Palisade grandma wins national gym challenge
It feels good to be a sexy grandma.
Just ask 60-year-old Penny Hardrick of Palisade. Hardrick dropped 33 pounds and 13.75 inches from her waist, hips and thighs during the 2012 Gold’s Gym 12-Week Challenge Jan. 9 through April 1. She is this year’s national champion in the 12-week challenge in the 60-plus age category. Other winners are named in the 18–29, 30–39, 40–49 and 50–59 age groups.
Hardrick worked with trainers for 12 of the past 13 years. But working out was not enough. She credits the combination of working out three times a week and the lean protein- and vegetable-based Ideal Protein diet for her weight loss, which now totals 47 pounds. She said it was hard to trade Jack and Cokes and nachos for iced teas and salads, but she was inspired to improve her mobility and to teach her grandchildren the importance of nutrition.
“It’s a lifestyle change. I’ve traded my addiction to carbs and sugar for endorphins at the gym,” she said.
Hardrick received $7,000 for her national win. She invested about $3,000 into training and diet products, but calls it a bargain when she thinks of all the things she’s tried in the past that failed to bring her success.
“There’s nothing that lasts like diet and exercise,” she said.
Hardrick’s trainer at Gold’s, Lynn Tonozzi, said the 12-week challenge judges winners based on how much they have transformed their bodies, either from skinny to muscular or fat to slim and strong. Tonozzi said Hardrick had a difficult time keeping up with workouts in the beginning, but has gained endurance and a love for exercise as she has shed pounds.
“It was her discipline, desire and determination that got her where she wanted,” Tonozzi said.
Hardrick said she plans to continue her diet and exercise plan and feels more energy at her job as a New York Life financial adviser. She said she’s so proud of moving from a size 14–16 to a size 7 that she sometimes leaves the tag outside new jeans to show off her new size.
“I had only a couple things left in my closet that fit” before the challenge, Hardrick said. “Now, I can wear clothes I had in high school.”