What does it take to reclaim good health and to find your feet again...I'm not sure. I wish I had a definitive answer but I don't believe one exists. I can only tell you about my experience on this journey and hopefully some of it will apply to you.
I started this at the age of 47 after my doctor's visit. The doctor said, 47, 291lbs (132.5kg) is too much. You can't expect to keep dodging the bullets of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease forever, especially living an arguably unhealthy lifestyle. You've gotten this far due to being in amazing shape when you were younger but that train ride is going to crash into obesity related diseases. You must:
A. Eat Right
When I was 44 and 254lbs (115.5kg) he had given me the same advice...same advice I get every year. This time though, I was ready for it and had already planned to embark on the journey of finding my feet. I wanted to be able to run faster, jump higher, hike longer, paddle, swim, and play for longer than I actually good. Going up the stairs had started to become a burden. I realized that I spent most of my days sitting or lying down and that there was not a lot of movement going on. This was a key realization since I didn't eat especially bad...ok, in hindsight, I ate bad and more troubling, would binge on even "healthy" foods; so I made the choice to eat better and exercise even before going to the doctor.
I came to choice pre-doctor's visit partially due to a change in employment. The new company I work at, Quadbridge inc, has a great leadership team who stress the importance of a healthy mind and body leads to a healthy work environment. They also like to work hard and have fun. Being a part of a group of people who strive to be smarter, faster, stronger, and more fun is a great catalyst to someone used to a company mired in the status quo. If a sick mind and body is what it took for you to be successful for us, please, by all means, continue being sick. Sit there, eat at your desk, come in early, stay late...we can hook the IV up right beside your phone. Oh, and if you're having too much trouble moving your fingers, we will figure out a way for the phone to dial on its own, just say the word...but I digress.
I decided it was going to take two things to meet the doctor's orders:
1. Follow his advice and cut out bread, pasta, and sugar from my meals
2. Devote two hours per day at least 4 days a week towards moving my feet
In truth, the doctor also did say to cut out alcohol as well but I told him to slow his roll, one thing at a time…a man’s gotta have things worth living for.
The bread, pasta, and extraneous sugars have been cut from my diet since Wednesday June 17, 2015. It was surprisingly easy to do, I thought it would be a tougher time. The hardest time is with family and friends who offer food and when you say sorry, I can’t eat that, they come back with why not, c’mon, it’s not going to kill you.
Exercise was easy too since I had already convinced myself that I need to move 2 hours a day. I set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier to get up, drink a glass of water and lemon, stretch (Yoga), pushups, crunches, planks, and soon some weights. All this instead of hitting the snooze button 14 times, then reluctantly waking up to turn on the tv and lie in bed catching up on whatever show I missed the night before or turning on the news.
At lunch I get outside and walk for a minimum of 30 minutes at a brisk pace. Summer helps make the walk more pleasant, but since I also walked in the winter, I think I’ll be able to continue doing that throughout the year.
After work, I head home and then off to the gym for at least 1 hour. I had vowed not to get a gym membership unless it was to just use the weights and machines because I could walk and run on the streets for free for as long as I like. What I’ve come to appreciate about walking and running on a treadmill in the gym is that I can walk uphill for one hour straight and not have to walk back down.
Tracking my steps on my iphone app has helped, it makes part of those projected 2 hours into a game to get to 10k+ steps in those targeted 4 days of exercise. My current daily average (over the last week) is 8435 steps covering 6.74km. I need to get busier on my off days to keep the average over 10k or really step it up on my exercise days…which is part of the plan in my head. I figure the intensity of those two hours a day will increase as my cardio improves and the weight starts to come off.
As of today, I am 126.5kg (278.3lbs). so I would say I have had a successful 1st 12 days of finding my feet.