How I learned that Getting Old and Fat was not Inevitable

I started working with a personal trainer at the request of my husband who himself had started working with a personal trainer.  I agreed to work with him because I wanted to be cooperative – not because I felt I needed it.  In my mind, I felt that I could run a mile whenever I chose.  I felt that gaining a little bit of weight every year wasn’t such a big deal – it was the price of age and enjoying food.  I was 58 after all.  I was content to give away clothes and say, “I’ll never fit into that again.”

Was I ever wrong. 

Once I started working out with a trainer, I was committed.  I found the accountability crucial.  After all, I had paid for multiple years of gym fees and had NEVER gone to the gym but the appointment and the fact that I had paid for a training sessions really helped me stay on track.  And, I found I was in worse shape than I had thought.   (Denial is a powerful defense mechanism!).    I was weak and overweight by over 20 pounds.

I wanted to get every dollars’ worth out of the personal training program so I started limiting my intake and lo and behold –  it worked.  Between the exercise and my eating better (and less) within a few months (it took me seven) I had lost those 20 pounds and achieved a lifetime goal – running a half-marathon every step of the way.

I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment. The excitement of actually saying I could run 13.1 miles without stopping.

So, no, weight gain and loss of muscle and strength are NOT inevitable.  You can keep the clothes you love.  I learned that if I want a healthy, long life, I can achieve it through working out and eating well and I am truly grateful to my trainers.

Here I am, almost 11 years later and I’m still focused on keeping the weight off and staying fit.  I’ve learned that we all want to live long lives – but we want to live long healthy lives – with a good quality of life.  Exercise and eating right (not perfect by any means) can really pay off.

Patricia Cantu