Ever taken one of those tests online that determines your real age?  I took one last year and it told me I was acting my age or something like that because it came up that I my real age was 58. Duh, I knew that.

Age doesn't matter, Jenny Parker, Teresa Parker

Jenny and Teresa Parker eat at Joe’s Crab Shack where age doesn’t really matter

This year I got sent another test by the same company. So, I decided to see if my real age had changed by a year. I know, that’s crazy, right? I’m a bit crazy so I had to do it.

In the last year I implemented quite a few changes. I just wanted to see if they made any difference in what is supposedly my real age.

Many times these tests show that a person is quite a bit older than their birth date shows. Last year I was just happy that it showed my actual age.

However, since my birthday last year I’ve been doing some things to improve my health. Much to my surprise, the test was very different this year.

Instead of staying the same I’ve actually taken almost 5 years off my age. Really? I was more than surprised.  I was shocked!

Want to know what I’ve been doing? Ok, I’ll tell you.

Consistent Exercise

At least five times a week, I walk in the water for 30 minutes. When I have time I increase that to an hour. Then, I do 15 minutes of stretching and physical therapy exercises in the water. When I don’t make it at the right time to exercise in the water, I do 30 minutes on the exercise bike and some weight training. 

I discovered an exercise video I’ve been doing two to three times a week called T-Tapp (click on box on the right side of the page for more information or to order a DVD). Developed by a physical therapist, it is a safe exercise video for me. However, it is probably a better workout than all of the above put together.

For me this is good exercise. For others this is too easy. Whatever one does, the important element is consistency.  Starting with 15 minutes of walking three times a week and building from there is certainly a place to start.

Healthy Eating

Last April I gave up candy. By my birthday, I had given up sugar.  Along about October I gave up white flour.  By Christmas I had pretty much given up bread.  In January I began a journey towards eating only meat, vegetables and fruits. I admit there are times that I fudge on that but it is my overall goal. 

I am attempting to eat more salads.  Thanks Debbie, to an awesome friend, I discovered I love iceberg and romaine lettuce with olives, red onions, roma tomatoes, avacodo and artichoke hearts with a low-fat creamy Italian dressing.  That with some chicken breast is a feast in itself.

I’m not saying this is the be-all, end-all to eating plans. Perhaps there is something else that works for you. The key is decide your way of eating healthy and stay with it.

What works for me is focusing on what I can eat rather than what I can’t.

I know with my compulsive personality some things need to have a big red X on them. I am definitely a sugar-holic and that needs to be something I stir clear of.

The key for me, though, is focusing on fruits instead of candy, cakes and overly sweet desserts. From time to time I will eat a bite of something like that. It helps me to know that I control what I eat and if I want to sample something I can. Most of the time, though, I choose not to.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements 

Last fall I went to see Dr. William Trumbower. An OB/GYN, he delivered both of my children. I credit him with saving my son’s life but that’s another story.  He’s given up the OB practice and continues to do GYN work and metabolic counseling.

Although not a wholistic doctor as such, he does emphasize vitamins and minerals and is very much a fan of the paleo diet which is meats, vegetables and fruits.

He ran total metabolic panel on me which is a series of blood tests. He encourged me to begin several different vitamins and minerals. Some I was already taking and some I’ve added.

This includes: Vectomega©, vitamin A and D, copper, selenium, magnesium, MK-7 and B-12. I also take glucosamine chondrotin.

He started me on a natural thyroid supplement. I’m still in the process of building up to the dose I need to be at. Already I’m feeling some improvement.

If you are not in central Missouri, perhaps there is a doctor in your area who encourages vitamin and mineral supplementation. Ask at your local health food store if they know of a good doctor who specializes in wholistic or metabolic medicine.

For me, another helpful addition has been Young Living Essentials© Peppermint Oil. It helps me with mental and physical fatigue.  If interested click here and scroll down to Peppermint Oil. If you have difficulty in this area, it’s worth a try. 


Another great resource in my arsenal is Isagenix. I’ve been taking the Isagenix shakes for almost two years. Every morning I make my shake which consists of one scoop of IsaLean© vanilla shake mix, one scoop of Fiberpro©, three packets of Truvia© natural sweetner and a dash of cinnamon.

I blend this and pour it over one cup of frozen strawberries. I find if I have this in the mornings, I don’t crave sweets. I also use Isagenix Cleanse for Life© (I use the powder that I mix in 4 oz of water in the mornings; they also have liquid) and Isaflush© (which is a capsule that helps flush out toxins in the body). The Truvia© you can buy in the grocery store. For Isagenix products click here.

Physical Therapy

I found a physical therapist that has taught me a lot about the right kinds of exercises. She is helping me rehabilitate from a shoulder injury and increase the stamina in my back, knees and legs. She uses Active Release Therapy which is a combination of traditional PT and massage, pressure points and muscle activation. 

Her name is Kelly Chandler with Excel Physical Therapy. Although located in Boonville, MO, she also sees clients in Columbia. Check out the website and be sure to click on ART video under Kelly’s bio. 

For a physical therapist in your area that does some of the same kinds of things, do an internet search for  physical therapist Active Release Therapy.

My Tools

The above are the tools I use to stay physically healthy. Being whole and healthy also means staying healthy emotionally, mentally and spiritually, along with physically.

If you have a deficit in any area, all areas will suffer. I consciously work on all areas. But that’s another blog post.

Since my birthday last year, I’ve lost 40 pounds.  That fact alone might be responsible for the results of my real age test this year.  Instead of aging a year, it tells me I have reversed my age by 4.9 years.

When I was about 7, I had a theory that when a person got older they just started growing down. That explained babies and kids and all the ages in between. I used to say, “When I grow down I’m going to…” My family was quick to let me know that wasn’t how things work.

Know that I’m old enough, I’m thinking maybe a did know a little bit when I was 7. Maybe you can grow down. Maybe by next year maybe I’ll be below 50? That wouldn’t be a bad birthday present for turning 60.

I doubt I’ll cut enough years off my life to reach age 7. However, it wouldn’t be bad to stop the aging process where it is.

If you like taking these kinds of tests, go to www.realage.com and see what it says for you. Be honest though. It’s really just for your eyes. You don’t have to be so brash as to share it like I am doing. The website has a lot of helpful information there, as well.  

What healthy tips do you have to share? If you have a moment, share them in the comments section below this blog on the website. 

Here’s to an even healthier year.

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.