Hi, my name is Debbie Stevens and I am far from extraordinary or special. In fact, I consider myself pretty generic. I’ve had a pretty simple but blessed life. Married at 25 and married for 29 years now. Raised two beautiful sons. Was never an athlete or very athletic, but my health was good. Just good.
“Until I hit 48”
Full on Menopause. I became about 15 to 20 pounds too heavy, lethargic, and very depressed. A recent well check at my family physician told me my cholesterol was through the roof and that if I didn’t get it in check, meds were a must. I came home crying and a mess that dark winters day, my oldest son was getting ready to head off to Army Boot camp, he had been preaching to me for a few years in already on getting my act together, sat me down and looked me square in the face and said “Mom, this is your time, this is the time for you to write a new chapter in YOUR life, come to the gym with me!”. Of course, I laughed. I said, honey, I don’t do barbells and dumbbells. He said “YES YOU CAN” and so it began.
I started by cleaning up my diet and doing HIIT, Tabata, and circuit classes first. I did that for 2 years. Needless to say, my family doctor was so impressed with my weight loss and health. I did hit a plateau though and my son advised me to get on the weightlifting track again. He showed me several women my age on a fitness page that he followed and I was absolutely inspired. I still didn’t think I could achieve the fitness level some of these folks had, but hey, it was worth going after.
I actually won an 8-week shred challenge that catapulted my fitness journey to a whole new level. My son along with a few amazing friends convinced me I should step on stage and compete. What? Well heck, why not? So I did. I won 3rd in Masters Bikini 50 plus, but you must know that stepping on stage was really my trophy. Imagine at 53 years old. The biggest accolade for me was not the trophy or the crown, but the lanyard with the badge that says “Debbie Stevens, Athlete”, I am humbly proud of that. Being an athlete is the highest reward.
I am planning on competing again, yes, at 54. I want the message to go out to those that think they are too old, that nothing is impossible. Believe in yourself. It is possible to build muscle well into your 50s. Is it easy? No. But this has been the most rewarding experience of my life and a huge accomplishment for generic ol me.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story.