Woman In Her 70’s Goes From Struggling With Stairs To Being an Instagram Fitness Influencer

Losing weight isn’t easy. It often involves making changes to your diet, changing your daily routine to add exercise and possibly even making time for more sleep. It involves making a decision that you’re going to lose weight and sticking with it.

Joan MacDonald is proving that it’s never too late to decide to lose weight. At age 70, her doctor told her that her blood pressure was increasing and she would need to take more medication. That was when she decided she needed to get healthy, and she knew she needed to start by losing weight. 

Joan lives in Canada, but to start her weight loss journey, she decided to visit her daughter, Michelle MacDonald, in Mexico. Michelle and her husband own a gym in Tulum, Mexico, and Michelle is also a fitness coach.

It was Michelle that motivated her mom to make the changes she needed to make to start her fitness journey. Joan explains, “When Michelle gave me that ultimatum to do something about my life, I figured it’s now or never.” She added, “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. It was existing, not living.”

Joan was almost 71 when she flew to Mexico, and within the first month, she had already dropped 10 pounds. Now, at the age of 75, Joan has lost 65 pounds and been able to successfully keep the weight off.


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A post shared by Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan)

According to Michelle, many of her clients aren’t eating enough calories. She told her mom to stop snacking and to start eating 5 meals each day. Every meal needs to include protein, and Michelle recommends eating the same number of ounces of protein as your goal weight. For example, if you want to weigh 130 pounds, eat 130 grams of protein each day.

Michelle also worked with her mom to make sure she wasn’t just getting enough protein but also getting enough fat and carbs each day. In addition, she designed an exercise program for her mom to follow.

Exercising in the gym was hard for Joan at first, but she stuck with it because she was already starting to feel better after losing those first few pounds. Within a few months, she only needed to take half the amount of medication she had been taking previously.


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A post shared by Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan)

Joan eventually returned to her home in Canada, but she did not return to her old way of life. She stuck to her diet and hit the gym 5 days each week. Her hard work was definitely worth it. Not only has Joan been able to lose weight and keep it off, but she no longer needs to take any medication.

When Joan started her weight loss journey, Michelle encouraged her to take a before picture and to track her progress on Instagram. Joan has since become an Instagram fitness influencer with over 1.5 million followers.

Joan hopes that her journey inspires others to realize that it’s never too late to lose weight. She explained, “Nothing is magical. It’s work, but it’s work that you can enjoy.” She added, “In the end, you are going to be stronger and healthier, and that’s all that really matters.”

If you’re thinking about starting to exercise, Michelle recommends starting with a goal of walking 10,000 steps per day. Then, she suggests adding in strength training for 45 minutes a few times each week. She explained, “Train with intention, not lifting the same weight forever.”

Does Joan’s weight loss success inspire you? Do you know anyone who has successfully lost weight and kept it off at an older age?