Joan MacDonald has a badass motto: “You can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again!”
After struggling with her weight her entire life — and becoming dependent on medication to treat her high blood pressure, acid reflux and cholesterol — the 5-foot-3, 198-pound septuagenarian from Ontario, Canada, dared to turn back the clock.
Fast-forward three years: The 73-year-old, now more than 50 pounds lighter, is an iron-pumping influencer with more than 500,000 Instagram followers.
To her half-million-plus fans worldwide, she’s better known as @TrainwithJoan. When this silver-haired fighter isn’t busting out reps, popping squats and pushing free weights, she’s sharing fitness tips and posting video tutorials.
Joan credits her body transformation — she dropped 55 pounds and is now medication-free — to her workout buddy (her daughter Michelle) and eating a well-balanced diet. She also used supplements such as protein powder and amino acids.
“Three years ago I began this long, slow journey and now I realize that there really isn’t any end to it,” she tells Jam Press. “Each day I move in a direction based on my choices, each month is a new milestone. Each year I seem to have changed so completely I think I can’t change any more, and yet I do.”
Sure, there are challenges, and older bodies must be treated with care to avoid injuries. But there’s no stopping her now.
“No matter how difficult or challenging life is, we must remain steadfast in our aim and keep inching forward,” she says. “When I got started I never imagined I’d be where I am today. I just wanted to get my health back and get off my medication.”
The senior citizen was surprised to discover she’s actually on-trend.
Fitness programs for the elderly are among the top health fads in the nation, according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal’s 2018 survey of thousands of physical fitness professionals.
“When you’re older, you really need an older teacher,” Marjorie Jaffe, a senior personal trainer who focuses on older clients, told The Post last year. “You’re really not interested in [toning] your arms or your butt. You’re more interested in your balance, keeping your body straight and not limiting your life.”
Joan, as a proud senior citizen, wants to remind her peers that they “are limitless” — so don’t be deterred by perceived young-people stuff.
“With the support and guidance of Michelle and the team of women I made a massive 180,” she says in a blog post on her website.
“I learned how to use an iPhone for the first time in my life. I renewed my gym membership, bought a food scale, a measurement tape, and got to work. It was incredibly hard work, let me tell you, and there were many days [where] I was in tears over technology, but I never threw in the towel.”