I find your story very inspiring. I just turned 55 and joined a gym 6 months ago. I’d like to have just half of the definition you have! I have been doing cardio and mostly arm exercises for the last six months but have not seen any changes as of yet. Can you recommend some exercises? Also, what is your diet like? I eat about 1400 calories a day. I have lost some fat and gained a couple pounds of muscle in my 6 months, but I was hoping to see more definition by now.
Any advice would be appreciated!
Six months is a very short amount of time to build muscle at 55. I was 55 years old when I started Weight Resistance training (WRT). WRT is the only way to build the muscle you’re looking for. I was doing Aerobic classes form age 46 and at 55 I changed to WRT.
It takes time and dedication to build muscle. It’s a slow process but all the time you’re getting stronger and in better shape. Your diet however is also important for shape and definition. I eat what I call natural nude food, which is unprocessed, condiment free, natural food. But this takes time for your taste buds to adjust. You will need to be patient. The best idea is to take your normal diet and start trading what you know to be calorie laden for a product that is lower in calorie. For instance, you might trade ice-cream for yogurt. Also try to get rid of salt. This will take time for your taste buds to adjust, but they will adjust.
It’s taken me 19years to have the definition I now have. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be excited by the positive changes that will occur in your body each year. Having a go at competing in Natural Bodybuilding will give you a goal and teach you much.
It’s difficult to put 19 years of experience into an email but I hope this helps.
Take a few moments and to close your eyes and picture a person 70+. Now, if that picture is what you are happy to become at 70+ that’s okay, but if you don’t want to become like that vision, then you must change that vision in your head, because that is what you’ll become at that age. One becomes what one expects to become. If that vision doesn’t please you for your older age then, instead of allowing that original vision to take centre stage in your mind, create a vision that reflects what you would like to become when you are 70+, for if you don’t your mind will simply automatically take you to that previous vision.
Your mind is very powerful and it will bring to you anything you want, if you focus on it. Start thinking about how you want to be in the future. Your mind needs direction. Search for a role model a good 10 or 15 years older than you. Remember ‘as ye think so shall ye be.’
Look good at any age
While health gives vitality, energy, vibrancy and confidence, the issue of health is not a motivator for people to exercise at any age. Using health to motivate people into action hasn’t proved successful. If the issue of health was a hot motivator there’d be people of all ages flocking to exercise as its benefits are well documented.
It’s clear this approach has largely fallen on deaf ears. It’s my view that people are more interested in looking good than they are in staying healthy. People on the whole put off working on their health until they suddenly have a health problem.
On the other hand, people universally want to look good. And so if exercise was promoted as a way to look good at any age and be attractive, desirable and vibrant at any age many more people, including older aged people would participate in exercise.
To see the importance looking good holds in the society, one only has to look at the newsagency magazines and count the number of books or magazines on health as opposed to books or magazines on beauty and looking good. Exercise makes one feel vibrant, alive and attractive at any age. I think it’s time we started promoting this.
As an older person life challenges are very different from that of a younger person. Challenges present themselves naturally to a young person, like getting qualified, finding a job and a life partner, securing a home and having children etc.
When you’re older however, life challenges no longer present themselves automatically and so and we must find our own challenges and pathways to stimulate and reward us. Sadly, many older people focus on their sickness and make their sickness or ailments their life focus, possibly because they are unaware of possible more exciting alternatives.
TRADITIONAL OLDER PEOPLE’S MIND SET:
(a) Its younger people’s turn now. It’s time for me to take a back seat.
(b) I must play the role of grandmother/ grandfather
(c) If I dressed the way I’d like, I’d look like mutton dressed as lamb. I must wear things befitting my age.
(d) I must have a partner who is age appropriate
(e) I must act my age
(f) I must not rock the boat
(g) It’s too late for me
This of course is nonsense. Life can be vibrant, exciting and adventurous at any age!
On my return walk this morning I saw an old lady, aged 70+ struggling up the hill to my right. She wore a loose floral dress which fell over a very large stomach and she had a large hump on her back. With her right hand she was pushing a stroller and with her left hand she was leading a toddler. Half way up the hill she struggled slowly across the road. Where another incline would greet her.
A little later, and aroused by this experience, I spied another older lady in front of me pushing a heavy stroller, and I so hastened to catch up with her.
“Hello,’ I said. “And who’s this little one?”
“This’s my granddaughter. I’ve been minding her, but I’ve told them today that this is my last day. I simply can’t do it anymore. I don’t have the energy. She’s asleep now. I’d rather her be asleep later on when I need a rest. I love her to bits but I simply can’t continue to do it.”
Not that long ago, I met a lady I knew leaving the gym at about 7.15 a.m. She’d been a regular gym family attendee for many years, but I hadn’t seen her for quite a while. ‘Hello,” I said. “Where’ve you been?”
“Oh,” she said. “I have to leave the gym about now to get home to take the grandchildren to school. I don’t mind,” she said and her eyes lowered and her mouth straightened. “We miss you,” I said.
I recall a conversation I had some time ago with a young woman who had two little children. “Day Care is taking most of my earnings,” she complained. “And do you know what happened?” I clearly had no idea. “My mother retired not so long ago and I said to her that’s fantastic! Now, you can mind the children for me, and do you know what my mother did? She went straight back to work!”
I looked around the thinly peopled room. It was deadly silent. Most had their heads lowered, dozing. I’d been asked to speak to the residents of a local Aged Care Facility re the benefits of exercise and Weight Resistant Training (WRT) in particular. Those present seemed to be 80+. Suddenly I heard to the side of me, “I need to go to the toilet. I won’t be long. I don’t want to miss the talk.” The voice belonged to a comparatively energetic male who stood up and made his way to the toilet with as much haste as he could muster. When he returned he told me that he was from the Sutherland Shire in Sydney, an area in which I lived for 15 years and so we chatted away sharing our knowledge of the area. I noticed that he was hugging two, bedraggled, but obviously well-loved soft toys close to his body, one on either side. “These are all I’ve got left of my parents,” he said, clutching the bedraggled pair closer to him as if they were his most precious possessions.
“Are there any more residents to come?” I asked a young, female aged care worker standing nearby, hoping there’d be some younger residents coming. “Oh yes,” she said, “someone has gone to get them.” Eventually a procession of walking frames appeared, moving ever so slowly. As the last of the entourage were entering the room, one of the walking frame entourage, an elderly female resident, broke out in song. “What a beautiful voice,” I said. “Sorry,” she said. “Not at all,” I replied, “your voice is beautiful.” She beamed and stopped singing, and sat down
The room now ready and comfortably peopled, it was time to begin. ‘This is going to be difficult,’ I thought.
However, it wasn’t difficult and the beauty of what followed I’m finding almost impossible to capture in words. We began talking about the world that was. The world these older people knew; the world where the shops closed at 12 noon on Saturdays and didn’t open again until Monday 9am. The world before McDonalds and televisions and epidurals and motor mowers to name a few. We also talked about the dating mores of yester-year and life as it was. Their eyes became energised and alive. We then talked about the value of our experiences and how future generations might want to know about the life we lived, as I wanted to know about my great-grandmother who I never met, but to whom feel ever so close. We talked about Ancestry.com and the TV show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” and how people wanted to know about their ancestors. We talked about looking up and making contact with people from the past. Interspersed among all this was the theme of needing the energy and strength to pursue these things through gentle WRT and walking.
At the end of the session a distinguished gentleman at the back of the room told me of a girlfriend he had when he lived in the United Kingdom, “We used to ride our bicycles 20 miles to a big city and 20 miles back,” he said with wistful affection. “Why don’t you try and contact her now?” I said. “But she’d be old now,” he replied. I thought it best to remain silent, while thinking, ‘Oh yes? And you?’
As the walking frame entourage stood up to go the lady with the beautiful voice began to sing, “Such a, beautiful voice,” I said
She beamed. “I’m Italian,” she said with pride. “How lovely,” I said. I had an Italian boyfriend once and I still think of him sometimes. His name was Pasquale but race and religion kept us apart. She smiled tenderly and knowingly and I felt she understood what I meant and how things were years ago. As the group left the room with smiles and handshakes and requests for me return, I felt spiritually uplifted. As for the gentleman with the two well-loved soft toys, who didn’t want to miss anything, he fell asleep early in the process and missed the whole thing!
Thanks Weight Resistant Training!
I recently had my bone density checked and it was found to be close to the bone density of a 35 year old. I would urge everyone to embark on Weight Resistant Training (WRT). For me WRT is definitely a must do. I hate to think what my bone density would have been at age 73 without it. Thanks Weight Resistant Training.
My major thrust is to encourage people to continue to go forward in life and not be bound by age, stereotypical thinking or the expectations of others. Too many people waste precious years succumbing to the dictates of restrictive stereotypes and the expectations of others. I aim to break the restrictive older female stereotype and show what is possible and help give other older females permission to go forward and be all they can be.