Joan Lubar thinks that "growing older is inevitable, but aging is optional. If we take care of our bodies and minds, we can live an amazing, healthy, joyful and successful life."
The Happy Valley resident is living proof of that philosophy, and she shares her story in her newly released book "Rock & Roll at Any Age."
Lubar will sign copies of the book at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, at Cafe West Linn, 1980 Willamette Falls Drive, in West Linn.
In her 40s, Lubar had an untreated thyroid condition and was tired all the time. Her doctor told her that was to be expected in someone her age. Lubar left that appointment determined to turn his words around and recover her health.
When she began searching for ways to improve her life, a friend told her about a line of products, and within two weeks of taking the supplements, her weight came down and she had more energy.
"Now, at 70-plus years, I feel fit and fabulous," she said, adding that she feels so strongly about the products that she has been selling them for many years.
The book came about because "so many people were asking me what I have done to keep me young and vibrant and with such a great attitude, and I wanted to share it."
She began writing little bits and pieces of the book, and then a year ago her friend Kathleen Gage said she was tired of hearing Lubar just talk about writing the book.
"She told me she was going to give me an assignment every week. I have so many things going on, it was good to have someone there [for me to be] accountable to," Lubar said.
Her editor Madeleine Eno also was instrumental in helping her complete the book.
"Rock & Roll at Any Age" was released March 1 and is available at Amazon.com and on Lubar's own website at joanlubar.com.
The book "offers solid solutions, ideas, techniques and products that I have used for over 30 years to keep me youthful, excited about life, productive and healthy," she said.
Lubar added that the title came about because "rock and roll is so freeing, so rebellious and so energizing. Why not be rebellious? Why not grow older in a way no one expects?"
Healthy attitude goes long way
Lubar said the book focuses mainly on different aspects of building health: an active lifestyle, the mental and physical body, and spiritual devotion.
"It doesn't need to be religious. It's more about believing in something bigger than yourself," she said.
Three key things that Lubar emphasizes in the book are nutrition, attitude and movement.
She discusses diet in a chapter of the book titled "You Really Are What You Eat," noting that she feels so much better when she sticks to meals that "consist of clean protein, fruits and veggies."
If she indulges in certain dairy products, wheat and foods with too much sugar, the result is "not pleasant," Lubar said.
Attitude is "a major component of how healthy we are. Most people think of getting older as a negative, and some people give up before they are even into it. They have already decided to be old."
But, she added, "Solutions start with becoming aware. You then have a choice which direction to go in. Commit and create a plan, then follow the plan. You don't have to be perfect."
A turning point for Lubar came when she started taking country dancing in her 40s and realized it relieved stress and made her feel better overall.
"The dancing was similar to the casual ballroom dancing I had done in my teens, and the music was more like rock and roll with a strong beat," Lubar writes, noting that dancing became her outlet "to blow off steam."
Exercise is necessary for health, weight control, attitude and youthfulness she notes in the book, adding that exercise contributes to a long list of positive attributes including better balance and posture, stronger bones, better sleep and lowered risk of type 2 diabetes.
Contribution to the community
In addition to telling her story and offering advice about living a better lifestyle, Lubar said that one of her other purposes in writing the book was to encourage people to get involved with their communities.
"We can age in a way that gives us joy, purpose and great health at whatever stage we're at," she said.
"If people feel healthy and feel well, they are able to contribute to the community. So many people in their 50s and 60s buy into the myth and feel discarded. I am an advocate for seniors to be accepted back into the community with a purpose," she said.
Today "a lot of younger people are running things without wiser people backing them up. The community needs elders who bring wisdom and experience."
Lubar added, "Mentorship is part of what the older generation can contribute. They can also feel healthy, vibrant and joyful, no matter what their age."
What: Joan Lubar will sign her new book "Rock & Roll at Any Age"
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 18
Where: Cafe West Linn, 1980 Willamette Falls Drive, in West Linn