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Battle of the bulge

I tore myself away from the two computer monitors and social media this afternoon and walked 2 miles. As I was walking down Blue House Road this afternoon I thought about my friend who recently walked 444 miles. I must say that the thought of doing that is intimidating. I mean, my feet hurt after 2 miles. Can you imagine what they would feel like if I walked 15 miles per day, 6 days per week?

Now that we live somewhere that has a free exercise room, I have no excuse for not getting exercise daily. I decided to go walking today instead of hitting the exercise room. I walked out of the apartment complex and headed down to the end of Blue House Road. That leg of the journey was .48 miles.

End of Blue House Road1

I then turned around and walked all the way down Blue House Road to US 78. Once I did that I walked all the way back home which totaled 2 miles or 22 minutes per mile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of Blue House RoadSome of you might be thinking that this is no big deal. You might even wonder why I am only making a mile in 22 minutes. Let’s just say that I weigh in at over 300 lbs. I am not light on my feet and I have a club foot that hurts most days. I could very easily use those things as an excuse to not try. I realize that if anyone is going to lose weight and get healthier, it is going to have to be me that does it. As the Nike commercial says, “Just do it!” That is what I am attempting to do. Eat less, eat better and get exercise.

I know that I am not alone in this journey. If you are reading this and you are fighting the obesity monster or the battle of the bulge, then know you are not alone. All we can do is take one day at a time, and do the best we can with what we have. It all starts in our minds and our hearts. We have to get to the point where we say that we are tired of looking the way we look, and more importantly, feeling the way we feel.

I understand that one of the reasons that I do not like to be around a lot of people is because I do not like my self-image. I hate it when people take a picture of me and post it on social media. I look at that picture and think how horribly fat I am. It is hard to believe that I used to be bigger than I am. That means that I have had some small success at losing weight and inches off my waist.

My desire is to get better at this. You can’t eat an elephant all in one sitting but you can one bite at a time. In this case, I know that I did not get where I am today, overnight. I also realize that it is going to take some time to lose the weight and get healthier.   My goal is to lose 1 or 2 lbs per week. I need to lose 65 lbs to get under 300.   Hopefully I can realize that goal by this time next year.

Do you struggle with the same thing dear reader? What are you doing to fight the battle of the bulge? Do you have a work out partner or someone that goes walking with you or to the gym? Is your spouse supportive of your need to eat healthier and to get exercise or are you on your own?

I look forward to hearing from you and to help encourage you on this journey.

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Getting started on a healthy living journey – Letting go of the junk

Just the week I was driving to work and listening to one of the radio personalities on His Radio. I have been listening to His Radio for quite some time, probably 10 to 12 years. Leslie and Rob are the folks that handle the morning show and I listen to them every morning on my way to work. One of the things I like about their show is that they talk about real life issues. Some of the stuff is funny and silly but some of the stuff is “rubber meets the road” type of stuff.

On this particular occasion Leslie was talking to Rob about her “healthier living” journey. She told him and the listeners about how she has been saving clothes in her closet that are way too small and has been hanging on to them in the hopes that she will eventually be able to wear them again. At some point Leslie realized that hanging on to those clothes became a dark cloud that was hanging over her head. She realized that by hanging on to the clothes that she was placing an unreasonable expectation on herself. By doing that she was constantly beating herself up for not being able to wear the clothes. Leslie decided to keep one or two outfits as a reminder of the goal she has for herself but she got rid of the other clothes. I believe she said that she decided to get some new clothes that will fit her now with the understanding that this is where she is at today.

One of the most powerful things that she said, was that she needed to get to the place where she could accept herself ,and love herself for who she is today. Rob Dempsey is the co host on the morning show on His Radio, and in the last several years his healthy living journey included losing a ton of weight and getting into better physical shape. I believe that Rob understood what Leslie was saying ,right along with a lot of the listening audience that morning.

In my last blog post I listed some “sanity saving” tips for getting started on a “Healthy living” journey. One of the tips was to “Never compare yourself to others. You are on your own unique life journey with your own unique life issues.” One of the things that Rob said in his response to Leslie, was that his focus was not on losing weight. His goal was to live healthier ,and as he went down that “healthier living” road, he also lost a ton of weight. I believe that where we place our focus mentally is key. We have to find a way to love ourselves where we are at today. Once we can do that then we can make plans to better ourselves. If we keep comparing ourselves to other people ,who may be thinner, or in better shape ,then we are going to focus on the wrong thing. If we allow our emotions to be controlled by a number on a scale then we are in for an emotional roller coaster that will result in a poor self image, low self confidence and situational depression.

Yes, we all want to look good and feel good about how we look on the outside. The important thing to remember is that who you are is way more than what is on the outside. Our bodies are a temporary shell that houses our heart, mind and spirit. Our soul, spirit and mind defines who we are. Once we are able to recognize these things, it will become easier to focus on the right things, and then we can get on with the healthier living journey.

Please understand that God loves you no matter what you weigh. God gave you the body you are in, and we are responsible for being a good steward of that body. I truly believe that there is as much of a spiritual aspect to our healthy living journey, as there is mental and physical. Sometimes we need to call upon God for the strength that we need, to move forward in our own unique life journey. One of my favorite Bible scriptures is Phillipians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

If there is something that you are hanging on to that is keeping you from your healthy living journey, please let it go. Let it go so you can move forward and make the necessary steps to start your healthy living journey. Find people that you can surround yourself with that can be your cheering squad. People who will love you and accept you for who you are and encourage you to take those next steps.

Just remember, you cannot eat an elephant all at once. You have to eat it one bite at a time. The same goes with your healthy living journey, you have to take it one step at a time. Before you know it you will see some positive results and that will give you the courage to keep on keeping on that journey.


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Bringing our faith and behavior together

For those of you that know me I have always struggled with weight loss.  My wife and I are on a new journey together.  We are attending a new life group at Coastal Community church, which is a 12 week Bod4God weight loss program.  I posted the following entry to my Myfitnesspal blog this morning and I thought I would share it with my friends here.

There are a LOT of nice gems in the Bod4God book.  One of them that I love is how we are to bring our faith and behavior together.  We confess Lord Jesus with our mouths.  We confess that we desire to be obedient to his word.  We confess that we want to die to ourselves and carry our cross daily.  There are days when the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  Those are the moments when we need to cry out to God and ask him for his power and strength to bring our behavior into submission to our faith and his will for our lives.  

We know that eating garbage is turning our temple of God into garbage.  We know that it grieves the holy spiriit within us, when we do that.  God gave us our bodies so that we can be his glorious children.  We are to serve him and use the gifts within us to bring glory and honor to his kingdom.  

My prayer today for all of us that struggle with bringing our faith and behavior into perfect alignment is this.  

Dear Jesus, please forgive us for being slothful stewards of the temple you have given us.  I ask that you will put a burning desire within each of us to take small steps each day to live out our faith in obedience to your word.  Help us to love one another and not to judge one another.  Help us to encourage each other and to be examples one to another.  Help us to lift each other up when one of us is weak or struggling.  We believe that your word is true.  We believe that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.  Help us to be the kingdom kids that you want us to be.  We ask you these things in your most precious and holy name.  Amen 

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Mind over matter

Katy and the kids are off to work and school and it is just me and the pets. I have an evil grin as I imagine the things I could do to rid myself of my own personal Farmville.  I love my wife dearly however I do not love all of these pets.  I have a couple of favorites that I would probably spare if I were to ever go off the deep end but the rest of the critters would need to run for the hills or perish.  I guess that explains why most of the cats keep a wary eye on me and never turn their backs on me. They can sense that I am secretly plotting against them.  I love to day dream about what I could or might do to get rid of the excessive pet population in my home and then I am snapped back to reality with regards to divorce court.  I am not sure I want to push my wife’s love to a vote over me or the pets. Something tells me that I would suffer her wrath to the point that it is just not worth the brief moment of pleasure I would get to empty out Farmville. 

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Today is the first day of my three day weekend.  I plan on having a leisurely morning which will include my regular trip to Planet Fitness in a few minutes.  My body is killing itself trying to convince me to use my three day weekend as an excuse to stay planted firmly in my recliner and to enjoy some well deserved laziness.  I am tempted to give in to the belly aching and whining from the flesh this morning but then I remember how much work I have done up to this point to gain the momentum I have gained and the weight and inches I have lost.  That did not happen by listening to the flesh and allowing it to talk me into a lazy bliss.  I will be stifling the moans and groans and I will drag my carcass out to the truck and drive over to the gym.  That always seems to be the hardest part, getting started and convincing myself that the trip to the gym is worth it. 

It is a mystery to me why at this stage in my life I have this huge amount of energy and motivation to do what I am doing.  Over the last 9 years Katy and I have been working through several stages of grief as we absorb the impact of losing one of our children to cancer. Having lived through 14 months of watching our daughter get sick and then sicker and then pass away has caused a huge rip in the fabric of our entire family.  That takes a lot out of you emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  When you take a beating in those three areas the flesh usually has its way with you and you don’t really pay much attention to what is going on.  Nine years later I guess we are managing the grief more efficiently and now we are finding a place where we can refocus our energies in other places and not dwell on the pain as much.   I would like to take all of the credit for going back to school after 20 years and getting gobs of motivation and energy to kick start my wellness program.  I am thinking that my motivation and energy must be a God thing.  I know that I have several people in my life that have been praying for me and my weight issue for quite some time.  These people have watched me and wondered why in the world would I let myself go as badly as I did.  How is it that I could waste so much time with trying to justify the issues and just be satisfied with the way I looked despite the fact that I was on the road to a heart attack or stroke? 

I may not be able to put my finger on exactly what happened within me to kick start my action but I am thankful for it.  Maybe it is a combination of friends praying for me and the Holy Spirit of God prodding me gently and methodically over the years.  No matter what the reasons I am happy to find myself on the track of getting better.  Slowly but surely I am working towards my goal of losing one pound per week and getting in better physical condition.  This is my body that God gave me to live in and it is my duty and responsibility to be a good steward of what he has given me.  My flesh is not who I am.  My flesh or the body that you gaze upon when you see me in real life is only a shell for the person within.  Some would say that when you die that is all she wrote and there is nothing else. You die and that is it, it is over.  I chose to believe that the spirit within me, who I am will live on in the hereafter.  At some point I came to the realization that my not taking care of this body was slowly but surely speeding up the process for me to meet the hereafter.  I realized that as I look around me I do not see any obese old people.  Have you noticed that for yourself?  You do not see severely obese old people because obesity eventually kills you.  I do not want to live through diabetes, high blood pressure or the many physical ailments that comes along as consequences of those issues. 

Mind over matter means that in my mind and spirit I am taking possession and control over my flesh.  I have decided that my flesh will no longer have dominion over my destiny.  I will no longer allow it to rob me of precious years of life.  I realize that no matter how much I work out at the gym that ultimately I will experience that physical death that we all will face one day.  Nevertheless that does not mean that I can not take care of the body that God gave me and enjoy life to the fullest in a body that is in good shape.  I am also thinking that while I am increasing the longevity of my life that I will be able to do things that I otherwise would not be able to do.  I am hoping that at some point that my wife will be encouraged by my progress and that she will adopt the same mindset as mine and start doing some regular exercise as well.  Mind over matter means that when we go to the grocery store that we determine that we will not buy crappy junk food and we will buy fruits and vegetables and lean meats.  We will decide to eat smaller portions and not sit in front of the idiot box and eat comfort foods that make us feel better about ourselves and ultimately eat ourselves into the grave. 

I used to get depressed when I saw advertisements for the TV show the Biggest Loser.  Now I am getting to the point that I am proud of those people for what they are trying to accomplish in their lives.  I realize that they probably get paid nicely for being on the TV show but despite that they have the courage to stand before a huge TV audience and admit that they need to lose so much weight.  I am proud of the fact that despite all of the odds and the difficulty of exerting so much energy that they are doing whatever it takes to lose the pounds.  Yes, working out takes a lot of energy and at the age of 48 it is way harder than it was when I was in my teen years or the 20’s.  In 1.5 years I will be 50 and I know that I know that it will only get harder to do this.  In my mind I want to be the biggest loser in my home and in my neighborhood.  I no longer care what people think of me and how I look because I know that I am doing everything I can to get exercise  and eat right so I can obtain my goals. 

My hope and prayer for you is that I can be vulnerable before you with my actions, feelings ,thoughts and fears so that you might be able to identify with me and realiz
e that you too can do whatever it takes to make permanent life changes that will help you be the biggest loser.  Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Today is the day that you can and should make steps towards making good life choices and develop new and healthy habits.  You will have to decide what it will take for you to make these changes.  I hope and pray you make those decisions and changes in your life now while you are able to do it.  You can do it!  I have faith in you that you can and will make these changes. 

 

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 James Moffitt

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Weight loss and where do you start?

I have been struggling with weight loss for at least 10 years now. I did not wake up one morning and I was fat.  It was a slow gradual process, sort of like putting the frog in a pan of cold water and slowly turning up the heat until one shocking moment arrives and the frog realizes he is dinner. I think that is the way it is for us. Time goes on and we grow older and the weight just creeps up on us.  When I was in my 20’s I could eat whatever I wanted and not worry about it.  When I was in grade school and high school I was very active.  I played basketball for 5 years in school, ran 10 miles a day and lifted weights.  I was very athletic and in shape.  As I entered into adult life my priorities changed and I found myself having to focus on working and paying bills and surviving in the real world.  At some point exercise and wellness became a thing of the past and it did not occur to me that in order to stay well exercise and eating healthy needed to be a life long life skill.  

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A picture of me in 2008

In September or October of last year a friend of mine at work turned me on to Take Shape for Life.  This is a wellness program that helps you to make a radical change in your eating habits.  I do not believe that regular exercise is an integral part of the program but I am sure that they encourage it if you are physically able to. Take Shape for Life to me was like taking a smoker and one day removing all cigarettes from them and telling them you will never smoke again.  I walked around angry for about 2 weeks because I had committed to removing the foods I loved to eat from my diet.  I hate the word diet so we can substitute eating habits if you like.  No matter how hard I tried I just could not convince myself that the food substitutes that they provide for you tastes like real food.  There were a couple of snack items that they provided that were not that bad but all in all my success with the program failed hopelessly.

I did learn some things from Take Shape for Life however.  Here are a couple of things that I learned.

A. I have to want to lose weight for me and no one else.

B. I should want to lose weight because I want to have a normal healthy life

C. I should want to lose weight because I want to feel better and look better

D. I should want to lose weight because I want to live longer

E. I should want to lose weight because I do not want to live through the consequences of obesity

 

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Picture of me in Sept of 2010

The hardest thing for me was to come to the reality of not doing something about the weight problem. I came to the realization that if I wanted to lose weight that I had to want it bad enough.  No one else is going to be more motivated than me to lose weight.   In other words I could not depend on someone else’s motivation to make the decision to do it. I had (still have) a monkey on my back and the only person that is going to get rid of it is me. I can lean on friends and family for encouragement and help but ultimately it is going to me that has to do the work.  

Take Shape for Life was not the program for me however it did help me to shock the system for two weeks and during that time I noticed a couple of things.  I did lose about 25 pounds and I felt so much better.  I did not lose 25 lbs in two weeks but that came off over a period of about 6 weeks.  I transitioned myself off of Take Shape for Life to a modified Adkins eating plan where I cut out as many carbs as I could. Here are some things that I stopped eating on a regular basis and sometimes not at all.

A. potatoes

B. pastas

C. white bread

D. sugary soda pops

E. sweet tea

F. regular ice cream

G. white rice

H. sweets such as candy, cakes, pies etc.

That is a very basic list of things that I cut out of my diet and with some regular walking I started to see some more weight fall off of me.  Between November of last year and about January or March of 2010 I started having major problems with my left knee to the point that I needed a walker to just get around.  That meant that I was unable to walk in our neighborhood and that was depressing to me because I knew that I needed to walk. 

One day I got sick and tired of being depressed about my weight problem and decided to switch doctors and go to a doctor that one of my co workers referred me to.  I had a full physical expecting some of the results to come back with bad results.  The doctor and I were amazed at the fact that there was nothing wrong with any of the blood tests.  Everything was in perfect order when it comes to blood sugar and cholesterol.  The doctor told me that I would be around a long time and he also agreed with me that I need to lose some weight. I realized and was reinforced with the fact that if I continued to let the weight stay where it was that I was a candidate for a stroke or heart attack.  One of the side affects of obesity is high blood pressure and I have been on meds for that for several years now.

We moved to West Ashley in June of 2010 and I am now about 7 minutes from Citadel Mall. My son and I went to the mall one day doing some exploring and I found Planet Fitness. The sign on the outside of Planet Fitness said membership is 10.00 per month with no contract.  I looked at Justin and told him that I had no excuse not to join with the cost being as low as it is and my being so close to the mall. I have been going to Planet Fitness now since the end of June. I go three to four times per week and when I go I do not play games.  I get on the elliptical trainer and I run for 30 to 40 minutes at a very brisk pace.  I get my heart rate up to 145 to 155 bpm which is in the 80 to 90% fitness range for my age.  I am 48 years old and I weigh 328 lbs as of today.  I am of the opinion that if I can do this anyone can.  Most folks I know are no where near as obese as I am so that means to me that it will be e
asier for them to do this physically than it is for me. 

When folks look at me they figure me at about 270 lbs but I am very big boned and I carry the weight well. When I started this journey last year I was close to 366 pounds. I was at a size 58 pants and I had resorted to wearing shirts that I could wear on the outside of my pants so I could mask the weight issue. I felt bad, my knee and feet hurt me to the point that I needed a walker to get around. My self image was in the basement and I was not really happy with myself.  Put all of that together and all I was able to do was to go back and forth to work and church and that was about it.  I was too self conscious about how I looked to bother going out into public because I was just too embarrassed about how I looked. 

In the last month I have taken 5 pairs of pants to the cleaners and had them taken in 2.5 inches.  The pants are at size 54 and they are starting to get loose on me already.  I am looking forward to having them taken in some more between now and January 1st 2011. I have said this before and I will say it again.  Losing weight is a lot of hard work. My weight loss was jump started by regular aerobic exercise.  I realize that not everyone is as obese as I am and therefore maybe they do not need to be as extreme with their work out habits. We are all on our own unique individual journeys and that will require an honest assessment of where we are and to set some goals.  My goal is to lose 110 lbs between June of 2010 and June of 2011.  That means I have a lot of work to do and I have to change my eating habits in a radical way.  I have a good head start and I have seen some improvement which makes me happy and it is motivating me to keep on keeping on with what I am doing and to improve upon it. 

Most, if not all of the battle to lose weight is in your mind and heart. Your flesh is not going to want to get on an elliptical trainer or do circuit training with weights. Trust me when I tell you this, if you listen to your body its natural tendencies will be to whine and moan and complain that it wants to stay at home in bed or in the recliner or couch with a bag of potato chips or a bowl of ice cream and do nothing.  You have to decide that you are sick of being the way you are and be determined to make some life changes.  We all get to that point differently and we all need different types of motivation and encouragement.  The important thing for you to understand is that you can do it.  You have the ability within yourself to do whatever it takes.  One of the first steps to making these life changes is to educate yourself on what changes that need to be made.  If you are struggling within yourself on making those changes then you may need to ask God to help you. Every single day when I am on the elliptical trainer I quote Philippians 4:13 that says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”.

I have faith that God in me can give me the strength to keep going and to do the exercise even though my body is screaming that it wants to stop and go find that bowl of ice cream.  I will tell you that the longer that you do regular exercise the easier it does get.  I have found that my body is slowly but surely responding to the exercise and now I am looking forward to going to the gym and starting my day off with a good work out. You will be very happy in how much better you feel and how much energy you will get because of it. 

In my next “Wellness” blog posts I am going to try and focus on specifics. You know my story now and I am hopeful that it will help you to jump start what you need to do to get motivated. I would encourage you to respond via the comment section of my blog and let me know how you feel or where you are at in your wellness program or let me know you need encouragement to just get started.  My desire is to share my journey with as many people as possible so that others like me can find success now and in the future.  This journey is not a part time effort or only for a season, it is for life.  We can do this if we take it one day at a time, one prayer at a time, one decision at a time. 

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 James Moffitt

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Weight Loss milestone on 10/10/10

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Sunday usually consists of church attendance, lunch, studying and then Dallas Cowboys football.  My 15 year old son, Justin wanted to go to the gym this morning so we got up at 7 am and headed to Planet Fitness.  We had a very good work out and we ran into one of Justin’s “big brother” friends that he met through Happy Days and Special Times.  I am very thankful that Mark has taken an interest in Justin and spends some time with him and is an excellent role model for him to look up to.

Today is 10/10/10 which is a very unique date.  I want to celebrate this date by highlighting a weight loss milestone that I reached recently.  I took 5 pairs of pants to the cleaners last week and had them taken in 2 inches.  I still have a lot of weight to lose and I am hoping that by October 10, 2011 that I will have lost 50% of that goal.  I have been faithfully going to Planet Fitness three to four days per week since the end of June and working out 90 mintues every time I go.  I am primarily focusing on getting a good aerobic workout on the elliptical trainer which I run on for 30 minutes and burn 400 calories.  I then do circuit training for another hour on the weight machines.

My goal is to lose 1 lb per week and thus far I have lost between 1 and 4 lbs per week.  Now that I have established a habit of getting regular exercise I need to get just as serious with my eating habits.  I do not believe that my eating habits are horrible but I believe that if I were to make smarter choices as to what I eat that I could lose more weight than I am at this time.  At night time Katy usually makes a lean meat and vegetables for supper.   I have cut out most of the snacks after supper which is good and if I have to snack on something I try to eat sunflower seeds.  That leaves breakfast and lunch as the two meals I need to get under control.  It is not that I eat too much but I do need to make better choices.

Every day brings a new day of hope and opportunity and I plan on making the most of it.  I want to be living as healthy as possible and hopefully increase my quality of life.

Weight loss is work

We have all seen the ads. The weight loss ads where this diet or that exercise machine is being advertised as that mechanism that will cause you to become the hard bodied person that you should want to be. Have you ever noticed that there are no fat people in those advertisements and that almost everyone appears to be in perfect health and shape?

Different diets and different forms of exercise will work for different people. God made us all different and because of that not every diet or specific exercise will work for us. I would also like to say that if your goal is to look like the hard bodied people that you see in all of the TV or magazine ads then you are setting yourself up for failure.

Weight loss is a lot of work. Let me say this again for those of you that are hoping I really did not say it. Weight loss is a lot of work. There are no magical diets that are going to melt away the pounds and keep them off for a life time. Yes, there are weight loss diets out there that will take the weight off. The million dollar question for you is will you be willing to stay on that particular diet for the rest of your life? If you are not willing to do that then the unwanted pounds will come back to haunt you just as soon as you fall off the diet bandwagon.

Your desire to lose weight needs to be something deeper than just how you look. Sure, we all want to look good and have people admire us. If the truth were to be known we also probably want to feel good about ourselves and be healthy. Whatever the reasons for our desire to lose weight it has to come from within and you might as well quit waiting on someone else to hold you accountable. You have to want to change your life and do it yourself for your own reasons. Some of us need more motivation and accountability than others but the majority of the motivation will have to be in your heart and mind and soul.

Weight loss is work both mentally, physically and spiritually. Weight loss encompasses every single fiber of your being. I say that because weight loss affects every part of your life. Weight loss has to be a life change. One day you look in the mirror and you say to yourself, I want to look different and I want to feel different. My motivation for losing weight is to become healthier and to live longer so I can enjoy more years of life with my wife and children. I want to feel healthy and be able to have increased mobility and physical ability. I used to play basketball as a sport when I was younger and loved it. I have had to give up that sport in the last 20 years thanks to obesity.

I have had to make some very tough choices. I have had to determine in my heart that I am going to do whatever it takes to lose weight. That means that I eat less food and I am learning how to eat healthier. I am also relearning the importance of regular exercise. At this time I am working out every other day. I started at the end of June 2010 and I joined Planet Fitness at Citadel Mall. My goal is to eat better, eat less and get enough exercise to lose one pound per week. Thus far I have met or exceeded that goal and I am seeing a difference in how I feel and how my clothes are fitting. It is nice to talk to people and have them mention to me that I am losing weight and that they can tell. More importantly I feel so much better. My blood pressure is under control and I have much more energy than I have had in a long time. My mobility has started to increase to where I can do things physically that I have not been able to do in a long time.

Yes, I have seen some success but the battle is not over. Every day is a new day and I have to remind myself that while I have had some small victories over obesity in my life I still have 100 lbs to lose. I am determined to face this battle head on every single day until I reach my goal. When I first started going to the gym I counted the days. At the outset that was important for me to count the days so that I could give myself the encouragement to keep on doing it. I would say to myself, ok, I have been to the gym and this is day 6 so if I can go six times then surely I can go to day 7 and so on and so forth. I have quit counting days and I am now just trying to live one day at a time and I am slowly but surely making healthy eating and exercise a regular part of my life. Thus far it is working and I am happy about that.

One of the things that I have seen that has really kick started my metabolism and helped me to start shedding some pounds and keep it off is aerobic exercise. Planet Fitness is a “judgement free zone” which means that it is not a typical gym where all the jocks hang out and all the fat people are afraid to show themselves in there for the fear of being ridiculed. You will find different people of all different shapes and sizes and varying degrees of fitness or obesity as in my case.

The important thing is that we are there doing something to make a change in how we look and feel. We are there to exercise and leave our fat cells behind. I get sort of tickled when I see the folks who come in there with their make up on and jewelry and get on the treadmill for 15 minutes and never break a sweat. If you are not going to the gym to “work” that body and break a good sweat then you are not getting an aerobic work out and therefore you are wasting your time.

I know that sounds judgmental so please forgive me if it sounds that way. The bottom line is this, the weight is not going to come off if you are not willing to work at it. The weight does not get on over night and it will not come off over night. It takes a lot of determination and will power and prayer and sweat to make it come off and stay off. I say this because the work I have been doing has not always been fun or easy. The hardest part of my day is when I throw my body onto the elliptical trainer and start running on it. I am very thankful that there is the ability to listen to my favorite radio station and that when they play the right songs I have a beat to run to. That helps me to tune out my body who is screaming at me to please stop. My flesh would rather that I not get out of bed and would rather stay there sleeping until 8 am if it could. I have to force myself to go to the gym and do this whether my body wants to or not. The good thing is that it is getting easier and easier for me to go. I am starting to get to the point where I look forward to going and that is a good thing.

Weight loss is work but it is work that will reap a lot of short term and long term benefits that will last you a life time. The work that I do today and tomorrow and six months from now at Planet Fitness will help me to increase the quality and quantity of my life in the future. I challenge anyone reading this blog that is struggling to get going to be encouraged and know that you can do it. I know this because if I can do it you can do it. If you have any questions or need encouragement feel free to contact me at chiefpropellerhead@comcast.net.

If you live local to the Charleston SC area and you need someone that can help you be accountable and work out with you then feel free to give me a shout and we can do that. Planet Fitness costs 10.00 per month with no contract. I don’t think you will find anything more economical than that folks.

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Planet Fitness Day 5

I managed to go back to Planet Fitness today over at Citadel Mall. I am working on Saturdays now and since I had a 14 hour day on Saturday thanks to a power grid going down and killing electric service on all three islands I decided to rest on Sunday. I started my day by taking princess to work at the Jewish Community Center and then I went over to Planet Fitness and climbed on my beloved elliptical trainer. I have a love hate relationship with the elliptical trainer because I love to HATE it.

One of the reasons I use the elliptical trainer is because it gives me a good aerobic workout in a short amount of time. I am still starting out on level one for my age and weight but in 20 min I can run 2 miles and burn off 250 calories and get a nice sweat going. My heart rate goes from 83 to about 153 in about 10 minutes.

I want to journal my way through my experience because I know how hard it is. I need to lose 100 lbs or more so if you think about it I already carry around an extra person on my back every single day. It is much harder for someone like myself who is obese to go to the gym and have the self discipline to get exercise than it would be for someone that is slightly over weight. I want to be as transparent as I can in my journal so that anyone reading it will not think that I think this is a cake walk.

I have been severely over weight for way too long and as I get closer and closer to the big 50 I realize that the time has come for me to DO SOMETHING about this NOW. I could easily be considered as a contestant on the Biggest Loser and I have to tell you that I do not watch that show because it really seems pretty depressing to me. Maybe it was depressing for me because it reminded me of the fact that I am in those shoes and really have not done much about it. Yes, I have dabbled with walking on and off and changing my diet in the last year and I have lost some weight however I need to do more.

Weight loss is a mental and physical journey but it is also a spiritual journey. I can not lose weight by myself and believe that I am going to have the self determination to do this no matter what. Every time I get on the elliptical trainer within the first five minutes I find myself quoting a verse out of the bible (Phillipians 4:13) I can do ALL things through Christ that gives me strength. I quote that to remind myself that it is through Jesus in ME that gives me the will power and motivation to keep going even when my body is screaming to get the heck off of that elliptical trainer. Every day I ask God to give me the wisdom and knowledge I need to make the healthy choices with what I eat each day.

Weight loss means real life changes. I have to examine how I got this way and figure out what changes to make in my diet, exercise, mind and spirit. My diet can no longer consist of fat greasy foods. I can no longer eat the deserts I want to have and I have to chose to eat better. Eating better will take many pages that I do not have time for in this writing but I promise to revisit it soon. I already touched on the importance of regular exercise and burning more calories than I eat. I already touched on the spiritual side of things and how my faith comes in to play through prayer and using bible scriptures to help me keep on keeping on.

The other part that comes into play is my mind set and attitude. It is hard to go work out in a gym when you are surrounded by hard bodies. You will find out quickly that not everyone is as overweight as I am and most of the folks are trim and slim and seem to have lots of energy. If I am not careful I find myself comparing myself to those people and then I can slip into despair and depression and then my will power and determination goes into the drain. I have to be careful to NOT compare myself to others. I must realize that I am on my own physical, mental, spiritual journey and it has nothing to do with anyone else. Some days that is easier said than done but I am getting better at it. I have to work at having a positive mental attitude and realize that as long as I am making steps in the right direction by eating better and getting more exercise and having a manageable goal of losing one lb per week then I should be happy with myself. Thus far I am back on track and meeting my goal.

My prayer and hope is that someone reads this blog and can find the courage to make that first step which is to realize that the weight will not come off magically. Yes, this is like any other thing in life, it is hard and requires a lot of work and sacrifice. The important thing is that YOU CAN DO IT. Take baby steps and make the changes that will improve your quality of life. One day at a time make some subtle changes and figure out a way to eat better and get more exercise. Your quality of life and how you feel about yourself and the way you look will start to change and that in and of itself will help you keep on keeping on.

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Planet Fitness Day 2

Today was day two for my trip to Planet Fitness in West Ashley. Today was special because my 15 year old son went with me. He told me that he would love to go work out with me if I were to get a gym membership there so that helped to motivate me to make it happen. I am not sure how much camaraderie we will have while we are there but at least his going will get him some exercise and it will give me another reason to go.

I can tell that my legs are still not strong enough to handle the elliptical trainer for longer than 20 minutes but I am determined to stick with it no matter what. I am punching in my height and weight and then putting it on level 1 and going for it. The elliptical trainers all have control boxes you can plug your headset into and listen to the TV’s on the wall or whatever music station you chose. I chose to listen to 100.5 or His Radio while working out. The music helps to motivate me to do what I have to do. After about 10 minute on the elliptical trainer and my heart rate getting up to about 154 I started to develop a good sweat and I could tell that I was starting to get a decent cardio work out. I averaged 3.9 for speed and ran 2.5 miles and burned 252 calories.

Once I was done with the elliptical trainer I got on some of the weight machines and did some light reps. I did some bench press reps and then spent some time with the dumb bells and did curls with Justin. I must remember to take it slow and not over do it. Once I get there I tend to forget that I am no longer 18 years old and if not careful will go overboard and then pay for it for the next couple of days. One day at a time and one step at a time. That is what I have to keep reminding myself as I do this.

Along with regular exercise the other important part of trying to lose weight is nutrition. Katy and I went to Kingstreet Grill on Kiawah today since I had a call from the office that something was broke. When we go out to eat most of the time we order one entree and share it. We got the prime rib wraps and Katy had the home fries and I ordered a side salad instead. I have to continue to eat less and eat right and stop eating garbage. Getting more exercise and still eating junk is defeating the purpose and will only slow down the weight loss process.