73-year-old workout junkie shows off incredible transformation in side-by-side photos

Emerald Pellot
·5-min read

Joan MacDonald is a 73-year-old fitness fanatic, but she didn’t begin her health journey until 2017.

At the time, MacDonald was on medication for high blood pressure and acid reflux. She suffered from edema, painful arthritis, fatigue and had trouble walking down the stairs. That’s when her daughter Michelle had a heart-to-heart with MacDonald and the 70-year decided it was time to workout and make healthier choices.

Three years later, MacDonald looks completely different. But for MacDonald, it wasn’t about becoming an idealized version of herself so much as it was about learning to love who she is in the moment.

In April, she posted before and after photos to show her progress. On the left, she looks tired and unenthusiastic about working out. But on the right, MacDonald proudly flexes her biceps in a pink top and leggings. She’s clearly loving life.

Let’s talk about gym style, something I never would have considered to be important even just two years ago… When I first started out on my transformation journey, I hated trying on clothes, and in fact most of my clothes barely fit me any more so I had just a few bottoms and tops to choose from. Baggy shorts and over-sized t-shirts in boring colors were my go-to. I didn’t love myself back then and that’s how I dressed myself. I used to think 1) I didn’t deserve beautiful clothes and 2) nothing nice would fit me anyway, especially at my age. It wasn’t until my daughter insisted that I buy some new workout clothes and took me shopping at @forever21 that I understood that that mindset wasn’t working for me. When I saw myself in flattering clothes in cute colors, I could see that my inner dialogue had to go. I actually had muscles! I actually had a good shape taking form! I felt so good inside to see that in those new clothes. Even though it might seem like something superficial like clothing can’t have a big impact on how we see ourselves it absolutely can my dears! If I can learn that lesson in my seventies you can too. Now you won’t catch me heading to the gym (or my living room as the case may be ) without taking the time to chose a favorite outfit. My daughter tells her clients, “you have to invest the same love and compassion for yourself at the START of your transformation that would to your own daughter if she was in your shoes. You would encourage her, compliment her on her successes no matter how small, and you would treat her to some workout clothes that were flattering, wouldn’t you? So learn to do that for yourself, and replace that negative inner dialogue with a positive one”. Now I’m sharing this with you. Please don’t wait til you’re “perfect” to take pride in yourself. You have to already see your perfection, your effort and your courage today. Love yourself enough to change, and show yourself that love daily. On the right I’m wearing one of my favorite outfits by @womensbest . If you have any questions please ask below, and share your favorite gym-wear brands with each other! With Love Joan . #womenbest #womensbestwear

A post shared by Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan) on Apr 30, 2020 at 5:17am PDT

Even though it might seem like something superficial like clothing can’t have a big impact on how we see ourselves it absolutely can my dears! If I can learn that lesson in my seventies you can too. Now you won’t catch me heading to the gym (or my living room as the case may be

) without taking the time to chose a favorite outfit. My daughter tells her clients, “you have to invest the same love and compassion for yourself at the START of your transformation that would to your own daughter if she was in your shoes. You would encourage her, compliment her on her successes no matter how small, and you would treat her to some workout clothes that were flattering, wouldn’t you? So learn to do that for yourself, and replace that negative inner dialogue with a positive one”. Now I’m sharing this with you.

Please don’t wait til you’re “perfect” to take pride in yourself. You have to already see your perfection, your effort and your courage today. Love yourself enough to change, and show yourself that love daily. On the right I’m wearing one of my favorite outfits by @womensbest . If you have any questions please ask below, and share your favorite gym-wear brands with each other! With Love Joan

. #womenbest #womensbestwear

“When I first started out on my transformation journey, I hated trying on clothes,” she said. “I didn’t love myself back then and that’s how I dressed myself. I used to think 1.) I didn’t deserve beautiful clothes and 2.) nothing nice would fit me anyway, especially at my age.”

MacDonald wore baggy clothes in “boring” colors that she didn’t really love. Then her daughter took her shopping at Forever 21. MacDonald’s body hadn’t changed yet, but the way she saw it did. The clothes were fun and flattering. It was a moment of realization.

“When I saw myself in flattering clothes in cute colors, I could see that my inner dialogue had to go,” she explained. “Please don’t wait ’til you’re ‘perfect’ to take pride in yourself. You have to already see your perfection your effort and your courage today. Love yourself enough to change and show yourself that love daily.”

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