This Article is About
wakeup call
lifestyle habits
health issues
weight gain
new baby
inspiration
mirror
nutrition
fitness
MY Wakeup Call
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Lots of people have that moment when they realize they must make a change with their eating and lifestyle habits. Not changing will lead to greater weight and undoubtedly increased health issues. I have been a physical therapist for more than 20 years and a life long student of fitness and nutrition. Below is my story to be used as inspiration.

'Do you think I gained any weight while you were pregnant," I asked Eydie and our new baby, Natalie as I emerged from the bathroom.

"Are you kidding me," Eydie answered.

"No," I said. "Did I sound like I was being funny?"

"We just came home from the hospital with our new daughter, Natalie. I went through 24 hours of labor, without an epidural, it has been the most joyous and trying time of my life, and you are worried about having gained a few pounds?" She was trying to make my asking out to be lunacy.

"Yeah, what do you think? I asked again grabbing my handle bars and turning from facing to side views repeatedly. "I am not much bigger than when we got married, eh?"

"Sixty-three pounds I put on while I was pregnant," she continued. "Do you think I wanted to gain that much weight?"

"I would say you did," I said thinking that I should wait before I answer a question like that. "Sixty-three pounds is not normal weight gain even for someone who is pregnant."

"I was only trying to feed the baby. Natalie was a big baby, she needed it," Eydie said.

I was not getting anywhere with this line of conversation. "So," I pressed on, "You do think I have gained a few pounds."

"Well, you have been lifting weight," she said. There was something foreign about the way she said it.

"Oh, no. I have gained some weight," I said. I crossed the bedroom to the closet and pulled out the scale we had agreed not to use while Eydie was pregnant. I carried it into the bathroom and set it on the floor in front of the mirror. I felt reasonably fit until I stepped on the scale. I went weak when the numbers on the dial quit jumping around. I looked from the number to the mirror repeatedly. With each gaze back at my reflection, I grew in size. In nine months time, I had gained 49 pounds. I was not muscle bound. I was not fit. I needed to change the way I lived.

I imagined when I was in the best shape of my life. My mind quickly returned to the time when I was about 17 years old. I was a runner. I could run for miles. I would carry the image of me at 17 in my head as a goal. I would begin running to lose weight. I would start the next day, a Monday.

I was fortunate that I worked right near my gym. I had an hour for lunch, and rather than eat and knap on my lunch hour, I would begin my quest to lose weight, by running. Weights would not be a part of this program.

My first lunch I set a goal for myself. I would go for twenty minutes on the treadmill, three times a week. I realize that sounds like I set the bar too low, but I knew that failure at this stage of the game would be devastating. I managed to jog at about six miles an hour for a bit over a minute. I was winded and very sweaty, but I was able walk the remainder of the whole 20 minutes. I considered that my first victory.

For lunch, rather than get a roast beef po' boy, which is a very sloppy sub sandwich famous on the coast of Mississippi, I went to Subway. There was a new series of commercials starring a fellow by the name of Jared that had lost a lot of weight eating only those sandwiches and I figured it was worth a try. I would allow myself a six inch sub, one bag of baked potato chips, and a glass of water. I finished it and was starving, but the boy of 17 that I tried to revive would be satisfied. I left the restaurant with my second victory.

Despite setting my goal for 20 minutes and only three times a week, that was my absolute minimum. I fighting to get there every day. I resisted for the first couple of weeks, but continued to go anyway. Once I was able to jog the whole 20 minutes, it took about four weeks, I found that I was compelled to go. I began to go twice a day. My morning run became my favorite time to exercise.

Six months from the time I noticed my decline, I ran my first exercise class. My weight was back to where it had been when I married. I felt like I was in the best shape of my life again. Despite the fact that I was married with a baby, I felt 17 again.

Thanks for reading.


Street Talk

Have you ever had an ah-ha moment? What is yours?

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  about 6 years ago
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