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Originally published May 26 2005

Will that facelift get you a pay raise? Cosmetic surgery and your career

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Is cosmetic surgery important for saving your job? I'm seeing an increasing number of stories on cosmetic surgery for men, and in asking men why they want to get cosmetic surgery, the most common answer I've heard is: they want to save their jobs. This is the answer from men who are middle aged and want to appear younger in order to have better career opportunities. I find this fascinating.

First, there is apparently a lot of age discrimination going on in the workplace. So, in addition to the racial discrimination and gender discrimination, we also have a fair amount of age discrimination going on. The older you are, the more likely you are to be let go, it seems. So a lot of men think if they simply appear younger, with black hair, younger-looking skin, a facelift and a nose job, they can stay in their current job or have better job prospects.

Sadly, they may, in fact, be right, because many employers do tend to judge people on their appearance, even if it's not conscious. Sometimes the perception of a person's ability goes along with their hair color, apparent youth or apparent level of fitness, even if those don't correlate with their actual job performance.

I would like to suggest there's a better way to appear younger than turning to cosmetic surgery, liposuction or some other radical procedure, and that is to make yourself mentally sharper. Because, if you really want to save your job, the best way to do it, I think, is to enhance your mental performance -- have a sharper memory, have an improved vocabulary, be more creative and have stronger analytical skills. The way to do that is through lifestyle changes: namely, nutrition and brain exercises.

On the nutritional front, there are a great many things you can do to enhance brain function. First, there is a whole class of foods and food ingredients you have to avoid to protect your nervous system (ingredients that I call "metabolic disruptors"), and then there is a whole other group of nutritional supplements and herbal supplements that can enhance brain function.

Let's go through these quickly. On the things to avoid list, you certainly want to avoid hydrogenated oils. Those are described as brain poison, and they're terrible for the nervous system. You also want to avoid most prescription drugs, and I don't mean just stopping them cold turkey, but finding ways to get off of them in a healthy manner with the guidance of a qualified health professional. A lot of drugs, most notably statin drugs, greatly interfere with brain function. If you're on statin drugs, and you can't figure out why your memory is fading and why you seem to be unable to concentrate the way you used to be able to, the reason is probably because of the drugs you're on. So you want to get off of those drugs and return to normal, healthy brain function.

Other food ingredients that affect brain function include artificial colors. These have been known to cause attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They can alter moods, greatly impair cognitive function and should be avoided by anyone wanting to have a good, healthy brain. Lastly, you should avoid refined carbohydrates and added sugars. These are also a form of brain poison, because they alter the availability of blood sugar in your bloodstream, and your brain operates on blood sugar. So, when you have wild swings in your blood sugar, your brain function rises and falls like the tide, and it can suffer greatly because of it. Relatively low blood sugar, for example, can cause forgetfulness, moodiness, aggression and a lot of other problems that will make it difficult for you to keep your job no matter what you look like.

By the way, I cover more of these in a lot greater detail in the book Grocery Warning, which you will find at This goes into great detail about the ingredients you need to avoid to be healthy, not only in terms of brain health, but also cardiovascular health, immune system function and so on.

Now, let's look at the things you can do to enhance your brain health. First, of course, there's physical exercise. With physical exercise there's a lot of oxygen that gets moved around your body, and your brain needs oxygen to function well. Without adequate oxygen, you're not going to have good brain function no matter what your nutrition. So, get some regular physical exercise, you will improve the oxygen-carrying ability of your red blood cells, and thereby improve your brain function at the same time.

As far as supplements go, you need to get some healthy oils, because nervous system function depends heavily on the presence of these healthy oils in your body. These include the omega-3 fatty acids and various subcomponents of that, most notably GLA or gamma linolenic acid. GLA, which is present in human breast milk, is critical for not only the development of brain tissue but the ongoing support of it. You can get GLA in superfoods like spirulina. You can also find GLA in various fish oils, such as cod liver oil, which is another fantastic supplement to be taking on a regular basis. Also, you can get it from a variety of foods, most notably oily fish and many different nuts and seeds. So this, again, is another reason to be consuming raw nuts on a regular basis. In that category, my top choice is raw macadamia nuts.

On the herbal front, there is of course ginkgo, and ginkgo does, in fact, improve brain function. However, it shouldn't be relied on as the only way to boost brain function. There are far greater benefits from physical exercise and breathing therapy and other nutritional supplements. Ginkgo's great, but don't use it alone, use it in conjunction with other nutritional elements to boost your brain function.

Now, let's move on to perhaps the most important thing you can do to boost brain function and appear younger: engage in brain exercise and avoid those activities that dumb you down. So, right off the bat here we've got to mention television. If you spend a lot of time watching television, you are dumbing down your brain. There's no question about it. The more TV you watch, the older you get in terms of brain function. You can bet an employer won't like you hanging around if you can't remember what jobs you're supposed to do, even if you do have black hair and great-looking skin.

To boost brain function, you've got to engage in brain exercises. There are lots of ways to get good brain exercise, but the bottom line is you have to use it or you're going to lose it. For brain exercise, you can work on crossword puzzles, play strategy games on the PC, or engage in social games (there are studies that actually show bingo helps enhance the brain function of senior citizens). If bingo has a healthy function, then imagine what great effects you would have from activities that actually engage more than 2 percent of your brain.

Writing essays is an excellent way to practice your brain function, and of course reading is outstanding. Whether you're reading fiction or non-fiction, you're engaging your creativity, your memory, your vocabulary and using your brain in a way that will support its healthy function for a long time to come. Now, as you're doing all of this, you may be interested to know healthy brain function also boosts healthy body function. Because, there's a whole field known as psychoneuroimmunology that looks at the links between brain chemistry and immune system function, and it turns out when you have a healthy, active brain, you have a much more active immune system. That can extend your life, so working to boost your brain function can have side effects that directly enhance the health of your body and your ability to fight off chronic disease. Boosting brain function literally helps you live longer.

Have you ever known someone who was really sharp until the day they retired from their job? Then they decided to sit back and take it easy. They went on a few vacations, started watching a lot of television and next thing you know, they died. What happened? They stopped engaging their brain, their immune system function suffered and they succumbed to some sort of chronic disease like cancer. This is all initiated by their loss of brain exercise.

Brain exercise can have a huge impact on your longevity, and it's perhaps one of the best anti-aging strategies you can pursue. Now, you'll notice all these strategies I've mentioned here are based on transforming yourself from the inside, not changing your external appearance. There's a great tendency in our society today to focus on the external appearance. For example: You have these TV shows like "The Swan," where they show people who are seemingly incredibly happy from having their appearance altered through cosmetic surgery, liposuction, anti-wrinkle creams, hair dyes and things like that. I think it's quite ridiculous to see this going on, but it's very typical of American society just to focus on the outward appearance and not really spend time on the internal transformation.

Why? Itís because internal transformation takes effort. It takes time, and it's something that requires you to take responsibility. The things I'm talking about here in terms of strategies are those internal transformation strategies like altering your nutrition, engaging in brain function, changing your lifestyle and taking up regular physical exercise; doing these things will make you much younger in every measurable way.

If you took a biological measurement of your age, you can actually reverse that biological age through outstanding nutrition, physical exercise, brain exercise, herbal supplements and so on. You can't do that with cosmetics. All you can do is cover up your age, and the older you get the more you have to cover up. In fact, popular cosmetics are made with such dangerous ingredients that they actually impair your health, can create liver toxicity, clog up skin pores and introduce a lot of toxic chemicals into your system causing you to age faster. Before long you need more cosmetics than ever, and then you're caught in this endless downward spiral of unhealthy addiction to cosmetics and cosmetic surgery. Unfortunately, that's where a lot of people are today.

What I'm saying is, take a different path. Don't cover up your wrinkles, exercise your face instead; don't get liposuction, change your life and lose that body fat naturally, permanently, in a way that greatly enhances your energy, vitality and reverses your biological age at the same time. Don't lie to the world by dyeing your hair black when you have some gray in it. Let the hair be gray, and blow people away with your sharp cognitive function. Show people you're just as sharp, if not sharper, than anybody younger than you, plus you have wisdom and experience to go along with it. That's something youth simply cannot offer.

If you still find yourself in a job where you're being punished for your biological age, even though you have the sharpest brain of anybody in your department, then I say you're in the wrong job. You need to go find a place that respects you as a human being, honors your mental capacity and hires people for their capabilities rather than their good looks. There are places like that out there. I know, because I run one of those companies, and the very first thing I look for when I'm hiring people is how genuine they are -- their level of authenticity. I want to see someone as they really are; I want to know their mental capabilities, their attitudes and their interests. I want to know what they're really like. If someone comes in for an interview and they're all covered up with makeup, to me, that's an instant red flag, because I can't tell who's underneath all that stuff.

There are companies like that out there. I encourage you to find one, and then work to boost your mental capacity. Engage in those brain exercises. Give up the unhealthy foods that impair nervous system function and adopt a new, healthy lifestyle with nutritional supplements, naturopathic health care, and invest in yourself.

If you think about it, when you purchase cosmetics, liposuction and these other services, you're not investing in yourself. You're investing in those surgeons or those companies that sell those cosmetics, because you have to keep using them over and over again. You might as well buy stock in Elizabeth Arden, because you're buying so much of their product.

In contrast, when you take the natural route and transform yourself from the inside out, you are investing in yourself, and that's an investment you can take with you each and every day. Because, when you wake up after that health transformation, and you look in the mirror, you look beautiful even without touching any makeup whatsoever. You look young, energized and sharp. You've taken all that effort and invested it in yourself, and that will pay dividends for you each and every day for the rest of your life. Also, you won't be financially tied to some line of cosmetic products that really just cover up the signs of aging and put on a fake presentation for the world around you.

If you're going to go for some cosmetics, definitely use the natural cosmetics. There are organic products. There are high-end natural cosmetic products made with really healthy ingredients. Stay away from the artificial petroleum stuff. Stay away from the brand-name cosmetics and go with the small, natural companies that have products that can really make a difference. Because, I agree that sometimes in the professional world, you're in situations where you need to have some lipstick on, or you need to have eye shadow. That's expected by your coworkers, and that's fine. I'm not saying you should walk into every situation without any makeup. However, if you're going to use makeup, use the natural stuff, and don't rely on makeup to change your personal appearance in the long run. Alter your lifestyle so you can be healthy and vibrant all the time, even if you're not wearing makeup. Then if you're in a situation where you have to use makeup for professional reasons, then that makeup only enhances the natural, vibrant look you already have.

For men, if you're worried about your job, and you want to look younger, I say skip the cosmetic surgery, skip the toxic hair dyes, focus on your level of energy and your mental function. You can look younger and more vibrant by changing who you are inside much better than by changing your appearance on the outside. Sooner or later, people will look past your hair color and your cosmetic surgery, and they will look at who you are inside and what capabilities you bring to the table. That's where you want to compete. Otherwise, you're competing in a losing game, because there's always somebody out there who's younger and better-looking than you are. Unless you're in the modeling industry, it just doesn't make sense to undergo potentially dangerous operations and radical procedures just to alter your appearance for a new job.


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