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How I Got Fit in My 60s to Take Better Care of My Grandkids

My grandchildren make me the happiest grandma in the world. I’m just glad that I can keep up with them as they grow.

But I didn’t always think that would be the case.

Quite recently, I felt like I’d lost myself. I was feeling and looking heavy. And I dreaded not being agile enough to care for my grandchildren, god forbid they were in danger.

My family treated me like I was 20 years my senior. But I wasn’t senile yet, just not dealing with the pandemic too well!

I’m Donna, and I’m here to tell you the story of how I took back control of my life.

I’m sure you know what I mean when I say it’s been a difficult couple of years.

Right before the start of the pandemic, I retired.

My colleagues looked sad to see me go. I’d made quite a few friends over the years, and everyone’s always known me as a real firecracker.

But I was glad to go.

For the first time in my life, I was going to have time for the things I love.

I was excited to spend more time with my grandchildren. I wanted to give them the same love and care my late parents graced my own children with.

And then, as we all know, the pandemic started.

It affected my family dramatically. My daughter moved out of state to stay with her in-laws. It ruined my son’s plans to move back into our state as the job he was going for was no longer available. And my husband was forced into early retirement.

We had a long, lonely lockdown, and the beginning of my retirement wasn’t at all what I’d expected.

At Christmas 2020, we were celebrating the holidays by having a big group call with the family. We couldn’t host Christmas dinner anymore with all the travel restrictions, so we went for a safer option.

I still wanted to look dazzling for the call, so I went to put on a dress I was saving for special occasions. To my surprise, the dress didn’t fit the same anymore, but I still squeezed into it.

During the call, my daughter made a joke about me looking like a sausage. I knew she didn’t mean any harm, but it still hurt me. I left the call to calm my nerves down.

This was the first time I realized my body had started to change. I didn’t have to be on the move for work anymore. I couldn’t go to the farmers’ market for fresh produce. To put it simply, I was sitting around on my backside eating awful junk food.

But the sausage comment clearly wasn’t a serious enough wake-up call for me. After the holidays, I went back to my – routine – watching TV and not doing much else at all.

The weight started piling up. My husband started noticing and pointing it out to me from time to time.

When my kids started coming to see me again, they wouldn’t leave me alone with the grandkids. They would say I was too fragile, that the grandkids would be too much of a hassle for me.

My grandkids would be too bored to even play with me anymore – I could barely keep up with them!

My kids started offering me help with the most mundane things, treating me like I was helpless.

They saw I was getting weaker. I even got sleepier because of all the additional weight!

I wasn’t happy about it, and the pressure and comments were annoying.

I wasn’t 20 anymore, where I could just get up and run the weight off. And I hadn’t had an exercise regimen for years, so I didn’t even know where to start.

I’ve had joint issues for years, and my back would always hurt if I strained myself too hard.

I became paralyzed with the thought that I would only get bigger and bigger, and I couldn’t figure out a way out of it.

At 66, I felt too old to change the way I went through life. I was going nowhere at all, watching life go by from the comfort of my couch.

I was on a call with my daughter when I felt like I’d had enough.

Once again, she slipped something about me being less capable of taking care of my grandchildren into the conversation.

I got furious. I didn’t want to be treated like I was old and good for nothing. I told her how I was concerned about my weight and didn’t know what to do about it. But also how the family’s snarky comments weren’t helping at all.

All I wanted was to be useful and have my grandkids around, but nobody seemed to trust me anymore.

I wanted to solve this issue, not be made fun of or looked down on.

She sighed after listening to me rant. I felt guilty for this outburst, but it was a long time coming.

She said, if I was going to be trusted with the grandkids, we were going to need to solve my mobility issue.

She shared a memory with me of how she would drag her feet at the end of long walks. Then I would encourage her to keep going.

Whenever we’d travel, whether to a national park or another city, we’d always go on long walks. I used to love it. It’s the best way to get to know a place, but my kids would always get tired and complain. I was always the one to push everyone to go just a little bit further, see just a little bit more. And it would always work.

My daughter said, “It would be nice if you had someone that would encourage you to keep going like that.”

And it stuck with me.

I went on a few walks. Since I didn’t have anybody coming with me, I found it pretty boring to go on long ones.

If I was going to stick with walking to get myself into an active lifestyle again, I would need some extra help.

I did a bit of research on my smartphone, and I found this app – Walking.Diet.

It did such a good job of encouraging me to walk a bit more and go a little further – it felt like I’d found exactly what I needed.

I did a little test for it. It asked me how physically active I was (not at all at that time!) and how often I wanted to go on walks. It even asked me if I had any issues – which I did – with my joints.

And it just made up a program that was suitable for me.

It really helped me. It had some warm-up and cool-down exercises, so I wouldn’t be sore after the walks I did.

Over time, I grew a particular fondness for Walking.Diet. It kept me accountable, it gave me the motivation I needed when I was feeling a bit too lazy, and it tracked my progress. And when I felt like the beginner walks were too easy for me, I upped the difficulty level to challenge myself more!

And, of course, it wasn’t an overnight success. It took some time but eventually, the walks I went on got longer, and the weight started melting off bit by bit.

Eventually, I got into the groove of walking consistently. I started looking for ways I could be healthier in the kitchen. And, of course, Walking.Diet could help me with that too! It told me exactly how much I should eat if I wanted to lose weight. It also gave me easy, healthy recipes I could quickly make at home. It helped me so much with cutting down on junk food. Eating healthy became easy again!

Looking back on it, I’m really glad to have found this app companion. Now every time my kids bring over the grandkids, I can play and go on walks with them for hours, and I barely get tired.

My family has stopped treating me like I couldn’t take care of myself anymore.

And the petty comments about what I look like have stopped.

All I ever want to do now is just be the best grandma. And it doesn’t hurt to look good while doing it too.

Update as of 28th December: I have been enjoying my customized, personal plan and its endless benefits: more energy, better sleep, more motivation, and, simply put, more self-love!

I just found out that Walking.Diet is offering a 75% (that’s right, SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT) discount on their yearly plans, so if you’re interested in changing your life for the better, now is the perfect time!

The offer is available for a limited time only.

This app is worth trying out!

I’d recommend choosing their yearly subscription because it will take you some time to see the benefits of the program, but you’ll be so glad you’ve stuck with it.

Ever wonder how you’d feel being a super-grandma to your grandkids?

Results may vary due to personal features.

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3 Comments

  1. I’ve asked my kids to set up Walking Diet on my phone for Christmas this year. It’s so inspiring how much you’re willing to do for your grandkids – I want that too!

  2. I’d never realized walking could be a sufficient workout. I’m very much a perfectionist – either I do the hardest, most effective workout routine or nothing at all. No wonder I’ve never been consistent with exercising until I found Walking.Diet. Now I feel like I’m achieving something, and I’m finding it easy to stay on track with moving and eating healthy.

  3. Can you tell me more about the recipes there? I’m finding it hard to cut out all the unhealthy foods, especially when it’s December and it seems like all you do is feast all month.

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