I’m Susan Arruda, a six-time figure/fitness champion and a mom of two in my 50s. Let me take you through my fitness journey from my teenage years to my 50s and offer some valuable advice for each age group.
- Teen Years (13-19): My fitness journey kicked off during my energetic teenage years when I fell head over heels for gymnastics and aerobics. Why? Well, partly to avoid gaining weight while working at McDonald’s, and also because of the iconic fitness shows of the era like It Figures and The 20 Minute Workout. I trained vigorously, even trying backflips on my bed. The takeaway for teenagers: Skip the parties, booze, and drugs; choose fitness as your healthy escape.
- 20s: Motherhood entered my life, but I didn’t let it slow me down. I stayed committed to exercising during my pregnancies and managed to gain a healthy amount of weight. My advice for those in their 20s: Prioritize daily exercise, don’t feel guilty about self-care, and steer clear of fad diets.
Keep pushing, listen to your body, and explore natural remedies before resorting to medication.
- 30s: This is when many women, including me, felt a “decade shift,” but I refused to let it hold me back. I left a challenging marriage, competed in fitness competitions, and found newfound confidence and independence. My message to those in their 30s: Set goals, make self-care a priority, avoid shortcuts, and surround yourself with supportive people.
- 40s: In my 40s, I ventured into creating fitness programs and faced the challenges of menopause, including insomnia and fatigue. I stuck to my “no excuses” motto and sought natural solutions for health issues. My advice for this stage: Keep pushing, listen to your body, and explore natural remedies before resorting to medication.
- 50s: Now in my 50s, I’m still pushing my limits and setting personal records. It’s essential to make smarter eating choices as metabolism changes and those extra pounds become stubborn. My message for those in their 50s: Embrace change, prioritize sleep, and remember that it’s never too late to embark on something new.
Transformative Action: Throughout my journey, I’ve learned the importance of determination, self-care, and making health a top priority. I hope my story inspires people of all ages to start or continue their own fitness adventures.