Some things I have learned along my journey:
At age 61, I knew I had to make changes in my life.
Little did I know that those changes would lead to winning the Lifestyle Change Award from the American Heart Association.
I had lost my father (age 73) and brother (age 57) to a heart attack. My younger sister survived four heart attacks and another brother lost both his feet to diabetes. I had Type2 diabetes; I never exercised, ate on the run and weighed in at 212 pounds on a 5’2" frame. I was miserable. I knew I needed to make a change in my life.
One day I saw an ad for a boot camp and took a chance.
At first I could barely walk a quarter of a mile but after sticking with the program, I was running up flights of steps and doing strength training. The weight started to come off and my energy level increased. I joined a gym and started an exercise log. I looked for more healthy ways to feed myself and my family.
I have now lost 72 lbs and have cut my cholesterol medicine down to a quarter of what I had been previously taking. I no longer need medicine for diabetes.
My grandson nominated me for the Lifestyle Change Award last year. I did not know at that time how much winning the award would encourage me to keep going and also give me a voice to encourage others to make healthy changes. For example, my oldest daughter ran a 5K in the Grandma’s Marathon – a year ago she would have never considered it. My youngest daughter is consistently losing ½ to 1 pound a week.
- Keep moving! About every 20 minutes move your body. [Go get a glass of water instead of having a water glass at your desk. Keep your knees moving as you sit or move your head as you work.] Get creative in how to move your body as you work.
- Watch your portion sizes. Weigh out your food until you get an idea of size.
- Take small bites and chew longer.
- Today is the first day of the rest of your life and how you live it will determine the health and quality of the rest of your life.
- Drink lots of water.
- Just say "no" and plan ahead of time to say "no."
- Sign up for a gym membership, boot camp, dance class or get out and walk or bicycle.
- You are never too old. I am now 63 years old and loving life, capable of things I have not been capable of and trying hobbies I never dreamed of trying at 212 pounds.