A 74-year-old fitness model who lost over 62lb (over four stone) three years ago has become an Instagram sensation – and now teaches workouts to over 800,000 followers.
Joan MacDonald, from Cobourg, Canada, who tipped the scales at 198lbs (14st 1lb), was on medication for high blood pressure and was struggling with with such severe arthritis she struggled to walk up and down her stairs.
Determined to make a change, the mother began weight training and planning her macros, eating five balanced meals a day – amounting to around 1500 calories in total.
Fitness model Joan MacDonald (pictured), 74, from Cobourg, Canada, has become an Instagram sensation – and teaches workouts to over 800,000 followers
Joan tipped the scales at 198lbs (14st 1lb), pictured left, but now weighs a slender 9st 7lbs 136lbs (9st 7lbs), pictured right
‘I’m now three years into my journey and I can honestly say that I am a different woman than I was when I started out’, she writes on her website.
‘I know what macros are, I can create balanced meals, I know how to move around with confidence in the gym and I understand the importance of lifting heavy weight.
‘I just love connecting with other women and men who are also choosing to live a healthier lifestyle.’
Weighing 198lbs (14st 1lb), it wasn’t until her daughter Michelle, a fitness coach who lives in Mexico, came to her in 2017 ‘on the verge of tears’, that she decided to make a change.
The mother began weight training and planning her macros, and started doing a mix of cardio and mix of cardio and weight lifting, focusing on different muscle groups each day
Joan bought some food scales, and began eating five balanced meals a day, amounting to around 1500 calories in total
Insistent on losing weight, Joan renewed her gym membership, bought a food scale and learned how to use an iPhone for the very first time, so she could share her progress online.
‘I stuck to my guns,’ says Joan, ‘and never gave up. My motto was, “I don’t mind if my changes are slow. I am going to go at my own pace and this time the changes are going to last the rest of my life.”
As months went by, Joan could see she was losing weight, but ten months into her journey she began focusing on weight training to tone up her physique.
She started doing a mix of cardio and weight lifting, focusing on different muscle groups each day and doing a variety of upper-body, legs, glutes, and hamstring workouts.
WORK OUT LIKE JOAN
Lower body workouts
Contralateral step ups (3-4 sets of 10-12)
Hold a weight on one side and step up and down a stool with one foot while standing up straight.
Prone hamstring curl (12-16 reps)
Lie down on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart. Place a resistance band on one ankle or hold a weight with your feet, and flex your ankle upwards.
Contralateral single leg deadlifts (3-4 sets of 10-12)
Hold a kettle-bell in one hand and slowly hinge at the waist by sticking your back leg and slightly bending your front leg. Bring your leg back down and repeat.
Modified mcGill crunches (3 sets)
Similar to a sit up, lie down with your back on the floor. Bend one leg and leave other one to stay straight and flat. Slowly raise your chest, shoulders and head as a one unit off the floor without bending your lower back.
Joan uses a weight but you can do these with just your body weight, either crossing your arms or extending them up to the sky as you crunch up.
Side crunches (3 sets of 10-12 per side)
Place your hands behind or at the sides of your head. Flex your abdominal muscles, and lift your shoulders off the floor.
Hold your position for a moment, then release your abdominal muscles to slowly bring your shoulders back down to the mat.
Seated external rotations
Try to sit up straight, keep the elbow of the working arm propped up on your elbow.
Slowly bring a weight down without rolling the shoulder, carefully bring the hand back up to vertical by contracting the muscles around the shoulder blade. Don’t swing or use your body weight.
Today, Joan trains trains in 90 minute sessions at least five-days-a-week and shares her workouts – which include pull-ups, burpees and 200 pound weighted hip thrusts – with her thousands of Instagram followers.
Joan has even launched her own ebooks to help others with their fitness journey, written with the help of daughter Michelle and her partner Jean.
Sharing a photo of her weight loss on Instagram, she penned: ‘Three years ago I began this long, slow journey and now I realize that there really isn’t any end to it. At any moment we can make a decision to change.
‘No matter how difficult or challenging life is, we must remain steadfast in our aim and keep inching forward.
‘When I got started I never imagined I’d be where I am today. I just wanted to get my health back and get off my medication. Each door we step through leads to another door and then another.
‘I hope you all keep choosing to grow! To learn to love yourself, take the best care of yourself, and dare to dream and love with your whole heart again.’
Today, Joan trains in 90 minute sessions at least five-days-a-week and posts her workouts, which include lifting 200 pound weights