Seven years ago this week I enrolled in my first weight training class. Like many women my age, I had been taking HRT (hormone replacement therapy) for several years when a new study showed that such therapy might help with the effects of menopause and help prevent osteoporosis, but it actually increased the chances of heart disease. Since my mother had died of heart disease and had osteoporosis, I had eagerly accepted the HRT. Now, it was time to stop. Weight training was a good way to combat thinning of my bones.
I went to that first class with a lot of trepidation. John had lifted weights in the past, but I never had. What on earth does an out-of shape, over-weight 59-year-old woman wear to the gym? Who will be in the class? I quickly learned everyone else in the beginning class for seniors was in as poor a shape as I was. Enrolling in that class has certainly changed my life!
Within six months, I had lost 20 pounds. Within two years, I lost another 20 pounds. And I have maintained that weight loss. I love lifting weights, feeling fit, and looking better. I feel so much more capable, even though I am stiff with arthritis. I feel physically competent. For my 60th birthday, I asked to go on a hot-air balloon ride. It had always sounded scary in the past. I had come to realize I could handle it. Since we made a hard landing, I was glad I was strong enough and flexible enough to deal with it.
Nearly three years ago, I started running, after being inspired by my then 6-year-old granddaughter Kylie. By Christmas that year I could jog three-miles at a time. We still do that, nearly three times a week. Sometimes it is hard to get started, but I always feel good when we finish.
If you have never tried weight training, I really recommend it. However you feel now, you will feel better if you do it. Physical exercise really increases your sense of well-being. I don't want to live to be 100, but I hope to be strong and active at least into my 80s.