It would be nice to see more middle-aged women on the cover of health magazines.
Instead, health and fitness models are more likely to look like happy, slim, energetic 20-somethings who look amazing in a sports bra and yoga pants.
As much as we’d all like to exercise like a 20-something, not all of us have 20-something bodies. Some of us have 30-something bodies. Or 40-something bodies. Or 50-something bodies.
Where’s the health and fitness advice for real people like us?
That’s where Tina Margaris comes in.
Tina is a health coach in her mid-50s who guides real women through gentle exercise and healthy eating that the whole family can enjoy.
She’s not about to advocate an extreme diet or no gain without pain. Those things may work for some, but most of us just want a health and fitness routine that’s sustainable and compatible with our everyday lives.
In this week’s YBTV interview, Tina shares the foundation of her personal health and fitness routine. She explains why she doesn’t push her body past its limits, she doesn’t go hungry, and she doesn’t expect anyone to give up sugar or wine or those occasional treats that make life worth living.
You’ll also find out how you can work with Tina for free! Keep watching…
What You’ll Learn
Tina Margaris had always been an athlete.
She was a high school P.E. teacher for over two decades and a podiatrist before that.
Then, at the age of 52, she had knee surgery. Her meniscus cartilage was removed. And that was the beginning of a scenario many of us know well…
Joint pain. Weight gain. Hormones out of whack.
Tina didn’t know if she’d ever be able to live an active life again.
Her surgeon recommended knee replacement surgery. She refused point-blank.
“Some way, somehow, I wanted to be able to be active again,” she says. But she knew that for her, personally, surgery and medication wasn’t the answer.
“I spent probably a year and a half pouting, because I was really at a loss,” she says. “I was in menopause, and so I was gaining weight. Like a lot of doctors tell you, they say, ‘Well, you just have to accept it. It’s your time of life’ … but I just refused.”
She started researching. She started looking at supplements and different ways she could treat herself.
Her persistence paid off. She found her rhythm. Resistance training. Real food. Strategic supplementation.
She dropped 20 pounds, regained her fitness, and felt better than ever.
Today, you’d never guess that Tina is in her mid-fifties. She works out with weights. She coaches women through the same science-based nutrition program that helped her.
What makes her unique as a coach is that she understands the limitations of a mature body.
“I do work out,” she says, “but I can’t run. I still have no meniscus in my knee. I wear a custom brace. So my exercise is gentle exercise. I’m not going crazy; I’m just doing it.”
And that’s exactly the kind of health coach you need if your body won’t let you follow an extreme diet or the “push ’til it hurts” school of fitness.
Exercise is Tina’s happy place.
“It’s such an antistressor for me… It makes me a happier person, better mother, better wife, better colleague,” she says.
Tina exercises 6 days a week. Resistance training is key. She doesn’t try to keep up with the 20-somethings at her gym. Instead, she uses resistance bands and doesn’t push herself farther than she can go.
“I can’t lift anything heavy—it will bother my knee—but going through the motions and doing the exact exercises in good form is always great,” she says. “Everything is in moderation, and nothing is extreme.”
You don’t need a gym to stay fit, though. Tina recommends exploring the many fitness YouTube channels out there.
You may have to adapt exercises around your body and fitness level, but that’s okay. “It’s all about modifications and easing into things,” she says. “I just do what I can, but I’m moving, and that is key.”
Fitness is only one piece of the puzzle, though.
“When you look at somebody who looks extremely fit, the nutrition side is 80% of the game, and 20% is what they’re doing in the gym,” Tina says.
If you look at the nutrition advice out there, it’s overwhelming. There are so many fad diets, all with conflicting advice. How can you even know what you’re supposed to eat?
For Tina, what’s important is “eating the way everybody wants their whole family to eat.” If you wouldn’t put your child on a specific diet, then maybe you shouldn’t be eating it, either.
Before she found a way of eating that worked, she struggled with her weight.
“I was fit but chubby,” she says. “And I was menopausal chubby. My stomach was rounder. I was 20 lbs heavier than I am now. When I finally decided, ‘I can’t look at all these different fads; it’s too much, I don’t know where to go,’ I decided that I was going to utilize this science-based program that I follow now and that I help other people with.”
That program is based around “eating a balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates—of real food—and learning how to balance our blood sugar.”
Even though she wasn’t cutting back calories—she was eating three meals a day with two protein shakes—”the fat just left my body … and stayed gone.”
8-Week Lifestyle Reset
Today, Tina leads women through the 8-week lifestyle reset program.
“It’s about finding balance,” Tina says. “So for somebody who says, ‘I’m just so stressed. My body is stressed. I don’t sleep well. I feel bad. I’m tired all the time,’ it’s not just about losing weight. It really is a lifestyle reset.”
The 8-week program is split into 3 phases: Detox, Ignite, and Thrive.
The Detox phase helps reset your adrenal glands. “So many people have said, ‘I didn’t realize that I wasn’t supposed to have achy joints, but after I did the detox, I don’t have achy joints anymore.’ Or they said, ‘I didn’t realize I didn’t have all that energy. I have so much energy now.'”
The Ignite phase introduces exercise and supplementation, while the Thrive phase is where “you really introduce a lot of your old life back.” You can go out to eat and not worry, because the next day you’ll immediately slide back into your normal eating routine.
Inside the private Facebook group, Tina joins a Les Mills fitness pro and their “resident chef” to share recipes and fitness tips and answer women’s questions.
“We really are a tight, kind, supportive community inside that little group,” she says.
Would you like to join Tina and get her advice on your situation? The group is absolutely free. Simply message her on LinkedIn for the details (and tell her you found her on Your Brilliance!).
Jump to Topics of Interest
1:29 How a knee surgery challenged Tina to start her healthy journey
3:30 You don’t have to give up exercise
4:53 Tina’s exercise program
6:00 Do what you can
7:41 Nutrition is 80%
12:15 Supplementation for aging
13:01 Tina’s 8-week Lifestyle Reset program
16:42 Become a butterfly
Athena (Tina) Margaris
Tina is a lifelong athlete in field hockey, triathlons, squash, and personal fitness. She’s a sports medicine podiatric practitioner, anti-aging expert, and Healthy Active Living educator. She coaches cross country, track, and Ultimate Frisbee. She lives with her husband on a 30-acre working horse farm north of Toronto. Connect with Tina on LinkedIn.