Goodbye 2016. Some would say they are very happy 2016 is over because it was kind of crappy year. With so many of our favorite celebrities dying and Trump being elected president, many are happy it’s over. While those things made 2016 hard, I made a huge change last year that has made me very happy. I lost a lot of weight.
My journey actually started in September 2015. I was diagnosed with very high blood pressure before this. I also had two stints in the hospital for cellulitus. The first time getting me seriously close to death. After it occurred again I was ready to start making some changes.
First off I asked my husband for my birthday and christmas presents early. I am a big fan of Apple and wanted to get the Apple Watch. I had heard of the concept of “closing the rings” to get healthier. Of the three rings (move/stand/exercise), stand was the one I was most interested in. I’m sure that I had the cellulitus because I was overweight and sitting a lot. The watch would gently tap you on the wrist if you had not moved enough by the end of the hour. I needed that reminder.
Next I needed to close the exercise ring. So I started walking. And walked some more. And continued to walk. I was walking daily. And with a bit of research, I read that you should walk until you had burned at least 400 calories. And that is where the move ring came in handy. It would keep track of how many calories I burned. About 2 months of walking and I figured I would give jogging a try. It did not go well. So I stuck with walking some more.
By the end of 2015 I had lost 27 lbs.
So for 2016 I decided I wanted to lose 104 lbs. I didn’t want to lose more than 2 lbs/week. I wanted to protect my metabolism while also letting my body adjust to the weight loss. I was not in any hurry to lose the weight. I wanted to do it in a way that I felt would give me the best chance of long-term results. So I went old school. Eat less, exercise more. I continued to use my Apple Watch to count calories burned and I used MyFitnessPal to count calories consumed.
After the new year, I started taking a spin class at the gym. To say it was difficult at the beginning was an understatement. It wore me out every session. But I kept going. When summer rolled along, my husband and I got bikes. We would ride the trails here in town and also around the lake. Again, hard work, but the spin classes and continuing to lose more weight made it easier.
Next it was time to add some weight training. During my mornings at the gym I noticed a trainer that was working with other overweight men. After several months I decided I needed to go over and introduce myself and ask if he was taking any additional clients. I got his name and number and a couple days later we set up some training.
Two times a week.
I hurt. A LOT!
But it was good. My body was transforming nicely. So what was I to tackle next?
A friend of mine has been a life long swimmer and I figured towards the end of summer I would give it a try since I would not be able to go out and ride my bike as much once winter hit. So I gave it a try. Like when I tried jogging, it did not go well. I had such a hard time getting my strokes, breaths, and leg kicks synchronized into anything resembling a swimmer. So I did what I do best, I looked up online how to be a better swimmer.
I saw a YouTube video of an overweight lady who was trying to swim for the first time. And she looked just like me. A complete mess. Then they had her use a swim snorkel. Looking better. Next they added a pull buoy. She was looking pretty good now. With her not having to concentrate so much on breathing, and the pull buoy keeping her legs up, she could focus on her stroke. EUREKA! Of course I headed to Amazon.com right away and got me those items and swim goggles.
So now I am swimmer also. So the only thing left was to start running. Now when I tried it, it was so much easier. Of course I was significantly lighter also. I started out with an app on my phone that gradually got me from walking to jogging to running. I got to the point that I could run the lake (7 miles) with a couple of my friends. Now I get up every morning and run 30 mins (2.5 miles) before work.
How did 2016 end? I did indeed lose the 104 lbs to reach my goal. In fact I have lost 138 lbs total as of right now.
I am mainly going to use this blog to capture the thoughts and moments as I continue to lose weight and transform my body. I will talk about how I did it in more detail in future posts. I’ll also talk about how things have changed for me outside of just losing the weight. I hope if you made it all the way through this you will continue to come back catch up with me as the year rolls along.