On Monday, August 29, 2016, my first morning in my new apartment after being released from the VA hospital in Bedford Ma. with a belly full of Seroquel and Mirtazapene, I was still shaky.
I made my way to the phone booth of a bathroom with the garish, depression era wallpaper to see for sure that I didn’t pass away in the night.
The mirror still had toothpaste spray from the last tenant and the single light bulb in the ceiling created a shadow effect on my detoxed features.
What I saw was enough to make me pick up a drink again. I didn’t turn that light on for days after that.
The following Sunday, while walking my dog, I stumbled onto a gym not 900 steps from my door and life took a major turn.
In a matter of months I was back in that mirror constantly. I couldn’t believe the changes in my body. My whole composition was changing.
The overhead light I was previously cursing was now accentuating my new muscles.
I was just turning 70.
The hook was in. I started learning everything I could about fitness.
I became a certified personal trainer with nutrition, weight loss and senior fitness specializations. Whatever I learned in that process, I used on me.
Now, almost 50 pounds lighter and carrying more muscle that I ever have in my life at 73, I know through education and trial and error what works and what doesn’t.
These days, it’s a dream to work with clients who now have a new relationship with their mirror. The changes in their body composition is always a surprise and a delight.
I do two things right off the bat that make a huge, immediate impact with my new clients:
1. In their meal plan, I raise the amount of protein their taking in, to one gram per pound of body weight. That makes a huge difference.
Protein is muscle sparing and increases metabolism. The big one is satiety. Which means you will feel good while losing weight. Uh, fat. 🙂
2. I have clients focus on resistance exercises, using full body circuit training three times a week. Muscle burns more calories than just flopping around on an elliptical.
You will need all that muscle and more as you age. I can’t stress that enough. When muscle is allowed to atrophy, the machine starts breaking down and before you know, there goes your independence. Your house can become a jail cell with doctor visits.
You want to change your body composition not just shrink. You’ll be amazed at what you see in that glass from now on.
Muscle provides hustle, it keeps you stable and rugged. As you might already know, senior living is not for the faint of heart.
People always ask me what motivates me to train my body and teach as hard as I do, and I just tell them what motivates me is in my mirror.
It’s a direct reflection of who I am these days. 🙂