Aerobic {SWAP that Middle Aged Body}

Welcome to 31 Days of Celebrating Middle Age!

S - Stretch and Strengthen
W - Water
A - Aerobic
P - Portion Control

Notice I didn't write "aerobicS"...I wrote "aerobic".  Aerobic simply means "with oxygen". 

No one burns fat without oxygen.  In fact, the whole reason aerobics (with an "s") as we used to know it works, is that the increased intake of oxygen fires up your body's fat burning capacity. 

So I want to tell you the 80/20 exercise secret - the 20% of your effort that will yield 80% of your desired result:

Deep breathing.

Walking...while deep breathing.

No, seriously.  Come back!  I mean it!  Those two things, they are like magic, man.  Not even lying.

Once again, "aerobic" just means "with oxygen".  No treadmill required - I hate those things.  Get outside, where your body has to adapt to hot or cold weather.

Those two things, deep breathing and walking, will revolutionize your life if they haven't already (and if you already do them, you can happily move on to the blog that celebrates "31 Days of Stuff I Never Heard Before"):

Remember when "aerobic" meant this:

My sister and I actually did this:

I can hear you now:  "Oh. No.  You.  Di-in't."

Oh.  Yes.  We.  Did.

Ask our children.  Ask their therapist.  (Just kidding...they didn't get therapy.  They still carry the scars, actually.)

Aren't you glad I am not sharing that resource?

Here is what I know will make a big difference for you:

Jumpstart Your Metabolism  by Pam Grout.

Just like with the Miracle Ball method, I shared this book with a friend, this time another pastor's wife.  I gave it to her to take home with her when she and her husband were visiting with us for a week.  She later let me know that it blessed her immeasurably.  She was noticeably calmer, more serene, and had lots more energy and had even dropped a few pounds.

disclaimer:  My pastor's wife friend is a big girl, and a sharp thinker.  I think you are too.  I am trusting you to be a good sorter...a good gleaner...and discard any New Age mumbo jumbo blah blah blah that you may find in this book, and keep some of the great deep breathing exercises...mmmm-kay?

Once you master just a few deep breathing techniques, combine them with your daily prayer walk. 

I think you'll be amazed.

SWAP That Body {31 Days of Celebrating Middle Age}

No one , with the exception of those with injuries who need physical therapy, has to have a gym to become fit.  I will say it again:  to any girl who insists she has to have a gym, I will simply tell her to "drop and give me 50".

Push-ups.  I promise, if you do as many as you can, every other day, they will be effective.

Or how about just 25 burpees?

But first, before metaphorical girl takes me up on my challenge, she better be hydrated.

Seriously, water - pure, clean water - is the singlemost important adjustment you can make to your overall health, if you have (like me) not been drinking enough.

S - stretch and strengthen
W - water
A - aerobics
P - portion control

Today I want to bless you with a(nother) resource and a recipe.

Your Body's Many Cries for Water

Before I give you a synopsis of this book, I am first compelled to go get me a big glass of filtered, really.  I will be right back.

Here is a summary, as stated on the page at

For the first time in medical history, F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., has identified the crisis calls of the body for water --pain, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more. He has discovered the key to a longer, healthier, and more vigorous life. He shares with you his medical breakthrough that many people put their minds and bodies under intolerable and unnecessary stress and become sick simply because they do not drink enough water. Unintentional dehydration leads to illness and painful, degenerative diseases that can be prevented, treated, and cure by drinking plenty of water.

You will learn how to use water to:

 * Prevent and reverse premature aging
* Eliminate pains including heartburn, back pain, arthritis, colitis pain, anginal pain, migraine              headaches
* Cure asthma in a few days, naturally and forever
* Cure hypertension without diuretics or other medication
* Lose weight effortlessly and naturally, without strict dieting

It is very important that your water be filtered.  The Preacher and I were gifted with this water filter, several years ago, and it is completely amazing.  Contact me  if you don't have an Amway distributor, and are interested in purchasing the best filter money can buy. 

I am not an Amway distributor, and I make nothing by connecting you with the person who gave us our Amway water filter. 

Here is "my"  recipe for healthy, sugar-free lemonade...a great way to  both increase your water
intake, and get the amazing detoxing benefits of lemon...

~ Have your Preacher drill a hole in the lid of one of your canning jars
~ buy some cute pink striped straws
~the juice of one lemon
~a small canning jar of (filtered) water
~a packet of Stevia
~a slice of said lemon

shake, shake...shake, shake...


Stretch and Strengthen {Your Middle Aged Body}

Disclaimer:  the woman in the above photo is not me.

From the time I was a wee thing, touching my toes has not come naturally.  I've never been overweight, per se, just wildly inflexible.  Guess what factor, as we age, is one of the most important in overall health and vitality?

Flexibility.  Otherwise known as "range of motion".

Lucky me.

Since I myself am rather inflexible by birth, and have fought vicious lower back pain in my middle age, I have had to find good resources in my quest to Stretch and Strengthen.  I'm excited to share my sources - one of which has been "life changing" to a young woman in our church.  (Her words, not mine...)

The first resource is a classic.  (Meaning:  its old.)  Honestly, though, you cannot improve upon it.  I've researched it, so trust me on this.  This is the best resource out there:


A book entitled Stretch and Strengthen by Judy Alter  (and no, I am not an Amazon affiliate.  I make all of nothing if you click that link and buy the book...)

The next resource has done me a world of good, when I actually do it, and it has literally been life changing for a young woman in my church, to whom I recommended the following:

The Miracle Ball Method  by Elaine Petrone

There is no need for an expensive gym membership, just to strengthen your body.  Sometimes, and depending on the location, a gym can be "college girl" (cheap gym) or it might scream "I am a woman of a certain age" (posh gym).  Let's strike the middle, shall we?  Let's be different.  Renegade.  Wonderfully outside that box...the one with all the equipment and the heated indoor pool.

Try this app, available for iphone and android, called You Are Your Own Gym

Any woman who actually believes she needs a gym membership to get in shape - I will ask her to drop and give me 50 push-ups.  Bam.  Simple as that.

I have always been a big believer in strengthening using your own body weight.  (Well, I've always believed in it ever since I was a certified fitness trainer in my very early years, who taught everyone else the proper form on all the machines and the free weights.  I became convinced at a young age that there was a better way)

If you were heretofore unaware of these treasures, this one post alone is worth the price of admission. 

I'm so glad you came by to see me today...

Your {Middle Age} Body

Welcome to 31 Days of Celebrating Middle Age!

You just can't address the topic of middle age, without addressing a woman's middle aged body.  (And dressing a woman's middle aged body - but that is for later in this series!)  The fact is, and we all know this:  In spite of every effort, our bodies and our beauty will continue to age.

Oh goody.  Isn't that just precious?

The good news is, you are as young as you will ever be right now, today.  Live it, to the full!

The bad news is, you are as young as you will ever be right now, today.  Take care of your temple.  It's your "brick house", honey.  It's mighty-mighty.


I will admit to you that where it concerns self-care, I still "see men as trees walking".  In other words, I am still working on some things, and God is still at work in me.  All I know, is what I know, and I am happy to share that with you.

I want to teach you how to SWAP your body.  Doesn't that sound just like a hit funk song by Chaka Kahn?  (And doesn't every good teacher love an acronym?) 

I know, right?  You want me to stop bragging and carry on with my FBS (my Funky Bad Self).  You can't even believe I made that term up all by myself.

But I did.

SWAP.  It's the 80/20 principle of self care.  (...the 20% of your efforts that get you 80% of the desired result.)

SWAP.  It's the I-Ching of health.

SWAP.  It's the new 40, the new black, the new rage.

SWAP.  It's what works for me, and it's about all I know.

tretch and Strengthen



Portion control 

At risk of sounding overly-funky, I'll say that I'll "break it down" for you in the coming won't want to miss it.

{Look up over your head! Right now! That disco ball I ordered for you is dropping down. Dance break...}

31 Days of Celebrating the Middle {Choose to Dare Greatly}

Ecclesiastes says "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof."

It would be easy to begin the Boston Marathon.  It would be amazing to cross the finish line.

I hear it's the middle that bites.  Every time.  The middle is that place in life where all your mistakes - every error in judgment - begins to show.  You can't hide it anymore.  You can't hide those extra pounds, that red convertible, that divorce, or that strained relationship. You can't mask your own lack of passion or zeal for life. 

Your finish line - your entire destiny -  depends on the quality of the choices you make in the middle.

Hang in there.  Dig in and settle down to work.  Choose to dare greatly, and then choose not to quit.

I adapted a Teddy Roosevelt quote for us.  Seemed appropriate, just now...

“It is not the critic who counts; not the woman who points out how the strong woman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends herself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if she fails, at least she fails while daring greatly. So that her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”


31 Days of Celebrating Middle Age {5 Indications You May Be in a Real Crisis }

So you, like me, can admit to "seeing men as trees walking".  You see, but you don't see.  You are on your way to being just aren't there yet.

Or maybe you, like me in years past, need a little more convincing that your perspective on life and spiritual things is blurry and as yet unclear.  You think you are seeing clearly, but that's only because you think that what you see, is all there is to see. 

Ah!  There is so much more to be aware of, if that's the case.  Even if you don't think you  need mercy, there is Mercy in the Middle for you.

5 Indicators of Mid-Life Deception {Warning:  Course Correction Necessary}

1.  When you find yourself withholding worship and service. 

      ...because you're older now.  You are busy.  You are tired.  You have a career to build or maintain.  You have a family.  You are educated and smart, now.  When you were younger, you used to worship and serve with passion, but you've "matured" since then.

2.  When you find yourself gravitating to extremes: 

    ...either letting go of Godly habits, at the expense of your witness;  or locking down on Godly habits at the expense of your relationships.

3.  When you find yourself with a growing attraction to the world

      ...regardless of how we seek to put our "spin" on it, or justify it, the fact is we are more concerned with building our own house, than we are with building up the house of God (which is always His people).  Somebody has to work to pay for all the toys, right?

4.  When you find yourself in rebellion against legitimate authority

     ....because, well, you know.  That man is not the boss of you.  You've worked hard, and you have your own gifts. You are beyond needing to be under authority.

Well, then you are the exception to the rule, only in the whole history of ever!  Once again, carefully  note that I use the term legitimate authority.  The difference between legitimate authority, and illegitimate authority is motive and track record.  Please see the above link for further clarification.

5.  When you find yourself with theological doubts.

     ...all that stuff you used to believe about the sovereignty of God?  You aren't so sure anymore.  In fact, you are a bit jaded and critical of those who do believe and teach.  You mask it well by saying, "All I know for sure, is that I don't know anything for sure."  Sounds so humble, but guess what?

You can know for sure.

 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.  (Deut. 29:29)

PS. and by the way...the thing revealed to us today is Christ.  It is no longer the law.  Under the Old Covenant, the law was all they had.  God designed it that way.  But now, all God wants you to know, and all you can know for sure, is Christ.

God has chosen to make known...the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Colossians 1:27)

Hear the words of the greatest keeper of the law that ever was, other than Jesus Himself, the apostle Paul:

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (I Corinthians 2:2)


One of the best books on distinguishing between law and grace is Silent Killers of the Faith (Overcoming Legalism and Performance Based Religion) by Dr. Steve Crosby


31 Days of Celebrating Middle Age {What Do You See?}

So here we are, throwing a word-party for The Middle.  I can't tell you how much it means to me that you'd even come.

No, really.  I mean it.  Who does that?  Only us...only you and me. 

"The Middle".  We stereotype it, we attempt to prepare for it, we compensate for it.  And we instinctively, I think, fear it. 

You have your "middle children".  Don't listen to what the psychologists say about them, whatever you do!  You have "the middle school years" - the most difficult of all of childhood, research has proven.  And you have your mid-life crisis.  Why are middling things so hard?  It seems that the middle of anything is guaranteed to have its hopeless moments.

God has made dear and precious and very personal promises to each one of us.  But in the middle, we often don't yet see the full manifestation of them.  We have experienced the healing touch of Christ in our lives, but only in measure.  Those promises are closer to fulfillment now than ever before, but we still only see them "as trees walking".

Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?"And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around." (Mark 8:23, 24)

Very God asks you and I today, "Do you see anything?"

He asks us, not because He doesn't already know the answer, and not because He doesn't intend to fully restore us.

He asks us, because we need to acknowledge that we don't yet see as we ought.

Particularly if you are still under the law, if there is any link between your performance and God's acceptance and therefore His favor,  you still see "men as trees walking". You've experienced the touch of Jesus, maybe even come to a saving knowledge, but you are not seeing clearly. Yet you might go years - alas, decades - insisting that you see just fine.

Then, one day, you hear the gospel preached by a pastor-teacher who is walking in a New Covenant understanding, and you realize that "seeing men as trees walking" isn't the same as seeing Jesus clearly and centrally. You have not been seeing the world as you could and should.

Does this offend you?

Let Jesus put His hands on you again, afresh. The moment you see the God of all grace, the moment your focus is on the finished work of Christ and not on your performance, you finally see everyone else clearly, and through the eyes of love. In fact, through the lens of the gospel of grace, as taught in all the New Testament, everything in all of Scripture becomes clear.

Once you clearly see the difference between an Old Covenant understanding of God, and a New Covenant reality...once you see that all of Scripture, Genesis to Revelation, is really about Jesus...once you see that God thought it wisdom to reconcile us through Him, and impute to us His obedience...

...well, when you suddenly see all that, you will see exactly "why the (heck) it means so much to me" to tell the world.

The power to be
The power to give
The power to see, yeah, yeah (suddenly I see)
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see, yeah, yeah (suddenly I see)
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see, yeah, yeah, yeah (suddenly I see)
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see, yeah, yeah (suddenly I see)
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see, yeah, yeah