In July of this year, I arrived on the doorstep of Precision Fitness desperate to reclaim my life. After a thirty plus year history of yo-yo dieting, I was at my all-time highest weight. At 53 years of age, I had developed a whole host of medical conditions that were severely impacting my ability to enjoy everyday life. High blood pressure, swelling of my legs and hands, bad cholesterol, joint pain in my hands and knees, insomnia caused by sleep apnea and heartburn and a fatty liver to just name a few. It became clear to me that I had to embrace a whole new philosophy and approach to weight loss if I was to be successful in not only losing the weight but maintaining it for the rest of my life. So on that day I surrendered to the process and the expertise Dustin and the team at Precision Fitness had to offer. What appealed to me was the simplicity of the plan: show up and give it your all three times a week for 45 minutes training sessions; start to incorporate some walking at home; eat fresh wholesome food free from sugar/artificial sweeteners, dairy and grains, drink lots of water and keep a daily journal. When I started I committed for 21 days. After all I could do anything for 21 days.
The first week of training was a blur of sweat and pain but each day I would break each exercise down convincing myself I can do anything for 20 seconds, 30 seconds or a minute and soon the session would be done and I had survived. At home I dusted off our treadmill and began putting one step in front of the other. Initially I could only walk a slow .25 miles for 10 minutes. Once again my chant was I can do anything for 10 minutes and walking was not going to kill me. I kept my meal plans simple and flavorful. I kept track of everything in my journal to ensure I was getting enough water, my 6 to 8 servings of vegetables, 2 to 3 servings of fruit, blood pressure, my daily exercise and more importantly how I physically felt each day. I hid my scale and committed to being only weighed once a week on Wednesdays after my workout. Believe it or not this was actually one of the hardest things for me as I have had an unhealthy obsession with my scale for decades. I also wanted to be held accountable by my family and friends, most of who live out of state, so I would post on Facebook each time I went to the gym. (In fact, I found the gym through a friend’s Facebook postings.) Their response and support has been overwhelming and incredibly motivating. At the end of the first week I had lost an amazing 9.2 lbs. and lost 7.5 inches. I was hooked.
By the second week, I noticed that almost all my food cravings had vanished. My blood pressure was considerably lower and I was able to walk 20-40 minutes on the treadmill. I loved being able to not have to weigh and measure my food as long as I was sticking to lots of veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats. I am pretty sure I now have a healthy addiction to avocados. By 21 days I had lost 18 lbs. and 14.5 inches. My blood pressure is routinely in the average range and the swelling and joint pains have all but disappeared. I’ve been told I am no longer snoring at night as well. I am optimistic that my cholesterol levels and liver will be healthy when I return in late October for a follow up.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to stop letting the scale rule my life. After a couple of weeks of what I perceived as “low” weight loss I smashed my scale to bits. I did this because I knew I had exercised and eaten a healthy diet. I also knew I was stronger and smaller by inches than the week before. For too long I allowed a number on the scale to dictate how I felt about myself. I also realized that setting a goal on a scale had never worked for me. I was always chasing a silly number instead of being mindful of being healthy and strong. I now know that getting to a certain goal weight is not important. What is important is that every day I wake up and make good healthy choices and the rest will come.
So as I start my 12th week at Precision Fitness I can’t thank Dustin, Austin and Becky enough for their guidance along with the support of my little 12:15 group. So let’s “Crank It” because I know I can do anything (except a bear crawl) for 60 seconds.
P.S. As of today I have lost 36 total inches and have absolutely no idea what I weigh and that is just fine.