I have a husband and three grown children, two sons and a beautiful daughter. I also have three grand doggies!
I have been obese for most of my adult life punctuated by numerous diets or diet and exercise programs. Probably five of those involved 70 to 80 pound losses which brought me down to a healthy weight for anywhere from a few months to a maximum of two years. Then in February of 2009 I had a pain in my chest and ribs when I tried to breathe in. A week passed and it was still there, so I contacted my doctor. She had numerous tests done: blood, EKG, stress, x-rays, and a heart sonogram. In the end my heart was okay, but my cholesterol was high (252) and my blood pressure was elevated. My doctor wanted to put me on cholesterol lowering medication immediately. I knew that this medication would continue for the rest of my life and that side effects could add other medications and these prospects really frightened me. I was only 51 and had always thought of myself as healthy so I asked the doctor to allow me to try lifestyle changes to resolve the cholesterol and blood pressure problems..She said that lifestyle changes typically didn’t work but reluctantly agreed to a 6 month trial.
For the first time in my life I began a diet and exercise program with my health as the primary focus. Fortunately I had done a considerable amount of study on diet, exercise and physiology relating to my Curves franchise and had the Curves equipment readily available. I eased into an exercise program that within 2 or 3 months included 5 weekly 30 minute to 2 hour Curves circuit training sessions and daily walks from 2 hours to up to 8 hours on weekends. Nutritionally I strongly emphasized the top ten cholesterol lowering foods discovered through Google searches. Starting at a weight of 203 lbs. and with knees that were susceptible to swelling I could initially walk for only 30 min. before I needed to elevate my legs and ice my knees. But I stuck with it and within a few months I wasn’t satisfied until I had registered 40,000 steps on my pedometer on weekend days. As the weight came off and my health improved I started to feel wonderful. I had never in my life before felt this good or happy. I woke up each day excited about what that day would bring. Every body movement I made was so much easier. It was fun to move. In only 8 months my weight had plummeted to 125, my knees no longer needed icing and my cholesterol and blood pressure were back to normal! I surprised myself by going on challenging hikes I never would have attempted and by taking up distance cycling just because I could. I love these lifestyle changes I’ve made but nevertheless realize that I must keep active and vigilant so my weight doesn’t climb again and rob me of my good health.
I am on my bike ever chance I get, riding hundreds of miles each week, up to 10,000 miles in a year. I love being on my bike all day with my friends, covering many miles. I have ridden 11 double centuries (200 miles in one day) in the last three years and hope to ride many more.
My hope is that I’ll be able to use what I’ve learned from my own weight loss journey and my connections to the health and fitness industry to help others develop healthy life styles and make changes that they will maintain for the rest of their lives.