The Big Picture – What Was the Draw?

Today, we have a guest blogger, Poppy Wortman.  She is from New Zealand but now lives in India, and studies yoga and ayurveda. 

Ask a studio of yogis – be they first class, a year in or long term Sun Saluters – what was their pull to first go to yoga, and the answers will be manifold.

“My doctor recommended it for my tight shoulders”; “I needed some ME time”; “I wanted to get more flexible”; “I had Lululemon tights and wanted to wear them somewhere other than out for coffee.”

My call to the mat and doing a downward dog?

Quiet – and at times, not so quiet – desperation.

From the age of eight-years-old, disordered eating thoughts, patterns and ways of being started creeping up on my psyche, progressively consuming me. By the time I turned 19, my entire being was swamped and entrenched in an eating disorder. This is not the time nor space to delve deeper into that aspect – I sometimes enlighten on my personal blog, www.popyarns.com, should you maybe feel the pull to read into it a bit more.

Years of on-and-off counselling, psychiatry and even an attempt at hypno-therapy proved minimal, if any, recovery. I look back and have no idea how I got through those years; perhaps the perfectionist, high achieving tendencies that often come in partnership with bulimia-cum-anorexia-cum-obsessive-orthorexia got me through (I somehow managed to be awarded dux all three years, which absolutely astounds me when I recall my mind frame). But with assignments and exams and early-20-year-old worries on top of constant calorie counting and obsessive exercising, my mind was a very busy – and never winding down – place.

Upon graduation I moved to Australia to blow off steam. Living in Brisbane with a group of gal-pals, there was a lot of drinking, late night (well, early morning) stumbling back to our flat and irregular eating. Although my consumption remained very limited to a handful of edible options, the alcoholic ingestion and its subsequent binge out on “no-no” foods had me put on a few kilos.

I was in absolute despair.

I moved home to New Zealand – a new boyfriend in tow – and we decided to go travel around South East Asia. The whole trip I would get up at 6am to go running for a few hours and spend the days obsessing over what I was eating, determined to shed back to my “ideal” size. A big divide started to chasm out between us, and after a few months back at home after our trip, we decided to separate. (I think the moment was decided when he asked, “Would you rather be skinny, or be with me?” and I hesitated).

My inner reaction on us parting ways? Good. I can lose more weight without him in my life.

I was irritable and angry all the time. I was starving my body, then ramming it full of food when the cravings took control. Though my outside life was seemingly “perfect” (what even is that?), my head was in disarray. I was deciding whether I should move up to the city and take a journalism job, when one night I had this intense impulse that I wanted – no, I needed – to go to India.

Once the idea was in my mind, I didn’t waver once (well, at the airport as I was leaving I must admit I did have a moment where I considered going back home again). I started researching my forthcoming solo sojourn, looking at the standard touristy places to go and making a list: Varanasi, The Taj, a week on the beach in Goa. Then the idea came to me to maybe spend a few days engaging in a yoga retreat; It’ll be good for clearing my head, I thought.

I looked into a few options, and saw the price for a fortnight of “blissful restoration and rejuvenation” equalled that of a month-long teacher training course. As someone who is somewhat infatuated with the idea of adding more qualifications after her name (again, that high achiever-ness), I decided it was the way for me. I booked one that “felt right”, and come the end of July 2015, I was in the colourful chaos of Rishikesh, Northern India, with my bright pink Nike tights and a what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here panic.

Having only ever participated in two yoga classes in my life (I grew up always playing more combat sports like netball, basketball, athletics and water-skiing) I had no clue what I was up to. The other females in my course had been practicing the ancient science for a fair few years, already familiar with the Sanskrit terminology and what-angle-your-foot-goes-at-in-trikonasana. I wasn’t in tune with myself in any way whatsoever; when told to keep hips square or catch my left foot, I was so out of whack with where I even was. After a few initial days of anxiety and considering leaving, I somehow found my zone. By the time four weeks was up, I was utterly transformed.

To say yoga saved me sounds so proclamational and nonsensical. But I believe it truly did. By the end of my 30 days, I had somehow learnt to love my limbs, recognising them for so much more than just their size. I had learnt to applaud my body when it did me proud, looking at it with affection and not hatred. And when it did let me down (nailing a headstand took a fair few attempts), I learnt to give it care, not criticism.

That’s not to say I was “cured” – not by any means. But my head found some clarity as I contorted and meditated and chanted, and upon return home (after a flit up the Everest Base Camp, another transformational experience) I signed up for clinical rehab and only semi reluctantly received treatment. I was able to timidly admit that I was sick, rather than vigorously assert I was as I was as a result of veganism and a swift metabolism.

And here we are two years later, me back in India having redone my 200-hour Hatha Yoga teacher training (at Rishikesh Yog Dham, the school I came across in my first trip that I vowed I would return to) and currently in the midst of my 300-hour Vinyasa teacher training. At 10kg heavier, my body is far stronger and capable of achieving postures I once would never have been able to try.

I still have those awful eating-disordered thoughts each and every day, but I’m recovering, one moment at a time. And I firmly give that credit to yoga; it gave me the motivation and tools my mental state required to willingly save my life.

Yoga also puts me in my place. I physically cannot be the best; my left knee turns out, meaning any balance is fleeting. I have slight scoliosis, so my back has a little hunch that only semi straightens. But rather than frustrate me as it did in the beginning, I have come to accept these ailments and just look forward to the backbends.

There are many draws to the mat; health, the trend, a bid for self-love or even purely as a form of exercise. But regardless of what made you pick up the pencil and sketch that first stroke, yoga can be extremely beneficial – and sometimes even life changing – to all.

I shudder to think where I would be if I hadn’t found my freedom.

That’s the big picture of what drew me into being a yoga teacher. And what continues to keep me picking up the crayon of taking classes. If someone asks me what got me into it, of course I don’t share this extremely personal spiel; my usual response is something like, “I just decided to try it one day”.

There’s that whole “Keep Calm and Do Yoga” mantra that you often see emblazoned across social media. But I always think it should be flipped about; “Do Yoga and Keep Calm”. And balanced. And at peace. And able to find your inner strength. And your physical. Plus your shortcomings, your ailments and your abilities. Find yourself in general, really.

I know I did, And continue to do so every time I get on my mat.

Namaste.

Yoga Teacher Training In India

Poppy Guest 1[1072]

Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life Program

Change Your Mindset,

Change Your Life Program

Have you ever felt frustrated with how you look and feel?

Have you ever been on so many diets that you should take stock in the word “diet”?

Have you ever started a diet or program and get excited when you see the results, but afterwards, your weight starts to creep up and up and before you know it, you weigh more than when you started?

Have you ever wanted to join a gym but felt intimidated by the people working out in there and walked right out the door?

Have you ever felt like ‘why should I bother with how I look and feel because I am in my 40’s and married and so what’?

Have you ever been to the doctor’s and they rattle off the rap sheet list of all your medical ailments and you just stare and blindly accept it because you figure, ‘hey I can’t do anything about it, right’?

If you can answer yes to any or all of these questions, you are not alone!  We have answered yes to every single one of those questions!

What changed?  Something finally clicked and we both said, enough is enough! 

For Dave, who is a type 2 diabetic and was on Metformin, the doctor wanted to put him on another medication because his A1c number was 7.2 and was not coming down.  This was in December 2014. 

This new medication was so strong, it was going to destroy his liver.  Dave finally had enough and started to walk and tried to run a bit. 

It wasn’t easy!  He also joined the free My Fitness Pal and he logged what he ate and exercised.  Eventually, he was able to run a mile at a time, then two, then four and now he can run ten miles! 

He also lost a total of 60 lbs and his pant size went from size 40 to size 32! 

And the best part?  The doctor said he didn’t need to take his diabetes medication because his A1c was 5.8 in June 2015!

Dave Before and After with words

In July of 2015, Christine saw all the positive changes that was happening to Dave.  She had always struggled with her weight since she was a teenager. 

She tried everything, from the Medifast diet, to fasting, to Weight Watchers, to joining the gym.  She would lose weight but guess what? 

Eventually, the weight would come back and then some!  It was more like an overstretched yo-yo where the toy goes up and down and then just gets stuck and overextended! 

She finally said, ‘enough is enough’ and at age 47, joined her husband and made a pact to do this together.  She also joined My Fitness Pal and started to log everything she ate and exercise. 

Yes, that dreaded word – exercise!  She started to walk here and there and she joined a gym with Dave.  She loves the weight strengthening machines and she pushes herself to do more. 

She has lost a total of 75 lbs and went down 5 pant sizes!!

Chris Before and After with words

So what changed? 

It is a life long health journey and more importantly, we are doing it together.  We have realized that the most important muscle in all of this is our brain. 

That’s right.  That little three-pound organ plays an important part and we discovered what it takes to get the three-pound organ to control what the rest of your body does. 

This is where we come in.  We have the tools to show you how to develop a positive mindset and get great results.

What we love to do is help other people who are just like us:  ordinary normal people who understand what you are going through and want to help you be on the path to your best health. 

This is not a miracle cure that you will blink and lose weight.  (We all wish that can happen!) 

But, in the next six weeks, we will guide you with the right tools to help you motivate and inspire you to be the best that we know you are!

We offer 6 weeks of group coaching!

 

  • You will be in our private Facebook Group.

  • Daily mindset and motivational tips to help you start the day with the right mindset to tackle almost anything.

  • Daily posts of ideas to eat healthy and exercises to do.

  • Daily Group accountability. Report what you accomplished for the day.

  • Opportunity to ask questions in the group and receive positive answers.

  • Two (2) weekly Group calls via Zoom on Monday and Friday.

  • Receive the PDF of Dave’s booklet: “10 Things To Know About How Having A Positive Mindset Can Help You With Almost Anything In Life!” for FREE.

All for the introductory price of just $77!!

Pay $77 securely here with PayPal!

 

Are you someone who needs a personal coach to motivate and inspire you to be and do your personal best?  Then, upgrade to our 1:1 personal coaching!

Receive all the Group details above plus:

  • Exclusive Facebook messenger or Voxer communication with your coaches.

  • Daily verbal mindset and motivation tips via Facebook messenger or Voxer.

  • Have a personal plan for your eating and exercising goals.

  • Personal daily accountability with your coaches to report what you accomplished for the day.

  • Two (2) 30 minute private calls weekly. (Besides the two Group calls.)

  • Your coaches will be available for private support whenever needed, (via Facebook text or voice messaging, Voxer or email, etc.

  • Receive four PDFs of Dave’s booklets for FREE:

  1. “10 Things To Know About How Having A Positive Mindset Can Help You With Almost Anything In Life!”

  2. “10 Things To Know About Running”

  3. “10 Things To Know About Weight Loss”

  4. “10 Things To Know About Exercising”

Normally the price for this exclusive 1:1 coaching is $1,821, but for the first 4 people to secure the spot, it is just $777!! 

That is a savings of $1,044 which is 57% off the price!!

Pay $777 securely here with PayPal!

 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!  Contact Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer

Diet Is A Four Letter Word!

Lifestyle

Diets only work when you are on them.  There’s a reason diet is a four letter word. When you go on a diet you are more focused on the foods you “can’t” have.

You “can’t” have carbs.

You “can’t” have sugar.

You “can’t” have fats.

So you eat salads for as long as you can until you’ve reached your goal weight or, more likely, you just can’t take it any more.  Then you go back to your old eating habits.  

Which…. Is the reason you gained weight in the first place.  This is the essence of yo-yo dieting.  Going back and forth between going on a diet and your old eating habits.

Anyone can lose weight. It’s keeping the weight off that’s the real trick.  An easier way around the problem is to make a simple lifestyle change.  Portion control or counting calories through an app like @MyFitnesspal can make a huge help.

Many people think counting calories is obsessive, unhealthy or too hard.  The truth is a repeated cycle of weight gain and dieting is much more unhealthy and harder.

Through MyFitnesspal, I can eat what ever I want.  It’s all about portion control and exercise.  Because of this I have maintained my weightloss for two years with no sign of going back.

But exercise isn’t just about being able to eat more food.  Exercise gives you a healthier, fitter body.  

Remember:  you lose lbs in the kitchen and you lose inches in the gym or on the road depending on what exercise you choose to do.

What ever your exercise of choice is, make it something you enjoy.  Now you’ll never have to “go on a diet” again!

Look For The Non-Scale Victories

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The scale lies! When you step on a scale it throws out a number and says you weigh this much. But that doesn’t tell the full story. If you ate something high in sodium the night before, or if you worked out the day before your body could be retaining extra water weight. There’s nothing more demoralizing than stepping on the scale and seeing you’ve gained anything from a pound to fi’ve pounds. Especially when you know you did everything right.

To avoid burn out look for those non-scales victories. The extra energy you’re feeling. The way your clothes fit better. Dropping a pant size gives you a huge boost. If you’re just starting out take lots of photos. Those “before” pics can give you a clear idea of how far you’re coming. Especially for those times when the scale refuses to budge. And take measurements. Waist. Chest, arm, leg measurements. Check them at the beginning of every month to truly see how far you have come.

 

Training Your Mind

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If there is one thing that is holding you back from taking action to make your dreams a reality, what is it? Sometimes, it helps to write it down and then turn the negative tone of ‘I can’t do this’, (insert the word what you can’t do), into ‘I can do this and I will do it’, (again insert the word what you will do).

Watch the mind take over and boost your confidence and positive feelings. You will start to believe that you can and will do it. Then, the next step is to turn the word, ‘I will’, into ‘I am’ doing the thing that I thought I couldn’t do.

It is important to acknowledge the struggle by writing it down and talking out loud. It is also equally important to write down and talk outloud the ‘I am’ aspect of it too.

It really is all in the mind. Once you realize the importance and power your mind has, you can start to believe anything is possible and you can take action towards making your dream a reality. ❤

Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life.

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Everything starts with your mind. Anything that has ever been invented was visualized first.  The inventor had to think of his creation first, had to believe it was possible before it could be made reality.

In the same way, you create your reality by the way you think, the way you see yourself. If you’re not happy where you are, you have the power to change whatever it is. Whether it’s fitness / weight related, or finance or career.

The first thing you have to do is decide what you want to change. Then commit to making it happen. Then focus all your energy and thoughts on making what you want happen.

I wasn’t happy about my weight. I was also diabetic and on medication. This went on for several years. I wasn’t happy with who I was. But until I became motivated enough to do something about it, nothing changed. Then one day I’d had enough. I started walking daily. Walking led to running. I also joined a site called myfitnesspal.com and started counting calories. I lost 60 lbs and now I’m the fittest I have ever been. Oh, and I’ve been off the diabetes drug, Metformin, for over two years. All this happened because I changed my mindset.

Change your mindset, change your life.

You Are Stronger Than You Think!

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The beautiful thing about fitness is how good you feel about yourself on your journey.  It’s not just about the better health you gain along the way.  It’s the things you learn about yourself.  Like you realize you are stronger than you ever imagined you could be.  I just ran five miles.  That’s something I could never have imagined doing two years ago.  For some it might be just a short run.  But for me it’s a reminder of how far I have come and that I can never go back to who I used to be.  And nor will I ever want to.

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The Right Mindset

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Success is dependent on only one thing. The decision to start. Whatever you have in mind, whether it’s weight loss, fitness, looking for a new job, or starting your own business, you have to make a decision, a commitment that you’re just going to do it. And then you need to cultivate a no-matter-what mindset.

You are going to do this.

No. Matter. What.

It’s all in your mindset. Your mind is your most powerful tool. Any thing that has ever been invented was visualized first. It was created in the mind before it was created in reality.
On the other hand your mind can be your greatest obstacle. Your mind can make you fly, or it can hold you back, keep you on the ground.

As the old saying goes, “if you think you can, you’re right. If you think you can’t, you’re right”.

It’s all in your mind.

Literally.

Whatever is in your heart, make a decision today to go for it. Just think where you could be a year from now!

Changing Our Self Talk

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We are often our own worst critics.  We talk to ourselves sometimes in a way we wouldn’t dream of talking to anyone else.  We are often far harsher on ourselves than anyone else would want to be.  We beat ourselves mentally when we mess up.  When we slip up on our diet we just give up, tell ourselves it’s too hard.  Sometimes we let what other people say to and about us become our own personal reality.  If someone puts us down we mentally agree.

It’s time to stop that.

Life is hard sometimes.  We try our best, but sometimes we fall short.  We make mistakes.  We miss goals.  It’s called being human.

Just know you are worthy.  You deserve the best in life.  Stop putting yourself down.  If you make a mistake one day,  you can get it right the next day.  Or the day after that.  Be kinder to yourself.  Start treating yourself as you would treat a friend.  If you wouldn’t put your friend down then why put yourself down?

Just over two years ago I was overweight, diabetic and downright unhealthy.  I used to put myself down.  A lot.  I think I kind of hated myself for letting myself get where I was.  But little by little I made changes. I joined @MyFitnessPal and started running.

Running taught me a lot about myself.  I learned I’m stronger than I ever thought I was.  When your legs are burning and your body is screaming at you to stop but you keep going until you are done, that’s some serious mental strength.  I’m more determined, more driven than I’ve ever been about anything.  I turned my life, and my health, around.  The weight is off and my sugar numbers are much better now.  I’ve been off diabetes medication for over two years now.

You can change your life, too.  Start by changing your inner dialogue.  It won’t happen overnight.  You’ll still find yourself coming up with the same negative reaction.  But when you catch yourself, stop.  Say “No!  I’m better than this.  I DESERVE better than this.”

You deserve respect.  You deserve SELF respect . You are capable of far more than you can imagine.  You only need the will to try.

I wrote this because I am often my own worst critic.  I get down on myself about a lot of things.  It’s something I’ve had to work on.  I still find myself slipping into old habits.  But when I catch myself, I make a note of it and resolve to do better.  No harsh self-criticism.  Well, not nearly as much.  Hey, I’m still not perfect.   But I don’t expect to be.  I’m human, too.  But if I can do this, so can you.

 

 

The Decision To Start

Two years ago I decided to start running for my health. It was one of the most important decisions I have ever made. Because of that decision I lost 40 lbs and got off diabetes medication. I could have just stayed as I was, wishing I was slimmer, wishing I could get my sugar levels under control.

Instead I made a choice. I started small. The first day I ran I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile. But I was out there every day. Walking and running. At first walking much more than running. Gradually I increased my running time and distance until I was running more than I was walking. Then one day I didn’t need to take a walking break at all. Now I run a few times a week. I run anything from 4 to 6 miles. Sometimes I can run longer distances. It may not seem much compared to some runners but my running has taken me to a totally different place, emotionally. 


I no longer wish I was slim.

I am slim.

I no longer wish I was off diabetes medication.

I am off diabetes medication.

All this because I made a simple choice.

One day while I was walking I chose to run.

Whatever you are thinking of doing, whatever you wish you could do, just start.

Start now.

Start small.

Start while you’re afraid.

Just.

Start.

 

Two years from now you’ll be so thankful you did.

 

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Why Not Just Start Today?

Chris Before and After with words

Dave Before and After with words

We know that it isn’t easy to start something or if you start something to actually stick with it.  Believe us, we know.  We have been there, tried it and failed.  Yes.  Failed.  So many times we would say, “oh, one day I will try again.”  But, you know what?  Don’t just try.  Just start.  Just do it.  Grab a partner or friend and do this together.  Stick with it.  This isn’t lose 50 lbs in a month quickly.  This is a health journey and it is for life.  It doesn’t matter when you start, it matters that you do.  Remember, the years will be passing by.  The question is: will you be healthier in five years or at the same weight and fitness level that you are now, (or worse)?  We are continuing on our health journey and would love to take you with us!20431268_10155099919073853_1005647030163866610_n

Changing My Mindset

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I’ve had something of a mind shift lately. I’ve been so focused on what I have achieved, losing weight and getting fit. I’m always going to be proud of what I’ve achieved and I will willingly share my story with anyone I think I can help.

But I’ve had a realization of sorts. I’m no longer the former fat man turned slim. I’ve spent so long with that label in my head. This is my new reality. I’m going to make damn sure I’m never going to gain weight again. We moved to a new town several months ago. The people in this town don’t know I used to be heavy. They just know me as they see me now. Unless I choose to tell them my story. They just see me as someone who is not overweight. So that’s who I’m going to see myself as from now on. I’m always going to be proud of the way I’ve turned my health around but from this moment going forward I’m just going to enjoy who I am now. After all, I’ve worked hard for this. I have literally worked my ass off!

I don’t know if this makes sense. It’s hard to put into words but this is how I’m feeling now.

I Am Proud Of Me!

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This is a big moment for me.  This is how proud I am of myself.  Yesterday, I bought a new bathing suit. I haven’t bought one in about 10 years and the last time I wore one was about 5 years ago.  I would never like showing a photo of myself in one.  Of course, it would be a one piece with the ‘skirt like’ bottom.

Yesterday, I bought a two piece. Ok, it isn’t a bikini and it has the ‘skirt like’ bottom.  But, today, I am baring my soul because I took a photo, (actually to show my mom on Sunday), and compared it to the old me.  I know I still have more to lose, but I am proud of myself that I did lose 75 lbs and went down 5 pant sizes.  I am proud of me.

So you’ve just been told you’re a type 2 diabetic. Now what?

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My first piece of advice:

Breathe.  Don’t panic.  Don’t freak out.   Don’t shut down.

Yes, it’s a scary diagnosis to be given.  Yes, it’s a life-changing moment.  Gone are the days when you could eat whatever you wanted without giving it a second thought.  Now you’re going to begin a system of trial and error.  Finding out what sends your sugar into orbit and what doesn’t.  The bad news is there’s no one size fits all.  A food item that spikes one diabetic’s sugar might not really affect you much.  The only way to find out is to keep testing after every meal.  You need to know the worst foods to avoid.  I can tell you common problem foods are pizza, white bread, potatoes and white rice.  And of course cookies, chocolate, cakes, pasta…and the list goes on.

Depending on the severity of your diabetes, there are a range of treatment options your doctor may choose.  You may be put on an oral drug, like Metformin.  That’s the one I was prescribed. There are a range of other pills your doctor may choose.  Or you may be put on insulin.

This is important.  Your doctor is going to give you a ton of advice.  Listen to it.  The absolute worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand and just ignore your diabetes.  It’s a serious problem and it isn’t going to just go away.  With the right attitude it can be managed, and in some cases it can even be reversed,  I know this because I reversed mine.

There are two main causes of type 2 diabetes.  Genetic and lifestyle.  If your diabetes is genetic then there are fewer options, but it can still be managed.  My diabetes was caused by my lifestyle.  This is the one that can most likely be reversed.  By changing your lifestyle.

Basically I gained a lot of weight and was very inactive.  I didn’t really bother with any kind of exercise.  I was diagnosed in August 2008.  For several years I battled my disease.  At one point it got out of control and my fasting sugar was averaging 170.  That’s another thing.  The best way to see how you’re doing with your diabetes is to test your sugar in the morning before you eat or drink anything.  This is when you’ll have the most consistency.  Because your sugar is affected by not only WHAT you eat but also by HOW MUCH you eat.  That first thing in the morning test will give you the greatest consistency.

In December 2014 I went for a check up.  My A1C was 7.2.  The A1C measures your blood glucose over a 2 to 3 month period.  Non diabetics should have a number less than 6.0.  The higher the number the worse your diabetes is affecting you.  If you’re managing your diabetes you need to aim to keep that number as low as you can.  Mine was high enough the doctor wanted to put me on a second medication.  When we investigated this drug we found it’s strongly linked with causing liver issues.

No thanks!

This was the kick up the butt I needed.  I resolved to lose weight and get active.  In many cases simply losing weight and getting fit can be all you need to do to reverse your diabetes.  I joined an app called MyFitnessPal.  It’s a calorie counting app that lets you track the calories you’re burning.  It also helps you track the amount of nutrients; carbs, sugar, fiber, protein etc you’re eating.  A lot of people dislike the idea of calorie counting but I found it very effective and so simple to do.  The great thing about it is it makes it incredibly easy to maintain your weight loss.  Much better than the usual method of “going on a diet” by denying yourself certain foods until you lose the weight and then going back to your old eating habits…which is what caused you to gain weight in the first place.

A brief word about carbs.  You’re going to hear a lot about carbs.  Too many carbs will spike your sugar.  But your body needs a certain amount of carbs as they give your body energy.  Complex carbs are best.  There are plenty of sites out there that go into simple and complex carbs as this blog is going to be long enough already!  Switching to wholewheat bread and wholewheat pasta is a better option if you simply can’t give up those foods.

The other thing I did was start walking daily.  Walking led to running.  I followed a system called Couch To 5K.  Google it.  It’s a great way to start running if you think that would be a good way to go.  It’s a great calorie burner and the weight just seemed to fall off me once I started running.  Within a couple of months of this my fasting sugar was dropping into the 60’s!  I halved my daily dose of Metformin and my fasting was still in the 60’s.  I came off Metformin in April 2015 and I have been off it ever since.  I can’t guarantee you will have the same results I have but there is every chance you can get control of your disease and maybe you can also get off medication.  Good luck and I’d love to hear how you’re getting on.

With Inspiration And Determination You Can Get Results

15940461_10154478448933853_3879399576321855286_nHello everyone!  As you can see, this is a blog from me, Christine, Dave’s wife.  I know you have been reading about Dave’s journey into his health, fitness and taking up running.  I promise, he will be getting back to writing.

It’s been about a year since I wrote about my  journey.  I have struggled with my weight since my teenage years.  I have tried everything.  Some worked but as soon as you stop having a focus, guess what, the weight slowly starts creeping up again.  Sure, people always saw me as ‘the life of the party’ as I was always an extrovert.  But, deep down inside I knew what I really looked like.  I mean, I would hate to look at myself in the mirror.  I would wear baggy clothes.  Heck, when you are a size 26-28, I think all clothes are made baggy.

My inspiration, always first to God, is my wonderful loving husband, Dave.  You know his story.  He took up running, watched what he ate and was able to lose a lot of weight, get fit and be off his diabetes medication!

I saw how focus and determined he was.  And he kept sticking to it.  I first joined My Fitness Pal in June 2015 and started logging everything I ate and drank and the exercise I did.  Hey, walking counts!  I realized, it is about portion control.  You can eat almost what you like, as long as you don’t go over the calories they say you should have daily.  (You would think that because I have been a vegetarian for 25 years that I would weigh 100 lbs!  No, that isn’t the case!)  Then, in mid July 2015, we joined Planet Fitness.  Guess what?  I fell ‘in love’ with the weight strengthening machines.  At that Planet Fitness, I worked out on 16 machines.  We joined a new PF where we moved to and I do 18 machines.  I started with being able to do 20-25 lbs on the machines and now, I average 150 lbs!!  I also have a love/hate relationship with the darn Elliptical machine.

I do try to walk whenever I can.  In the winter, when it is too cold to go out, you will find me jogging in place watching a TV show or dancing around.  I hope no one is watching me through the windows!

It has been a struggle during the last 1 1/2 years.  Sure, frustration kicks in when you are staying at the same weight, or you might fluctuate between 2-3 lbs like a yo-yo.  Then, Dave took my photo last week, (the one on the right), and I actually really liked how I looked!  I realized the frustrations are all well worth it!

Sometimes, I still look at myself in the mirror and I guess I might see a glimpse of who I was.  I remind myself, that the only thing that changed is me on the outside.  I am still the nice and extroverted person on the inside.

The photo on the left is from Oct 2005.  The one on the right was from last week.  That’s 75 lbs lost, numerous inches, and a total of 5 -6 pant sizes down!!  And I lost 60 lbs and 4 pant sizes just in the last 1 1/2 years.  It took a lot of determination, sweat, patience and my husband Dave, who was my inspiration!

It doesn’t matter how old you are to finally do something and stick to it!  (Can you believe I just turned 49!  I feel like I am 29 years old.)  I am still on my journey.  I want to inspire others, especially women who struggle with their weight.  Lets do this and get healthy!

Latest Updates On Our Health Journey

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I’ve just realized I haven’t blogged in quite a while.  Sorry about that!  So here’s my latest update on our health journey.

We went away on a sort of working vacation in May.  Although we managed to eat within calories most of the time, we were eating out every day.  We were also too busy to get in any real exercise until the last day or two.  After we came back I guess I slacked off on my running a little bit.  My weight crept back up around 5 lbs and I noticed my pants were starting to feel a little snug.  Having gone from size 40 to size 32 I am in no mood to undo all the hard work I’ve put in!

So we made a recommitment to get back to the grindstone.   I tightened up on my calories and got back to running.  Our local parks department is hosting a weekly 2 mile fun run.  I’ve been on three of them and each time I have been faster.  Last night the temperature at the start was 85 degrees.  Luckily the run happens at 8pm so the sun is close to the horizon.  At least I don’t have to deal with the full heat of the sun during my run.  This was still my hottest run ever and somehow it was also my fastest ever 2 mile run.  I came in at 17 minutes and 1.9 seconds.  My legs were like rubber as I crossed the finish line!  Last summer I did all my running on the treadmill.  I will still do a lot of my running on the treadmill but I am committed to doing as many of these fun runs as I can no matter how hot it gets.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Even on the treadmill I am pushing my fitness.  I now run 3 miles on the hill function.  Which involves a lot of hills!

The net result of this is not only did I lose those extra 5 lbs but I am now .2 lbs away from my goal weight of 155!  Now I have to decide if I want to maintain at a range of 150-155lbs or 155-160lbs.  I’m not sure about that just yet.  I love that losing weight through calorie counting has allowed me complete control over my weight.  If I start to gain weight I know exactly what I need to do to get rid of those unwanted extra pounds.  I don’t need to panic or freak out and go back to my old ways.  I am committed to this for the rest of my life.  And my sugar levels are still great.  This morning my fasting sugar was 77.  I’m hopeful I can stay off medication for the rest of my life.

And Chris is doing great, too.  She is a BEAST at the gym!  She loves lifting weights and I am seeing a real change in the way she looks.  I’m proud of her for sticking with this.  She has struggled with her weight for most of her life and knowing I have inspired her to do this makes me feel proud of myself too.  I haven’t been an inspiration to many people in my life.  I love that we are in this together.  We hold each other accountable.  She doesn’t let me off with anything and I keep her going too.  Our relationship is stronger than ever.  We are both in this for life.  And I will post more often to share our journey.

Seeing Is Believing!

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So I just turned 48 a few days ago.  On the 21st to be exact.  The photo on the right was taken that day.  I can’t stop looking at it.  Not because I’m vain or anything.  But because that one photograph sums up everything I have achieved in the past year.  The photo on the left was taken in 2009 when I was at my heaviest.  Just after I had been diagnosed a diabetic.  Looking back at my life then it seems it was almost inevitable that I would become diabetic.  Poor diet.  Lack of exercise.  Serious weight gain.  Becoming diabetic was a serious wake up call.  It took me a while to hear that call.  It was only when the doctor wanted to put me on a second medication that is linked with causing liver problems that I finally woke up and realized I had to do something about it.

So I took up running.  And watched my diet.  I have lost 35 lbs in the past year.  Sometimes when I look in the mirror I can’t see the weight loss.  I know I’ve lost weight.  I know my stomach  is a lot smaller, (I think I just have loose skin issues now which is really annoying because every other part of me is slim.)  But the brain seems to take a while to catch up with the eyes.  Judging from posts I’ve seen on the MyFitnessPal forums this seems to be a common phenomenon.  But in the photo on the right I can SEE how much my face has changed.  For me it sums up everything I’ve achieved in the past 12 months.   It’s a face I haven’t seen in over 20 years.  You see, I wasn’t always overweight.  In fact, all my life up to my mid 20’s I’d actually been pretty skinny.  I guess I slowed down, but didn’t change my eating habits to match.  So the weight gained.  Slowly at first.  But in the past ten years I had a dramatic weight gain.

But now I see my old face looking back at me.  A little older, perhaps.  A few wrinkles starting to show.  A few crows feet around the eyes.  But it’s ME.  The real me.  Not the bloated puffy face I’ve had to look at for a while.  It’s like looking at an old friend.  And I like what I see.  I like how I feel.  I’m so much more confident now when out in public.  This healthy lifestyle is amazing.  I just wish I’d started twenty years ago when the weight started creeping on.  I can’t change the past.  But I can make sure the old me stays the new me for the rest of my life.

Before And After

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Sometimes when you look in the mirror it’s hard to see just how far you have come when you’re looking to lose weight.  The best way to really judge your progress is take photographs.  If you’re starting out on a weight loss journey I’d advise you to take several photos before you start.  It’s always good to have something to compare.  The photo on the left was taken in 2009 when I was at my heaviest.  The photo on the right just a couple of months ago.   Here I can really see the difference.  I’m almost at the weight I want to be.  It’s time to start maintenance.  I have made a vow to never again look like I did in the pic on the left.  I wasted 20 years of my life looking like that.

Never again!

The past year has certainly been eventful.  Getting off diabetes medication.  Losing over 30 lbs.  Getting fit.  Running.  And this is just the beginning.  I intend to start lifting weights more now.  I’ve lost the weight.  Now I want to tone myself up and get myself in better shape.  The weight loss journey may be ending.  But the healthy lifestyle is just beginning!

When Your Need Is Greater Than Your Want?

 

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the health journey I’m on.  About how far I have come in less than a year.  And how much easier it has been than I thought it would be.  As a teenager I was a skinny little thing.  People used to try to fatten me up and just give up!  Then in my mid twenties I started to gain weight.  I didn’t notice at first.  Then when I did notice, I didn’t find the will to do anything about it.  I feel like I wasted two decades, the best two decades in my opinion, being overweight, when apparently I didn’t need to be.  Because when I found the willpower to actually change my health it came easily.  Okay, I shouldn’t exactly say easily.  After all, I’ve put a lot of sweat and effort into my transformation.  No tears, though!  But as I gained the weight I always thought it would be too hard.  I made a few half-hearted attempts to lose the weight.  I’d go on a diet.  It always ended in failure.  I just couldn’t find the motivation to see it through.

Then in December 2014, while sitting in the doctor’s office, I faced a tough choice.  My A1C was 7.2.  The doctor wanted to put me on a second medication.  I’d already been taking Metformin since 2008.  When Christine and I researched this second drug and found it’s strongly linked with causing liver damage I knew I had to make a change.  I vowed to never take this drug.  Up to this point I’d only wanted to lose weight.  Now my want had become a need.  And it turned out to be pretty simple.  Not easy.  Not with all the running miles I put in.  But it was simple.  I started walking, walking led to running.  And I counted calories.  I’m so glad I joined MyFitnessPal.  It’s a great app that lets you track your calories.  It even lets you track your exercise.  It definitely made my efforts easier to log.  Losing weight comes down to one simple equation.  Calories out have to be greater than calories in.  In other words to lose weight you have to be eating less calories than you’re burning.  Exercise is a great way of boosting your calories out.  Running especially burns a lot of calories.

I guess the bottom line in all this is need will always trump want.  Wanting to lose weight through reasons of simple vanity wasn’t enough to motivate me to succeed.  What ever you attempt to do in life will always be much more successful if you NEED it more than you WANT it.  Need is a great motivator.  And when it’s a health need, that’s the greatest motivator of all.  From being on the verge of taking two drugs for diabetes, I’ve been off ALL medication for ten months now.  I stopped taking Metformin in April 2015 when I realized my fasting sugar was actually getting too low.

If that visit to the doctor hadn’t taken place, if he hadn’t decided to put me on a drug that could potentially harm my health even more,  I might still be overweight.  And I might still be on Metformin.  Now I’m fitter than I was even in my twenties.  Now I’ve dropped from size 40 pants to size 32.  My weight is more or less where I want it to be.

I still have a need.  My diabetes is under control.  But I’m still diabetic.  I don’t think that will ever change.  We went out to eat Saturday night.  I ate more than I have been recently.  I also had fries.  My sugar two hours later was 168.  Which isn’t bad.  A year ago it would probably have been 200 or higher.  My fasting sugar was 91.  Which a year ago I would have been thrilled with.  But it’s a sign of how far I’ve come that I wasn’t happy with that number.  These days my fasting is always in the 70’s and low to mid 80’s.  Now, 91 is still just about at the normal range.  But I wasn’t happy.  So yesterday I made conscious efforts to eat less, to eat healthier.  My fasting this morning was 75.  Much better.  But it served as a reminder that I have to be vigilant.  That I still have to be conscious of not over eating and I still have to be active.  It’s easy to imagine that if I spent a week eating like that my sugar would be into the 100’s.  It’s all good, though.  It just reminds me I still have a need.  And as long as that need is there I will have all the motivation to keep on this healthy lifestyle.

Whatever you want to do in life, whatever you want to achieve, make sure your need is as great as your want and you can achieve miracles.  Just like I have.

Keeping Your Resolve

Zig Ziglar

Yes, I know I already posted a blog today but sometimes a topic for a blog comes to you and you just have to get it out there.  So I was thinking, it’s the season of the Resolutioners.  Those people who pack a gym for anything from 2 weeks to 2 months, determined to get healthy.  Then they quickly drop away.  But why do people find it so hard to stick to something that they know will do them good?

The first thing is you just can’t put a date on something like this.  If you decide, probably some time in December, that on January 1st you’re going to lose weight, quit smoking, work out, get a new job, whatever your resolution is, when that date rolls around you’re going to feel obligated to do it.  Because you said you would.  So this new thing comes from a sense of “I have to do it because I said I would.  It doesn’t really come from a sense of I want to do it, even though you probably DID want to do it when you made the resolution.  Basically it quickly becomes a chore.  Something you HAVE to do.  And nobody enjoys doing chores?

Am I right?

My becoming a runner didn’t come from a new years resolution.  I didn’t even plan to become a runner.  It just happened.  The running evolved slowly.   I used to walk laps around a small park just five minutes from home.  Then I began to run the last lap.  Then the last two laps.  Before long I was running more than walking.  By the time I called myself a runner I already had the habit of running.  Now I can just lace up my shoes and go out the door without really thinking about it.  I found I actually like running so keeping it going hasn’t been a chore.

If you’re going to wait for motivation to strike before getting out there and exercising, you’re not going to exercise very often.  Motivation is what gets you started.  But it’s fleeting and unreliable.

HABIT is what keeps you going.  When I started exercising last March it came from necessity.  Being diabetic and having the doctor wanting to put you on a second drug – one that’s strongly linked with causing liver problems – is a great motivator!  I went out to my local park every day, whatever the weather.  No excuses.

Timing is everything!  You can start every January 1st and give up by February or March 1st.  Until one year it clicks.  That one year your desire for change becomes stronger than your force of habit that keeps you doing what you always did.  When that spark happens you become unstoppable.  The doctor wanting to put me on a medication that could cause other serious health issues was a powerful enough spark to get me out of my comfort zone and make me change my habits drastically.  If that hadn’t happened I wonder if I would have lost that weight and started running.

If you’re the type who makes resolutions every year but can’t seem to keep them, you need to change your inner dialog.  Stop telling yourself I HAVE to do this.  Start saying I WANT to do this.  I WILL do this.  When you feel you WANT to do something you will find it much easier to keep it going.  Let’s face it we’ll always prioritize what we want to do over what we have to do.  It’s just human nature.

And look for the little victories.  When you’re trying to lose weight it’s easy to become obsessed with the scale.  If that scale doesn’t budge or, the horror, the scale starts to go up, it’s all too easy to just say “I can’t do this” and quit.  But the scale doesn’t tell the whole story.  People often go through a slight weight gain when they first start exercising.  But it usually comes off pretty quick.  It can be from water weight.  Pay less attention to what the scale tells you and more attention to how your clothes are fitting, or how you look in the mirror.  Clothes start to become loose, you can drop sizes pretty quick.  Your collar bone starts to poke through.  And your hip bones.  Nothing motivates more effectively than seeing success.  I was lucky.  Once I started running the pounds just seemed to fall away.  I went from size 38 jeans to size 32 in about 8 months.  If I didn’t have the success I had, then I can’t say for certain I would have stayed the course.  I became a runner for specific reasons.  To lose weight.  To get fit.  To get off diabetes medication.  The last one I achieved in just two months.  The rest fell into place.  Now I’m a runner for life because I SAW the results and I KNOW what running has done for me.

What running is continuing to do for me.

Whatever your resolution is try to pick something you can enjoy.       Not everyone will enjoy running.  Maybe you like to walk, run, dance, play football, play basketball.  Basically, just move.  Any movement beats sitting on the couch.   Maybe this year you will find your spark.  When that happens you will be unstoppable!

New Year, New Goals!

So 2015 has passed and is one for the record books.  It was a mixed year with a lot of stress and I had to go through eye surgery to remove cataracts twice.  But from a health point of view, other than the eye surgery, it has been a very good year.  We’ve both lost weight and we’ve both gotten much more active.  Now it’s time to ramp it up.

In order to make sure I don’t lose my focus I have set myself a goal of running 700 miles this year.  As someone on Twitter pointed out, it’s the equivalent of me running to Pittsburgh and back!  It’s a daunting number but my runs are starting to get longer now so I know it’s doable.  I’ve already run twice this year.  I ran 6 miles on January 1st, to start the year off right.  And then on the 3rd I ran 8 miles.  So I only have 686 miles to go.

Christine loves working out at the gym.  When she first started going she could only lift 20 lbs.  Now on some of the machines she can lift 90 or even 100 lbs!  I’m going to have to work to keep up with her!  While I also use the weight machines, I spend more time doing cardio, especially the Dreadmill.  For some reason I have a block with that.  I ran 4 miles on it last week and that took everything I had.  I can run further outside than I can on the treadmill.  Maybe it has something to do with boredom.  I need to buy something so I can listen to music while on the treadmill.

We both want to wish our followers a Happy New Year and we look forward to sharing our health journeys over the coming year.  Do you have goals set for the year ahead?  We’d love to hear them!

Happy New Year!

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I would like to wish all my followers a happy new year.  Thank you for reading and I’m looking forward to sharing my running adventures in 2016.

It’s funny how this blog has evolved from being a business related blog to something that is basically a journal of health and wellness.  I couldn’t be happier that this has happened.

As we prepare to bid adieu to 2015 I can’t help feeling a little sad.  This year has been good to us, and to me personally.  It has been a while since I could say that.  We’ve had a few rough years previously.  But I’ve gone from being on the verge of taking two drugs for my type two diabetes to taking no drugs at all.  My sugar is under control.  Only this morning my fasting sugar was 76.  I owe it mainly to two things.  MyFitnessPal and running.

Running especially has transformed me.  I’ve lost over 30 lbs.  I’m much fitter and happier with the way I look and feel.  When I first started out in March I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile.  But a few days ago I ran my first 8 mile run.  I still can’t believe I actually ran 8 miles.  It shows my fitness is coming up.

For Christmas I finally got a proper pair of running shoes.   I went with ASICS because I’ve read a lot about them on Twitter and in Runners World magazine and they seem very popular.  I had my first run in them tonight.  A 4 mile run on the treadmill.  They certainly felt much more comfortable than the cheap pair of sneakers I’ve been running in up to now.  I will give my new running shoes their inaugural outdoor run tomorrow.  I have to run 5 miles to reach a new milestone (pun fully intended.)  This will be the first time I hit 50 miles in a single month.  That 8 mile run certainly helped.

It’s also a nice feeling to know I’ve inspired my wife, Christine, on her own journey to health.  She has lost 22 lbs since July and gone down 3 pant sizes.  She is also a demon at the gym.  She’s stronger than she used to be and loves to lift weights.  She’s giving me a run for my money!  Her blood pressure numbers are coming down.  When you have someone who’s on the same journey it makes a huge difference.  We encourage each other.  We push each other when one of us doesn’t feel in the mood to exercise.

So it’s goodbye to 2015 and hello 2016.  I have so many running goals to hit next year.  To keep increasing my distances.  To finally run my first official race.  Maybe to answer the question that keeps lurking at the back of my mind:  Can I really run a marathon?  I have my Twitter followers to thank for that.  I’m following so many people who have run marathons and the way they talk about it makes me want to do it!  It probably won’t happen next year.  Maybe 2017.  Who knows?

Whatever I decide I will be sharing on this blog.  So, again, thank you for following my journey and I look forward to sharing more.

See you all next year!

Dave

My Fastest And My Longest Runs

I had a pretty good weekend from a running point of view.  Saturday I went for what has become my standard 4 mile run.  My speed is definitely picking up as I ran the first 2 miles at a 9 minute mile pace.  The last two miles were 10 minute mile pace.  So my total run time was just 38 minutes.  Considering I used to take 48 to 50 minutes to run this same distance, that was pretty fast.

Sunday my wife came with me to the same park.  It was meant to be another 4 mile run.  She dropped me off at the entrance and I ran the two miles to my halfway point.  She parked halfway up and then walked up to where I turn around.  I then planned to run back down to the entrance, then walk back up to meet up with her again.  But as I approached the entrance I knew I still had something left in the tank.  I knew I could keep going.  I took a breath for five minutes then turned round and ran back up the course.  I planned to run just one more mile and meet her where she’d parked.  But as the car came into view I wasn’t ready to stop.  So I ran the full two miles again then turned round and ran back 2015-06-28 12.04.47another half mile.  By now I was feeling twinges in my left knee so decided to leave it at 6.5.  The last thing i want now is an injury.  Especially with the holidays fast approaching.  I need to keep running so I  can burn off the extra calories!  So the day after my fastest run I go on my longest run.  I ran 10.5 miles in total.  My legs were pretty stiff after yesterday’s run, but a long soak in the bath sorted that out.  They feel good today.  I may get to the gym later.  If I do I’ll run another 2 or 3 miles on the treadmill.  Or not.

The other great thing about the weekend is the weather was amazing!  Mid 60’s temp on both days.  I was able to run in shorts and a t-shirt in mid December!  I could get used to that sort of winter weather.  Of course, it won’t last.  I have no doubt the cold and snow will be here before we know it.  But it’s good to know I took full advantage of the good weather while it lasted.

MY Health Journey – One Year And Counting

It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago this month I received the final kick up the butt I needed to make healthy changes to my life.  Last December my A1C was 7.2 and the doctor wanted to put me on a second medication to control my diabetes.  As I had already been on Metformin since August 2008, I did not want to take more drugs.  Especially when research showed that drug was strongly linked with causing liver damage.  That was when I knew I had to change my habits.

Fast forward to March 2015 when the weather finally thawed after the frigid winter from hell.  I started walking every day, then began incorporating running into my new regime.  The running built slowly, but now it’s an integral part of my weekly routine.  I try to run at least 3 times a week.  Last month my A1C was 5.5 and I’ve been off Metformin since April.  I still test my fasting sugar almost every day and it’s averaging in the 70’s and 80’s.

My cataract surgery has slowed up my fitness routine as I’m not allowed to lift anything over 20 lbs for two weeks after surgery.  Next Wednesday will be the two week point after my second surgery so I’m planning to go to the gym and begin to lift weights again.  I can’t wait!  (Play on words fully intended!)

It’s always the way.  When you know you can’t do something you want to do it more!  I hadn’t realized how much I’ve come to enjoy lifting weights, but I really miss it.  It makes me push the cardio more.

I lost another pound today.  I’m now 30 lbs lighter than I was when I started this journey in March.  I just want to lose another 5 lbs and really firm up what’s left.  My fitness lifestyle is so ingrained into who I am now that I really miss it when I can’t do any one part of it.  I just wish I’d started this 20 years ago when I started to gain weight.  I can’t change the past.  All I can change is what I do today.  And how I affect tomorrow.  Fitness and health are part of what defines me today.  I know I will never go back to who I was.

An Update

I haven’t blogged for a while.  I’m sorry about that.  I really need to do better.  I have some cool updates to share.

I still run.  I can run four miles now.  I run in a local park.  The scenery is nice and someone was kind enough to mark out the mileage so I can tell exactly how far I’m running.  The other day the temperature was in the low 60’s with a clear blue sky.  I took advantage.  I can’t believe I was able to run outside in shorts and a t shirt in late November and I didn’t even feel the slightest bit cold.  During the second half of my run I happened to glance down.  The sun was behind me casting a shadow ahead of me.  For a moment I wondered who the shadow belonged to as it was so skinny!  Then it dawned on me.  It was my shadow!  This was a great affirmation of how far I’ve come and how much weight I’ve lost.  When you look in the mirror and you’re looking at yourself it can be hard at times to see just how much progress you’ve made.   I swear there are times I look in the mirror and my stomach looks almost the same as it used to look when I was much heavier.  Then there are times I look and I can really see how much I’ve lost. I still have a bit of a belly.  It’s the one thing that’s holding me back.

Why is it the stomach is the first to grow and the last to go?

Weight loss is a funny thing.  It’s a psychological challenge as well as physical.  But seeing my skinny shadow really brought home how well I’m doing.  My legs looked so thin and my sides are so much narrower.  That was a nice moment.

I’ve already blogged about how in December my A1C was 7.2 and then in June it was down to 5.8, the top end of the normal range.  Well last month it was down to 5.5 so I’m well inside normal now.  I’ve now lost 27 lbs since I started in March.  The weight is coming off slower now.  I’m sitting here typing this in size 32 jeans and they fit perfectly.  Just a few weeks ago they were too tight to wear. In March I was in size 40.  That’s quite a drop.  I want to lose another five to ten pounds, while firming my body up.  We both go to a gym and I run outside 3 to 4 times a week.  The challenge is going to be keeping my running going through the winter.

This is my life now.  I really wish I’d started this twenty  years ago when I started to gain weight.  But I can’t change the past.  All I can do is make the necessary changes to ensure my future is as fit and healthy as possible.

Challenge accepted!