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Must read: A 73-yr-old's inspiring weight loss journey

By Rediff Get Ahead
March 12, 2020 12:27 IST
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Joan MacDonald began her fitness journey three years ago and has already lost 22 kg.


Joan MacDonald, a 73-year-old from Canada has been winning hearts on the Internet with her incredible weight loss journey.

Having struggled with body weight issues in the past, she was put on medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol and acid reflux.

'I battled weight most of my adult life,' she shares. 'I was seriously overweight for the past 20 years before starting all of this. I have had a hysterectomy when I was in my forties.'

Three years ago, Joan decided to embark on a fitness journey and the results have begun to show now.

The fitness enthusiast lost 50 pounds (22 kg) and has gained over 5,000 followers on social media.

'I never would have thought my story of getting fit at 70 would have been such an inspiration,' she reveals in a post on Instagram.

'These days it seems the older a woman gets, the more she disappears from the world, but I guess times might be changing.

'It makes me so happy that many of you are getting fired up to get fit and that many of you are getting reconnected with your own mothers and grandmothers in a positive way.'

Joan first took to meditation to help change her mindset. 'I meditate for about 20 minutes every day, come rain or shine. I am far from perfect but it has helped me become more aware of my thoughts and patterns. It just helps me to feel good about myself and more at peace. I can definitely say that my life has improved since I started meditating.'

'Transformation isn't just about losing weight. Transformation can be about so much more. Certainly this has been my long, slow journey,' she shares.

It was her mother's deteriorating health, that made her take charge of her own health. 'I was visiting my own mother in a nursing home and saw her health rapidly deteriorating. It absolutely broke my heart, and yet it was also frustrating to see her just accept her fate and refuse to fight to make things better.

'When my own daughter reached out to me and offered to help, it was like coming full circle. I was at a real crossroads. Do I follow in the footsteps of my mother, or do I try to break free of the cycle and create a different outcome for myself.'

She adds, 'I know so many of you want to know about the diet and the training, but what I can't stress enough to you, is the importance of developing your mind. Throughout the past three years I have been deeply challenged, many times in tears. But I did not give up.

'Since I started this journey three years ago I've learned to use an iPhone, I’ve learned to use apps (though they still seem complicated to me).

'So, for those of you think more about losing weight, I am telling you, sometimes the weight we need to lose is more than the pounds on the scale.

'Sometimes we need to lose our negative self-talk, our feelings of failure, our lack of confidence in ourselves and in the world. Sometimes it's the internal transformation that is its own best reward.'

As for those wanting to know the secret of her weight loss, Joan says, 'I am not on hormone replacement therapy. I do not eliminate any food groups.

'I train 5 days a week for about 75 minutes with weights trying to get better each week. I do cardio 4-7 days a week for about 15-30 minutes depending on what my coach wants me to do.'

Joan's tips: 

  • Really take stock of the things you want to change. Be clear in your mind what habits you want to change. Write those things down. Make a clear list.
  • Write out another list of the new habits you want to master to create a new you.
  • Be clear. Be simple. Changing your life isn’t as complicated as we make it out to be. To make big changes we need to create new daily habits. That’s it. End of story. Focus on the habits.
  • Get a nutrition and exercise plan that you can follow for the long term. Be careful of fad diets that eliminate major food groups. You want this to be sustainable. Anyone can lose 10 lbs for a couple of months. You will want to be one of the few that transform for the long haul. That’s where the real benefits start racking up.
  • Have an attitude of gratitude for the small successes. The more you can focus on what you're doing right, the more confident and energised you'll be to keep on going.
  • You can't beat yourself over the finish line folks. You've got to learn to truly love yourself unconditionally and keep on encouraging yourselves to grow in the right direction.

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