Fitness After 50: Escape from Death Valley 2019 – Part I

vickinewmugBy Vicki Morgan

Goodbye 2018, and good riddance! Goodbye procrastination. Goodbye sugar and sweeteners. Goodbye processed food. Goodbye complacency and weakness.

I will no longer be a slave to my base-automated habits. Instead, I will replace them with intentional habits. I will do some form of exercise every day and live my life in gratitude and balance. And I will do all of this … starting tomorrow.
Sound familiar? Yeah, join the club. As a personal trainer, I’m supposed to be an example of discipline and healthy living to my clients. On the outside, that’s what I look like. But on the inside, I’m a total mess. So yeah, we’re in the same boat. Every bite of refined, processed crap … every day we bow to the “couch potato god” … is another step towards Death Valley.

And guess what? We’re all headed there together.
In my desperate desire for motivation in 2019, I started pouring through senior citizen transformation stories. Wouldn’t you know it … I found my inspiration; in the form of stories, and in the form of pictures. Real, un-doctored pictures of seniors who finally put their foot down, girded themselves with full-blown determination and kicked their own butts into submission. So for the next several months, Lord willing, I am going to pummel you with pictures and stories of seniors who are fighting the good fight. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me. Let’s join them … and take the next train out of Death Valley together.

Her five siblings all had serious health problems. She was 198 pounds on the day she woke up and realized she needed to lose weight or she would become unhealthy, too. She literally woke up and said, ‘That’s it.” She went through her kitchen and tossed all the white sugar, white flour and processed carbs. That step, in itself, is EXTREMELY hard to do. But she did it, and focused instead on eating lean protein and vegetables. At first, she had a lot of sugar cravings. But those went away after a couple of weeks. Those cravings are HARD to ignore. I know. I’ve done it myself. But just by changing her diet, Terry lost 50 pounds.

That’s when she started exercising at her local gym. “Before I lost 50 pounds I was too self-conscious to go to a gym,” she said. At first, she struggled to walk on a treadmill for a half hour. When she started working with a personal trainer, Reuer couldn’t do a push-up or a squat. “My heart rate was too fast, my balance was terrible” she said. She decided to train for a Tough Mudder race. For nine months, she trained six days a week, twice a day, to be able compete. By her mid-60s, Terry had lost 80 pounds. Here are her suggestions:

    You can check out her story in TODAY’s My Weight Loss Journey section.

Money was an excellent motivator for Matt Manning. He dropped 40 pounds and gained muscle, which led to his $50,000 grand prize win. He went on to win’s 12-week fitness competition, the “$100,000 Transformation Challenge.”

The hardest part is sticking with the program. It’s not impossible, but it requires self-sacrifice. You’re sacrificing complacency for discipline, depression for motivation and crappy food for healthy internal organs. Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed in the pictures, getting healthy will give you a bonus facelift. It happens. Tummy tuck and facelift for free. You can’t beat that kind of sacrifice. See you in the gym!

Vicki Morgan is a Senior Strength Trainer at Flex Gym & Fitness. She also is a technology tutor for seniors and a podcast writer for Kim Komando. You can reach her at Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. If you experience pain or difficulty, stop and consult your healthcare provider. This article is not meant to take the place of any treatment or activity your physician has deemed necessary.

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