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72-Year-Old Woman Can Hold 40-Minute Ab Plank & Probably Kick Your Butt Too (VIDEO)

by Kiri Blakeley on December 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Hey, have you ever tried to do a plank? That's when you stretch out your arms and legs and hold your body parallel to the floor. I work out regularly and can only do one for about 30 seconds. They're hard, y'all! But guess who holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest abdominal plank for a woman? A woman named Betty Lou Sweeney. And GET THIS, she is 72 years old!!! Waahhhhh! Crazy. But soooo inspiring. And that's not all this superfit 72 years young woman did ...

Betty Lou was on diets her entire life. At one point, she weighed 250 pounds. She says she routinely gorged on sweets, fried chicken, and potatoes with lots of butter. And then she got very sick. A bladder infection ended up spreading to the sac around her heart. She put on 30 pounds of water weight and her temperature spiked to 106. Her kidneys shut down. She almost died.

Believe it or not, Betty Lou is a registered nurse. You'd hope a nurse would take better care of herself, but at this point, she knew that she wasn't going to be around much longer if she didn't shape up. She asked a dietitian for the type of diet plan she would give to a diabetic. She immediately changed her diet that day.

She got down to 210 and then a gym opened near her. She hired a trainer and they worked slowly to the point where, at 72, she can now do a pull-up (hell, I can't do one, can you?) and 20 push-ups and sit-ups. She eats raw vegetables, chicken breast with no skin, lean pork, or fish. All baked or broiled. She says she never eats sweets anymore and doesn't even crave them. She says:

I have learned to love the taste of the food itself without all the crap I used to put on top. I have more energy, I'm not sluggish anymore, and I now like myself, which is something I never did for 69 years. My self-esteem has soared.

She now weighs 135 pounds and looks fantastic! Oh, and she held a plank for almost 40 minutes. That's insaaaane!!! And soooo inspiring. Damn, I'm gonna be just like Betty Lou when I grow up. I better get planking.

Does this story inspire you to work out more and eat right?


Image via YouTube

Filed Under: aging, body image, exercise

Comments

5
  • julie...
    --

    julie21210

    December 29, 2012 at 4:09 AM

    This is amazing to me but i felt the need to share this... my boyfriend was laying in bed next to me when i read this and i told him that i read this,,, he goes "i didnt know there was a record for planking" like it was super stupid and i knew why he thought it was stupid... because he thought that i meant planking like when people lay flat down in weird random places and take pictures... like why would that be impressive that a 72 year old could lay down for 40 min?!?! when i explained that he was mistaken, he then tried to show me what he thought ABDOMINAL planking meant ( he has a washboard abs, you would think he would know this) he thought that it meant lying on your back with your abs tightened and lifting your shoulders and legs off the ground. i was in awe of his all around stupidity


  • Ashle...
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    AshleyB1984

    December 30, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    That's so awesome! Good for her!


  • Amy
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Amy

    January 1, 2013 at 6:20 PM
    How did this author miss the fact that the woman does not hold the record...it said she fell short but will not stop trying. She is an amazing woman but I hate it when people writing an article so that. And Julie 21210- I thought your comment was rather funny until you finished by commenting on your boyfriend's "stupidity." Who says that about someone they care about?!
  • Amy
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Amy

    January 1, 2013 at 6:23 PM
    *do that
  • Charl...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Charles Hammond

    August 29, 2013 at 11:06 AM
    Well guess what Betty Lou's record is going to be broken Saturday afternoon by a woman in Ohio. Remember, you heard it here first. Google "world rcord plank" once it hits the internet Satureday! Records are made to be broken. The 40 mninute plank was nice while it lasted but "back to the planking board Mary Lou".
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