After having three babies and two miscarriages during six years in her mid-30s, Arlene Pellicane had plenty of first-hand experience with a changing body. She made the decision to focus on health and lose the baby weight after each pregnancy, but she also gained somethingmotivation to help women by writing about her experiences.
"I wanted to be healthy for myself and my family," Pellicane said, "so once I had the why in place, I had to figure out the how."
Pellicane wrote a 31-day audio course, "Losing Weight After Baby: 31 Days to a New You," available through her website, and then, late last year, Harvest House Publishers released her book, "31 Days to a Younger You: No Surgery, No Diets, No Kidding." She offers readers of all ages solutions to looking and feeling younger as they "grow more beautiful from the inside out."
Pellicane, 39, has three young childrenEthan, Noelle and Lucy. As she played with her youngest, she knew she wanted to "keep up with her" in her teen years.
"Watching my children, I see so much joy and wonder about life," she said. "I don't want to lose that as I get older."
Though family is a priority, Pellicane is also ministry-focused, often speaking to women's groups.
"I want to inspire women to believe that their best days are ahead of them," she said.
With a bachelor's degree from Biola University and a master's from Regent University, Pellicane also has wide experience in media production. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, she served as the associate producer for Turning Point Television with Dr. David Jeremiah. She appeared on The Hour of Power, and was also featured on The 700 Club, where she once served as an on-air features producer.
Still she tries to keep a balanced focus on body and soul.
"You've got to use moderation," she said. "If you're spending too much time in front of the mirror obsessing about your hair and makeup, that's a waste of time. There are more important things in life than having perfectly curled eyelashes!
"Yet that doesn't mean that you throw out makeup, an attractive wardrobe and fitness altogether," she said. "You don't have to choose between being attractive and being holy. They go together. When you are seeking to be more like Jesus, that touches your whole lifeheart, mind, and body. It's a whole package."
While Pellicane asks women heart-searching questionsAre you still in love with your Savior? Are you interested in the things God is interested in?she also addresses practical issues such as nutrition, sleep, fashion and making time for love.
"Smile; enjoy your life," she said. "Keep moving. Stay physically active and keep your mind moving, too, by being a constant learner through life. Eat well. Serve otherspour love into others and you'll lengthen your days for sure.
Pushing exercise and fitness for general health and stress relief, Pellicane's book also shows a clear connection between fitness and sharper brain power.
"Exercise is a great place to start to improve your thinking," she said. "Stress and anxiety play a big part in the aging process," she said. "There are many ways to relieve stress without spending any money."
In addition to common ways to relieve stressprayer, exercise, journaling, time with a friend, sleepshe suggests a "spa day at home," and her book explains how to prepare for, set the stage, and conduct one. She even offers recipes for the pampering process.
Pellicane offers nutritional advice, what to eat and what to toss, but also spends a whole chapter on fasting from fast food as one way to turn back the clock. In our fast-paced culture, preparation is the key, she says. "You have to be a 'snack rat'bringing healthy snacks with you whenever you go out."
While fashion is covered in her book, Pellicane said the most sure-fire tip is the simplest.
"The best thing you can wear is a smile!" Pellicane said. "It doesn't cost anything and makes you look gorgeous. Once you're smiling, you can work on your wardrobe."
Pellicane's book subtitle includes the phrase "No Surgery."
"I think cosmetic surgery isn't the answer to our quest for youth," she said. "We may think having a facelift or tummy tuck will solve our issues, but at the end of the procedure, we still have the same lifethe same insecurities, the same issues. If women are looking to plastic surgery to make them feel better about themselves, I think they will be disappointed."
On the other hand, Pellicane admits that some cosmetic surgery is useful, such as for children with cleft palates whose lives are changed for the better through surgery.
"That dramatic change isn't usually what we think of when we think of plastic surgery in America," she said, "but perhaps a woman has a mark on her skin that could be removed. Plastic surgery can be helpful. As long as we don't get our worth through our looks, plastic surgery is a good option for some women."
Pellicane said she doesn't believe women should go it alone in their quest to look and feel younger.
"When you are with good friends, you naturally feel better," she said. "The problems that seemed so overwhelming don't seem quite as powerful after talking them over with friends who care.
"Good friends are stress busters! When we're isolated, it's easy to become discouraged; and when we're discouraged for months on end, that ages us quickly."
Pellicane recommends that women find friends who make them laugh, and community that gives a sense of connection and belonging.
"It makes life so much sweeter," she said.
For more information about Pellicane's speaking ministry or her new book, visit www.arlenepellicane.com.