As cliché as it sounds, it’s never too late to better your life. And Joan MacDonald from Ontario, Canada is the perfect example of that. After doctors told the 73-year-old woman that she’ll have to up her medication dosages if she continues with her lifestyle, Joan decided to take matters into her own hands. In just a few years, she went from weighing almost 200 pounds to flexing on fitness magazine covers.
The beginning was rough. “I never let people take photos of me because I couldn’t accept where I was and yet, I also couldn’t seem to change,” she explained in one of her posts. “It was a very tough place to be, and I stayed in that place for a very long time.” But the woman got tired of feeling helpless and uncomfortable in her skin. Even though she couldn’t remember the last time she’d really paid close attention to her health, she made up her mind that it was a matter of ‘now or never’.
“I knew I had to do something different,” MacDonald told Shape. “I had watched my mom go through the same thing, taking medication after medication, and I didn’t want that life for myself.”
To start making changes, MacDonald asked her daughter Michelle, a yogi, competitive powerlifter and professional chef to help her. Joan began her journey by joining Michelle’s online workout program, focusing on building strength and endurance. She even got an iPhone and learned how to use a few apps for this part. Then she added walking to her routine as well as practicing yoga and lifting weights.
“I made up my mind that I could do it and I refused to quit no matter how daunting it was to head to the gym with arthritis and acid reflux and vertigo,” she explained in one of her posts. “I just focused on taking it one day at a time … did my best, allowed myself to make mistakes, and never gave up.”
In total, MacDonald has lost 62 pounds (28 kgs) and no longer takes any medication.