Saturday, August 24, 2013
When I was in my 40s, I got into bodybuilding and worked out with Gary Powers (Mr. Tennessee of 1986). It was an awesome experience and I loved it. I also started teaching an aerobics class to draw more women to the gym (I was actually the first woman to join the gym and it was an oddity and felt like an intrusion to the men until they realized that I was there for the same reason they were).
I moved from the area to another state and then another over a period of 6 years but continued to workout and stay in shape for the most part. Then around 2001 I got very ill with a blood disorder and no iron in my body whatsoever that put me out of commission. I went up to almost 200 lbs. from 110 lbs. from inactivity and all of the medications I was on (about 10 different prescriptions). After almost a year of tests, prods and probing, they finally got to the bottom of it and I got better. From then until 2010 it was a series of ups and downs .... a roller coaster ride with my health and my weight because of other physical issues and high levels of stress. I am legally blind in one eye and limited peripheral vision in my good eye. I also have a condition called BPPV which causes vertigo which can come on at any time unexpectedly. Because of this I had bad balance and was always falling. One of my last major falls caused me to have a plate and 9 screws put into my right arm. After 3 months of therapy, the therapist told me that there wasn't anything else she could do. I would never have good use of that arm and I am right-handed.
My doctor finally told me that I had to do something to change my life or I wasn't going to live long. After much prayer and thought, I decided to take early retirement. With the prodding of my son and his wife (who I originally got into the gym when I was doing body-building), I started going back to the gym. I was in terrible physical condition and grossly overweight for my size (183 lbs), so I started going to a SilverSneakers class. I became more active and started losing weight. I totally changed my way of eating (cutting out ALL fast food, junk food, processed foods and being basically vegetarian) and lost over 50 lbs. Unfortunately I did go crazy last August and celebrated my birthday for the entire month and then had a lot of other things follow including the holidays and gained back 20 of those pounds but I am on the way back down. :)
I am now a fitness instructor and teach 4 different formats of SilverSneakers (I teach 11 classes/week at Anytime Fitness and sub for other classes when needed at BodyPlex) and am in the process of becoming a Personal Trainer. I also attend Zumba and Total Body classes when I can fit them into my busy life. By the way, even though the eye condition is still there and the BPPV, I do not fall anymore and have very good balance, plus I have full use of my right arm. I will be 67 years old next Wednesday. So you see .... IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START!