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At 5-foot-11, he admits he's "scrawny," which he calls the main drawback.
Hunger and wearing extra clothes to stay warm -- because of little body fat or, he claims, an effect of slowed aging -- are barely annoyances for Delaney.
He says he eats sensibly, replacing junk food with lots of fruits and vegetables, no meat, and two meals daily -- no lunch. Breakfast is often "a hearty bowl" of granola, with fruit, nuts and soy milk; while dinner could be fish, rice, beans, a large salad and red wine.
Other than "tons of fine wrinkles" he blames on too much sun as a kid, Delaney says in most respects, "I look much younger" than 45.
It is a bragging right many strive for.
"When we were younger, we'd talk about someone who was 60 and that was old. And now my gym is full of women over 60 and they look phenomenal," says Renee Young, a 48-year-old businesswoman in New Rochelle, N.Y. "They don't want to be categorized as old."
But there's more to it than that. Youthfulness, she says frankly, is also a means of survival in the business world, including in her line of work, public relations.
"It feels like you're put out to pasture. No one wants to feel that how they look means that their ability to do anything is decreased," Young says. "If you have a younger look, you feel healthier. You feel that you're still in the game."
In the back of her mind is the fact that her own mother died when she was only 56.
So five or six mornings a week, even when she'd rather pull the covers over her head, Young gets up and puts in two hours at the gym.
That's more than double the hour or so a day generally recommended for optimal health. And still, for her, that wasn't enough. She recently spent nearly $20,000 on a tummy tuck because, as she puts it, no number of abdominal crunches was going to make her as trim as she wanted to be.
The result has been a makeover for her entire sense of self, she says.
"I made a commitment this summer. If I was going to go through all this surgery, then it was going to have to be part of a complete program," says Young, who's also getting more rest and eating healthier.
"I can definitely see the result." She, too, says she has not felt this good in years.
Using a cosmetic procedure as a motivator is worthwhile, and lucrative, to say the least, says Dr. Jonathan Lippitz. He's an emergency room physician in suburban Chicago who does cosmetic procedures, such as Botox and skin fillers, in a separate practice.
But it's also a "very slippery slope," with patients sometimes willing to take more risk than they should and some doctors who'll accommodate.
"They'll always find somebody willing to do it," he says.
In his own practice, he says he finds himself continually walking a fine line in deciding which procedures he'll do -- and which ones he won't.
"We all say, 'I want my hair different. I want my eyes different,'" Lippitz says. "This idea of being perfect is a problem, though, because it's not reality.
"I have people coming in and saying 'I want these lips.' I say, 'You can't have these lips.'
"I say, 'We'll work with what you have.'"
But what if what they have is just fine? These are the sorts of questions that trouble Dr. Michael Morgan, a dentist who does cosmetic work in another Chicago suburb.
He's been seeing more young, female clients walking through his doors. And even his own 13-year-old daughter asked if he would whiten her teeth, something he didn't think she needed. Nor did he consider it safe for her young teeth or "age appropriate."
"There's a consciousness about it. They are much more concerned with the appearance of their face. But there's also a social pressure," he says of the younger generation for whom he'll do the most conservative procedures, but no more.
He sounds a little sad when he talks about it.
"There's nothing wrong with wanting to look better. We want to look young. We want to look great," he says. "But part of that feeling has to come from within."
For those going to even greater lengths to try to keep aging -- and ultimately death -- at bay, there also are no guarantees.
Calorie restriction guru Dr. Roy Walford succumbed to complications from Lou Gehrig's disease at age 79, closer to the average than the "extraordinarily long life" his followers talk about on their Web site.
Meanwhile, Dr. Alan Mintz, founder of Cenegenics, died at the relatively young age of 69 due to complications during a brain biopsy.
Some research has suggested that human growth hormone injections can cause cancer. They've also been linked with nerve pain, elevated cholesterol and increased risks for diabetes.
Even so, Life, now the chief medical officer at Cenegenics, remains steadfast. Among other things, he points to studies that suggest that human growth hormone in low doses poses no cancer risk if there is no pre-existing cancer.
"Within the next 10 years, maybe less, this is going to be thought of as mainstream medicine -- preventing disease, slowing the aging process down, preventing people from losing their ability to take care of themselves when they get older and ending up in nursing homes," Life says. "This is really the cutting edge of medicine."
Detwiler is betting on that.
"There are those who might think I'm cheating God's way. I don't know," he says. "But I don't want to regress. Why should I?"
He says his overall body fat has dropped from nearly 17 percent to less than 10 percent. He can't remember the last time he had a cold or the flu. And he says he's had the stamina to work long hours, putting him on pace to earn more than a million dollars this year.
That's what he knows now. The future, he says, will be anyone's guess.
"People might ask, 'Hey, what's happened to these people? Was it cutting-edge? Or did it cut it short?'" he says, as he walks into a gym for another workout.
"I think only time will tell."
On the Net:
Calorie Restriction Society:
Life Expectency Calculator:
National Institute on Aging: http://www.nia.nih.gov/
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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