Celebrating a Champagne Moment

Today I celebrate a very special “Champagne Moment“.  I’ve surpassed losing 200 pounds since my journey began in 2014.  I’m doing things now that I never would have thought possible at that time.  I’ve got amazing people in my life who proved to me that I can do anything and more importantly, made me believe in myself.  The process is slow, as it should be, and that’s OK because day by day, slow and steady always wins the race!

 

Lynch’s Woods Walk

I’m getting caught up on things that have happened semi-recently that I haven’t written about.  One such event took place on June 16 when I walked 5 miles through Lynch’s Woods Park in Newberry.  For many years I always drove through the park and never attempted to walk it through it.  With some quick ninja moves I was able to navigate through the downed trees!   Here is a snippet of video and some photos from my walk that day.

 

MedFit12 and Me

Back in March of this year, 2018, I was offered the opportunity, through my employer, to participate in Palmetto Health USC Medical Group’s MedFit12 Program.


This could not have come at a better time for me as I was looking for an avenue to become more active outside of the walking that I was already doing.
As I met with my assigned health coach I learned more about the program and that it was a 12 week commitment where I would meet with a dietitian, who I would later learn to be Lightsey, as well as a trainer, who I would later learn to be Paul.  You can read more about both of these amazing people here.  Before officially starting the program, I went to have lab work done to assess where I was currently.

 

The very first day was filling out the necessary paperwork to participate as well as an assessment of the types of foods that I typically eat day to day, medications that I take and how much daily activity I get.  After the initial dietary assessment and weigh-in, it was on to talk to Paul, where we spoke about the importance of exercise, took blood pressure readings as well as a few measurements.  After we finished the initial assessment,  it was time to get to work!

 

I started out on the equivalent of a seated elliptical machine peddling and moving my arms back and forth.  It was nice to finally be doing something other than walking.  Up until this point, I had never had any exposure to any types of exercise machines.  Once we finished this, it was on to band stretches and walking back and forth for the length of the exercise area.

As I would come back for more visits, I would constantly walk by the elliptical machine that would quietly taunt me.. “One day… One day.. ”  I knew that I wasn’t quite ready, but one day I would be.  You have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run.  I had just started crawling at this point and didn’t expect huge leaps.  I was just happy to be making steps in the right direction and moving more.

I met with Lightsey one day a week  and shared a data extract from the things that I ate for the week. I logged everything using the FitBit app I have on my phone as well as the website.  It was very helpful to receive such valuable feedback on how I was doing and it really put things in perspective as I worked to hit the sodium and macro nutrient goals that were deemed appropriate for me.  In addition to getting a valuable critique on my weekly food consumption, I also received other very informative handouts containing Grocery Shopping Tips, Recommended healthy food replacements, Basic Nutrition element (Carb / Protein / Fat) education, Meal ideas, Label Reading, Types of Dietary Fats (Saturated- “Stinky”, Trans- “Terrible”, and Unsaturated-“Uplifting”, Blood Lipid education and several wonderful recipes!  Armed with all of the great information that I obtained through my weekly meetings with Lightsey, I am able to make healthy choices that have made a big difference in my life.  More on that later!

Working with Paul twice a week has helped me become more physically fit and also more confident in my abilities.  From walking here and there and on the weekends, to training two days a week and continuing walking daily, I’m finding that I have more energy and am able to walk longer distances. Previously the most I would walk at one time was 1 – 1.5 miles.  I have now worked up to walking between 3 and 5.5 miles at a time.  I also just signed up for my first 5K in September of this year!  This is a new avenue for me and I am super excited.

Some of the great exercises that I’ve worked up to doing are shown below:  Overhead Press, Rope Slams, Prowler push, Squats w/ 24lb Medicine Ball, Leg Presses, Bridges, Bar Pull down / Rows and Elliptical to name a few.
  
 

Upon completion of the 12 week program, my blood lipids improved, I lost 25 lbs, 6″ in the waist and 8″ in the hips AND reduced the amount of blood pressure medications that I was taking.  I enjoyed the program so much that I signed up to continue the workout sessions.  I enjoy the challenge and can’t wait to see where this road leads!

Be sure to stop and say hello if you see me around!

Lifestyle Change Workshop

This weekend my wife and I finally got the opportunity to hear my friend Bryan Ganey tell his story of hard work and determination that helped him loose ~400lbs with no surgery or special diets.  There were also a couple of guest speakers.  The first was “Captain Chris” from Trader Joe’s who brought such great healthy food for us and also spoke briefly about the inner workings and magic that happens daily at the store to provide the best quality merchandise.  It is truly awesome.  We then heard from Mike Campbell “The Fat Guy”, who told his amazing story of Hopeless to Amazed.  He recently wrote a piece for Charleston’s Oblique Magazine entitled “Are you Fed Up”.  Next was Bryan’s Inspirational story followed by a nice frozen treat sent to us by the great folks at Artic Zero  as we readied for Ashley Thomas’ presentation about the benefits of eating a plant based diet.  Ashley is a Registered Dietitian who runs The Fresh Beet website which is packed with fantastic nutritional information and great recipes.  Concluding Ashley’s presentation, there was a drawing for various items ranging from food journals to gift cards and books.  Bryan accepted food donations for the Low Country Blessing Box project, which provides a way for anyone to help those in need by donating non perishable food items making them available to anyone anonymously.  The event was fantastic and well received by everyone.  I can’t wait to see what Bryan does going forward with his motivational speaking.

What a week!

This week started on a scary note with Hurricane Irma spreading her wrath across Florida, South Carolina and several other states causing such destruction.  This put a damper on my walking routine and threw me out of kilter.  I did manage to get a few good walks in so it wasn’t a total waste.  Fall will be here next week and I couldn’t be any more ready.  Hopefully the warm temperatures will start to diminish and the cooler weather will start to prevail.  I really enjoy Fall!  Busy weekend ahead with getting stuff together for a Disney Anniversary getaway at the end of the month, a class reunion tomorrow, as well as an upcoming SQL Saturday next weekend.  Time is flying by!