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

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/19/2013 6:00 AM   :  134 comments   :  23,718 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

  • 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
  • GRUMPYSGAL
    80
    I too loved your story and accomplishments. I am 67 and go to the gym everyday. The yoga classes there are always for a higher form of yoga. They have a beginners class but it is on Sat. which is the only day I don't attend. I wish I knew how to get into a free class. I do take pilates and love that class. Keep up the wonderful work you do and best of luck. - 5/20/2013   3:04:13 PM
  • SERENAMOM45
    79
    Your story is very encouraging! I am at the same age and have lost just enough weight so far to be under your beginning weight, so I can see my journey. Knowing how much daily exercise helps you is a great reminder for me too. - 5/20/2013   2:25:44 PM
  • 78
    Very inspirational! Thanks for sharing and a big congratulations! - 5/20/2013   1:53:21 PM
  • 77
    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story! Spark On! - 5/20/2013   1:39:47 PM
  • DCGAL9
    76
    Congrats you look great. Thanks for letting us all know age is just a number. :-) - 5/20/2013   12:56:56 PM
  • 75
    What a wonderful success story - 5/20/2013   11:30:01 AM
  • WHIPPETWALKER
    74
    You inspire me and give me hope. So good to see a success story about a mature woman! I am turning 65 next month. Depression, hypothyroidism, 2 knee replacements, and a broken leg won't stop me. The impossible just takes a bit longer! - 5/20/2013   11:13:49 AM
  • 73
    This is a wonderful blog and so appropriate for those of us in our 60's who still care about being healthy and fit. I do a ball class at the gym twice a week led by an instructor who is 74 and I know for sure there are two ladies in the class in their 70's along with women in their 30's and 40's. this is a very difficult class ....15 various planks along with other strength moves are a regular part of the class. I love this class and sometimes wonder if I will be able to do it five years from now. But I keep going and know I need to keep strong. I love challenging my body. Thank you for being a role model for us and for sharing. - 5/20/2013   11:06:11 AM
  • 72
    I LOVE to see people having maintained goal weight, because that's something I've NEVER been able to do! This is the year, tho'!!! - 5/20/2013   10:39:55 AM
  • 71
    I loved your story and I am right there with you but did not start doing what your are doing until I was 66. I am now 67. Your are so right. Healthy eating helps improve all areas of life. Help up the good work. - 5/20/2013   10:35:56 AM
  • 70
    Delighted to see an inspirational story from one of us golden girls. To every 20 to 40-something out there I congratulate you for losing it now--weight loss is a whole different matter with menopause, hypothyroidism, osteo, diabetes, RA, prescription meds, and 3-4 decades of age-related muscle loss fighting your efforts. - 5/20/2013   10:27:59 AM
  • 69
    Wow, you're such an inspiration. I'm 58 and have arthritis in many joints and my spine. It definitely slows me down a bit, but keep hanging in there every day. I aspire to be the best I can be at any age, you've helped me want to keep it going. Thank you !! - 5/20/2013   10:10:18 AM
  • 68
    Thank you for the inspiration! At 66 I am NOT in the best shape of my life but I still believe I can be and I'm going to keep trying. - 5/20/2013   10:03:27 AM
  • 67
    you have given me hope to pass my down falls start again thanks...I know now and beleive I can do it.. - 5/20/2013   9:58:12 AM
  • 66
    Wow!!! What an inspiring story! Congratulations and thank you for offering hope!!! - 5/20/2013   9:47:24 AM
  • TOOMUCHSUGARTOO
    65
    This is a blog I needed to read today. I am going to be 68 this Thursday and I have so much weight to lose. I can't seem to get myself to stay motivated. I will have to try harder and follow your example.
    Congratulations to you. And, Thanks for this blog. - 5/20/2013   9:26:13 AM
  • 64
    Very inspirational blog!!! - 5/20/2013   9:13:07 AM
  • 63
    Great. Priscilla Patrick is 72 and still teaches Yoga. She looks wonderful, too. Age is just a number. - 5/20/2013   8:53:04 AM
  • 62
    What a great inspirational journey! Thanks for sharing to give us "more mature" gals hope! - 5/20/2013   8:46:06 AM
  • 61
    What a great story and I can relate... I still have more weight to lose but your story has truly inspired me. Hugs. - 5/20/2013   8:24:35 AM
  • 60
    Thanks for sharing. Your story is very inspirational. - 5/20/2013   8:09:13 AM
  • PITTMOM2
    59
    Great job! That is very inspiring. I wish I had known as much about nutrition and exercise when I was younger. I have always exercised, but never knew until a few years ago it was possible to reshape my body. I'm in my 50's and trying to get back to the fitness level and weight of a couple of years ago. I'm making progress. I love to hear of people older than me that are still living an active, healthy life. I have such a hard time even finding people my age who want to do any kind of physical activity. I would love to have an exercise buddy. - 5/20/2013   8:07:19 AM
  • 58
    Wonderful. How inspiring! Great story and congrats on your wonderful long term success! - 5/20/2013   7:59:02 AM
  • 57
    What a wonderful story you have shared with us!
    I love that you feel that you are in the best shape of your life! I share the same sentiment! Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? You are living proof that this is so untrue!
    Keep on inspiring! - 5/20/2013   7:43:51 AM
  • MELISSAB1957
    56
    What an inspiration. There is hope at 55! - 5/20/2013   7:31:34 AM
  • JUDITOLER
    55
    What a great story especially for those of us in our sixties. There is hope - 5/20/2013   7:29:59 AM
  • 54
    I Love your photos - and you look great in those colors.

    Congratulations on getting in shape - and then sharing your new skills with others. - 5/20/2013   6:15:28 AM
  • 53
    Congratulations and thank you for sharing the experience of your journey with us! I have just turned 70, and am also slimmer and fitter than I have ever been. I also suffer from depression and was using food and workaholism as anaesthetics. I only reached my goal weight ten weeks ago. I want to take the time to teach my neighbour some chair exercises. She put on weight after a badly set broken leg twenty years ago, and her weight has made her "good" leg worse than the broken one. She needs a knee replacement, but could never afford it. And she is convinced that if she cant walk more than a few yards without making herself ill, she cant lose weight. I have persuaded her that water doesnt make you put on weight..... Your blog inspires me to try to get her exercising, maybe learning one new exercise at a time. - 5/20/2013   6:06:11 AM
  • 52
    Fantastic story and a fantastic lady! This is how I want to approach life as I start getting older, so thanks for being a wonderful role model! - 5/20/2013   6:01:40 AM
  • CHERYLHURT
    51
    Amazing! - 5/20/2013   5:39:42 AM
  • 50
    Thanks for a great read! It's amazing what we can do when we set our minds to it!! Your energy is awesome! From one in her 60s to another! Keep thinking young! - 5/20/2013   5:20:06 AM
  • 49
    Thank You! Just knowing that you can achieve your goals at any age is very important to me. - 5/20/2013   12:48:34 AM
  • RENATA144
    48
    Very inspiring !!! - 5/19/2013   11:23:55 PM
  • PEFITNESS4
    47
    You are sooooo awesome!!! Thank you for your story. You are just the right encouragement I needed now. - 5/19/2013   10:27:18 PM
  • 46
    Fantastic blog, great weight loss. You look wonderful and I know feel tremendous.
    Your story is a lot like mine, We both had injuries in leg. was depressed and used food to numb our feelings thus gained weight. The only difference I was 68 when I started and lost 190 lbs. I can't say I am at the best shape of my life, but I am in great shape for a 71 year old who does Pilates/Yoga and works out daily.
    I totally agree it's never to old or too late to make changes in ones life., - 5/19/2013   10:19:39 PM
  • WOUJER
    45
    You really look fabulous! I am inspired by your story. I guess 50's not too old to reform, eh? - 5/19/2013   9:10:55 PM
  • 44
    Congratulations!! You have inspired me to set a weight loss goal for husband for August 22nd!! Thank you for such a beautiful story!! - 5/19/2013   8:51:47 PM
  • 43
    Wow! You look amazing, and so much younger! 7 years is really quite inspiring. Thank you for telling us how you managed to find success. You really are making me excited for my own personal success - 5/19/2013   8:49:55 PM
  • 42
    You have a beautiful smile in your before picture, but what a great figure in your after.
    Thanks for sharing with us. I'm really impressed by your physical accomplishments, especially with the injuries. I'm 40 & couldn't do those yoga poses. WAY TO GO !
    - 5/19/2013   7:39:56 PM
  • 41
    You look amazing! I never would've guessed you to be 68. - 5/19/2013   7:34:55 PM
  • INSPIRISTA
    40
    Wow, so inspiring! Thanks for sharing! :) - 5/19/2013   7:15:33 PM
  • 39
    Congratulations on your success and now sharing your knowledge with others. - 5/19/2013   7:09:02 PM
  • GSPOON
    38
    wonderful comment just what I needed to read tonight - 5/19/2013   7:04:38 PM
  • ABROWN936
    37
    Wonderful people! - 5/19/2013   6:53:18 PM
  • 36
    That's awesome! I am so glad you regained your zest for life and have done so well. I hope you continue to inspire others for many years to come! - 5/19/2013   6:28:45 PM
  • 35
    Wow, thank you! - 5/19/2013   6:07:23 PM

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