Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sometimes success is measured in not regressing!

In week two, while a number of of milestones were accomplished in my quest for a healthier heart, the numbers in the weight loss category isn't quite the same pace as last week.  While it would be easy to get discouraged by that net 1 lb, what it doesn't really reflect is the fact that in the out-of-town conference I attended, I would have put on 3 or 4 lbs from a lot of the big dinners provided.  I actually found myself turning down desert, drinking a lot more water, taking smaller portions, all significant in itself.  I also found myself walking a lot more at a quicker pace and doing some things I hadn't done for a while.  I felt better about myself and even played golf for the first time in a few years.  Fortunately or unfortunately, my golf game gave me a lot of walking between shots as I pushed my ball up the fairway.  I did get my first par on 3 par hole, which is very significant for me!

One of the tricks to getting my aerobic exercise is taking my pulse on a regular basis while doing the exercise.  I've never been good at taking my pulse, and frankly don't really like the feel of blood pumping past my finger!  Cathy has always pulled the teeth in our family and frankly enjoys inflicting the pain, and I kill the spiders and clean up the throw-up!  Meagan, my exercise coach at IHC recommended this pulse oximeter that you can get at most drugstores or online (Walgreen's in this case) for under $50.  Not cheap, but I can take my pulse on demand as I walk or exercise and see what my oxygen levels are as well.  I get a pretty good pace going in order to get the heartbeat up and going. 

This week I also started more consistently doing my strength exercises.  While I can lift a great deal, I've never liked doing strength exercises, especially my upper body.  I always did them during basketball, and when I worked out at BYU it was 1984 when their football team took the national championship and we followed them in the weight room.  I always had to move the pin on the weight all the way up and some of the football players even made fun of me.  However it felt good to stretch muscles that I forgot existed and I feel a lot better than I have for years.

Finally, part of my goal in helping others by helping myself has started to pay off.  My family is participating and making some changes in their own health.  I've had a lot of people who have recognized their own needs, and even had a colleague in another town approach me about how they could get involved.  He is running for his county's commission and that county's status is not good and some changes need to be made as well.  While not perfect, we've come a long way.

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