Ever wish you had the fitness of an athlete? Golf Hall of Fame Champion Nancy Lopez can relate.
Nancy retired from tournament play in 2012 after a star-studded career featuring 48 LPGA Tour event wins, including three major championships and countless honors and awards. But, no matter what your athletic background, it’s imperative to make exercise a part of your daily lifestyle if you want to stay fit and feel your best, she says.
“I used to walk the golf course and work out every day. I have issues with my feet and legs, and after I retired, I thought I’d give myself a break.” However, she says, those breaks can be insidious. “Often, you never go back.”
As life took over, she gained weight and her sense of wellness ebbed. “I heard about the Canyon Ranch Weight Loss Program, so I gave it a try. I love the desert, so my boyfriend and I went to Canyon Ranch in Tucson in May. It was really a life-changing experience.”
Turning it around
The most memorable part of her stay was a metabolic exercise assessment, she says. “I think what motivated me was when I discovered that my aerobic fitness level was only in the fiftieth percentile. Mike Siemens, the Director of Exercise Physiology, was very positive and enthusiastic, and I thought, ‘I can do this.’”
Another highlight was teaching a golf clinic at the Golf Performance Center. “It’s fun seeing people getting excited about a sport that I love so much.” The camaraderie at the Ranch was energizing, she says. “I could tell other guests were excited. It’s like when you go to church – you’re all there for the same reason.”
She also treated herself to some unaccustomed pampering – a facial, a massage and a manicure and pedicure. “After five days, I realized how good I felt.” Today, with an exercise plan to follow, along with take-home techniques to create healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits, she feels she’s on a path she can follow for life.
Taking it home
Weight loss tips that worked for Nancy include watching portion size and eating healthy foods in place of more calorie-laden options. “If I’m hungry, I eat a piece of fruit. I squeeze my own OJ and I eat more fish; nothing fried. I stay away from bread, but if I do eat it, I make it multi-grain. I like cheese, but I go for low-fat. We loved the decaf raspberry iced tea at the Ranch, so I bought some, and I try to keep it on hand all the time. I feel so much better – mentally and physically.” She still treats herself to the occasional ice cream, but stays aware of overall calories. “All you have to do is figure it out. Life’s too short to deprive yourself.”
It’s good to have a friend or partner for support, she says. “My boyfriend’s now lost 16 pounds, and I’ve lost about eight. We live in different cities, but we tell each other by phone how we’re doing, and work out whenever we’re together.
“If I miss a day’s exercise, I make it up the next day. I just feel so much better when I work out. If you have any frustrations, it gets rid of them. I’m sure if I took a metabolic test now, I’d see improvement. My heart’s working better, and I’m breathing better. Canyon Ranch was really a great place for me.”
Meet Nancy and hear her talk about her personal experience at Canyon Ranch.