Before my transformation, I did zero cardio and absolutely no weight training whatsoever. I ate three meals a day and my peak weight was 138 lbs. I suffered from anxiety and depression and had little energy, often needing an afternoon nap.
In 2012 I stumbled across Tosca Reno’s The Eat-Clean Diet. I started eating six meals a day, making sure each meal had a balance of proteins, carbs and fats. Within eight weeks my weight dropped to 126 lbs and I maintained that weight without any exercise.
In January 2013, at the age of 51, I needed a personal challenge. I started an online training and fitness program. It wasn’t long before I started seeing results. Many of the ladies were working towards a figure competition, but I couldn’t imagine getting up on a stage. By October, one of my teammates convinced me to compete with her in grand masters bikini (age 45+). I realized I didn’t like how thin I looked on stage and decided I wanted to put on some muscle.
My results were amazing at first and then slowed. Trusting the process became difficult. I followed the plan set out by my coach, but I wasn’t noticing changes. I switched coaches and worked towards gaining muscle, managing to gain eight pounds of clean weight.
Three and a half years after starting my fitness journey I still eat six clean meals a day and train six days a week with two days of kettlebell training and four days of weight training. Fitness and clean eating is a lifestyle change, not a diet. I still enjoy a glass of wine or a “cheat” meal and don’t feel guilty. It’s hard to believe that at 54 years of age I’m in the best shape of my life!
The best piece of advice I can give is to trust the process and be patient. Changes are happening to your body all the time, even if you don’t notice them. Document your journey using photos and measurements. Although my weight hasn’t changed in over 18 months, I have gone from a size two to a size six dress as the muscle in my arms, shoulders and back grow. It takes many nights to become an overnight success, but it is possible at any age if you set your mind to it!
More Insights: Check out this great article on how to boost your metabolism.
Author: Carola Della Mattia lives in Ontario and is recently retired. She shared her inspiring story in Silver Magazine print edition. Do you have an inspiring story or choosing health and wellness over 50? Share by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org