Back in the Saddle

Last week my wife had major surgery. Since I obviously spent my time last week caring for her, I was not able to write a blog or get to the gym. As of Sunday though I’m back in the saddle and making progress in my journey towards permanent weight loss and getting healthy. I was able to go on a nice bike ride on Sunday and to the YMCA on Monday. One of the results of exercise is the release of stress and anxiety from my mind and body.

One of the ways that I am cementing these changes into my lifestyle is by looking for the positive results that these good habits have on me. When I make the connection that exercise and eating right result in feeling better, increased energy and mobility, I will be more likely in the future to continue these habits. I think that the main reason I lost weight and regained it the last 2 years is that I remembered how good I felt when I was losing the weight and getting healthy. I remembered how good it felt to ride my bike outside on the SRT. I could honestly say that it feeds my soul to go for a long bike ride on a nice sunny day. These are the things that I need to internalize and burn into my mind so that when I feel lazy or choose give in to that Fat Burger or piece of Cheese Cake, I will get  back up in that saddle and hit it again until it truly becomes a part of who I am.

Body

This has been a tough week at work. Unfortunately, I was only able to make it to the gym 1 time this week. I hope to go on Saturday, which will make 2 days for the week. Due a problem at work, I missed the team meeting last night. I stepped on the scale this morning and have lost any weight, which is my old nemesis. As previously discussed, I’m trying not to focus on my weight loss. However, when I end up standing and walking most of the day resulting in severe knee pain, I feel my mental focus shifting back to my weight –  Less weight = Less PAIN!

I feel like Paul in Romans chapter 6, “Oh, What a Miserable Person I am! Who will deliver me from this body f death?”

Knee Pain

One of my primary motivations for losing weight and getting healthy is to reduce the pain. The biggest pain that I have to deal with at this time is in my knees. Toward the end of 2016, I started going to an Orthopedic Specialist to find out why I was having so much pain in my knees. X-Ray’s showed that my legs are bowed outward and the cartilage is mostly non-existent in the inner area of my knees. However, the outsides of my knees have plenty of cushion between the bones. I have to spend a lot of time walking and standing in my job. I don’t really have a problem with walking, but standing in one place for more than 5 minutes causes my knees to lock up and hurt when I start walking again. Usually the only way to get relief after one of my 30 minute stand up meetings is to sit down and rest. Most days I have to take some type of over the counter pain reducer to make it through the work day. The specialist told me that I need to have both knees replaced. He also informed me that I am too young to have this work done. As a temporary counter-measure, I tried gel and cortisone injections in both knees. In my case neither of these seemed to provide much relief for any extended period of time. I have also taken Glucosamine for several years.

I decided that I have to do everything that I can do to reduce the pain and discomfort, which means that I have to focus on the following objectives:

  1. Lose 70 Lbs. – 80 Lbs. to minimize the stress on my knees
  2. Re-build Muscle in my legs through:
    1. Physical Therapy
    2. Working out at the YMCA
    3. Riding my Bike
  3. Eat Healthy

I’ve been told that there is a good chance that I can experience both relief from pain and increased mobility if I focus on these objectives. So I’m going to focus on achieving these objectives and looking forward to the benefits.

Focus on the Solution – Not the Problem!

The main thing that I’ve learned this time around is that, although the need to lose weight is the reason that I applied to 2017 RBL, the most important reason now is in fact to get healthy. For most of my life, I viewed exercise and eating right as the “necessary evils” to improve my appearance and achieve certain goals. Later on in adult life, I became motivated to lose weight due to a decrease in mobility and an increase in joint and back pain. During the last two years of my weight loss journey, I have learned that weight loss is an added benefit, but not the ultimate goal. The key for me was to understand my real problem.

Defining the problem is the first step in the problem solving process. Next you have to get to the root cause. Without a detailed understanding of the problem you can’t solve it. However, just focusing on the problem doesn’t lead to a long term solution either. The only way to solve a problem is to take your focus off the problem and fix your focus on the solution. I have learned, through both success and failure, that the solution to my weight problem is a healthy balanced life (physically, spiritually and emotionally). It’s actually counter-productive to long term success when I focus all of my energy on improving negative symptoms like weight, pain and mobility. The longer term approach is to focus on building the foundation of a healthy life style; to make it a part of who I really am at the core of my person.

I make my living in the automotive manufacturing sector. In manufacturing you don’t focus valuable resources to create a high quality product on the final product after the value is already built into it; rather you focus on controlling all of the key factors that could potentially result in defects. In other words, you focus on controlling the process and when you do this well the result is a quality product. In the same way, I am learning that eating right, being active, getting the right amount of sleep and, last but not least, keeping my eyes on Jesus are some of the more critical factors that I need to keep my focus on in order to produce a healthy life style and oh yeah, by the way, to lose weight!

This Ain’t My First Rodeo

I’m not new to the weight loss / gain Yo-Yo. In 2015 I lost 60 lbs. by changing eating habits, going to the gym and riding my bike. As I lost weight I began to feel as if I was on a motivational drug as both my energy level and mobility increased with each week. Unfortunately, I gave in to the temptation to “sample” a Cheese Cake that a vendor brought in to the office and everything was downhill from that point. My “All or Nothing” approach resulted in me totally falling off the bike, if you will, and regaining 45 lbs. from Sep. through Dec. In January 2016 I got the bug again and decided to give it another try by alternating between the gym and bike and losing the 45 lbs. that I had regained in 2015. However, this time I started to feel too rushed between the demands of work, home, and church. So I started scaling back on my exercise routine just to get a break in my hectic schedule. This time, rather than jumping track, I slowly slid back into the old habit of eating like a trash compactor and worrying about later. Ultimately, I stopped exercising and once again regained the weight. So this year I decided to go for it again and applied to 2017 RBL.

As part of 2017 RBL, I hope to develop and sustain a healthy lifestyle. In the past I would have given up after the first year; not attempting a healthy lifestyle again for several years. However, I’m not getting any younger and I want to be here for my family. Interestingly enough, I am thankful for the last 2 years as I learned a lot about healthy eating habits and the benefits of an active life style. This year I’m trying not to just focus on losing weight. It is my hope and prayer that with the support and encouragement from the RBL Team, YMCA and my GHS Team that this time around I will make it a lasting change.