in sharing my personal experience, individuals are able to look at their own options with the info that I provide.
In 2004 I won the title of Mrs. Hawaii International. It was a year full of amazing experiences. However, the constant appearances and “smiling on demand” left me with facial wrinkles that were never there before. At that time I was 34 years old. I was lucky to have met Dr. Melanie Tantisira, an ophthalmologist eye surgeon, at my gym. We were talking after teaching one of my kickbox classes about what had happened to my skin. So in 2004, I started to get treated with Botox to prevent the lines from getting worse. I know some of you are thinking, “You put poison in your face? I thought you claimed to be a health nut. Why would you do that?” Firstly, Botox was used to treat certain eye ailments, migraines, overactive bladder and other conditions even before it was approved by the FDA for cosmetic uses. It does not have any permanent side effects as it wears off over time. The controversy over the use of botulism toxins for cosmetics is another blog in itself, but as I mentioned, this is my journey and my choice. I am simply here to share my experiences so that you too can make the right decision for yourself. I knew that in order to stop something from happening and getting worse, you need to get to the cause and prevent it. I know that having good genetics was a big bonus, but I also know that being treated all these years helped prevent major wrinkles from happening. Now there are alternatives to Botox such as Xeomin that offer better, longer lasting results. For more info visit their website http://www.xeominaesthetic.com.
I have been lucky to have gotten the fitness bug early in life, since high school, then making it a career choice in 1992. Year in and year out for over 23 years, I have lived this so-called healthy and fit “lifestyle”. There is no doubt that with every year, I became stronger, more fit and with each decade able to continue to do, if not more, than what I was able to do before. However, despite working out, eating healthy and maintaining the “lifestyle”, time and gravity still had affects on my face. I felt that when I looked in the mirror, I looked tired and also angry as lines started developing on my face. I did not want to look different, I just wanted to look like myself – not tired all the time.
Now in my mid 40’s, the added stress of competition reared other challenges along with the usual effects of time and age.
As we get into our 40’s, we start to notice significant changes to our skin as a result of gravity, environmental and hormonal effects.
We start to lose tone, tightness, especially volume. We start to get that “sunken” look in our faces. Lines, if not treated, get deeper, and more pronounced. As I continued to compete, my physique got better but I noticed that my face was losing volume very quickly from becoming so lean. My cheeks developed dents and extra skin around my eyes wrinkled when I smiled from collagen and fat loss. I spoke to Dr. Tantisira about my concern and luckily a new product called Radiesse Plus had just come out. With a competition coming up, I was fortunate to have been sponsored by Merz Aesthetics to receive this new treatment. Radiesse, unlike Xeomin that “freezes” the muscles to avoid wrinkles, is a dermal filler that replenishes lost volume and stimulates the production of your own natural collagen with results that can last a year or more. It helps smooth out moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds. For more information on what it is, how it works, before and after visit http://www.radiesse.com/how-it-works/.
Below is my before and after photo taken 1 day apart. Unlike surgery, there is no down time. I was back to work the same day. The pictures on the left are with zero makeup – yikes. I know everyone likes to post their “good” selfies, but I am not perfect, no one is. In sharing my experiences and before and after, I hope that I have shared some info with you that may help you make an EDUCATED decision on what is RIGHT FOR YOU. How you age is YOUR personal choice.
If you are interested in finding more information about Dr. Tantisira, these treatments and other options to help you look your best, you can visit www.truevisioncenterhawaii.com.
Geri Lara Berger
FITNESS, HEALTH, LIFESTYLE & COMPETITION PREP COACH