262: Learning to Age Gratefully with Heather Creekmore


What if we could find gratitude in aging instead of relying on the cultural narrative that aging is bad? As Christian women, we have to remember to rely on God for His support through hormonal changes such as perimenopause and our changing bodies. Today we are joined by author & Christian body image coach Heather Creekmore for an episode showcasing the humor in aging and how aging gracefully is possible!


  • [00:40] Have You Noticed Changes in Your Body?
  • [09:22] Our Culture Reinforces The Message That Aging Is Bad
  • [15:10] The Mental Shift to Find Gratitude in Aging
  • [22:42] Are You in a “Sandwich” Life Season–Called to Help Aging Parents While Still Caring for Children at Home?
  • [26:00] “There is No Prize For Being a Martyr – Neither Here nor in Heaven”
  • [29:41] When We Have Grateful Hearts, Our Tendency to Compare Diminishes
  • [33:27] Alicia’s Reflections: Do You Desire Support As You Walk Through Life Changes

[00:40] Have You Noticed Changes in Your Body? 

If you are in your 40s and beyond, you have probably noticed some things changing in your body. You may be asking yourself “Why is my body doing this? What is going on with me?” and words like menopause, perimenopause, hormones, hot flashes, and belly pooch, have been starting to pop up. If you are in this season of life, you are not alone. You may have negative thought patterns or overall insecurities coming up.

What if I told you that aging did not have to be a deficit? What if we learned how to age gracefully? Today we are joined by Heather Creekmore for a conversation about her book “Aging Gratefully”. She brings humor to aging while helping us feel seen and heard about these issues – all from a Christ-centered perspective. She started asking herself “Can I be grateful for aging? and now shares her lessons with us!

[09:22] Our Culture Reinforces The Message That Aging Is Bad

Unfortunately, our culture tells us that as soon as we look old we are aging out of relevance and our significance is lost. This leads us to have a fear of rejection, we may question the longevity of our purpose, and may even ask if we have what it takes to get back into the workforce after staying home with our children. Not only is this in our minds but unfortunately our culture reinforces that aging is bad. The marketing is perpetuated by people who want us to buy something but this has now trickled into our day-to-day lives. Most of us just accept that aging is bad and we must fight against it.

Heather shares that gray hair used to be a universal sign of wisdom, stature, and trustworthiness – women included. The only women who colored their hair in the 1920s & 30s were “harlots,” she shared. Then in the 1950s, Clairol had a marketing campaign that centered around gray hair looking lifeless and dull. Clairol’s marketing convinced women that they needed to dye their hair to look young. This was a cultural standard set by a company that wanted to sell us something. There is nothing wrong with coloring our hair but we can always ask ourselves “What is the motivation behind this?”

[15:10] The Mental Shift to Find Gratitude in Aging

Heather shares with us that nothing in our lives goes better when we fear and dread it. There is a mental shift that needs to happen with our mindset around aging. We need to approach aging in a way that is healthier and more enjoyable for us. Aging is a gift that not everyone gets. As Christian women, it is easy for us to say that we should be grateful every day and then at the same time be like “I hate what aging is doing to me.” We need to shift our mindset and see that aging is normal – God created our bodies to be perfect and sin robbed that from us. Our bodies will not last forever and that is also a reality we need to face.

When we think back to cultural messaging, we expect aging in childhood. We see a picture when we are 10 years old and we know, of course, we cannot wear the same thing when we are 16. There are not many 20-year-olds that are built like 50-year-olds yet we hold ourselves to that standard. We could do a lineup of just body type and you could probably guess how old each person was. This is because bodies change. Almost every 50-year-old woman has a belly pooch and we can either spend our lives obsessing over it or we can accept that this may be a part of what middle age looks like. This may be how God designed our bodies. 

Heather has listened to some experts talk about this belly pooch as being a life preserver because, as we age, we lose estrogen and our bodies store it in that area. Estrogen is protective for our vital organs so if we think about our belly pooch in this way, it is truly amazing. Changing our mindset is everything. 

Alicia shares that a flat stomach can dictate so much of how you feel about your body. If we have a flat stomach we feel good about our bodies, despite what else is going on. She remarks that this mindset isn’t just for women in their 40s and 50s but that even her teen daughter expressed this about how a flat stomach makes her feel skinny. 

Heather reminds us that our stomachs have the capacity to expand to digest food. God made us this way and yet we often demonize this and we do not want to eat too much because we will wake up the next morning with a bigger stomach. But what if we thought about our stomach digesting food and keeping us alive? Our standard is often coming from a disordered eating perspective.

[22:42] Are You in a “Sandwich” Life Season–Called to Help Aging Parents While Still Caring for Children at Home?

One of Heather’s favorite chapters in her book is about being “sandwiched” between having teenagers and aging parents. If you find yourself in this stage of life, you know that you are filling out college applications, teaching your teenager how to drive, and doing a bunch of activities with them. Then you are helping your parents with their doctor appointments and you may feel like your life is not your own. 

As young moms, we often think: “Okay, I am dedicated. I am giving all this energy to raise my kids to this teen time”, then comes an empty nest, and then having to take care of your parents. It is a strange mix of both sides of life in this season. Our teenagers are not going to depend on us forever but the exact opposite happens with our parents. The clock is running in the opposite direction and we have no idea when that season is going to be placed upon us. 

[26:00] “There is No Prize For Being a Martyr – Neither Here Nor in Heaven”

Heather shares a story of when she signed up to bringing snack bars to a school event. She had no capacity but she still signed up to make them. She ended up having to show up the next day without the bars and this was a great lesson for her. She realized that she was now getting old enough to say no. She reminds us that we either say no or we fail if we do not have the capacity. 

As we age, our yes’s and no’s become so much more important. We need to sit with the Lord and ask Him, “What do You want me to do here? They are asking me to volunteer and I know everyone will be happy if I say yes but this may not be the best use of my time and energy.” We can either pour our energy into every single opportunity that comes our way or save that energy for the things that truly matter. 

Alicia has found in her life that one of the graces that comes with being in your 40s is sloughing off the idea of trying to impress others. We start to care more about what God wants us to do and do not care about what others think. There are no extra points for doing it all. No one is rewarding you for trying to be a martyr or superwoman. We need to change our mindset around people-pleasing and work through these patterns. 

[29:41] When We Have Grateful Hearts, Our Tendency to Compare Diminishes

Gratitude is the ultimate freedom and a partnership with God makes it easier to age. The joy of the Lord is our strength and giving up control to Him makes our lives even better. Heather shares that whenever she tries to make her life about her she ends up miserable. We can talk with God and say, “Thank you for this day, what is your purpose for it?” And she can guarantee that His purpose is not going to be affected by a couple more gray hairs, extra lines on our faces, or dimples on our thighs. 

When we have grateful hearts our tendency to compare also diminishes. We are not looking at life through the lens of getting cheated out of something, we are looking at the gifts that God has graced our lives with. Alicia shares that Heather does a great job of walking the line between being honest about what is going on and also praising God & being grateful for what He gives us (while using humor in aging along the way). 

[33:27] Alicia’s Reflections: Do You Desire Support As You Walk Through Life Changes?

Heather has a calling to speak to women about these things that we may secretly get mad at ourselves over. She has a knack for allowing us to admit these things but still release them in a way that draws us closer to Christ so we can embrace what He wants us to do in this season. Check out Heather’s book “Aging Gratefully” and either cherry-pick the topics that relate to you or grab a friend and do it together.

If you are entering a new season because of some life changes that are happening due to aging, I would love to help you in the Onward + Upward Collective. In this community, we face obstacles that could be getting in the way of the new goals or life transitions that we are approaching. You will be surrounded by a community of women who are there for accountability and support. I would love to walk with you through these seasons!
If this episode was helpful for you, make sure to share it with a friend who is also walking through this season of change in life. If you haven’t already, please remember to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. Then take a screenshot of the review and send it to hello@vibrantchristianliving.com and we will send you 50 “I am” statements that you can listen to or read that are about your identity in Christ – for free!


Stuck in the overwhelm and exhaustion of perfectionism, people pleasing, or trying to prove yourself worthy? This doesn’t have to be your reality! Sign up for the Free Workshop, Break Free From Feeling Never Enough, to find healing from a lifetime of worry, shame + striving.

Are you navigating new beginnings, creating new routines, or chasing divine dreams? If so, join us in the Onward + Upward Collective to gain the accountability, support, and encouragement (plus optional 1:1 coaching) you need to boldly pursue God’s good plans.

Connect with best-selling author Heather Creekmore


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