Warning: This is not a success story.
If you have been trying to lose weight and get fit welcome you’ve come to the right spot. This is the first post of a series that will document personal journey to fitness. I chose the title This is not a success story: Yet because I wanted you to know that I am just like you I am not a fitness guru or model. I am just a normal person, who is overweight and unhealthy and wants to change that. My baseline is currently: I am 52 years old, 4 feet 11 inches, (I tell everyone I am 5′) and weigh 180 lbs. Below are my goals:
Goal Weight: Between 120-130 lbs
Fitness: 1: Be able to do at least 5 pull ups, 2: Lean and sculpted 3: 50 push-ups easily 4: Handstands 5: Strong/Stable core muscles
Health: 1: Hormone imbalance (I believe this is why I am getting chin whiskers :() 2: Healthy gut (no more stomach/colon issues) 3. Clearer skin (I have brown spots on my face), 4. Detoxify my body hopefully lessen or eradicate my allergies.
These are living goals which means that they will change as I do. Goals are meant to challenge us so when I reach them they will change.
Fitness Success: Persistence is the Key
I started this blog over a year ago to document my journey I had hoped to be a svelte 120 lbs , lean and sculpted by now. I wasn’t even into my journey a month when I broke my ankle: more about that story from my perspective or my husbands perspective: Taking a Fall for Fitness: 36.5 seconds or Grandma’s Memory To say that it slowed me down is an understatement. Injuries suck: they kill progress, and in some cases (like mine) they come with side effects that turn up months or years later. Just when I was trying to get back into a routine I stretched, pulled hell I don’t know what in the shower, and suddenly I was the stereotypical person that bends over and can’t stand back up without excruciating pain. To make matters worse I was alone and had to figure out how to manage while working full-time. For two or three weeks I was in some intense pain, could barely walk, or get up from sitting.
Fitness for a Higher Quality of Life
Thirty-three years ago I met my husband when I was 19 years old and working for minimum wage at McDonald’s. Money was very tight so I had to be very frugal, food was limited to cereal, milk, potpies and macaroni and cheese (Kraft) back then I could buy five boxes for a dollar. My husband was observant and noticed the lack of food in my pantry so once we started courting exclusively he was a generous and giving person providing me with many opportunities to dine out. As the years went by I took it for granted that losing weight would always be easy, so it isn’t surprising that I got caught up in a vicious cycle of gain, lose, gain, lose.
That fairy tale ended in my mid 40’s or so the cycle stopped, and unfortunately the weight stopped coming off; it just settled in and stayed and it brought friends and family with it. Maybe it was because as our lives slowed down so did we so it wasn’t a surprise that I wasn’t the only one who gained weight. After twenty-two years in the military my husband started to gain weight also. His body was under stress not just from extra weight but poor food choices he was waking up feeling like he had gone a round with Rocky.
His fitness success has not only been the motivation for my journey, but it is also the same process that I am using. He didn’t get a gym membership, he didn’t use weight loss pills, and he only used two supplements: (Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) and Protein Powder) that anyone can get at Walmart. We didn’t change what we ate, we didn’t buy special foods, and yes we even ate out. To learn more checkout his Facebook page: Fit to 100 https://www.facebook.com/pg/FitTo100/ .
Before I get into more detail about where I came from and what my plan looks like, I think it is important to differentiate between weight loss and fitness, because they are not the same thing. When you watch television, or see advertisements, wherever you look society’s definition of healthy is what you look like, usually defined for women: as very thin. The problem with that definition is that it is only skin deep, it’s like painting your house to make it look good on the outside but inside it is falling apart. A sad example of this is the story of a former Ms. Teen Universe, this young and beautiful woman, not even 20 years old died of a heart attack. Friends, we have to do better for ourselves, our families and our especially our children. It doesn’t matter what age you are, it is never to late to start. Do I want to look and feel good in my clothes of course I do, but I also want to feel strong and well in my body. The first time I recall my body telling me that I was out of shape, I was in my 20’s. I was scrubbing the floor, on my hands and knees, an hour or so later I could barely stand up…my hips hurt so bad. It crossed my mind then that if I’m feeling like this now, how will it be when I am 50? Yikes, 50 came fast.
Your body is the best barometer of your health, aches and pains, disease, inflammation, weight gain… use them to help assess and identify areas in which you need improvement. We each have our own reasons for wanting or needing to get healthy, mine are more than surface deep: Diabetes and Alzheimer’s both are hereditary and are in my family tree. Alzheimer’s scares me the most. I don’t know if what I’m doing will help, but I do know I need to clean up the mess I have made of my body to at least give it a chance. I’ve tried lots of things, normal things, crazy things, fad things….What is different this time? Nothing because for the past 30 some years I have never given up and I won’t.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
The Plan or Process
Tracking calories: I always said I didn’t want to track calories it is such a pain but calories count and I was eating way too many. I started using My Fitness App it lets you track calories, add recipes either manually or via web links. It lets you sync with other apps, add water for hydration, steps + calories from work outs. It lets you come up with a plan for how many calories you need to be taking in to lose weight. I bet there is MUCH more to it that I haven’t even discovered yet. The best part is everything that I am using it for is available on the free version of the app.
Exercise: What is health without a strong body, and sitting at a desk all day or even housework is not enough to keep or get me strong or keep me limber and flexible. Each month I start out with an exercise for January I started walking again, but it’s January and I don’t live in California or Florida, so by the end of January we had almost a month where the temperature didn’t get above freezing, so I was flexible and adjusted. I’m constantly assessing for progress. When it got too cold to walk I switched it up and used an elliptical machine. What I noticed was that just walking for an hour 4-5 times a week really helped with my stamina on the elliptical. I will be challenging myself each month doing exercises that will lead up to accomplishing my goals.
Fitness Plan Conclusion
In conclusion, January was the first month I began experimenting with what would work for me, taking the information I gathered from January’s baseline to create a plan for February. Each month I will be tracking my progress and changing the plan as needed. I will be paying attention to weight, measurements, endurance, stamina and how I feel.
I don’t expect to see major results until a year or more into my routine, not only is this to minimize injury, and burnout, but it is important that I create a solid foundation for future routines. Like my goals this will be a living routine that changes with me. In the future I hope to report some very positive news in regards to my health, news that I hope can help others as well.
This is a journey of persistence, the persistence to pursue my dreams whatever they may be in spite of the ups and downs in our lives. While we share our dreams with you, we hope that you will share yours with us. Stay tuned as I continue to document my progress.