In mid January my husband and I decided to DO what we could to get healthier. This is no small ‘New Year’s Resolution’ – full of hope, but little real dedication. We’re ‘old geezers,’ as my husband describes us, so change – particularly lifestyle change – comes hard.
We spend a LOT of time on the computer ( his career was as a Programmer/Analyst and mine in Administrative Assistant/Medical Transcription/Bookkeeper – now website owner ) and we LOVE movies and our favorite TV programs. We’ve been really sedentary for over 30 years. My husband is more fit than I, and I have issues with joints, stamina, and balance. We decided to radically change – and stick to – a healthier diet, plus walk every day possible outside.
We eat cereal with milk and fruit for breakfast; a large, chef-type salad for lunch; and Lean Cuisine and steamed veggies for dinner. For snacks we have a hard boiled egg and some carrots or fruit. This is probably not the perfect diet, but we’re eating LOTS more veggies and fruit than we did, and lots fewer calories. This is a lifestyle change – NOT a diet. We will eat this way, with variations and with splurges on special occasions, the rest of our lives, trying to increase our exercise gradually.
- My husband has lost 31 pounds.
- I’ve lost 25 pounds.
- My husband won’t measure, but he’s down two sizes in his jeans.
- I’ve lost 10.5 inches.
We walk almost every day. At the beginning, I was quite dramatic, getting really out of breath after very little walking and having to rest ‘every 50 feet,’ according to my husband. I would then huff and puff, pant and wheeze, plus say a few unladylike words…
Now, many days, I can keep up with my husband and one of our two dogs! I still have to push myself quite a bit, and still get quite winded on uphill climbs, but after a rest of a minute or two, I can get up and do another leg of our walk. :0)
We go to the local park, where there is a nice hiking trail. It’s great for me because I really have to pay attention in order not to fall on my head. It’s good for balance, focus, and cardio, because by the end of it, I’m really breathing hard. I used to have to stop several times during this phase of the walk. Sometimes, now, I can do the whole thing BEFORE sitting down to wheeze!
We then walk around the back side of the park and then ‘downhill’ back to the truck. The downhill part my husband thinks isn’t really exercise. My hips tell me differently. That gets to my joints, so sometimes I have to sit on a rock for a minute to give them a rest. Then I can get back up and walk again without problem.
My son got me a pedometer, just for giggles. I think my baseline was about 500 steps for the day at the beginning – on an ‘active’ day. The goal is to do 10,000 steps per day. I’ll probably never get to that level, but just getting up and moving is better than I’ve done for years.
Carrying it in my pocket is a constant gentle reminder that I need to be moving more. It’s become a little ‘contest’ for me, trying to increase my steps, either for the day, or the average for the week. My best yet was 7200-something steps. Some days I only have 1500…
HOW DO WE FEEL?
The combination of medicine for joint pain, fish oil, and the daily walking is helping my hips! I can walk much farther (for ME) without pain. The pain I do feel is less, and goes away with just a minute or two of rest. HOORAY!
My husband takes one dog each day on our walks. This makes HIS walk more challenging, as our dogs are VERY active and curious, plus not very well trained – as far as ‘heeling’ or staying in one position on the leash. This gives him something to focus on while he’s waiting for me to catch up. He also is now wearing a backpack that is actually a water supply for hikers. The added weight gives him more of a workout, plus gives us a really nice drink of water when we need it. :0)
I’m more active, generally, than I was. Part of it is that I WANT to get out and work in my flower beds, but we’re also just MOVING more. We seem to have more energy than we did.
The weight is coming off more slowly than it did at first. I guess at the beginning we were losing water, plus our bodies were reacting to the huge lifestyle change. Now the weight is coming off much more slowly, like 2 tenths of a pound a day, sometimes, or no change for a day or two. I’m hoping that this is due to our building more muscle, but I’m not sure.
Whatever lard we get off is wonderful. We’re certainly eating in a healthier fashion, and the scales and measuring tape are showing pretty good results so far. We’re encouraging each other to stay with the new lifestyle and walk a bit farther or a bit more quickly than we did yesterday.
LIFE IS GOOD!