Sophia Loren says that the key to youth is to 'get up quickly and quietly'.
|Me. (Not really)|
And I'm not getting this from a discount source like People magazine or the Enquirer, either. It comes straight from my sister who once worked with Sophia, and got all her info from her hairdressers and make-up people who are Italian, devoted, and therefore totally reliable. (My sister also said that SL is as gracious and elegant as she appears.)
But the point to her theory is that you don't want to make any loud noises when you slowly get out of your seat. For instance, you don't want to be in a position where you have to grip the arms of your chair, and grunt, in order to stand up. Becoming erect shouldn't be a laborious process. Nor a long drawn out freak show where people quietly turn their heads and feign distraction while they're actually waiting for you to become upright.
What you need are good stomach muscles that will propel you out of your seat like a teenager. I totally believe that the thing that separates us from our Granny is the ability to stand up at a moments notice. And for that you need a strong core.
This is on my mind a lot these days because it's been four months since I've crunched my tummy. And because I was on a belly-growing mission before that, I've barely done a sit-up since 2011. So even though I have a flat stomach, I am nowhere near tip-top shape. In fact, my abs are weak. In my private moments I allow myself to sink into our big cozy couch. When the phone rings, I roll slightly too my right, then make a grandpa noise, and push myself up with the arm that is not swollen like a big fleshy pork sausage. Then I lurch off the sofa and head of in the direction of the ringing, which has usually stopped.
But that won't do in public. Neither my freshly dyed hair nor my Levi demi-curve skinny jeans will make me look young on their own. In fact nothing will, when I'm huffing and puffing to get out of my seat. And so I perch. When I'm concerned about public approval I will sit on the edge of my seat (like an Italian movie star) with my knees together and my shins at a slight angle. When I need to stand up - I just float out of my chair as though a string is pulling up my head - and spring into action. No problemo!
I've watched Sophia Loren in interviews. When sitting, her back is ramrod straight, and when standing, she owns the ground she walks on. Here is a woman who will not allow her body to collapse, and would never ever wear sweatpants to the grocery store.
I don't know the secret to her magnificence. It could have something to do with Mediterranean genes, full lips, and bags of money - but I think not. The secret is inside of her, deep in her core. But without olive skin, lips, and bundles of money to fall back on - I will do whatever she advises. So I try to get up rapido e silenziso, a la Sophia.