You can be pain free and lean in your 50's and beyond.
I am truly a believer that age is just a number and that we can decide how the latter years of our life is lived – either with vitality or deterioration.
Some people feel that their age is the reason for their aches, pains and loss of their body as they once knew it.
Others decide that they want to do everything in their power to not only preserve what they have but to improve their current level of health.
The latter type of women decide that they want to grow YOUNGER – not OLDER.
Beth is one of those women who has decided to grow younger each year. She is not into the anti-aging bandwagon but instead is focused on working with what she has and basically is building a remarkable level of health for a 56 year old women.
I first met Beth about 3 years ago when she moved in next door to me. I introduced myself while I was outside mowing my lawn. Beth appeared to be in her 40’s at the time with a small, delicate frame but she was about 52 years old!!
She asked me if I worked out because she was looking at my arms. I told her I was a trainer and at the time I had about 20 personal training clients.
Not long after that original meeting – Beth became one of my clients.
Although Beth was active already (she ran, hiked, swam, ate pretty good and went to the gym and did some light weights) she had very little muscle tone.
Her main complaint was that she had pain – in her hips, back, shoulder and knees and a general level of pain.
Her main goal was to NOT BE IN PAIN. She realized that she was getting older and she did not want pain to be a limiting factor in how she lived her life. She did not want her body to decide for her what she could do and what she could not do.
Not only did she have pain but she had issues with her stomach and some fatigue.
Basically, she wanted to feel that vitality that we remember feeling in our late 20’s and 30’s.
She wanted to prevent DETERIORATION.
With the help of her chiropractor and physical therapist we began working on building Beth’s health.
Beth removed gluten and sugar from her diet to help reduce inflammation and we did an adrenal/hormone test.
She began training with me and we worked on building up strength in areas that were extremely weak (her posterior chain, glutes, hamstrings, core and upper back).
Beth went to physical therapy and worked on doing some postural restoration to help identify which muscles were under-performing. We then combined her exercises from physical therapy with our strength training sessions to really put the work in to get her body to be muscularly balanced.
Beth also worked on learning new techniques for managing external stressors and practiced them daily. She used positive affirmations, the Emotional Freedom Technique and visualizations to keep her mind focused on gratitude and remaining positive.
This was not an easy road as there were many setbacks. Her knee pain would improve – then rear its ugly head again. Her back pain would be intense at times and she would have to learn new stretching techniques to alleviate the pain. At times she would have to go to the chiropractor at least weekly to keep putting her pelvic bone back in place until the muscles around her hips and glutes strengthened enough to hold the adjustment.
She did all of this while working full time.
Eventually, the bouts of pain were farther and fewer between.
Beth soon became highly in tune with her body and was able to identify which foods were not working well with her digestive system and caused some systemic inflammation in her body.
So she avoided those foods and added in more healthy fats and foods high in nutrients.
She began eating more calories than usual but filled these calories with all high nutrient level foods.
Then her level of pain became virtually non-existent.
Her knee pain was gone – because now her glutes and hamstring were strong enough to hold her skeletal frame in place.
Her shoulder pain was completely eliminated because now her body was aligned.
Her back pain was a thing of the past – because now she learned how to use her hamstrings and glutes INSTEAD of pulling from her back and her core was significantly strengthened.
And throughout all of this – she also became even leaner than before losing 14 pounds of pure fat and building about 8 lbs. of muscle.
Where there once was a flat butt – she now has a true BOOTY!!
Life is no longer limited by her body – instead she is in control of her own aging process AND she is definitely growing younger each year.
Was it an easy road?
Not always. In fact, for a while she could not do ANY heavy lower body training – not for 8 months until her smaller muscles caught up. During this time she still DID NOT MISS ANY SESSIONS and we focused on upper body and core.
But what was the alternative?
The alternative is deterioration which causes inflammation, pain and eventual disease.
Beth is remarkably committed to her well being. She is my MOST COMMITTED client and dear friend who does what she says she is going to do and walks the walk.
What was the secret to her success?
I would say her secret was patience in rebuilding her health and a level of commitment that was undeterred.
She believed the process would work and she WORKED THE PROGRAM – meaning she ate well consistently, she committed to training 3x per week, she stayed active, set goals, focused on adding in nutrition and did not use the scale as an indicator of success even though she did lose 11 lbs. of fat.
She had her head screwed on STRAIGHT and she knew that the goal was to be STRONG and healthy…..instead of WEAK and VULNERABLE.
Today, Beth is retired from her full time job at IBM and received her personal trainer certification and went back to school to become a Physical Therapy Assistant.
Beth is a now a certified personal trainer at T.H.I.N.K. Holistic Fitness where we train women in their mid-life years.