Fitness influencer Joan MacDonald has dedicated the last six years of her life to proving age is just a number, using her social media platform to break the stigma around ageing.
Before making the decision to improve her fitness and her overall health, the 76-year-old was on medication for high blood pressure and acid reflux as well as suffering from edema in her ankles and excruciating arthritis that inhibited her from doing simple movements.
Taking to social media, the 76-year-old shared some before and after shots of her transformation since changing her lifestyle, saying fitness has done more for her than just gaining muscle and losing fat.
View this post on Instagram
“Having a waist over 35 put me at a greatly increased risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and worsened my inflammatory markers and my experience of arthritis and edema and GERD,” she wrote on Instagram.
“BUT the really BIG wins have been from gaining muscle AND losing body fat combined. It’s also from getting my joint mobility back, meaning I’m stronger at an increased range of motion in my joints, carrying a heavy weight. My reflexes are back!
“I fell off my bike last year going full tilt and was able to bounce back up without even a scratch! And each year my skin gets better, my overall body tone seems to keep improving, and I just feel that for once time is standing still.”
Macdonald’s followers commented on her post, saying she was “such as inspiration”.
“bravo Joan!!!! You are proof lady of what is possible !!!,” one person wrote.
“Amazing body recomposition…even though you looked great, in the before picture too, you are so elegant and strong now! Just beautiful!”
“You are simply amazing and such an inspiration!,” said another.
Not only is MacDonald dedicating her influencer status to encouraging seniors to join her on the fitness journey, but she’s actively working to inspire women to celebrate their bodies, especially as they get older.
View this post on Instagram
“Body shaming is a terrible thing, and it happens all the time to older people. It’s sad but true! Worst of all, as we age (especially us women) we adopt those external attitudes as our own. Instead of celebrating our bodies, we learn to be ashamed of them,” she said.
“The old me would have cringed at posing like this. I would have been embarrassed to get dressed up in a bathing suit. I would look at my body and think my legs were too short, my calves were too thick, and my booty too wide.
“I would have wanted to starve myself as if that would make me love myself more. I would have been self conscious of my skin and agonized about how I was aging and changing. I was embarrassed about my laugh and I thought my smile showed too many teeth. In short, I was one big hot mess of body shaming! But NO MORE!!
“I do have some struggles now and again but I’m much stronger than I used to be and I’ve learned to zap those negative thoughts before they take over. And I want to tell you that you can too. When you really start taking care of yourself, both body and mind, you develop a much stronger relationship with yourself. You learn to truly love yourself unconditionally but also to start doing more of the things that bring you more health and strength and joy.
“And as a result you crowd out the shaming thoughts, replacing them with loving thoughts. It’s an entirely different journey.
“I hope you fill up your day with more positive thoughts than negative thoughts and go to bed tonight with self satisfaction. I hope that you will become the mistress of your thoughts and emotions and start living the life you always wanted for yourself, free from inner criticism and shame.”