Mom Who Became Bodybuilder at 53 Gives Us All Hope

determinationAs time and gravity continue to take their toll over the years, it's easy to start feeling like our body's best days are long gone ... and make us want to sob. But Debra Berney, a 53-year-old mother of five from Maryland, proves that doesn't have to be the case. 

The Huffington Post tells the story of how all of her life, Berney was self-conscious about her body. She was never more than about 15 pounds overweight, but like many of us, she had issues with her body and dressed in over-sized, shapeless clothing to avoid drawing attention to herself. Recently, however, she went from those frumpy skirts to strutting her stuff in a purple blinged-out bikini on a stage in front of a crowd


Somewhere in her mid 40s her journey began. She started taking courses in wellness and working out in a gym. Eventually she because a trainer and wellness coach. While pushing her clients to go beyond their comfort zones, she decided she needed to push beyond her own as well. So she set out to become a body builder, and become one she did.

At age 53, after a year of training, she recently competed in the NCP BWI Body Building/Figure Competition against women decades younger. While the spray tanning "where the sun don't shine" and itty bitty bikini were worrisome along the way, in the end, she looked fierce and was proud of her accomplishment.

While not as dramatic as Berney's transformation, I increasingly see people who embrace fitness later in life -- people who I never thought would. Sometimes, it's time or circumstances that prevent us from doing so when we're young, but mostly I think as we get older, we come to have a greater respect for our health and are oftentimes more committed than ever to achieving our goals. Age should never be an excuse as to why we don't at least attempt to try and reach them, and Berney is such a wonderful example of that. As she said:

Age does not have to be a limitation. You can start a whole new path whenever you want. Yes, I absolutely put myself outside of my comfort zone -- and guess what? I survived. That's what I want other women to know. You'll do more than just survive. You'll live the life you want -- and you'll actually thrive.

Are you in better shape now than you were young? Does Debra Berney inspire you?

Image via SashaW/Flickr

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