My 62nd birthday is coming up in a few weeks and I’ve been reflecting on my life. Coming first to mind is the fact that I am overweight. Not grossly overweight, but enough that it affects how I move and how my clothes fit. Of course, I have been overweight since I was pregnant with my first child. I never gained back my figure, although I was physically fit.
That brings up the question of what is more important…fitness or weightloss? I have tried various diet plans, like Nutri-System, L.A. Weightloss, and Weight Watchers ,and I lose weight, but gain it right back again…except with more fat. Weight Watchers was by far the best and lasted the longest. The secret I found to the weight thing is not just eating right, but also EXERCISE! With L.A. Weightloss, they don’t want you to exercise at all. Yes, I lost weight, but I also lost muscle and that has been replaced with fat, so now I am fatter than when I started. I don’t weigh as much, but I am fatter.
So, with exercise being the key, that should be easy…right? WRONG! I have been active all of my life and involved in all kinds of outdoor activity and sports, including backpacking, canoeing, sailing, and horsebackriding. However, due to illness, I was unable to participate in anything for about a year. Then I had extensive surgery on my back, which kept me from doing much at all for almost another year. I decided to start my activity with mild horsebackriding. My horse, who never has shied at anything in her whole life, was easy and all I had to do was sit there. Well, the second time riding, she shied at a cow and I was thrown at high velocity and ended up with a broken left hip, broken right shoulder blade, and broken ribs. Six months later and I still couldn’t walk without aid, the doctor found that my hip fracture had not healed and now I needed a hip replacement (actually a hip conversion since I already had hardware in my thigh). Now I am up to 3 years without being able to exercise.
So this whole time I am unable to exercise and of course, I’m still eating. Because of the stress of being incapacitated, of course I am eating cookies, candy, cake, brownies, and all the stuff I’m not supposed to eat. So now I have gained back much of the weight I had lost earlier, but it is still fat and not muscle.
I found that the physical therapy I am supposed to do is really good for strength training and I can add weight to the exercises to make them more difficult. I can swim, so when the weather cooperates, I spend time in the pool getting a cardio workout. I can’t walk very well yet, mostly due to lingering problems with my back, so that highly touted exercise is not possible for me. So no running, no jogging, no walking…that leaves swimming and bike riding.
With swimming and bike riding for cardio, and the PT exercises for strength, I’m hoping that I can get some semblance of fitness back into my life. I’m hoping the weightloss follows, but I’m more interested in the fitness. If I can move better and longer due to stronger muscles, then I should be able to lose the weight. Of course, I will have to eat better, too, but I think that will come as I feel better.
I will keep you informed as I progress and let you know how things are working out! Stay tuned!