I am, by nature, an extremely organized individual in many areas of my life, and weight loss is no exception. Keeping up with data and creating charts and graphs has helped me identify trends in my progress and lets me readily see what efforts produce the best results. In addition, having information such as my body measurements, BMI, BMR, body fat %, and other metrics on hand helps me see that this journey is about more than just the numbers on the scale. Seeing the number go down on the scale is not my only goal. Improving my overall health and fitness is also very important to me as well. When those things are in balance, the numbers on the scale will follow.
On one of my progress spreadsheets I keep track of each of my workouts, including the name of each strength-training exercise, the number of sets and reps I do, and the weight I’m lifting (or pushing, pulling, etc.). I also log my cardio work by what I’m doing, the amount of time I spend doing it, the distance I’ve gone (for swimming, walking, etc.), and my total calorie burn. It’s quick and easy for me to use and with a glance I can see where I’m at each week and I can challenge myself to go a little further each time.
Today, as I was entering the stats from this morning’s workout, I realized something I found exciting! Since joining the gym, I’ve included treadmill work in 18 of my workouts. In the course of those 18 workouts, which totaled 9.9 hours of time, I have walked/jogged a total of 26.3 miles, which is just over the distance of a marathon! Now, I understand full well that I have not, by any means, had the experience of actually participating in an actual marathon, but knowing that I have covered that distance over a few workouts feels pretty amazing to me! Let me explain the significance of this…
When I look back to the time before I started implementing healthy food choices into my life regularly last June, mobility had started being a serious problem for me. Due to issues with my sciatic nerve causing terrible back and leg pain (as the result of falling some time ago and it being unable to fully heal because of my weight), things as simple as moving from a laying down position in the bed to sitting up, or rising from the living room couch were excruciating, and often could take 30 minutes or more. It was often accompanied by a lot of pain-filled tears and much prayer for strength and healing. Once I was finally up and about, walking any distance over just a few steps was typically out of the question. Even trying to make a short trip into a store would find me hunched over the buggy trying to relieve the pressure on my back within just a couple minutes of walking in. Doing anything that required me to be on my feet for more than 5 minutes was next to impossible.
As hard as it is to admit, being as overweight as I was before I started this journey, my life was hindered in everything from sleep, to playing with my children, to travel, to just about everything else that required physical activity. When it’s painful to sit, stand, or lie down, there is little respite. As my weight has come down, however, the back pain has subsided greatly and my mobility has improved to where I don't have to worry about it anymore! I now look forward to getting out and about and I’m not afraid of being somewhere that requires a lot of standing or walking. The only time I think about getting around in a situation these days, is when I stop to realize how great it is to move freely again, and then I say a prayer of thanks to God for it! I still deal with pain from time to time, but it’s not constant anymore, and it's nowhere near as bad as what it was before, and I believe it’s only going to keep getting better as I continue exercising and losing weight!
So, when I look at my workout log and see that I’ve walked 26+ miles, it makes me see just how far I’ve really come and it gives me the motivation to keep going, because I know I’m definitely headed in the right direction! Maybe...just maybe, one of these days, I just might go all 26 miles in the same day!