At 70 years old and nearly 200 pounds heavy, Joan MacDonald’s health was deteriorating rapidly. She was taking a cocktail of medications to address her many illnesses: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and acid reflux. While many would say that it’s normal for people her age, Joan knew there had to be a better way.
Doctors said she had to make drastic adjustments to her lifestyle, else, she would have to take increased dosages of these meds.
Although Joan couldn’t remember the last time she really thought about her health, she knew it was time for that to change.
Joan watched her mom take medication after medication, and she didn’t want to end up that way too.
Joan told her daughter, Michelle, that she was ready to develop healthier habits. Michelle, who has an impressive resume as a yogi, professional chef, competitive powerlifter, and owner of Tulum Strength Club in Mexico, had been telling her mother to prioritize her health for years.
And when her mom finally took the initiative, Michelle was more than ready to help her reach her goals.
Joan flew to Mexico to be with her and learn about healthy eating habits and exercise. Then, she returned to Canada and applied what she learned from her two-week stay in the country.
She began with small changes, including walking as a form of cardio, practicing yoga, and lifting weights.
And after six months of hard work, Joan was able to shed off 45 pounds. Ever since she started working out and eating healthier in 2017, this tough woman managed to lose a total of 50 pounds!
Her routine involves hitting the gym five days a week, weight lifting, and doing 15 to 30 minutes of cardio.
Joan also switched from eating three meals a day to eating five small meals daily. Her diet is mostly comprised of grains, veggies, and meats. She downloaded an app called Macros to track her food intake and bought a food scale. While Joan admitted to struggling with the technology at first, she refused to throw in the towel.
Since implementing these changes in her life, Joan feels so much better. She’s gotten off her medications and her arthritis is not as bothersome as before. Her kidney disease is not getting worse, plus, she feels more energetic day by day. Aside from these welcome physical changes, Joan also felt more confident in her own skin.
Now, Joan is inspiring women of all ages worldwide by proving to them that it’s never too late to change. She shares workout tips and words of encouragement on her Instagram page, which currently has over 927K followers.
Her schedule has become a lot busier now that she’s become sort of an internet celebrity. Joan likes replying to people’s comments on her posts as much as she can. She said many women have reached out to her to share their own stories and struggles.
Her advice to other women who want to make a change but don’t know how to is “to believe that it is possible!”
Joan also advises women over 40 to look for trainers who would guide them and join a community of women with the same goal. That’s because she also started that way.
She joined a group of 10 women who were determined to become stronger and healthier, and she found that taking this journey with other like-minded people gave her the inspiration she needed when she felt like giving up.
“We are strong [and] capable of change, but we’re often viewed as fragile,” Joan told Men’s Health about older women getting into fitness. “I hope that more women my age embrace being pushed and appreciate that someone is interested in seeing you try harder. Even though you can’t turn back the clock, you can wind it up again.”
Those are such beautiful words of wisdom from an inspirational woman. May we all have the attitude, strength, and spirit that Joan has!
Share this to inspire other women to keep pushing for their goals.
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