“It took a blood work report to shake me into the realization that I was heading for some serious health issues if I didn’t do something fast! All of my education (Health & Physical Education) and I let my health get away from me. How could I do this to myself???? My work schedule was 60+ hours a week; breakfast on the run, fast food, eating out, and making the wrong food choices. I didn’t make ME a priority and it was catching up to me very quickly.
Retirement came this past July after 34 years in education. Teaching was my passion and then I moved up to administration. Once I became a suit, the weight really crept on, I didn’t make time for exercise, my nutritional intake lacked any thought, and the stress level was through the roof. I knew once I had the time, I needed to start dealing with my weight and my diet. When I went for a physical in October and the results of my blood work was shared, I needed to take action sooner rather than later. My sugar level was in “Diabetic” range. My cholesterol was that of a perfect score in Bowling. My biggest fears were coming true. There is a history of diabetes in my family. Both parents had cholesterol issues, not to mention high blood pressure, kidney failure, cancer, and a host of other ailments that should have been warning flares for me. Well, I finally woke up!!!
Time to take charge! While I had a gym membership, I used it sporadically. Now, I am there at least 5 times a week. I have my routine each day. Incorporating cardio is a must and it makes such a difference in how I feel. It also helps burn the calories. I then alternate days for upper body workouts and lower body workouts. I do some abdominal work each day which has helped my back tremendously. And then I try to end each session with a stretching routine that incorporates the major muscle groups. I find that turning my IPod to Meditation music while I stretch adds another dimension and helps to relax me for those final minutes.
Of course, it can’t be exercise alone. My diet has changed considerably. I was a meat-and-potatoes kinda gal. My red meat consumption has dwindled considerably to once every few weeks. Chicken and fish are the usual proteins. Vegetables are a main staple and big salads are part of my meals. Potatoes and rice are minimal and they are now substituted with farro and quinoa. Snacking was a very big problem for me. Now I’m armed with healthy snacks. I’ll eat fruits, olives, nuts, and my sugar-free chocolate pudding (Gotta have my chocolate pudding!).
Eating out was and still is a big part of my life. However, I now make choices that are healthy. I try to keep portion control in mind as well. And while avoiding the bread basket is difficult, I’ll now allow myself one garlic knot instead of 5. I am careful to select places I can go to so I can get fresh healthy meals. Erik’s has wonderful salads and a veggie burger to die for! We are fortunate to have restaurants all around us that have wonderful seafood. I just avoid the fried, creamy and/or heavily sautéed.
My new journey isn’t bad. In fact, I feel great!!! I have learned to modify my diet and I don’t feel like I have given up that much. While I crave French fries once in a while, I see the weight loss and it helps the cravings go away. My workouts at the gym leave me feeling great and energized for the rest of the day.
At the time of this writing, I am approaching the 40 pound weight loss mark. My sugar level is in normal range and my cholesterol numbers continue to go down. And the best part, all of this with NO medication. I can’t wait for spring so I can add some golf into the mix. My retirement years are going to ROCK!!!”
Member Amy .A, age 55
We are so proud of and excited for Amy and we hope her story inspires you to go out there and take control of your health. Way to go Amy!