When discussing weight loss for women over the age of sixty, many women will say how discouraged they are and how impossible it is for them to lose weight because of their rapidly decreasing metabolisms. For many, their age is their number one excuse for why the scale continues to go up the older they get.
Marcie Jaworski (62) also used to think that way, until a couple of embarrassing experiences (and a few positive ones!) motivated her to change her mindset and lose 171 pounds in one year, and got her life back. This is her story:
Marcie’s Weight Loss Journey
Marcie had been thin her whole life, never really having any problems with her weight. It wasn’t until after having children, and going through the devastating death of her father, that things began to change. To deal with the stress of parenthood while reeling from the loss of her dad, she turned to night snacking to soothe her grief and make her momentarily happy.
“The night eating was my comfort zone and that is where it stared.” Marcie explained.
For the next twenty-five years, she carried around excess weight, weighing in over 300 pounds despite her 5’5″ frame.
Her wake up call started in 2012, while boarding a flight to go visit her daughter. At that point, she weighed 305 pounds, having recently lost thirty pounds. While waiting for take off, the airline workers were unsure if Marcie would fit into one seat and questioned if she should purchase two (the airline policy).
“She [the flight attendant] took me aside and said, ‘If you can’t fit in one seat our policy is that you need to purchase two seats.’ I got really snippy and said I didn’t need two seats. Actually, I probably did, but I wasn’t going to tell her that,” Marcie recalls.
Marcie was devastated and incredibly demotivated, and proceeded to gain fifty-five pounds.
A few years later, while working out with a friend and a trainer on a treadmill, Marcie had her second wake up call: Struggling to keep up, she leaned on the treadmill and accidentally accelerated the speed. She flew off the back of the treadmill and hit the wall, badly injured her rotator cuff, and was out of commission for 11 weeks.
During that time, she read Al Roker’s book Never Going Back, as well as became a new grandmother. She knew she had to make a change.
How She Lost the Weight
Marcie signed up for weight loss meal plans with the company SlimGenetics, and started going to the gym. Despite starting with some of the easier, more low-impact classes, she struggled.
“I never wanted to show people that I couldn’t keep up with them. I still tried to do as much exercise as everyone else, but it didn’t feel good.” Marcie said, “It is really difficult when you are really heavy. That is why people give up,” she said. “It was a mental thing; you have to hang in there.”
Hang in there she did, and eventually she felt better, less lethargic, and was able to do more. This lead her to lose 171 pounds in just one year.
“I hear a lot of women say, ‘My metabolism is so bad’ … It is not your age,” she said. “It is eating right and exercise.”
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Now, Marcie eats a healthy, balanced diet and works out consistently six days a week. She wants to tell her story to show other women that no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to make a change. These are her tips for helping you stay on track and stay motivated:
Marcie’s Motivation and Weight Loss Tips for Any Age
1. Keep a Before Photo
Marcie carries a before photo with her always, to remind her how far she has come and remind her of what she doesn’t want to go back to. She uses that photo to help motivate others when they complain about struggling to lose weight.
2. Keep a Food Journal
Writing down what she was eating helped her to stay on track with her diet.
“I would just write it down,” she said. “The journal, especially, is what saved me.”
Keeping a food journal is an incredible method of tracking not only calories, fat, protein, carbs, vegetables, etc, but also a great way to discover which foods work with your body and which ones don’t, as well as determining the “whys” behind what you’re eating. Write down how you felt before, during, and after each meal and snack, both physically and emotionally. This will help you discover which foods make you feel good or bad, as well as what some of your triggers are for overeating or eating poorly. The sooner you get to the root of your “hang-ups” and relationship with food, the sooner you can begin to overcome them.
3. Try a Variety of Activity
Marcie started with jazzercise, a low-impact, lower-intensity workout she was comfortable with and thought would be fun. As she became more fit and confident in her abilities, she began to try other classes and exercises. This variety kept it fun, challenged her body in different ways, and also prevented her from hitting a plateau.
4. Get Support
Marcie credits the excellent jazzercise instructors at her gym for helping her to stick with the routine. She recalls that they would routinely approach her after class to praise her on her progress and encourage her to keep going.
Support doesn’t just have to be from health and fitness professionals: Find a friend or two who can be your workout buddies, and make sure your loved ones are informed and on the same page with your weight loss goals. Find people who will push you out the door and help keep you on track when you’d rather stay on the couch eating chips, and spend less time with those who enable the unhealthy habits you are trying to break.
5. Listen to (Good) Advice
Marcie remembers she used to ignore advice from others whenever she tried to start a new diet and routine.
“Every time I started a diet I would never even try those things,” she said. “I think that is one of the things that saved me.”
As it turns out, the things that they were telling her, such as drink plenty of water, workout with friends, or keep a journal, were the very things that actually worked and allowed her to lose so much weight. Find good sources of information and weight loss tips from people who know what they’re talking about and do what they say – those “tricks” are proven to work.
Weight loss is a journey and is a different process for everyone. If you want to lose weight but are struggling to do so, read these inspiring weight loss stories, follow Marcie’s tips, be ready for uncomfortable changes, and remember to seek help from health and fitness professionals who will help you get on track and stay there, no matter how old you are.
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