Rebuilding Yourself: you are never too old
At 65, 5feet 7 inches, I weighed 98kg (218 lbs), had rising blood pressure and kidney troubles. My knees were killing me from the overweight. Every pound of your body transposed in four pounds of pressure on your knees and I had to take massive doses of painkillers to relieve the pain. I was also on medication for cholesterol and acid reflux, and my doctor wanted to double the dose.
I was sitting at my desk or sitting in front of my TV set all day long. “You are going to end up like your mother did: in a nursing home!” I told myself. “And people are going to have to look after you. Do you want that?”
Of course, I did not want it! I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. My thoughts swirled for two weeks and finally decided to follow a bodybuilding program. I learned to make protein shakes. I visited the gym. I followed the gym’s workout program, using the machines, then light weights, working up to heavier ones.
Within nine months, I was off all medication.
There is a misconception that people over sixty-five cannot produce hypertrophy of the muscle. Muscle is a tissue that can adapt with stimulus. The key is to check with a doctor first, and start slowly. I celebrated my seventy-fifth birthday this year by zip lining. I have always liked a challenge, always liked “building something”.
My story is similar to many, not to say most of the seniors I know. I lived a lot of my adult life in a medicated body with a variable weight. I was busy with my family. I forgot about myself. People started to forget about me and I started to be depressed. Loneliness was slowly killing me. At sixty-five, I met a new low in my life. I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and almost touched bottom. Instead of giving up, I decided to rebuild myself.
Of course, there is an emotional adjustment to fitting a new physical form. Today, while I still have to come to terms with myself, I am more outgoing, happier, less angry. It took me two decades before finding what I needed to take my younger self in hand? “It took me that many years to wake up. But maybe there is equilibrium in the way I came to these changes late. As a mature senior, I told myself: “My body is where I want to be!”. I told myself that I was to be the one powering my own rejuvenation. And, I did.
People, especially women, you need to know that you are not finished at forty, definitely not finished at fifty or sixty or seventy: You can go on and on until the day there is no more and you should be able to do it with pizzazz.
Just do it!