diet and exercise—joyce mccoy Wednesday, Jun 18 2014 


I would like to share with you the benefits of regular exercise combined with a sensible diet that I have enjoyed since January 2010.

All of my life I have struggled with my weight.  I was a yoyo dieter, I would lose 20 pounds then gain it back a short time later.  My doctor told me in 2008 I was on the verge of becoming a diabetic.  I had been previously diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2007.

Finally in 2009 I decided either I was going to be a diabetic, or maybe I should try to do something about it.  I joined Jenny Craig and had a slow but steady weight loss for the next three months.  Then I hit a plateau and the weight was going nowhere.  My counselor at Jenny Craig suggested I try exercising.  I was not thrilled with that idea at all.  I’m too busy, I don’t look good in exercise clothes, etc.  I had all kinds of excuses.  Then something in my head said to try for just a short time.

I joined a ladies’ gym in January 2009 and started using a personal trainer and I am still using the same personal trainer to this day!  I have now been able to see all of the benefits of combining the weight loss program with exercise.

I was able to make my goal weight about a year later.  Now that I have lost the weight and have managed to only gain about 5 pounds back, I just eat sensibly.  By continuing to exercise, it has been much easier to maintain my weight.  In addition, each year I get my results from blood work results are better.  The good cholesterol keeps going up and the bad goes down more.  The doctor also took me off the prediabetes list this year.

The most important part of exercising is having a trainer to help guide me and by having an appointment with her, I am more accountable.  If I did not have her, probably half the time I would find those old excuses not to go to the gym.

The neurologist says my balance is really good, too, since we do a lot of core work.   I am stronger now than I have ever been.

I am sharing this with you in the hopes it will help inspire someone else to keep exercising, too.

Thanks for letting me share.

Joyce McCoy


take a walk in the city Friday, Jun 13 2014 

Imagethis picture is my parents walking in New York City and enjoying “most” every moment. I am not allowed to tell you their ages, you will have to guess….but, i can tell you they have walked many miles over many years in many different terrains, temperatures and threads. In NYC last Sunday they walked from Times Square to Central Park, through it, to magnolia bakery(enjoyed delicious cheese cake) and then to 5th avenue and back to Times Square. And, it was a path of many detours. I’m guessing it was at least 6 miles, maybe 10. If you are familiar with that map let us know. I wish I had worn a pedometer, but trainers do take vacation…. We did stop a lot, we did rest as needed and we did take all day and we did drink water….hope New York water safe??? this day they continued on for 3 more days of adventure and discovery in NYC. They did take the subway a few times (and only rode a cab from and back to the airport), but the remainder of their transportation was their own feet.

Yesterday on the news we watched President George Bush skydiving on his 90th birthday. You also most likely know stories of those over 60 walking, running, swimming, climbing? What are your stories of a person over 60 who is walking, running, maybe even jumping? Maybe it is your own story! Those “walking” before us are continuing to pave many great steps for those who follow to step in.


A side note: My daddy wore a cap from USS Lexington which is naval ship he served on during Korean conflict. Throughout the trip it was amazing and inspirational to watch men, in their 20’s to seniors, stop him shake hands and share their stories of service. Also, because he was a vet, he and his family were given a free pass to the Metropolitan Museum of Art! A lot of big steps!!

valerie’s story Saturday, Nov 3 2012 

On May 29, I had my first baby.  A sweet little girl named Alexa. She changed my life.
Being pregnant was hard for me. Throughout our 5 years of marriage (and 10 years of friendship before that) my husband and I enjoyed spending our evenings and weekends running, cycling, rock climbing and backpacking… and when you add 40 pounds and a basketball to your middle, these activities lose their charm and become somewhat more difficult if not impossible… 🙂 When these activities became uncomfortable, we attended Yoga classes, took slower bike rides, and went on lots of walks together. We viewed these activities as training for labor (You don’t run a marathon without lots of training, so neither should you give birth without physical training!!) After 35 hours of labor and TONS of swaying lunges during contractions, I was wishing I had done about a million more lunges BEFORE the birth.. 🙂
After I had Alexa and got feeling back to normal I was SOOOO excited to be more active again. However, it took ALOT longer to get back into running shape then I thought. I would run on Riverside with my jogging stroller and try to make it from one light pole to the next without stopping. For several weeks I walked 2 light poles/ran 1 light pole, walked 2/ran 1, et al. But getting out of the house and meeting my other stay- at- home mom friends was/is so good for me. It’s much easier to get together for a walk/run than to get together to stare at the babies. This way we can push our babies and talk,talk, talk. The babies love it. We love it. I love how i feel after I run. I love being outside in the fresh air. I love that Alexa has lots to look at. But I really love sharing these things with friends.
She is now 5 months old, and she recently went on her first ride in her “Chariot” behind my bike. I can’t wait to take her on more. It is so fun, though often challenging, to figure out how to incorporate her life into mine. Exercising doesn’t look exactly like it did before I was pregnant, but it doesn’t have to vanish either now that I have a child. In fact, I have a feeling my sweet baby girl will get me moving more than ever now!!

ashley’s story Sunday, Sep 30 2012 

20120929-195649.jpgWorking Out. What’s the point. Why do people take it so seriously? That’s what I used to ask myself when the question or topic of working out came up. I used to think to myself I eat pretty healthy, I think I am in good shape no need for me to workout. Well little did I know I was wrong. I used to think working out was this complicated thing that only really buff people or athletes did. Well I was wrong. There is simple easy ways for the average person to workout. No need for anything fancy. Get back to the basics. Walking, running, climbing stairs, riding a bike. Simple things. Nothing complicated. Basics.

I really started enjoying running after my mom and I had a conversation about the tape recorder that plays in my head saying “I can’t do this and I won’t succeed and be able to complete my workout.” She told me to erase everything that was in there and to start fresh; tell myself this is easy and nothing complicated about it and that I CAN do it. That day I ran my first mile without stopping! I was so excited, while I was running I felt this rush of adrenaline and after I finished my mile I felt like I had accomplished something really amazing. And to tell you all… I did! I had never run a mile before without stopping. And from there it kept getting better and better. I began running more during the week and eventually my distance kept getting longer. I started running with my mom. I found it was a great way to spend time with her. It was something we both enjoyed doing together and surprisingly we had fun! About six months later I ended up running a race with my mom! It was a great accomplishment we accomplished together.

Working out does not have to be complicated or take forever. All it takes is a minimum of thirty minutes and a goal. If you have time and motivation to go longer more power to you! I sometimes have time to go only thirty minutes and sometimes I have time to go longer. I also came to the realization there are other ways to workout as well if you do not have time to make it to the gym or workout at your house. There are some days that I am so busy I do not have time to go to the gym or go running outside. So I thought about it and realized there are ways to “workout” during the day. Back to the basics and little things. I started taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator. I started parking further away in parking lots. I also started taking longer walking routes to get to places. Now with that you might have to adjust your time a little bit, which is only a minor adjustment.

Remember just keep telling yourself you can do it and it’s simple. Easy. And Basic.

jenny’s story Thursday, Sep 6 2012 

I’ve been pregnant two times now, the first time at 23 and the second time at 25,  and I’ve made it a priority to exercise during each pregnancy.  I found that exercising while I was pregnant helped me to feel better, manage my weight gain in a healthy way, and I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight each time after only 3 or 4 months.  I especially enjoyed yoga during my second pregnancy and I felt that the breathing and stretching really helped me prepare for natural childbirth.  Now with two kids, consistent exercise has to be more creative, such as power walking pushing a stroller at the zoo!

scottie’s story Friday, Jul 20 2012 

I began running at 9 years old and have run pretty consistently since.  I have completed 14 marathons and more half marathons, 10Ks and 5 Ks than I can count.  We have four children and have lived in Texas, Oklahoma and New York City—yes, with all four. I have enjoyed running past the blue bonnets in Texas, the oil derricks in Oklahoma and the trails in Central Park.  I have been running barefoot for a little over two and a half years.   I started because I was having a great deal of hip pain.  Running barefoot has virtually eliminated it.  I have completed two 1/2 marathons barefoot and I shaved 7 minutes off of my previous 1/2 marathon time a year earlier in shoes.  I trained for The Marine Corp Marathon in Washington DC last October but was unable to run it due to another family commitment (those darn kids).  Running barefoot has become second nature to me.  I can’t imagine putting on running shoes now.   People often ask me how I do that? I started slow allowing my feet/body to adjust and before I knew it I was barefoot and experiencing the benefits of “no shoes”.  Does it hurt?  Well I do have to watch for “sticks and stones” but it is amazing how the body acclimates, toughens up and actually works in its natural state really well. People think the bottom of my feet must look like leather but actually they look very normal.  The concrete acts as a natural pumice stone so I get a little pedicure every day that I run.  I love running barefoot and have already saved hundreds of dollars on running shoes – which I think means I just get to buy more cute running clothes!

Staying Fit At Any Age: A Mother/Daughter Story Friday, Jun 1 2012 

Allene – 100 years, 9 months of ageBy many accounts, I shouldn’t be here.  I was born at home in 1911, a premature baby, weighing only 2 pounds.  My chances of survival were not good, however, my father placed me in a cotton-lined box, placed me on the woodstove oven door to keep me warm, and fed me with an eye dropper.  I didn’t even have a name for several months.

I credit genetics for my longevity.  My paternal family (Mitchell) took great pride in living long lives.  In 1876, my great-great grandfather, James Mitchell, a Methodist minister, was the oldest living resident  of Polk County,Missouri.  At age 87, he was still preaching with a voice like a “roaring lion.”  I have a strong immune system, probably because it has been exercised by having all the childhood diseases, including small pox and scarlet fever.  I never contracted influenza despite being exposed during all the epidemics that have occurred during my lifetime.  My visits to a doctor have been for a tonsilectomy, appendectomy, and childbirth.   I am a breast cancer survivor, having discovered a pea-sized lump myself 30 years ago.  Other than these occurrences, my doctor visits have been for routine physicals every ten years until a few years ago when I decided they weren’t needed.  I take no prescription drugs.  

I played basketball in high school and have always maintained an active life.  I retired from a banking career at age 62, then became bored and got a job as a clerk in a hospital, working until age 67.  I didn’t have a driver’s license until I was in my 50’s.  We lived in a small town so I could walk to work, etc.  Walking has always been my primary source of exercise: walking my dog or strolling around the yard.  Until a few years ago, I also had a flower and vegetable garden.  I have a pulley attached to the wall to exercise my arms and “walk” up and down the wall with my fingers to keep them flexible so I can knit and crochet. I maintain a healthy diet.  I have always been small, so weight gain has never been a problem.  You can stay fit at any age. 

LuAnn – 74 years, 6 months of age I had a congenitally dislocated hip that wasn’t discovered until I was ten years old.  It was surgically corrected and I also had some experimental surgery in a futile attempt to make my legs the same length.  As the result of the short leg, I have scoliosis. I was diagnosed with arthritis at age 17.  It was predicted that I would be wheelchair bound by the time I was 30 years of age.  I credit my “Drill Sergeant” Mother that I am still not in a wheelchair.  Mother always insisted that I get up and walk and never allowed for the possibility that I was handicapped.  She psyched me out by saying, “Get out of that bed, wash your face, brush your teeth, and comb your hair and you will feel better!”  I guess it worked.  I played sports in school, raised three active children (they’re only 28 months apart in age) and had a twenty-two year career.  

In my 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. I bowled in two leagues and went dancing several nights a week.  To say I’ve been physically active is an understatement when you consider my “birth” hip wore out when I was 43, resulting in my first hip replacement.  I wore that one out as well, and am now 13 years into the life span of my second hip replacement.  

I am a “clone” of my Mother.  We could win a Mother/Daughter “look-alike” contest! Same features, same stature, same genetics, have good metabolism and immune systems. We listen to our bodies, feed our cravings, take our blood pressure routinely, and watch our diet, never eating late in the evening..  My Dad owned a grocery store and our house was attached to the back, so I literally grew up in a grocery store.  Sweets were never a treat as we had all anyone could want right at home.  I guess that’s why we just weren’t that interested in candy, pop, or ice cream.  We preferred the fruits and dill pickles. 

Other than my eleven surgeries, my visits to the doctor are semi-annual physicals.  My family physician told me that if all his patients were as healthy as I am, he would go out of business.  I take Armour Thyroid, and have routine lab work twice a year.  I control my arthritis with meditation and exercise.  I do a regimen of prescribed exercises for my back every morning before I get out of bed.  I do all my housecleaning, including window washing, carpet shampooing, etc. and grocery shopping.  Several years ago,  I discovered “Sit and Be Fit” on PBS and it’s amazing the exercises one can do while sitting in a chair. 

Exercising one’s mind is also important.  I work crossword puzzles and Sudoku daily, am an avid reader, and genealogy researcher.  I have written 15 genealogy books.  I also quilt.  After all, if you don’t use it, you will lose it, whether it’s your muscles or your mind.



the human body—pretty amazing!!! Tuesday, Mar 20 2012 

listed below are “7 remarkable endurance feats” taken from Idea Fitness Journal, Feb. 2012.  i  thought you might enjoy how a few other “fellow” exercisers have spent their workout time—–

i really like the Bible verse found in romans 12—-rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.  this gives me the freedom to rejoice in others successes and leave it there—it’s theirs.  we don’t have to “keep up with the joneses”—ha!  the accomplishments below are crazy awesome and i am so glad these people have achieved such greatness.  but i also really like that we can live abundantly and healthy with our successes in our  individual workouts.  what these feats say to me is that the human body is so highly structured that it is capable of way more than i ever can think of or imagine—-  so, enjoy the read and be happy for those who can but mainly be encouraged in your workout today that it is perfect for you!!!  my goal with simply fit is just that  “simply fit”—work hard, right and let us rejoice with you in your successes!!!!!!

 7 Remarkable Endurance Feats

1. The official International Association of Athletics Federations world marathon record for men is 2:03:59, set by Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia on September 28, 2008, at the Berlin Marathon. Source:

2. The women’s record holder in the marathon is Paula Radcliffe of the United Kingdom in a time of 2:15:25. Source:

3. The fastest possible time for a marathon, based on human physiological characteristics, is predicted to be 1:57:58. This equals a 4:30-per-mile pace. Source:

4. The longest certified road race in the world is the 3,100-mile Self-Transcendence Race in New York City, which takes place around a half-mile city block in Queens, New York. Only 30 runners have completed the race, which requires them to complete two marathons a day for 50 days. Source:

5. The longest bicycle race is the Tour d’Afrique, which travels 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) over 120 days from Cairo, Egypt, to Cape Town, South Africa. Source:

6. One of the longest swims ever recorded was by Martin Strel in 2007. The Slovenian man swam the length of the Amazon River—3,273 miles—in 66 days. Source: href=””>

7. Another outstanding swimming feat was by Benoit Lecomte, who swam 3,700 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Cod to France. He swam an average of 6–8 hours a day. Source:

kathleen’s story Thursday, Nov 10 2011 

I happen to live in one of the most amazing and beautiful places in the world. I live in Alaska, and if there is one thing everyone here loves to do, it is be out in nature, no matter the season. One of my favorite things to do, is get out and about with my camera. There is so much to see! So much to do- whether it is kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, or camping. I can’t imagine not having the energy or the strength to get out in the middle of all this gorgeousness!

 I try to be faithful about working out. I average 5 days a week at a very small gym about a mile and a half from my house. My favorite machine is the elliptical trainer. I can read while I work out, and it keeps me distracted enough to spend some quality time. For motivation, I try to save the best parts of whatever book I am reading for the gym- that would be about the last ¼ of each book.

My favorite doctor (my husband) always tells me that our longevity is in part determined by our cardiovascular fitness, and our quality of life is determined in part, by our strength (weights) fitness. That makes a lot of sense and helps me keep me focused for the long haul, working out as a way of life.

one other thing, staying in shape helps with…. shoveling snow! about a foot last night… we just finished. whew!

riding my bike Wednesday, Oct 5 2011 

riding a bike is one of my favorite things to do.  i not only get a great workout but i also get to enjoy the wonderful outdoors and i like the feel of going farther than by foot.  helmets—ugh!!  i know the risks(see bike blog) without a helmet but i am still trying to be comfortable in mine.   ???do you like the looks of bicycle helmets???, not my favorite and to me they are hot; creating sweaty hair.  but, the advantage of great protection outweighs the looks and sweaty hair.  maybe i should invent a new and different look—–    my favorite bike story is riding  in the high, high hills of north arkansas with friends over our 20th wedding anniversary.  we skied in the mornings on beautiful beaver lake and then road many, many miles enjoying the arkansas roads, but not necessarily the hills.  i especially liked reading the fun names on mailboxes we passed while riding.  my husband got tired of looking at the stripes on side of road and our friends got tired of “waiting” on us—-hahahha—-but they did and we had a great time.  i just knew i was going to look up on one of those long mountainous hills and see my husband pass me in the back of some arkansas truck.  he is smart and fun like that and i wouldn’t have put it passed him—–