Saturday, June 03, 2006

On weight loss and health

I thought I'd share what I recently submitted to my local Curves fitness center when they were looking for motivational stories. Maybe you're interested, too.

My Curves photo Posted by Picasa

I joined Curves in March 2004, feeling frustrated with my general lack of fitness and the forty pounds I'd gained in my adult years. Although I certainly achieved strength and stamina from my workouts, I didn't make much headway with my weight. It fluctuated by several pounds for the next year and a half.

In the fall of 2005, I had a severe flare-up of arthritis in my neck and left shoulder. I hadn't known before this that I even had three damaged discs in my neck. I settled in for several months of sheer survival, just trying to get through each day with the constant pain and headaches. I felt like a jar with its lid screwed on at an angle. My only desire was that someone would unscrew my head and put it back on again, straight. During those months I got virtually no exercise but it didn't stop me from eating. Although I've always enjoyed healthy food, I was eating too much and making poor choices. Christmas baking didn't help.

Finally the pain subsided and I began to take an interest in things again. I came back to Curves in January. It took nearly a week to recuperate from that first visit, and then I came again. In February I managed twice a week and began to wander outside for walks when the weather was decent.

On my March 10 weigh-in, I got a huge shock. I had gained ten pounds over my fluctuating average, and all my inches were the largest they had ever been. Seeing those numbers was like a wave of ice water. It was time to deal with things. Past time.

Two prongs, I decided. Exercise and diet. I committed myself to Curves three times a week, either before work or at noon hour, depending on my husband's work schedule. And every single day that I wasn't at Curves, I would go for a minimum two mile power walk. Without fail.

Secondly, I began tracking my food intake. The first huge change was upping my fruit and vegetable intake until I was achieving an average of 8-10 servings daily. I'd only been averaging three before. The second thing was to get a copy of the Glycemic Index Diet book and follow it.

It has been a challenging 11 weeks since March 10. I have lost 22 pounds from that shocking day (13 1/2 in the first month alone), and my inches are all at their smallest recorded numbers. I have more energy, stamina and optimism than I can ever remember having before. I am very grateful to God for this second chance at life and at health.


Wendy said...

Great job, Val! Keep it up!

lindaruth said...

Wow! I admire your determination. I'm trying to walk more regularly, but I'm not consistent. I'm sure seeing the progress you've made is encouraging and helps you stick with it.

lindaruth said...

Wow! I admire your determination. I'm sure seeing the progress you've made is encouraging for you and helps you stick with it.

Valerie Comer said...

The early progress helped lots. You'd be amazed how many meals I sat through fingering the *extra* fabric in my jeans, reminding myself it was all worth it. :P

fiorinda said...

Yay! I've been thinking about your diet and wondering how you were doing. Those are great results. I guess I'll have to give it a try after the twins arrive!