Social media has become more and more popular among the fitness community, with many of us drawing inspiration and motivation from the influencers we follow and interact with. What you may not expect is that influencers come from all ages, and this 75-year-old woman proved that true in her many accomplishments, only one of which being her introduction into the world of fitness influencers.

 

Good Morning America shares the tale of Joan MacDonald, a fitness enthusiast who has over one million followers on Instagram. She has become an icon that age truly is just a number. The story starts five years ago, where Joan remembers feeling intense pain from arthritis, and fatigue, to the point where even moving around during the day became a chore. She had two choices: let the arthritis and signs of aging consume her life, or fight back. Her breaking point came when her doctor discovered blood pressure issues β€” but that wasn’t going to be the end of the line for Joan. She decided it was time to make some changes…major changes.

Joan MacDonald
via Joan MacDonald on Instagram

“I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. It was existing, not living.” So she set out to make what could be one of the biggest changes of her life. Fitness doesn’t just mean heading to the gym a few times a week, and it was a change that Joan eagerly tackled with the help of her coach and daughter, Michelle MacDonalds. Over the few years of her journey, Joan has been able to not only lose as much as 65 pounds but also keep the weight off. Since then she has also been able to retire her medications for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and acid reflux.

 

Joan’s schedule seems simple, she goes to the gym five days a week β€” two of which she dedicated to cardio β€” and tracks her macronutrients in an app on her smartphone. She discusses her struggles along the way, struggles that many others share when first stepping foot into the gym and the world of fitness:

“It was tough in the beginning,” Michelle MacDonald said. “People don’t realize that [my mom] was there in the trenches, trying to figure it all out and getting frustrated.

 

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