“I started my fitness journey and one of the glaring reasons I did was the feeling of ‘un-sureness’ I had doing ordinary things. Feeling unsteady, vulnerable and timid about stairs, long walks, hikes. At age 50 I wasn’t ready to stop doing the things I liked. I made a change, took charge and never looked back.” Meet Gerda!
I’m Gerda Collins
“At 53 years of age, I’ve come to the place in my life that intend to do things that really move and inspire me. Confidence has come to reside in my being. I’ve been married 34 years and have 2 children, and 2 grandchildren. I feel very privileged to be called wife, mother, and grandmother.”
My Fitness Journey
“Proper health and fitness have ‘eluded’ me most of my life. Recently several family crises and my own declining health left me in a sorry state of stress and fatigue. On October 22, 2014, unwilling to resign to this as my life now, I embarked on a new lifestyle; not a fad program or diet, but I made a real and sustainable change by overhauling my brain and body.
I began by enlisting professional help. I hired a personal trainer who understand clients Over 40, and began a weight lifting program, cardio and “clean eating”.
The accountability of meeting with someone regularly has helped me greatly. I started out with a simple 15 minute walk twice daily and 2 sessions per week in the gym. Over time, I learned to work all the muscle groups, learned to ‘listen’ to my body and become aware of what my muscles were doing (and not doing)!
Each week my walk increased by 10 minutes and soon I was doing 1 hour a day and 3 gym sessions a week. Now I work out on my own, 4 times a week in the gym: 1 hour lifting weights and 30 minutes of cardio (usually elliptical). I also do 45 minutes of cardio on my home treadmill twice a week. Currently I meet with my trainer 3 times a month because I need a push to stay motivated, make sure I’m on track and my form is correct to avoid injury.”
“Early on in my journey I began eating clean (very limited processed foods); protein, veggies and slow carbs (mainly sweet potato or brown rice). By following a strict food plan I started to realize that even though I wasn’t a ‘binge’ eater, I had formed some very emotional attachments to food. When I didn’t have to think about what to eat (I do meal preparations for one week at a time) I became free of those emotions… wow.. that was an eye opener!
“Food is fuel.. and I’m fueling a Maserati not a moped!”
I now plan my ‘cheat meals’ or ‘re-feeds’ very carefully. I don’t eat junk because I truly don’t want to. I choose real and well-prepared foods. If I have a special event coming up I plan for it and allow myself that occasion to enjoy (within reason) what I want.
One thing that was VERY hard to get through my head initially was not eating enough calories! I slowly began to understand that depriving myself was not helping my cause in any way. “Fuel for the gains” is what I hear from fellow lifters. Now I know that when you exercise 6 days a week, you need plenty of fuel to feed growing muscles and muscles burn a lot of fat!”
“I found great encouragement and ‘kinship’ online, the lifting-community is FULL of people eager to help. Both online and in person, #grandmaswholift are not as rare as one might think.
It’s been 11 months and I’m 45 pounds lighter and a lot stronger! I still have to lose 40 pounds, but I know I can do that. I just know it now! I’ve increased my energy and have confidence in my ability to accomplish any goal I set!
I really feel that if I can do this anyone can. (I mean 99.9%) In the past I’ve been the worst disciplined person and it’s true what they say, ‘You have to come to that place where you say enough! I REALLY want this.’ And then you find your inner strength…..
Just typing this makes me cry; I think ‘Why did it take me so long!?’ And yes, I’m doing this now and you can too. Stay the course!”
Get Fit Over 40
Thank you for sharing your story Gerda! (Instagram @gerdasgarden)
I’m inspired every single day by women around the world, friends of GFO40. I have “down-days” when I think “I’m not making a difference” and then I recall the women I’ve witnessed experience this emotion… this elation… this aha moment….and it’s then I wish every single woman on earth knew how good they could feel if they just let themselves. Thank you so much again Gerda and my many supportive friends. We are Fit Over 40. Please join us, there are so many wonderful life experiences yet to be enjoyed- get strong for your future.