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One Thing Seniors Should Know: It’s Never Too Late to Get Healthy

I’ve never felt better, both mentally and physically. I don’t deprive myself of the foods I love, I have fun losing weight, and I don’t feel guilty about doing things my way.

But this is nowadays. I’m Carrie, and I recently celebrated my 77th birthday. I feel 20 years younger, I have all the energy I need, and my blood tests are better than my children’s.

It’s hard to believe that a few years ago, I was in my mid-60s and weighed almost 210lbs.

Trust me when I say it’s not too late to start getting healthy. Even for someone as stubborn as a mule (like I am).

All those years ago, all I could do was feel tired and complain. I could barely walk up the stairs, and walking around the mall doing groceries seemed like a nightmare.

At least I was the cool grandma that gave the best hugs and was great at smuggling cookies.

I fought obesity before, so I know it takes time

I was an active kid and teen. We lived on a big farm throughout my childhood, and even after I moved to the US, met someone, and settled down. I was still extremely active.

I worked as a mechanic for many years, then found a desk job near home. That’s when things started to fall apart.

I think after two kids, I just got tired. Working all day, getting home late, I just wanted to rest. 

All the muscles I had been building up during my youth were covered by tiredness and laziness.

I was 273lbs at my heaviest.

When my doctor said I would soon be unable to walk, I decided to try being active again.

Older woman in white clothes

There was no such thing as online exercising programs or meal plans, so I had to take matters into my own hands.

I bought a simple bike and cycled for less than one hour when I had extra time. I would take my kids to the park and play with them until late. I was incredibly active and spent quality time with the people I loved. Couldn’t be happier.

Took me a long time, but I was 175lbs and managed to keep that for over a decade.

This was heaven for many years.

Life takes a turn, and you are right back where you started

They say it’s genetics, but I know my indulgence and weight gain may have had a part to play in it. But here’s the thing: at 63, I had to have my aortic valve replaced.

Back then, the only solution was open-heart surgery. I’ll spare you the details, but just know that it takes a toll on you. 

My doctors never said to stop exercising altogether or anything like that, but anytime I tried working out as I did before, I felt like it was too much for me. My breathing got erratic, and I felt overly tired.

I ended up postponing my exercises. I could almost hear my 40-year-old self screaming at me from the past, but there was nothing I could do. I was too tired.

Six months later, my life was completely back to normal, except for the working out part, which remained nonexistent). 

I let my health (and myself) go

Weight kept piling up, and it was hard facing that reality. I was older now. Why try to lose weight? What’s the point? I should just enjoy the time I have with the people who are there for me.

I was 210lbs when a new doctor disclosed an eternal list of issues that were coming my way if I kept that weight, including my greatest fear – not being able to care for myself.

I realized I was almost back at my heaviest weight again.

It wasn’t a matter of age. I had to do something fast. 

The doctor said the best thing would be a meal and exercise plan – but I had to follow it.

He said a random routine would not do as changing my habits would be a challenge, so something tailored to my needs was key.

There are so many benefits to a personalized plan, I couldn’t believe it. So I could lose weight, be healthier, and still be the greatest cookie smuggler with no guilt?

No fighting the foods I love, no giving in to laziness… I just needed to find a good exercise that wouldn’t tire me.

Finding the type of exercise that would work for me

My grandson is my bundle of joy. I can barely believe he’s 17 already.

When he was a kid, I was always playing with him, or, should I say, he was playing at my feet while I was in my armchair. 

He was always fascinated by my bike and the weights. It was cute teaching him how to do a pushup and placing the bike helmet on his little head.

He was 8 when he asked me to teach him how to ride a bike. My son looked at me worryingly, but his wife laughed it off:

“Honestly, I’d love to learn as well.”

This was what got me back into training. I don’t trust my legs that much anymore to try amateur cycling again, but I would follow him around, bringing his bike with us.

We had our favorite path to the park, and even if this was a weekend-only thing, I would find myself walking that same path during the week.

Older couple hiking

It became part of my routine. Just 15 minutes to the park, then 15 minutes back almost every day. Then it became one hour a day. 

The doctor said I could try tying walking to a meal plan – walking was easy, safe, fun, and something I had done in the past and knew would not overwhelm me. 

Now I knew the benefits of a personalized plan, the next thing was finding a good one.

Things are good, and I’m proud of myself

I tried searching for apps and brochures with plans online – “lose weight in 2 weeks!” Most were extremely expensive or just plain insane. 

My daughter-in-law was the one who suggested this app called Walking.Diet. It gave me a personalized weight loss plan based on my age, health issues, and best of all – my preferences.

All by answering a quick quiz.

I never had the patience to do all this work by myself – counting steps, inputting calorie intake, and planning meals.

Older woman in swimsuit

Even my partner (who usually hates cooking) loved trying the recipes in the plan. They were quick to make, most didn’t even take 15min.

It was strange at first, but sooner rather than later, I was used to opening it daily and checking my daily goals or browsing through some recipes.

This new stage of my life was just a quiz away

So this is what I did to keep my fit form and feel like I’m back in my prime.

There’s no age limit to getting healthy. It’s the longevity that catches up to you.

Every year that goes by, I’m hoping I’ll be better and better. If I could do it, anyone can. See it for yourself.

Results may vary due to personal features.

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3 Comments

  1. I started walking 3 years ago. I am 40. I have never been overweight but grew out of shape. I have a 10 and 12 year old boy. I can keep up with them and participate in all the activities I did when I was younger. Walking.Diet was a life savior.

  2. Damn that’s really inspiring. I am in my late 20s, so it would be so cool to stay healthy into my 70s too. Really impressive! This app surely does miracles.

  3. Your story reminds me of my mom who learned how to ride a bike at 55. She’s now almost 80 and as healthy as ever! It’s never too late for sure

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