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Nancy Cowan: Enjoying the Process of Getting Fit!

Once she committed to regular exercise, nothing broke this artist's stride—certainly not a couple of falls.

When a person decides to get fit, a certain grimness and determination can set in. That's not the case, though, with Nancy Cowan, 76, whose spirit has soared.

As a professional painter, Nancy was attracted to her home of Grass Valley, Calif., by its natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle. As a mother, she paid her dues, raising four children. As a wife, in 1990, she suffered the loss of her husband, Frank, an Alzheimer's patient.

She fell in 1997 and injured her ankle, hand, and back. As part of her rehabilitation, she started working out with a personal trainer. During the next few years, she fell several more times. Nothing, however, deterred her from the workouts. When necessary, she worked out with a cast.

Because she was exercising faithfully, Nancy felt the weight slide off more quickly after she joined Weight Watchers. She already surpassed her original goal of weighing 165 pounds and is chugging right along to a new low.

"At 5 feet 8 inches, my friends never thought I looked especially heavy, so my appearance wasn't the issue," Nancy said. "I just wanted to become more fit."

Nancy feels that her three falls were a by-product of poor balance. Now she's very proud—both of her weight-bearing strength and her balancing skills. About her new lifestyle, she said, "I have more energy and a great outlook—these changes have really given me a boost."

Meeting her, one can't help feeling that Nancy shares that "boost" with everyone she meets throughout the course of her busy days.

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