Being Fit is More Important than Being Thin

Kelly is a wife, mom and teacher on hiatus at the moment. She is also a client and friend at MFitness for Life. Kelly has been with us for a little over a year. When I first met her, I thought to myself, man, she’s pretty thin, wonder what her goals could be? During her assessment, we found a mobility imbalance we were able to address and we have worked around a couple of nagging pains, but she has been consistent and has gained A LOT of strength. Kelly was the first avid runner I had ever worked with consistently and I was super happy to hear how strong her training has made her feel and how her times had improved so much!

I love Kelly’s outlook on fitness today and the fact that she cross-trains.  Hear what Kelly has to say about fitness in her 50’s:

I have always been a runner. In high school, I wasn’t the best, but I was consistent. I listened, learned, and led as team captain. In the off season, I lifted with the team in the weight room, and I did aerobics with Joanie Greggains in my living room.

During college, although I wasn’t on the team, I ran as a way to stay thin and socialize with friends. After college, I joined Living Well Lady and continued to run.

With my first teaching assignment came a coaching job which lasted until I had my first child. I continued to run because running was an efficient way to maintain my weight. During the winter, I lifted weights but always ran once the weather broke.

I was able to continue this pattern without injury until my mid-forties. At that time, I had a health scare and was told to stop all exercise. That time was extremely difficult, and once I was cleared to re-start, I found that my body had changed and that returning to that level of intensity was more difficult than before.

In my late forties, I began running again and built up my mileage to a point where it had been before. I was running about 15 miles a week, but I found that I couldn’t lose the weight I had gained from the exercise restriction. I increased the mileage and my body adjusted. I lost the weight, but I noticed that I was weaker.

Lifting 40 pound pellet bags, something I had always done, became nearly impossible. Activities like gardening and completing chores exhausted me. I joined a gym to get stronger, and it has helped. I am running faster times with less mileage and am able to do all of the things I enjoyed before.

In the past, my body responded quickly to small changes. If I gained some weight, I ran a little more, and things were fine. Now, at 53, I’ve learned that being fit is more important than being thin, and that consistency is key to maintaining fitness.

I am motivated by the results I have experienced, and by the friendships I have made. I continue to run, but there is balance. I also strength train, swim, and hike with friends.

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