Fitness fanatic retiree Joan MacDonald, 73, from Ontario, Canada, struggled with her weight throughout her life, despite being relatively active, and could barely walk up the stairs after having knee replacement surgery.
After using food as a way to escape a difficult time in her marriage, her weight ballooned until it peaked at 198lbs and size 22.
Joan was also on various medications to help with her health, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and acid reflux.
Grandmother Joan MacDonald, left, shed 55lbs after her daughter taught her to use an iPhone to aid weight loss. She’s now medication-free and is regularly complimented by younger men
Joan, 73, pictured in a bathing before her weight loss, struggled with her weight throughout her life, and could barely walk up stairs after having knee replacement surgery
These health problems, along with her progressive arthritis, were a cause of concern for Joan’s daughter, Michelle, 48, who told her to join her annual transformation program.
In January 2017, Joan began working out at the gym four times a week and completely turned her diet around.
With the help of her daughter and son-in-law who coached her, Joan’s weight reduced to a healthy 141lbs and a size 16 in just a year.
‘I struggled with my weight and for many decades I was more often overweight than at a healthy weight,’ Joan explained.
‘I was on medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and acid reflux. My arthritis was acting up pretty bad.
With the help of her daughter and son-in-law who coached her, Joan’s weight reduced to a healthy 141lbs in just a year – and she now proudly shows off her muscles on Instagram
Joan, pictured left at the age of 18 and right at age 20, admitted she used food as a way to escape a difficult time in her marriage prior to her weight loss
Joan, pictured recently, was on medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and acid reflux – but since her weight loss she’s stopped taking all of her pills
‘I could barely walk up and down the stairs and I hadn’t been to the gym in months because my knee that I had replaced was really hurting me.
‘My daughter was becoming concerned about my health and asked me to join her annual transformation program. Well, she pretty much told me to join it, to be honest.’
Joan admitted she was pretty ‘overwhelmed’ at first as it was all online, and she had to get an iPhone and learn all about apps.
‘I was in tears at times, ready to throw in the towel, but luckily, I was too darn stubborn,’ she recalled.
‘My daughter and son-in-law would coach me through again and again, how to use my phone. You could say it took a village.
‘To be honest, I think what really helped me was that this time I was okay to go slowly, and just take my time.
Joan, pictured before and after her transformation, says she now gets compliments from lots of younger men
Pictured sandwiched between fellow gym goers, Joan now sticks to a healthier meal plan high in protein
Grandma Joan, pictured before (left) and after (right) her weight loss, says she has a newfound confidence as a result of her healthy new figure
‘Trust me, I had lost a lot of weight before, many times in fact; I had tried Weight Watchers and Counterweight to great success, but the weight always came back.’
Michelle set up an Instagram account for Joan where she posted regular updates on her fitness journey, which attracted dozens of compliments including from younger men impressed by her physique.
Joan is no longer on any medications as her health has vastly improved since she lost the weight and she is able to hip thrust over 198lbs, which is equivalent to her previous weight.
‘This fitness journey will undoubtedly improve my quality of life as I move deeper into old age. I’m very grateful for that,’ she said.
‘I feel much better about myself now and getting compliments from younger men and women sure boosts the self-esteem.’
Joan has also overhauled her diet; before she would eat two slices of toast with jam and coffee for breakfast, a sandwich and fruit salad for lunch, meat and vegetables and dessert for dinner and she would snack on sweets, chocolates or nuts.
Joan’s diet before
Breakfast: Two slices of toast with jam and coffee
Lunch: A sandwich and fruit salad
Dinner: Meat with vegetables and dessert
Snacks: Sweets, chocolate and nuts
Joan’s diet after
Breakfast: Egg whites, cheese, meat, vegetables and bread or half a bagel
Lunch: Coconut milk, protein powder, fruit and ice-blended smoothie
Dinner: Meat, vegetables and a salad
Joan’s new look has boosted her self-esteem – and her husband has certainly noticed a change in her
Now she sticks to a healthier meal plan; egg whites, cheese, meat, vegetables and bread or half a bagel for breakfast, coconut milk, protein powder, fruit and ice blended for a smoothie for lunch and for dinner she now has meat, vegetables and a salad.
‘I was on a meal plan set up by Michelle with ‘X’ number of calories; primarily protein, carbs and good fats, and as the weight and inches came down my intake of food went up,’ she said.
‘I also went to the gym four or five days a week and followed her exercise program which changed every four weeks and I did daily cardio.’
Joan’s new look has boosted her self-confidence, and her husband has certainly noticed a change in her.
‘It has changed the way I feel about myself; people at my gym would approach me and compliment me on the changes they saw in me,’ she revealed.
‘My husband started remarking about how good I looked, and my family was so proud of my efforts.
Seeing the incredible results, Joan, pictured before (left) and after (right) her weight loss, says she has an easier time staying away from junk or fast food now
Joan said she will keep exercising and mixing up her workouts as there is always room for change and improvement
The health-loving grandma, pictured before (left) and after (right) her weight loss, encourages anyone at a loss to change one thing about their diet and take up a new exercise routine
‘I have an easier time staying away from junk or fast foods and as for exercise, I will keep at it because there’s always room for change and improvement.
‘People are very complimentary and somewhat surprised that I’ve kept it off this long and I’m still changing; I have more muscle definition now than when I first lost the weight.
‘For those who truly feel at a loss, I’d say change one thing with your food intake and one exercise to do and each week add something new. Don’t expect miracles right away, take it slow and steady but keep building.
‘For those who prefer a challenge, go to a gym and if possible get yourself a legitimate trainer, someone who can help with food as well, and you will achieve results faster.’
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/trainwithjoan/.