What years of healthy habits can do for a person

timtam163 Posts: 500 Member
This isn't a "success story" in the traditional sense--there's no "before" or "after"--but I just wanted to share with you all what a beast my 72 year old mom is.

She's the same weight she's always been, her entire adult life--she's 5'2" (or maybe 5'1" these days) and 115 lbs. She looks amazing for any age; she has 50 year old friends jealous of her energy. Hell, I'm not yet 30 and I'm jealous of her energy sometimes.

Here's the thing--she isn't some genetic freak. She's luckier than most, but she will gain weight if she's not consistent. But she's not extreme at all in her lifestyle. She always makes time for regular exercise, trying new fitness classes and gym exercises. She's had knee problems sometimes that kept her from running, but she's found alternative exercise. She isn't crazy self-disciplined; it's just part of life for her. Sometimes she'll take a month off of the gym, but she always gets back into it. She did when she was working long hours, and she does it now in retirement.

She also loves food and always makes space in her diet for deliciousness, even though on a daily basis she goes for a lot of veggies before meat/cheese/bread. She cooks at home as much as possible, even when she was working more than full-time. And the key: no matter where she eats, she is very aware of portion sizes. She also hardly ever drinks.

Oh and back when I was living at home, I'd often catch her indulging in guilty pleasure foods--cookies at 11 PM, late night salami, etc. She probably did this less often than I did in college though, and she indulged in tune with her body.

Yesterday at a family barbecue she was the only one, the ONLY one, who could keep up with her bundle-of-energy toddler granddaughter. She never gets tired of spending time with her family. She did a 12-mile hike with my fresh-from-the-military 20-year-old cousin last year; 8 years ago she did a 35 mile hike with me.

And she still sometimes has health problems. Her blood pressure is high sometimes. She gets aches and pains sometimes. She gets tired sometimes. But you know, comparing her to her sedentary friends, she's faring so much better.

Back when I was overweight, I figured maybe I just didn't have her self-discipline, or maybe I didn't have her genetic thinness... I came up with excuse after excuse as to why I wasn't as fit. Well I'm still heavier than her but i'm getting closer, and I realize there are no shortcuts. I have to eat well, exercise well, be consistent. Yesterday at the barbecue, we split a burger; how else were we going to be able to try 3 kinds of meat if we didn't watch our portion sizes? She proceeded to eat a slice of cheesecake and I ate donuts. We had fun.

I look at my mom and think: I want to be that someday. I just want to share that, while losing weight might be rough (I'm still working at it, and it's taken me a decade of cyclical gains and losses to even get to where I am), maintaining it for years is possible and can lead to a full and happy life. And though not everyone is as lucky as my momma, I just hope we can bust some myths on what it takes to maintain for years. You don't have to "never touch a carb again", you don't have to spend 6 hours at the gym every day, and you don't have to be hungry for years. Just get in touch with your body and treat it right.


  • amyn73
    amyn73 Posts: 241 Member
    That's a very sweet, true post. I think we should always aspire to live a full life like your mom is doing!!
  • romacla
    romacla Posts: 3 Member
    edited July 2017
    I loved to read this story. I truly needed it today. Thak you for writing it¡
  • vibegirl7
    vibegirl7 Posts: 3 Member
    Yay Mom! And how lovely for you both to have each other to learn and support each other!
  • alghamme
    alghamme Posts: 8 Member
    I love that story. I have struggled for years with my weight off and on "life change" yet my skinny friend eats pastrami sandwiches. She also leaves food on her plate and eats lots of veggies and exercises. And like you said, she is consistent.
  • brookielaw
    brookielaw Posts: 814 Member
    Your Mom is awesome and raised an insightful, thoughtful kid. :) Congrats!
  • ggeise14
    ggeise14 Posts: 386 Member
    Just found this story - nice! :)
  • IremiaRe
    IremiaRe Posts: 801 Member
    My Mom is my inspiration, too - but from the other direction. She had an injury that put her down about 20 years ago, and she just never got back up. Don't get me wrong - she was far from healthy before that - she battled with food for the entirety of my life - but once she settled in the living room chair - it was all over.

    Today, she is in rehab for a broken bone. Sitting for the last 20 years has given her bird bones - and she literally had an "I've fallen and I can't get up" moment.

    I love my Mom - but, I never, ever want to be her. Granted, she is 82 - but, I have seen lots of 82 year olds with pep and vigor, and I want to be one of THEM. So, every time I start to feel like mmaaaaaybe I wont' go to the gym, today... Maaaybe I will have that slice of cheesecake... I just take a moment and think of my Mom.

    I am very glad your Mom is such a great role model for you.
  • RonFrances8
    RonFrances8 Posts: 44 Member
    Love love love
  • timtam163
    timtam163 Posts: 500 Member
    @IremiaRe, I'm sorry your mom is going through this. Now I think about it, my mom's mother was her inspiration: she had a stoke at 82 and she went from active her entire life, to almost completely sedentary. Luck plays a big role; may you have many years of activity and health ahead of you. <3
  • AliNouveau
    AliNouveau Posts: 36,287 Member
    I love those how awesome

    She sounds like my nana who in her mid 60s wanted to try one of our skateboards and did. Broke her wrist but she didn't care. My nana though was an Olympian and won a silver medal in running but I learned from her how to be tough and how important being active is.
  • SandraNancy
    SandraNancy Posts: 127 Member
    I loved your story-- your mom is an inspiration and a great role model.

    She sounds a lot like my grandma-- she has been 5'6 and 124lbs for her entire adult life (unless pregnant). She has lost an inch or two now (she's 91) but maintains a trim figure. I've never seen her eat junk food like chips or pop-- meals for her are meat and vegetables and some bread. She'll drink water or tea, but was never a big drinker of alcohol or juice. She walks three times a day regardless of the weather, and she likes to "help out the old people" in her apartment block. My grandma is still sharp as a tack and cheeky as all get-out-- I hope to be like her when I'm old!
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