Chapter 2: Taking it Off : One Step at a Time
In Chapter 2 of my blog “From Flab to Fab” I wrote about the frustration I felt over the slow pace of my weight loss. Despite that frustration, I believed that as long as I wasn’t gaining weight, I was still better off. I continued to exercise and followed the eating plan that the nutritionist and I worked out. Now that I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds and have a healthier lifestyle, I’ve started a new blog – “Feeling Fab.”
In the first chapter of “Feeling Fab: A New Vocabulary” I wrote about the new words I heard as my body and fitness level improved. This second chapter of “Feeling Fab” relates the story of how I lost a baker’s dozen (13 pounds) in a year – One Step at a Time.
The prevailing advice usually given to people who are trying to increase their activity level and lose weight is to walk more. The research suggests that everyone should walk 10,000 steps a day. Typical of most sedentary people, during my sedentary days, I made it a practice to look for a parking spot that was as close to the store’s entrance as possible.
Once I adopted the goal of 10,000 steps a day, I began parking my car at the far end of the parking lot, away from the entrance to the store. I also began using the stairs to and from my apartment, instead of taking the elevator.
When I made the commitment to myself to make “walking” part of my daily routine, I began wearing a pedometer and kept a record of the number of steps I walked each day. To my surprise, the pedometer I was wearing only “clocked” about 5,000 steps a day, even with this additional activity.
In order to maximize my daily step count, in addition to using the stairs, and parking at a distance from my destination, I began walking on the treadmill. At first, I had difficulty walking for only 15 minutes at a speed of 2.0 miles an hour. Eventually, I was able to work my way up to a daily “walk” of at least 3 miles, at a speed of 3.4 to 3.6 miles an hour.
Once walking had become part of my daily routine, I decided to challenge myself further, and change my original goal of “10,000 steps a day.” Gradually, I increased my personal goal to 11,000, then 12,000, and now 13,000 steps a day.
Last January, Vadim and I created a chart and we began to keep track of the average number of steps that I walked daily. At the end of each week Vadim recorded my daily average and my weight. Some weeks my weight remained the same, but not for more than three weeks in a row, and Vadim noticed that although my weight loss was slow it was steady, usually 1/4 pound at a time. By the end of the year I lost a total of 13 pounds.
In addition to the personal benefit that I’ve experienced – improved health - my walking also benefits others. Several times a year, I participate in fund raising walks for a variety of causes – The Heart Association, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and Multiple Sclerosis.
To be continued…