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I Lost 80 Pounds in My 60s and You Can Too

Kathy Giegrich turned the big six-oh and decided to transform her life and body
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Don't let age be the excuse for not getting into shape. Sure, it might be easier to lose weight when you are younger, as your metabolism is faster and it's easier to exercise, but you can shape up later in life too. Kathy Giegrich, 64, transformed her body and her life over a two-year period, dropping a whopping 80 pounds with the help of exercise and dietary changes. Here is exactly how she did it. 

Pure Barre

Kathy Giegrich

Kathy, from Bridgewater, NJ, maintains that discovering Pure Barre when it opened in her town six years ago was instrumental in her weight loss. "I used to think that I would have to lift heavy weights in order to see any kind of muscle definition….but have learned that repetition with lighter weights can work wonders," she says. "Since I do have arthritis, I find that the lighter weights help me stay looser."

Related: Top 5 Clean Carbs for Your Body

Overcoming Health Obstacles

Kathy Giegrich

However, in the first year, she had some health issues and couldn't do a lot of the exercises, even with modifications. "I went to my orthopedic doctor and he gave me a cortisone shot, saying that I would probably need surgery within a year. Thanks to the fantastic instructors in my studio, I haven't had the surgery (or any more shots!) in 5 years," she says. 


Girl walking on the field, in a hat and summer dress. Smiling and laughing, beautiful sunset in the forest and in nature. White dress and rye, sloping fields. Happy traveler, lifestyle.

"I am a fitness addict and do mostly the Classic and Align formats, with some Empower and Define. I am also a walker and like to sample things to try them out," she says. 

Healthy, Protein Packed Diet

chef cooking salmon steaks in the kitchen

As for diet, she starts her day off with a protein bar "to put something into my stomach before I head out to barre class, then lunch is a yogurt parfait," she says. "If I get hungry, I usually reach for a protein bar or a handful of nuts, and dinner is typically chicken or fish with vegetables or salad on the side. I try my best to avoid bread and sweets, but do allow myself a cheat day (and pizza usually finds me that day!)" While she hasn't eliminated anything, she seriously cut back on carbs, sweets, and alcohol.

Aim for Strength

Check your body shape with white weight scales, top view.

"I am 6' tall and have a large frame, so I am not huge on jumping on the scale anymore. I look to see how I feel and how my clothes fit… staying my current size and feeling strong is continued progress! I am so happy that I feel strong! The day I saw my biceps was a day of celebration," she tells us. "And my best advice to anyone who is embarking on this journey is to be good to yourself and give yourself some grace."

Strive for Progress, Not Perfection

Kathy Giegrich

 "Strive for progress, not perfection," is one of her favorite sayings. "Be kind to yourself….the journey to better fitness (physical and emotional) is not a quick fix. Do your best and don't be afraid to ask for help…and don't worry about other people in the class…they are busy working on themselves and they aren't watching you," she says. 

Related: I Lost 100 Pounds Eating Delicious Snacks Like These

Reward Yourself

Young woman relaxing with hand massage at beauty spa.

"It may be trivial, but rewarding yourself is always motivating," says Kathy. "It may be something small (like a sweet treat) or something bigger for a milestone (like a massage)!" Remember that transformation doesn't happen overnight. Keep motivating yourself, but don't get discouraged if it takes time to achieve results. And if you enjoyed this article don't miss 15 Proven Ways to Sculpt Your Dream Body by An Expert Coach.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more