NOTE: This is an excerpt from my "A Dietitian's Journey" diary and is my personal n=1 (sample set = 1) account of my weight loss and healthy restoration journey. Each person's results will be different.
This morning I went to do my exercises and realized that it’s been 10 months since I took my last photo in gym clothes and decided it was a good time for an update.
During the first year of my “journey”, I didn’t exercise at all except for walking and had set the goal of implementing some weights and resistance training during this second year, beginning March 5th, 2018 (my one year “anniversary” of adopting a low carb lifestyle). I was inspired by some doctor colleagues in the Canadian Clinicians for Therapeutic Nutrition group and decided to start slow HIT (slow high intensity training) following the method of Dr. Doug McGuff (Body By Science) but in hindsight, given my age and the number of years I had not exercised, I probably should have started by retraining major muscle groups and strengthening my core first. I didn’t and ended up aggravating an old back injury and spent most of the summer going through physiotherapy for that. I was in so much pain that even walking was difficult at first, so exercise outside of daily physio was set aside.
As a result of my back injury, I engaged the help of a terrific kinesiologist, and asked her for exercises to build up my knees and shoulders, as well as my back as I knew these were “weak links“. I faithfully worked on training one of those areas daily, until I ended up injuring one of my knees (also an old injury!) getting out of one of my son’s low-slung car! Sheesh, I felt like I couldn’t ‘win’. Years ago I had each of my knees operated on (torn meniscus in each) after various injuries from years of dance, horseback riding and karate, so my best made plans for exercise this year did not turn out as I intended.
Even without doing most of the exercise that I planned to do during this past year, my body shape evolved, as can be seen in these two photos. The one on the left was taken February 2, 2018 and the one on the right, this morning (Dec 30 2018).
For the last 6 weeks, I have been both resting my knee injury as any amount of weight bearing hurt and only worked to gently build up the supporting muscles in that knee. Last week after much patience and frustration, I was finally able to walk up the stairs without pain (provided I didn’t try to carry anything heavy at the same time)!
Since I didn’t want to overdo it but knew I needed to start moving forward with my exercise commitment, I began by doing a few slow deep-knee bend squats each day; first 5 at a time. The last week, I began adding a set here and there whenever I went upstairs for something (a random excuse which served as a reminder). By the end of this week I was doing 20 – 30 full-knee bend squats per day, 5 at a time. This is HUGE progress! My goal now is to begin exercising regularly WHILE NOT injuring anything by not being adequately focused on my body mechanics!
While my exercise plans this year didn’t turn out as I hoped, in the end I did end up strengthening my core muscles and building up my knees, lower back and shoulders (one of which is still causing me a bit of grief). I am not letting these setbacks deter me — any more than I let past weight loss stalls deter me.
My goal is to get as healthy as I can and that takes me being dedicated to the process regardless of setbacks. Setback happen. They happen to everyone.
Here’s my recap of my progress so far;
In the first year (March 5, 2017 – 2018) I lost a total of 32 pounds and lost 8 inches off my waist. I no longer met the criteria for Type 2 Diabetes (when I began my blood sugar was uncontrolled) and at the end of the first year my blood pressure ranged from between normal and pre-hypertensive (when I began it was dangerously high). At the end of the first year, my triglycerides were ideal and I had excellent cholesterol levels.
This past year, I lost an additional 18.5 pounds and another 4 inches off my waist; making it a foot in total! My waist to height ratio is now below .50 so I am satisfied. I am 1.5 inches from my final goal weight and am trying to decide if I want to lose another 5 pounds or if I want to focus on toning up my muscles, or both. For details on exactly what I lost from my arms, legs, belly etc. you can read more here.
Twenty-two months ago this coming week, I was an obese, metabolically very unwell Dietitian with Type 2 Diabetes, very high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol.
I certainly haven’t “arrived” by any means, but I am a whole lot healthier and feel better than I have in years.
As I tell my clients, its about “progress“, not “perfection“.
I hope my journey has inspired you that losing weight and getting healthy can be done and while it’s not a straight-forward line of progress all the time, and stalls and setbacks do occur, goals that are realistic set CAN be accomplished. Sometimes they just take a little longer than planned.
If you’d like to know more about how I can help you accomplish your health and nutrition goals this coming year, please have a look at the Services I offer and if you have questions, please send me a note using the Contact Me form located on the tab above. If you’d like some help setting some realistic goals for this coming year, please have a look at the special package I put together which is at a special price during the month of January.
Wishing you and yours the very best for a healthy and happy New Year!
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