former casual lifter, currently “senior” citizen in good shape to go…
I started lifting at age 56. Though I never got anywhere near where I wanted to - but I was quite pleased with the results, nevertheless. (My avatar is my picture at age 58.)
For reasons described in my story below – working out kind of slipped away over the last 5 years.
I am now approaching 67, in very good shape in terms of energy, flexibility, strength, etc. more like someone in their late 40’s than late 60’s.
Below is my story but the bottom line is that I want to figure out a new workout/food plan that will allow me to recover what I lost over the last 5 years.
So I’ve been looking on these boards for various plans and was hoping someone could make recommendations.
I lapsed into inaction 5 years ago because of my partner, with whom I had had a long distance relationship for 3 years, waiting for his retirement for us to live together. When he moved up, it was clear that something was not right and after massive amounts of medical searching, it was discovered that he has of form of cognitive impairment with Parkinson-like symptoms. 5 exhausting years later, he is now in a skilled nursing facility which I have to stay on top of to make sure he gets the care he needs. I am a full-time professional, academic, but the demands of navigating care for my partner exhausted me. My own self-care slipped away-- I gained weight, lost significant amounts of muscle- tone and exercise became a thing of the past. Finally, my body gave out- so to speak - and I had to have cervical/thoracic spinal surgery. In fact, this proved to be a blessing. I had to go on medical leave immediately last February but surgery couldn't be done until mid-April b/c of scheduling issues with my surgeon. I got to sleep and rest for the first time in 5 years. The surgery itself went extraordinary well -- and my recovery from it and some post-surgery complications went with rapid speed. I was discharged rather quickly from post-operative physical therapy because there was nothing more to recover from. One would never know I even had any surgery (except for the rather dramatic scar down my neck and upper back -- not visible with my long hair.) I attribute that to good genes and to the self-care and weight training before the issues with my partner. What I am coping with now is stamina. Being primarily sedentary for 6 months, I tire very easily - presumably because of muscle loss. I lost 20 lbs -- which is what I gained during the 5 year travails with my partner. So I was extremely happy about that. But I have already put 9 of them back on - and probably b/c I am still stressed and releasing cortisol, the weight gain has gone to my gut.
The thing is, I am still on medical leave for the fall semester. I am now ready and want to use this time to rebuild my strength and lose fat. I am cleared by my surgeon to do so. I’ve become a poster-child, so-to-speak, of his success and skill as a surgeon. (He is a rising star.)
I do not want to go back to my old routine from 5 years ago. It was an evolving routine anyway. I am attempting to go back to my old food-plan – but that’s not working so well either.
SO any recommendations would be most appreciated.