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Everyone who knows me knows I absolutely love what I do for a living.
It gives me great satisfaction to be able to work from home, and help people with their tech problems while I’m at it.
But like any job, blogging for a living does have its downsides. In fact, it has one HUGE downside…
Blogging is a sedentary activity, and as such it doesn’t provide any real opportunities for engaging in physical exercise.
As a result my weight increased over the years from my normal 180 pounds to a whopping (for me) 226.
For someone as height-deficient as I am, 46 pounds is a lot of extra weight to be carrying around.
In addition to the weight gain I also discovered that I was constantly having to buy larger clothes and more food, neither of which are great for a budget.
Even worse, my blood pressure had increased to a point where it was beginning to really worry me.
Well, about a month ago I decided that enough was enough. It was time to get up, get active and lose that extra weight that I had accumulated in recent years.
I started my weight loss and fitness journey on December 8, 2019. As of yesterday I had lost 25 of those 46 extra pounds.
And while it wasn’t exactly easy, it was nowhere near as difficult as I had expected it to be.
As I always do when I’m preparing to start doing something new, I sat down at my computer and did some research.
I read every relevant article and watched every relevant video I could find, hoping to find a consensus on the best course of action I could take to meet my fitness goals.
After much reading and watching, I decided that I would get into better shape by walking…
365 days per year.
Hopefully, for the rest of my life.
It started off simple enough. During the first week I walked two miles per day at a pace of approximately 20 minutes per mile. I ended up losing two pounds over the course of that week.
Starting on the following Monday I increased the distance of my walks to three miles and sped up the pace to about 18 minutes per mile. That resulted in the loss of an additional five pounds that week.
Now mind you this was with no alteration in my diet whatsoever. I was still eating the same quantity and types of food that I had been eating for years.
On Monday of week three I began walking four miles per day at about 15 minutes per mile. That’s a pretty good clip for a fellow with short legs.
Last week (week number 4) I began walking five miles. I decided against trying to increase my speed however because I felt that 15 minutes per mile was probably about the safest pace for me.
Tip: A good sports/fitness watch will really help get you on track and keep you there by counting your steps, timing your laps and miles and keeping tabs on your heart rate to make sure you done’t over-do it.
You could always buy something like the ultra-popular Fitbit but I use (and absolutely love) this much cheaper model from a company called LETSCOM.
In addition to my daily walks I also began eating a healthier diet that consists of the following:
Breakfast – One banana and one orange (I’m a huge lover of both).
Lunch – A normal meal similar to the lunches I’ve always enjoyed in the past, but they now include some variety of lean meat or fish.
I try my best to eat foods that are already low in sodium and I don’t add any salt from a shaker (something I have never done anyway).
Supper – One banana, one orange and a generous-sized pod of grapes.
Right now I’m walking five miles per day at my self-imposed speed limit of 15 minutes per mile. That means it takes me about an hour and 15 minutes to get in my daily walk.
I’m also eating better as described above.
The results to date? Yesterday was the 30th day of my weight loss and fitness journey, and as of yesterday morning I had lost exactly 25 pounds.
Not too bad considering I didn’t join a gym or sign up for an expensive weight loss program.
Here are a few things I learned while I was doing my early research and over the course of my first month:
1 – It’s important to check with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough to start an exercise plan.
Lots of folks have heart problems or other serious health issues that could make it dangerous for them to engage in serious physical exercise – and lots of those people don’t even know it!
2 – If your exercise routine will include walking long distances at a fast speed it’s critical that you take steps to protect your feet from blisters and other forms of injury.
Since I knew I’d soon be walking several miles a day at a pretty fast clip I went out and bought a good pair of well-fitting and comfortable walking shoes.
If you regularly read my posts you know that I’m a huge fan of shopping online, but when it comes to shoes I always buy mine locally where I can try them on and see how well they fit and feel. Just sayin’.
I also wanted to make sure the long, fast walks I was planning to take didn’t result in my feet drawing debilitating blisters.
To that end I purchased special athletic socks made of moisture-wicking synthetic materials instead of cotton or wool.
I also picked up a container of BodyGlide Foot Anti Blister Balm to rub on my feet before every walk.
All in all, I believe the money I spent on those items was well spent.
3 – It’s important to choose a safe place to walk.
I don’t live near a school with a track but I do happen to live on a quiet country road that’s well suited for walking.
On days when the weather is bad (or when I need to go into town anyway) I’ll head over to the local Walmart and walk around the inside perimeter of the store.
I quickly figured out that it takes about seven laps around our local Walmart to make one mile. The “mileage” around your own local Walmart will likely vary.
I also quickly discovered that the best time to walk around Walmart is in the early morning before the shoppers come out in force.
Bottom line: I’m happy with the progress I’m making on my weight loss and fitness journey.
In addition to losing the aforementioned 25 pounds, I’ve also lost about four inches from my waistline and my blood pressure is the lowest it’s been in decades.
In fact, when I checked it last night it was 130/75. I literally can’t remember the last time I got a reading that low.
Of course I realize that the 25 pounds I’ve lost to date were the “low hanging fruit” and I fully expect it to take longer than 30 days to lose the last 21 pounds and reach my target weight of 180.
But I can live with that.
I already feel better than I’ve felt in years. And believe it or not, I actually look forward to my daily walks.
And I can honestly say that my new moderate diet has never left me feeling hungry!
I would certainly appreciate your prayers as I continue on my trek to 180 pounds.
To finish up, here’s a fantastic short video from the folks at the Mayo Clinic featuring 6 simple ways to lose a little extra weight. Check it out if you only need to lose a few pounds!
Note: As always, you can watch the video at full screen by clicking the “square” icon that will pop up in the lower-right corner of the video after it begins playing.