DIET is a Four-Letter Word

By Joni Walton
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Taking part of a line from the movie The Matrix, “What if I told you there was a way to be decades younger?” The way is actually a combination of things, including diet and exercise.

I recently had my annual wellness check and my doctor stated that at age 54, I was in much better condition than the vast majority of 30 year olds. I don’t credit great genetics for this because I wasn’t always this way.

Overweight as a child, and up through high school, I started to get in shape somewhat in my late teens. This was in the days before information pertaining to proper nutrition and exercise was as widely available as it is now. My weight improved, only to gain it back after childbirth.

When I turned 45, I knew I needed to make a change. My son was grown and left home, and I was overweight and out of shape. We all get so involved with our work, our kids and their lives that we sometimes forget about ourselves. I joined a fitness program, changed my eating habits and lost 50 pounds. Something funny happened along the way to reaching my goals, I found that I actually enjoyed working out.

Just four years later, at age 49, I started menopause. Although I was maintaining a clean eating plan and did not change my level of exercise, results of all the hard work I had done started to come undone.

I became frustrated after having gained 20 of my 50 pounds back. After three years of researching, experimenting and consulting with doctors, I found a new eating plan that did the trick as I continued with my exercise routine. The adjustments I made not only took the weight off, but also proved that I could get results even during menopause.

Joni Walton with her husband

Some of my inspiration comes from the example my husband sets. An accomplished athlete during his school years, he was also always at the top of any physical fitness tests during his military career. At age 56 he shows no signs of slowing down as he just competed in two natural bodybuilding shows and also got his certification in personal training. It makes it much easier when you’re both on the same page and lifestyle.

In my opinion, a diet is a temporary fix. Most people have a set goal to hit with a diet. Once that goal is hit, people may backslide to old habits. Make a lifestyle change that is permanent. You don’t have to eat like a bird all the time and can treat yourself occasionally, but lifestyle adjustments are game changers.

Take a garbage bag and clean out your cupboard and fridge, tossing out all the unhealthy stuff. Then remember this: If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it.

Other quick tips include:

  • Never grocery shop when you’re hungry.
  • Use smaller plates as it will make your portions seem larger.
  • Leave the serving bowls on your counters and never bring them to the table as it makes it too easy to grab second helpings.

Joni Walton is the owner of Danlee Medical Products and Walton’s Total Fitness. Walton holds certifications in Group Fitness and Spin. To learn more about Danlee Medical, call 800-433-7797 or visit For more information regarding Walton’s Total Fitness, you can contact Walton at 315-430-3655 or