About Me – My Story

I’m in my 60’s and I’m an athlete. No, I don’t do anything amazing like running marathons. I’m just really fit. It wasn’t always that way.  Born pre-Title Nine, I wasn’t exposed to sports; there were no teams for girls. I grew up smoking with friends at the mall.  In my 30’s I quit smoking and began working out. Over the years I ran, lifted weights, and was physically active.

In middle age, working full-time, raising kids, I didn’t make time for myself. I gained weight, lost weight, and began years of yo-yo dieting. I tried every weight loss program available, losing 25 pounds then gaining 30, losing 30 then gaining 35. In my fifties, I topped out at 174 pounds! I’m barely 5 feet tall.

Scan 14

As my weight went up, my physical health deteriorated.  I experienced stiffness in my joints, difficulty bending down and getting up off the floor, high cholesterol, and nagging, constant knee problems. After surgery in one knee, my doctor said I had severe arthritis and I should limit strenuous activities. Luckily, another wise doctor suggested I begin biking to strengthen my quadriceps to take pressure off my knees and to lose weight. I followed her advice.  I wanted to change, but where to start?

I decided to make a long-term lifestyle plan combining healthy eating and consistent exercise that continues to this day. I decided I would never diet again, I committed to eating healthy most of the time, and not to deprive myself when I really wanted to eat something. By reading books about healthy food like Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Food Rules by Michael Pollen and watching documentaries like “Food Inc.” and “Forks Over Knives”, I began to consistently make choices to eat fresh, wholesome foods because they were good for my body (and good for the environment, too).

With a long road back to fitness, I committed to exercise, no matter the duration or type, at least 5 days a week, making it the most important thing I did each day. I began walking, at first listening to motivational tapes, just to keep my discouraged voice silenced.  Miraculously a young yoga teacher-in-training established her first yoga class at the elementary school where I worked. We were a small group and I couldn’t let her down by not showing up. My weight gradually dropped. I joined an obscure gym where I wouldn’t know anyone! I took spin classes and rode a hybrid bike around town. Eventually, my weight was down 40 pounds. I began taking Pilates mat classes three times a week which helped develop a strong core, then, eventually, body toning/bootcamp kinds of classes. Over time, I gradually lost more weight, 2 to 3 pounds at a time, until I reached my goal weight. My pain and physical limitations disappeared. I began feeling so much fitter and healthier, I was motivated to become a Personal Trainer to share the joy of transforming one’s fitness.

Feeling already pretty fit and strong, I began progressive strength training, stepping up my weights along with daily mobility exercises.  This has been a life changer,  like taking a youthfulness pill. Day-to-day life, activities and sports are so much easier! I keep changing it up and doing all sorts of things I never dreamt I’d be doing again. The trainers at our gym signed up for a 5k run. I hadn’t run in 20 years yet with a few months of minimal training I came in 2nd in my age group. I did Crossfit with people half my age.  I’ve dabbled in masters swimming, road biking, golf. The strength training gives me a base of fitness that enables me to jump in and make a decent effort at whatever I try. Rather than declining with age, I have continued to get stronger. I enjoy participating in a variety of activities and am satisfied to be just really fit!

Now I am enjoying helping others become their healthiest self, FIT FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE!

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3 responses »

  1. Danelle French

    Hi Mary!
    You are an inspiration! Juana and I would love to see you this summer if you are available.
    Love you,
    Danelle

    Reply
  2. Loved reading your story Mary, and would definitely love to work with you to get kick-started back into a routine

    Reply

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