The SparkPeople Blog

'At Age 68, I'm in the Best Shape of My Life!'

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/19/2013 6:00 AM   :  130 comments   :  18,647 Views

Carol Reinhard (CAROLJEAN64)
Weight Lost: 57 pounds
Hometown: West Des Moines, IA
Occupation: Retired

I was in the midst of therapy for depression.  I broke my leg, the complications from which left me inactive for several months. I gained weight as a shield as I dealt with complex and frightening issues in therapy. I had little energy.  I did not feel attractive to my husband and felt like a grandmother to almost anyone more than 10 years younger than me. I didn't want to be old when I knew I wasn't.  I somehow inherently knew that combining good eating and physical activity was what I needed to complete the road to good emotional, physical and mental health that I started in therapy.

I made some great progress in therapy and decided to give my husband my weight loss goals as a birthday gift with the goal of being at my wedding weight by our 38th wedding anniversary eight months later.  I made it with one day to spare. My first week I lost six pounds, and I gained only one week. I lost about 1.75 pounds per week. 

Keeping a food journal has been so important in maintaining my weight.  For me, it was all about portion control, portion control, portion control. 

Interestingly enough, I came to SparkPeople at my goal weight.  However, the maintenance part was not going well.  I broke another leg and worked with a personal trainer after I recovered to drop the almost 20 pounds. I had re-gained.  I was looking for a site to track my food and activity and I found so much more! I especially enjoyed the support from the Dealing with Depression Team and the Yoga Lovers team.  I began yoga just a couple months after I reached goal weight.  I now teach it and practice yoga an hour per day almost daily.  I am currently working toward attaining handstand and backbend in my yoga practice.



I am incredibly inspired by my students in a chair yoga class that I teach at a retirement community.  They are all in their 80s and 90s and never miss a class!  My personal goals include maintaining my weight loss, continuing to improve my physical conditioning and enjoying retirement to the fullest. I am almost 68 years old and I know I am in the best shape of my life!

Have you lost weight and kept it off using SparkPeople.com? We'd love to share your story. Email us: sparkpeoplesuccess (at) gmail (dot) com


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Comments

  • 130
    Beautiful hair, beautiful woman.. thanks for sharing - 5/23/2014   4:51:37 PM
  • 129
    You look younger in your after picture even though your hair is grey. Great inspiration, I needed your message today. Will continue my journey with more zeal.
    - 4/9/2014   7:43:41 AM
  • 128
    Wow, you look fantastic. You are an inspiration. - 3/23/2014   7:43:16 PM
  • 127
    Amazing story! - 3/23/2014   3:18:18 PM
  • 126
    Congrats Spark Friend ! You are such an inspiration I am glad to have met you ! - 12/25/2013   10:05:12 PM
  • 125
    Wow. Really great. - 11/7/2013   9:30:46 PM
  • GREENGLOVES
    124
    So awesome! Way to go! - 11/4/2013   4:59:15 PM
  • 123
    Carol, this is such an encouraging blog. I just turned 69 and have the same 20+ pounds to lose that I have battled for a few years. I lose a few and then gain that back. I pray this time will be different and reading this post sure gave me the encouragement that I need tonight. Thank You! - 10/3/2013   7:46:47 PM
  • EHARRIS372
    122
    Congrads...you def. give me hope...I am working on becoming more fit and healthy...you are an inspiration since we are almost the same age!!!Best wishes!!! - 10/3/2013   7:11:13 PM
  • 1954MARG
    121
    Congratulations. It is encouraging to read of your success. Well done. - 6/23/2013   8:03:19 AM
  • 120
    Thank you for this blog. I'm 63 and am despairing of ever losing this weight. Maybe there's still hope for me. - 6/20/2013   1:27:03 PM
  • 119
    Oh, my! You give me hope! - 6/19/2013   2:31:51 PM
  • 118
    Congratulations on your achievement! - 6/18/2013   6:30:08 PM
  • 117
    Congratulations - I am 62 and a half-pound away from my target goal. Maintenance is scaring me because I have yo-yo'd all my life. You are truly inspirational which is what I need right now for I want to work on being in the best physical shape everrr! (and also go a few pounds below my target goal(:) - 6/14/2013   4:04:00 PM
  • RREED4
    116
    Thank you so much for sharing. I am 64 and just started on my weight loss journey. I love it that you are fit and healthy. What an inspiration to me and others. An added bonus is that you are from Iowa where I was born and lived here my whole life. Thanks again. - 6/10/2013   2:54:04 PM
  • RREED4
    115
    Thank you so much for sharing. I am 64 and just started on my weight loss journey. I love it that you are fit and healthy. What an inspiration to me and others. An added bonus is that you are from Iowa where I was born and lived here my whole life. Thanks again. - 6/10/2013   2:54:04 PM
  • 114
    You look absolutely amazing! Congratulations on reaching your goal, and may you enjoy many more years of good health and happiness!!! - 6/7/2013   10:30:45 AM
  • MICHELEC13
    113
    Congratulations! You look fantastic! - 6/7/2013   7:36:53 AM
  • 112
    Congrats to you! Awesome achievement - 6/6/2013   10:01:43 PM
  • 111
    What a wonderful person you are. You've accomplished so much and are such a great role model. Thank you for the inspiration. - 6/4/2013   8:10:40 AM
  • 110
    Wow! You have done it!! and of course we all need to keep working and making those healthy choices... because it is a new way of living life to the fullest! Your family and friends must be so impressed with your new you....

    Your story and experience inspires us all! thanks and WooHOO!
    - 6/3/2013   12:34:53 AM
  • LOLASPARKS
    109
    You are a great inspiration. I turned 68 five days ago and would like to lose 48 pounds. I shed the husband 32 years ago but would like to get to my wedding weight for me. You look great. Congratulations! Thank you. - 6/1/2013   10:50:43 AM
  • 108
    Congratulations on your success at losing and keeping the weight off. Your story is very inspiring to me. Thank you for sharing it. - 6/1/2013   10:40:33 AM
  • OLGA18
    107
    Very inspiring. Thank you! - 5/29/2013   6:31:21 AM
  • MMACALLY
    106
    I am about 57 years and unnecessarily gained weight. Now being retired makes it worse as am around food all day long. You have greatly motivated me and from this moment going to do just what is right. Thank you for igniting the spark in me. I look forward to being 68 years with the body confidence and self fulfilment. Keep going girl. - 5/28/2013   3:09:45 PM
  • 105
    Wonderful story. It is never too late and I am right there with you! - 5/27/2013   6:59:11 PM
  • 104
    This is inspiring. Thank you! - 5/25/2013   11:28:20 AM
  • BDPENH
    103
    I will be 62 in June and have been struggling to lose weight the past two years. My goal is to lose 50 pounds and reach the weight I was when I got married. I lost 30 pounds and kept it off for 3 years gaining it all back after some health issues. Your story is an inspiration to me. Since joining Sparks People, I have lost 11 pounds - a pound a week. I am determined to reach my goal weight. Your story has helped me to realize I can do this. Thank you for sharing. - 5/24/2013   8:41:32 PM
  • RODYANNE
    102
    Thanks for the inspiration of your story. - 5/24/2013   2:50:53 PM
  • CWAGES
    101
    What a wonderful gift you have provided your husband with! You give us all a reason to keep on plugging away at a healthy lifestyle. - 5/24/2013   1:50:13 PM
  • 100
    Wonderful story of your success. I will keep your success in mind, when my muscles are acting up. It will help me press on. - 5/24/2013   5:35:17 AM
  • 99
    Thank you for being such a great example of how to grow old healthily and gracefully! You are an inspiration to someone who is 61 and wants to achieve exactly that! - 5/23/2013   11:12:36 PM
  • 98
    You go girl!! Your the perfect example of "Youth knows no numbers" I'm so impresessed with the way you just kept fighting your way back (2 broken legs?)
    A big Woo Hoo right attcha!!
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us : ) - 5/23/2013   9:09:26 AM
  • CYNDI1101
    97
    Thank you for sharing your story! I am not ready to keep a journal yet, but if I can not continue to really work hard and lose 1 lb a week I will have to give it a try! Maybe that will be the extra push I need! Thanks! - 5/22/2013   11:07:10 PM
  • 96
    I am so grateful you shared your story. I am 61 years old and have gained 25 pounds in the last 5 years. I was beginning to believe it was impossible to lose it but you just busted that myth. Thanks so much. - 5/21/2013   8:27:31 PM
  • 95
    Fantastic. You are an inspiration. When I think I can't, I'll remember you and know I can. - 5/21/2013   11:27:42 AM
  • 94
    Thank you for sharing your story and great successes. I am so pleased and happy for you! - 5/21/2013   10:54:16 AM
  • 93
    CarolJean, so good that the limelight here is shining on you ... you are a change agent over at the Yoga Lovers team and the Community Team.

    We long term first time (AT A CERTAIN AGE-type) maintainers do have epiphanies and turning points in our long, drawn out weight maintaining lives ... otherwise to some of us, it gets boring ... Mine had to do with heredity once removed, and not an accident ... lol Unfortunately, I wish I could say I was maintaining, exactly ... managing all this ... maintenance presupposes health and strength and a surfeit of vigor ... (not necessarily youth!)

    I'm glad it was you who were chosen for this blog post.

    Inspires me to blog again ... although I had to give up some of my yoga practice, at least I found a yoga teacher I can live with, finally ... and, I also have to say: low carb rocks! - 5/21/2013   10:31:58 AM
  • NSSREENIVASAN
    92
    I am over whelmed by your success story. Keep it up. Aged people are inspired by your success story. - 5/21/2013   5:17:59 AM
  • 91
    And one of the original members of DwD can say, I (and WE) are appreciative of the support you gave us.

    It may just be me, but I commented to my DW, Cherry, last week that there seem to be more and more people in their 60's who are looking fit, and not just "old".

    My 16 y/o granddaughter knows I'm "old", but when we last saw here we got into a discussion of what "old" really is. When I asked her how old she thought Grandpa and Grandma were, she replied, "Some of my friend's parents look pretty old, and I know you have to be older than them, so (her eyes looked up and to the left - she was obviously counting the average generation figures) you have to be more than 50. maybe 58, and grandma should be 55." She wasn't in the same decade, and just because it's "usually" the dad who is older, she really missed my wife's age - she is 10 months older than I am.

    I told her to go tell Grandma what we were talking about. When she came back outside, she was bouncing and squealing (you know how 16 y/o young ladies can be). Grandpa! Grandma gave me $20. When I asked her, she said because I guessed her age so closely!

    A few days later, her dad called me laughing. He said, "You really pulled one on Sam. We were going shopping this morning and she asked me if Eric (our oldest son) would really be 44 this year? I told her Yes, then she asked if Grandma was really only 11 or 12 when Eric was born?"

    "She could tell by the look on my face that there was obviously something I knew that she didn't, so I asked her why she wanted to know. When she told me the story, I had to pull into a store parking lot because I couldn't see and I was laughing so hard. I told her the truth, so be ready the next time she sees you. She thinks she has caught you in a lie and she will be wearing her boots! She wants to punish you for fooling her so much! Man, I think I will sell tickets to all your friends to witness how you tap dance out of this one!

    Neither Cherry or I told that girl a lie. "She" took a set of faulty assumptions and came to a logical conclusion. I just didn't bother to correct her.

    Agape my friend. Have you thought about sky diving or rappelling?

    - 5/20/2013   11:31:13 PM
  • 90
    Such a great story!!! Three cheers for you!!! - 5/20/2013   10:34:57 PM
  • 89
    Soooo inspiring! 7 yr maintainance gives me HOPE! Thank you for sharing your age - about to hit 50 and worry about what the future holds as far as fitness goes. Thank you for Sparking! - 5/20/2013   9:48:50 PM
  • 88
    You look fantastic. I will be 69 in June. I started my current journey at 375 and last Friday was 272. About half way to goal. Thanks for the inspiration. - 5/20/2013   9:42:28 PM
  • 87
    What a great inspiration your are! I am 65 yrs old and am working on losing weight for about the 10th time in my life since high school. After kids, after quitting smoking, after just plain letting myself go, were all the impetus I needed to get on the scale and start losing weight. I've never found anything quite so "easy" as SparkPeople. All the tools I need, they provide for my toolbox for successful weight loss. Since joining, I've consistently lost weight week to week. I one day hope to be one of SparkPeople's Success Stories. In the meantime, you've given me encouragement for the maintenance part of weight loss, which is one of my biggest fears. I've failed miserably on every other maintenance plan I've been on after reaching my weight loss goals. With all of the encouragement and success stories and maintenance guidance here, I can't fail and will also one day say that
    "I Am in the Best Shape of My Life". - 5/20/2013   9:21:34 PM
  • 86
    If it's OK with you Carol, you have just become my inspiration to get more serious about reaching my goal. I am just 1 year and 5 months younger than you. Also I had an accident that took me off my feet for about 4 and a half months and it was during that time I gained a lot of weight. I am now 21 pounds from my goal weight. For some reason I have become comfortable with losing a pound every 8 to 10 weeks. So Thank You Carol for sharing your story it has motivated me to get out of my “funk” and get back to business. - 5/20/2013   9:05:21 PM
  • 85
    awesome so happy I will be there soon ! - 5/20/2013   7:45:03 PM
  • 84
    Great story and so encouraging. Thanks to SparKPeople, I can now say that at 75 I am in the best shape of my life with the exception of a period of time in my late 30's when I could, and regularly did, jog 5 miles. I quit because I developed osteo-arthitis in my right knee and tendonitis in my left hip. A year ago I decided to quit becoming more and more sedentary and more crippled up and was directed to SparkPeople. Stories like yours got me hooked. Thanks for sharing your story so willingly and so articulately. May you still be at your goal at your 50th anniversary and beyond. - 5/20/2013   4:43:41 PM
  • 83
    Wow - what an inspiration you are! I am not doing too bad at keeping below my goal weight but I am desperate to get more supple and get rid of the pain from what has been diagnosed as arthritis in my left know - but here you are after having broken legs and aiming for handstands and backbends - oh I am IN .. that is what I want too ! - 5/20/2013   4:07:59 PM
  • 82
    Woo Hoo! Great success! - 5/20/2013   3:57:21 PM
  • 81
    Wow! And great job thank you for sharing! - 5/20/2013   3:25:12 PM

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