The late winter and the spring of 2017 found me going to my Sanford Doctors office often, suffering from a cough that would not go away. However, my main problem was an unexplainable fatigue that seemed to hit me on a daily basis. I had muscle aches that I thought were the results of being overweight with poor diet and turning 60 years old.
Having had a pacemaker installed over 7 years before, the doctors and I were concerned that my heart not functioning the way it should. So multiple medical heart tests were performed but the results showed that the pacemaker was doing its job and that I didn’t have any heart blockage or any new problem. Finally, my heart doctor suggested that I stop taking my cholesterol medication to see if that was the problem.
Three days after stopping my medication all of my symptoms disappeared and I felt the best I had felt in a long time. The worry over my heart was over. The joy and relief of knowing what was causing my problems was fantastic! I emailed my doctors to advise them the medication was the problem and that I would handle my cholesterol with diet and exercise.
Doctors advise their patients all the time to lose weight and exercise; however, it is hard to follow through for some people. My happiness of feeling better and not having to worry about my heart gave me the motivation that I would need to do something for my health.
Several days later, I was driving by Family Wellness and I asked myself “Is today going to be the day that I actually do something to improve my health?” I went in and signed up for a 3 month membership. I had my doubts about what I might accomplish but I knew nothing would happen if I did nothing.
I started my membership with meeting with Keith, one of the trainers. He gave me great advice and started me with workouts that would ease me into a better physical shape. He listened to my concerns with my medical conditions, what my goals were and my past workout history.
I began the workouts and realized that I am not in competition with everyone else at the gym. I don’t need to be intimidated by people in much better shape, that I don’t need to be able to run a marathon or become a professional weight lifter. Everyone is there trying to improve themselves and to encourage others to do the same.
The diet I started to do was more common sense than a strict calorie counting starvation diet or special foods I just ate less. Cutting back on the sweets, stopping eating fast food lunches and eating more fruits and vegetables, simple stuff, but I took a long-term approach to my weight. Weekends often saw me enjoying more food than I should, but I didn’t give up the overall plan and punish myself for indulging occasionally. Bison tailgating, holidays and dinner out with friends happen and I knew that any weight gain was going to be temporary, as I would be back at the gym Monday morning.
The Sanford Wellness Center quickly became a habit. I am usually there 4-5 days a week. The variety of things to do make an hour work out, pass very quickly. It is not a chore to work out or to eat healthy.
The results have proven to be very worthwhile, as of today I have lost 50 pounds. I wear pants that are 6 inches smaller. I can now lift on most of the machines 30 to 40 pounds more than I started with. I plan on walking a 5K fund raiser later this year as I know I can do it. The compliments on my weight loss only encourage me to do more. The biggest accomplishment is that I feel great.
The latest physical in February shows: My cholesterol is low, my blood pressure is 110/70 and I am on no medications. I still have another 10 pounds that I plan on losing, which I think I will accomplish by my one year exercise anniversary.
I want to share this message of hope to others, that the best way to health may not be another pill. That you don’t have to set your goals to run marathons or lose 50 pounds in a couple months. Slow and steady progress to an overall goal can be accomplished and that the help to do that are available at Family Wellness.