Sunday, October 14, 2012

Keeping It Off - An Update at Two Years

Two years ago I was in Long Beach, California for the annual AHCA convention. Because walking the short distance between two convention hotels was really difficult, when I returned home I asked Cheryl to help me start losing weight. I had no particular plan in mind other than to ask that she remind me to eat breakfast and pack a lunch. 

Fast forward two years to last weekend. The picture at left was snapped Saturday, October 6, after finishing a 5K. If you look at the photo of me from two years ago taken by my friend Julie Natzke you can see a difference of 160 pounds. The next day I drove to Tampa for this year's AHCA meeting.

After the four hour drive and the five hours in meetings I checked into my hotel, changed into jogging shorts and took off for a short two mile jog. That's how I keep it off.

When I attended last year's AHCA show in Las Vegas I was at 222 pounds. This year at 207. That was still enough difference for those who had  not seen me for a year to ask the usual questions. What did you do to lose all that weight? What  program are you on? Regular readers and friends know my answer is always "eat right and exercise."

I don't mind answering those questions. Losing weight and getting in shape is simple. Eat right. Exercise. But during this year's convention there were three or four people who wanted to talk about how they do it, compare notes about what works, what their routine is and what my routine is. My favorite question came on the last day of meetings when a long-time friend turned to me and asked, "So, how are you keeping it off?"

The man who asked me is in his 70s and in reasonably good shape. As we talked about what we both like to do for exercise he shared that during the last year it has been difficult to maintain the routine he likes. He knows that he will need knee surgery and possibly hip surgery. Because of  that he said his walking has been difficult, but HE KEEPS DOING IT. And there's one of the secrets of staying in shape. Don't give up.

If you want to lose weight, or maintain your weight, do something. When I started two years ago it was applying some basic math. Burn more calories than I ate. That meant cutting back my meals to sensible portions and doing some kind of exercise. At 367 pounds about the only thing I could was walk. First a quarter mile, then a half mile. A year later I did a 5K in 48 minutes. One year after that, last Saturday, my 5K time was 41 minutes. This morning I walked to the pool store to get my water tested. Four miles round-trip. 68 minutes and 599 calories. That's what I do to keep it off.

If I can do this, you can too.

Be sure to eat breakfast, and take a Clif Bar with you.

Eat Right. Exercise. Get Plenty of Rest.
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