By Liana Jacob
THIS SEVENTY-THREE-YEAR-OLD pensioner lost FOUR STONE after her daughter taught her to use an IPHONE to help her lose weight – and now she’s MEDICATION FREE, which she admits she LOVES.
Fitness fanatic, Joan MacDonald (73) from Ontario, Canada, who is retired, struggled with her weight throughout her life, despite being active.
After using food as a way to escape a difficult time in her marriage, her weight would increase until it reached a peak 14st 3Ib and UK size 18.
She was on various medications to help with her health including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and acid reflux. These health problems, along with progressive arthritis, caused Joan’s daughter, Michelle (48), to tell her to join her annual transformation programme following her growing concerns.
Through this programme she started in January 2017, Joan began working out at the gym four times a week and completely turned her diet around. With the help of her daughter and son-in-law who coached her, Joan’s weight reduced to a healthy 10st 1Ib and UK size 12 in just a year.
To help keep herself accountable throughout her journey, Michelle set up an Instagram account for Joan where she posted regular updates on her fitness journey. This then prompted compliments from many people including younger men who have been impressed with her physique.
She is no longer on any medications as her health has vastly improved since she lost the weight and she is able to hip thrust over 90kg which is equivalent to her previous weight.
“I had been pretty active my whole life, but I had also struggled with my weight, and for many decades I was more often overweight, than at a healthy weight, unfortunately,” Joan said.
“I was on medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and acid reflux. My arthritis was acting up pretty bad.
“I could barely walk up and down the stairs and I hadn’t even been to the gym in several months because my knee that I had replaced was really hurting me.
“My daughter was becoming concerned about my health and asked me to join her annual transformation program. Well, she pretty much told me to join it, to be honest.
“I started out pretty overwhelmed as it was all online, and I had to get an iPhone and learn all about apps. I was in tears at times, ready to throw in the towel, but luckily, I was too darn stubborn.
“My daughter and son-in-law would coach me through again and again, how to use my phone. You could say it took a village.
“To be honest, I think what really helped me was that this time I was okay to go slowly, and just take my time.
“Trust me, I had lost a lot of weight before, many times in fact; I had tried Weight Watchers and Counterweight to great success, but the weight always came back.
“I am now one hundred per cent off of my medication, including my heart medication for high blood pressure, my acid reflux medication and my medication for high cholesterol.
“This fitness journey will undoubtedly improve my quality of life as I move deeper into old age. I’m very grateful for that.
“I feel much better about myself now and getting compliments from younger men and women sure boosts the self-esteem.”
Joan has changed her diet; before she would eat two slices of toast with jam and coffee for breakfast, a sandwich and fruit salad for lunch, meat and vegetables and dessert for dinner and she would snack on sweets, chocolates or nuts.
Now she sticks to a healthier meal plan; egg whites, cheese, meat, vegetables and bread or half a bagel for breakfast, coconut milk, protein powder, fruit and ice blended for a smoothie for lunch and for dinner she now has meat, vegetables and a salad.
She now says that her new look has prompted attention from younger men who give her compliments that have boosted her self-confidence, including her husband who has noticed a change in her.
“I was on a meal plan set up by Michelle with ‘X’ number of calories; primarily protein, carbs and good fats and as the weight and inches came down my intake of food went up,” she said.
“I also went to the gym four or five days a week and followed her exercise programme which changed every four weeks and I did daily cardio.
“It has changed the way I feel about myself; people at my gym would approach me and compliment me on the changes they saw in me.
“I feel much better about myself now and getting compliments from younger men and women sure boosts the self-esteem. My husband started remarking about how good I looked, and my family was so proud of my efforts.
“I have an easier time staying away from junk or fast foods and as for exercise, I will keep at it because there’s always room for change and improvement.
“People are very complimentary and somewhat surprised that I’ve kept it off this long and I’m still changing; I have more muscle definition now than when I first lost the weight.
“For those who truly feel at a loss, I’d say change one thing with your food intake and one exercise to do and each week add something new. Don’t expect miracles right away, take it slow and steady but keep building.
“For those who prefer a challenge, go to a gym and if possible get yourself a legitimate trainer, someone who can help with food as well and you will achieve results faster.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/trainwithjoan/