Norma Williams, a 74-year-old pensioner from Liverpool, has been making headlines recently after claiming to be in the best shape of her life. She attributes her health and fitness levels, which doctors say are on par with those of a 20-year-old, to never dieting or counting calories. Norma’s weight fluctuated a lot in her 20s due to binge eating and struggling to control her food intake. It wasn’t until later in life that she found a healthy middle ground.
In a video published on Shera, a digital platform dedicated to empowering women, Norma shares her thoughts on controlling what you eat. She believes that anyone who wants to control their diet should avoid counting calories and depriving themselves of food. She thinks these are the two biggest rules to follow, and she recommends that others follow her lead. Norma advocates giving yourself permission to eat whatever you want without feeling guilty.
This approach means that Norma can enjoy a diet that includes a bottle of wine a day and packets of biscuits. For breakfast, she has a wholemeal croissant filled with honey, along with two or three cappuccinos a day and six cups of tea with two sugars each. Norma’s diet is not perfect, as she admits to being able to eat four or five packets of savoury biscuits easily after her main meal. But she has two golden rules: never eating before her daily exercises and walk, and never snacking between meals. For dinner, Norma has mixed nuts, selections of meats and cheeses, wholemeal breads, grilled salmon or battered prawns, potatoes and vegetables.
Norma never counts calories, but she maintains an active exercise regime. She does between 20 and 30 reps with 4kg weights every morning before going for a fast 9km walk, which takes 90 minutes. She also rests on weekends. Norma began focusing on her overall health in her 30s but says that limiting her food intake was never a consideration. She found that calories were a waste of time because exercise was the key.
Norma’s youthful energy and good looks often “shock” people when they discover her age. She believes that she looks every second of her 75 years, but her fitness defies the stereotypical image we have of the elderly. She believes that she is an emblem of the future and that ageing has benefited her. Norma shows no signs of slowing down and has more energy and is faster with every year that passes.