Fitness Stories: Mid-50s and Fitter than Ever

May 19, 2016
Gupton After

The NHRMC Fitness Center is helping employees change their lives. By making access to fitness affordable, NHRMC has proven its dedication to making our employees healthier.

Hundreds of employees have vastly improved their health here, and we love it when they share their stories. Even though the Employee Fitness Center is for use only by employees and dependents, the message of health and fitness is universal. So maybe you'll find some inspiration from our stories.

Shelley Gupton is one of those members who has experienced a dramatic transformation.

Here's her story, in her words:

"Change is never easy. I slid down the slippery slope that is middle age, and (as did most of my fellow Baby Boomers) landed in my mid-50s, taken aback at what had happened to my body. I wasn’t a complete wreck, but I had become… soft and squishy.
Shelley Gupton BeforeI had gained a couple of pounds each year and developed chronic back pain. In response, I went to a chiropractor and bought bigger pants. Before I knew it, my LDL was 173 and I was enrolled in the Diabetes Health Plan. That’s when I realized I was becoming my mother. My mom, however, also had heart issues at my age. Something had to change. Determined to stop the progression, I joined the NHRMC Employee Fitness Center and signed up for 12 to Life. 
The 12 to Life small group setting of like-minded people was the perfect place to start. For 12 weeks, the five of us changed together. Encouraging each other along the way, we learned that we could do more than we thought. We ran, rowed, squatted, stretched, pulled, pushed and sweated our way toward our individual goals, meeting some of them, and ditching some too. In the end we were all better than when we began. However, I still didn't feel like my fitness journey was complete, so I decided to stick with my trainer and take it up another notch. Now, a full year after beginning 12 to Life, I can do things I never thought possible. 
With Derek Shaberg, trainer-extraordinaire, friend and sensei, patiently guiding and constantly challenging me, I met goals unimaginable just one year ago. I deadlifted 200 pounds and completed my very first unassisted pull-up (two of them actually) … both on the same day! There should have been flashing lights and confetti falling from the ceiling.
The first step for me was getting the excuses out of the way and realizing my health was worth the effort. So now, at 57 years old, I’m truly in the best shape of my life. I’m at the EFC before work two to three times a week, and I try to fit in one more workout during the weekend. My blood pressure and LDL are once again in healthy ranges, I am no longer in the DHP and I’m back in my previous pants size. I can sleep through the night and the chronic back pain has vanished. I even ran a local 5K and placed third in my age group.
I won’t say it was easy, but it was surely worth it. Changing my lifestyle was the best decision I’ve ever made."

We have tremendous fitness resources available at NHRMC. But there are also great resources available throughout our community. Enlist the guidance of your primary care physician, find a fitness center or exercise group that fits your comfort level, and spread your enthusiasm to your co-workers and your family.  

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