“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” I saw that on a notebook cover and thought it was a good philosophy. For years, I had been dreaming of being healthy, slender, and fit. But other than a few short-lived half efforts, I had not done much to achieve it.
For 27 years I was obese with brief stretches of time down into the overweight category. I was not healthy, but functional. I had metabolic syndrome with high blood pressure, large waistline, and fasting glucose above 100. My HDL was low and total cholesterol high. My endurance was also low.
A few years ago I took my grandson to Orlando. Our first day for us big Harry Potter fans was to go to Universal for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I couldn’t keep up with him. He kept saying, “Come on, Grandma!” By the end of the day, I was so sore and tired that I could barely walk. With the help of some NSAIDs, I made it through the next few days, but then went back to my sedentary life and poor diet.
About 2 years ago, I decided that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. The first thing I did was change my diet. After gleaning info from online, books, and newsletters, I started avoiding grains, reducing carbs, using better fats, and increasing vegetables. I thought about bringing exercise into the plan, but I had to overcome a lot of inertia to get started. I really didn’t like to exercise. In March 2015, I joined Life Time Fitness. I went 2 days and began having pain in my chest and back. I thought I had pulled a muscle, but it was Shingles. So until the lesions healed, I was contagious and didn’t go to the gym. Well, there went that inertia! I didn’t get back until Feb. 2016. By then, I had lost the weight I had wanted, but had started to put it back on again. I did not want to be obese or even overweight again. I had to include exercise into the plan. So rather than winging it on my own, I decided to splurge and get a personal trainer.
The first thing I did with Andrea was an Active Metabolic test. I thought I was doing pretty well during the test, but ended up in the poor category for endurance. Andrea set up target heart rates for the various zones with treadmill speeds, inclines, and times. Then once a week she guided me through strength training exercises. I wasn’t perfect but knowing that I had to answer to her once a week, kept me coming in. This was so much better than winging it on my own where I know I would have given in to excuses to not go to the gym.
It wasn’t long before I could feel improvement in both strength and endurance. But I had slipped back into poor eating habits and the weight was creeping back up. I saw the Summer 60-Day Challenge and signed up. I did a Resting Metabolic test and nutrition coaching with Andrea. She introduced me to a website where I could track my food intake and it calculated macronutrients. But life got in the way and it was a disaster. Between my grandson’s graduation and out-of-town company, I gave up on the Summer Challenge and set my sights on the Fall Challenge.
I was psyched up for the Fall Challenge and really put in the effort. I’m still seeing Andrea once a week and working out nearly every day on cardio and/or strength. One big difference with the Fall Challenge is that I attended nearly all of the Try-It Tuesdays. I learned something new at each one of them. I also met good people there who have been encouraging me to keep going.
Another difference with the Fall Challenge is that I had the food sensitivity test done. Some of my diet staples were eggs, cheddar cheese, and whey protein shakes. The test showed that I was sensitive to egg whites, cow’s milk, and cheddar cheese. I had reached somewhat of a weight loss plateau around weeks 4 and 5. Once I got the test results, I eliminated everything to which I was sensitive. It seems to have helped and I am losing again.
My main goal for this Challenge was to get my weight back into the normal range for my height. I achieved that goal. I never want to be obese or even overweight again. I also want to be strong with good endurance. For the next 60-Day Challenge, my goal is to get my weight and fat percentage right in the middle of the normal ranges.
My health is so much better. My blood pressure is normal without medication, my fasting glucoses are between 85 and 95, and my HDL is well in the normal range. I also lost about 5 inches off my girth.
I plan to continue on this healthy path to live a long and healthy life. My mother is 104 years old and doing well. She attributes her longevity to walking 2 miles a day for most days for many years and into her 90s. I hope I have her longevity genes and can live well and independently for many years to come. A few months ago, I had a fortune cookie that said, ” Your feet will touch many lands before you die.” I want my feet to not only touch many lands, but also to walk, hike, swim, and climb them. Maybe on a future trip to Orlando, instead of hearing, “Come on, Grandma!”, I’ll hear, “Wait up, Grandma!”