As many of you know, I’ve been struggling with my weight for at least the past year. It’s been a struggle for many reasons – not the least of which is stress. When someone tells you that they have weight issues because of stress, believe them. While there are other issues, stress is definitely one of them for many people.
But, for me, stress wasn’t the only thing. I needed to get out more. I needed to be active. I needed to not be so sedentary. I remember family members and friends who didn’t do what they needed to do to stay healthy. Sadly, some of them are no longer with us.
However, this is not a story about feeling sad or feeling sorry for myself. This is about my own journey about weight loss.
You may remember that I started this journey last summer and fall. You can read about the beginning of that journey in this blog post.
Since then, I have learned several things about health, wellness, and nutrition. I’ve also learned how to relax and de-stress. Sure, not every day is a picnic. But, I have been able to manage it better.
But, after my recent journey to Florida, which I eluded to in another recent blog post, I saw myself in a different light. Friends were just as accepting of me as they always were. However, they did notice my weight gain. I can’t fault them for that. I did gain weight since I had seen them last, which was 5 years ago. I still can’t believe it was that long between visits. But, I digress.
Taking those observations into account with the fact that there are many differences between South Florida and South Carolina, I decided to make a lot of changes.
Take, for example, arroz con pollo. It’s practically a staple in Miami in Fort Lauderdale – rice paired with healthy (healthier?) chicken and beans. But, when you compare that to macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and grits that you would normally find in South Carolina cuisine, I realized that the food was very different. Don’t get me wrong. I do like fried chicken and macaroni and cheese (although the latter is made differently than what I was used to anywhere else).
However, there’s another issue. The streets in Florida are flat, which is very wheelchair-friendly. Yes, I do use a wheelchair. Compare those surfaces to the hills and valleys of South Carolina, and you have another issue. My wheelchair doesn’t work well on hills. So, I depend on my car to move around a lot more.
The differences between the food and the terrain made me realize that there is a huge difference between the two areas – maybe more than I ever realized.
Combine that with not moving around a lot in South Carolina, and no wonder I had gained so much weight!
So, having looked at myself – literally and figuratively – I decided to do something about it.
Not only did I start going back to the Anderson Area YMCA. I started making sure I remembered what my trainer told me last year about cardio and weight training. I decided to throw myself into all of it. I also started eating more protein, fruit, and nuts. But, I am consciously cutting down on bad foods that have a lot of processed sugar. I’m not perfect. But, getting into the gym more than sitting around eating bad stuff is a definite step in the right direction.
So, I started doing that today. I went to the YMCA, and used their NuStep machine for 30 minutes. I even got up to 175 steps-per-minute, and burned 91 calories.
But, I wasn’t done.
I then did 2 sets of 15 bicep curls on another machine (not pictured) using 50 pounds – and, yes. My arms hated me! LOL
But, then, the finale. They have an ab cruncher where you can work your upper AND lower abs since the legs lift too. So, I did two sets of 15 reps with 40 pounds. You may think the lower weight on that machine is a cop out. But, trust me. Working out on that machine WILL make you “feel the burn”!
So, that’s it for now. But, trust me! This is the start of a big journey. While I definitely want to look – and feel – healthier the next time I go back to Florida, I also want to look – and feel – healthier in general.
I’ve always said you need to live your life, and enjoy it. Well, I’m becoming my own example. There will be many more updates – and pictures to come. I hope you enjoy the journey with me.