Last week Shannon suggested that our Spark group set weekly goals, and the first was to commit to 30 minutes of exercise 5 days out of 7. That was already my plan, so I set a goal to hit 10,000 steps on my pedometer every day for a week. When she suggested it, I’d already hit 10,000 steps a few days in a row. It’s been a little challenging to work in the extra steps on days I’m chained to my desk, but now that I’m making myself more conscious of it, I’m finding ways to get it done.
See for yourself:
That’s my average step count for the past 7 days: 10, 547. When I first started wearing this pedometer, there were days I barely cracked 3,000. And that may be an overestimation on my part to make myself feel better. But I believe in starting where you are, accepting your truth, and making slow and steady progress. Otherwise, I set myself up to fail too quickly.
I’m really excited to be hitting 10,000 steps consistently. I did this before when I had my most successful weight loss, and I know it has been a big part of my success this time around.
Another cool thing to report is that I did another treadmill 5K on Saturday. My time from the Saturday before was 46:35, a good minute and a half faster than I’d done in years. I told Barb, my friend/gym partner in crime/confidante, that I wasn’t sure I could beat 46:35, but I wasn’t going to be upset if I didn’t. Last Saturday, while out running errands with my daughter, I’d become painfully aware of the fact that I need to replace my tennis shoes. It’s no big deal on the elliptical, which is my cardio choice most days of the week, but pounding on the treadmill is a different story. I’d had nasty shin splints the week before, and I knew I had a full day of running around with my family on the agenda, so I didn’t want to push too hard. But, to my surprise, I actually completed my 3.1 miles in 46:58. I mostly walk, but I will jog for a few spurts. The goal is to make my jogging spurts longer and not so far between. Previously, my longest jogging stretch was 2 minutes and 30 seconds. On Saturday, I jogged for 3 minutes and 35 seconds. I know, for some of you this is like no big deal and you can do that in your sleep. For me, that feels like a marathon. Although I ran track throughout school, I was a sprinter. Jogging for any distance has always been difficult for me. I’m not going to lie – I was pretty wiped out when I was done, but it felt good to see that time.
And finally, some of you from the Spark group and my FB friends have already seen that we got a puppy on Saturday. She is a sweet little black lab/Australian shepherd mix, a little shy, and absolutely adorable. She is about 10 weeks old so we are still working on house training and learning to like her leash, but I am really looking forward to having a new walking partner. I’m sure that will encourage me to get moving each day, and make my step count even higher.
The upshot of all this? Weight’s slowly but surely beginning to come off. Yeah, who knew? I’m working each day to fulfill my Lenten promise of no unnecessary treats. Still a struggle, but it’s getting easier as each day goes by. I have my dessert on Sunday and think very carefully if I’m confronted with a treat during the rest of the week. It helps that I’ve lost some weight, because that makes it easier to realize that I’m only going to undo my progress if I jump “off the wagon.” I started the year with my scale number ending in 1.5, the highest I’d been in two years. I was thrilled when I got it down to 8.5, which had been my previous plateau. Then, after 3 weeks of illness and my number bouncing up and down, I got it down to 7.5, a number I hadn’t seen in months. And then finally, I got down to 6.5 last Friday. I still bounced up a pound this morning, but I know that’s normal. I’m hoping to get it down to 5.5 by the end of this week. Lower would be even better, but I know I tend to lose slow, so I’m not going to torture myself and set a goal I don’t think I can achieve.
But in general, I feel like I’m in a good place. One of the best things my high school track coach (a psych major, by the way) ever taught me was to “run my own race.” I took a while easing into a new exercise routine. I thought carefully about my goals and what it would take to achieve them. I recommitted to my step count and five days of cardio per week. I slowly but surely got back to my healthy habits. And now that I’ve laid all of that foundation, I know I am set up for success.