My Progress: May 2008 to May 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Well, here I sit, thinking about progress and the many, many ways it can be measured. I went to the doctor for my physical this week, and isn't that always a time for reflection? Got my blood work results, along with a one word reaction from my doctor: "Wow." Here they are:
test May 2008 May 2009
total cholesterol 211 166
HDL (good cholesterol) 66 45
LDL (bad cholesterol) 131 110
triglycerides 72 57
During that same period, I've lost 17 pounds, not a whole lot of weight (though if you looked at my weight chart, you'd see a whole lot more weight being gained and lost a few pounds at a time at various points through the year, but I never gave up nor did I ever give in to temporary lapses!). I didn't start paying attention to inches and inches lost until somewhere around December of last year, but I have lost 11.75 inches since that time. I'm wearing clothes I haven't worn in years (so, for those of us who steadfastedly have held on to those "on the way up" clothes, I do have some good news: sometimes you DO wear them again!!). I exercise at least 4-5 times a week, 30 to 50 minutes a day, at varying intensity and varying cardio exercises, from the treadmill to the elliptical to the bike to Leslie Sansone walking dvds. I have fallen off my ST lately, but that will be back 3x per week soon, I'm sure.
But all those numbers, as nice as they are, are not, in my opinion, the best measure of my progress. The best measure is that almost every day, weather permitting, I am outside with my son playing something, really playing..baseball, basketball, hockey, playing, playing, playing. My son's baseball coach often asks me to help out at practice, because I can. I do not get winded, I am not embarrassed to be out there, I move well and love every minute of it.
I have a long, long way to go. But boy, I feel good. Boy, I am having fun. It is everything I thought it would be, and the best is yet to come.
I am going to try to explain what I mean when I say I have done this without noticing. I mean that these changes, these slow, steady, healthy additions and habits to my life, have come about without huge deviations to my lifestyle. Even though the whole of it is a huge deviation, not once have I felt like I was standing things on their side to get any of this done. I have truly done this taking baby steps, and here is why that is good. Because I can honestly say these changes are permanently a part of my life. I didn't do it all at once, I have incorporated it a bit at a time, and so when I think I need to take a day off from exercise, I don't worry anymore that I will break a streak and NEVER get back to it. By feeling assured that I have developed this healthy lifestyle, I have the chance to listen to my body, give it a break when it tells me it needs it, or even have that treat when it tells me it wants it. I do it without fear that I have "broken my diet" or will stop exercising because I didn't do it today.
And I have this marvelous community of Spark Friends to thank for this. The incredible support and love that I feel every day when I come to this place is not like anything I could ever have expected or hoped for. The sense of being with people who are just trying to do the very same thing as I and all working towards that goal of healthy living..of not wanting to let each other down.. Well, to use my doctor's word: Wow.
And that, my friends, is progress.