How One Woman Transformed Herself…and Her Boss!

On March 11 in this blog I introduced you to Elizabeth, who had begun to incorporate more movement into each day by making small changes, such as tip toeing around (to strengthen her calf muscles), stretching at the sink and walking up the steps at the office.  As she progressed, Elizabeth decided to engage her boss, Connie, in a health kick. March 17, Walking Update from Elizabeth: I've been walking regularly for 7 weeks along with my other activities, housecleaning, gardening etc. No weight loss to speak of… Haven't eaten any junk for weeks, light lunches (salad) and last week started making a concerted effort to slowly cut back alcohol use. Clothes are looser and I'm very strong and doctors' reports are good so I'll just have to be satisfied with that for a while longer.

March 25, Buddy System: Connie and I are walking downtown at lunch for about a mile and a half.  I'm trying to walk 6 days now, with a goal of 8000 plus steps. Some days I don't make the 8000 but make up for it by taking a longer faster walk. Hard to believe I could barely make it up three long flights at the office a year ago!  And I did lose about 4 ½ lbs when I last weighed in.

May 5, Logging: Connie and I are doing even better now since we have been using the free iphone app "Lose it" to log both food and exercise. Our "weigh in" day is Monday and I know I'll have weight loss to report. (I've lost 15 lbs since January, Connie about 10 lbs.) Connie is having a harder time with food than I am. I have been using your approach with her, that is, trying to focus more on her strength, stamina and fewer aches and pains rather than her weight loss. This seems to help her not get discouraged. She has a much longer way to go than I do, and changes show on my frame more quickly than on hers.

May 31, Long Term Goals: I continue to keep Connie on track and focused on long term goals. She used to be able to drop weight easily in her 30's. Well that day is long gone... So I focus on the long term. A year ago I could never have said "let's go walk 2 miles fast".... She is more "food obsessed" than I am (mine is alcohol as you know). She is on track for 1 1/2 lbs a week-losing 10 lbs this month - with a goal of 50 lbs next April. I started much earlier so my weight loss is at least 23 lbs since Jan. (about 3 lbs a week), plus I can work in the yard or inside for hours and hours.

Take away tips:  Small, consistent changes deliver big benefits in terms of health and weight loss.  Use the Buddy System to reinforce positive lifestyle changes.  Be accountable:  keep track of your efforts in a log to make sure that you meet your goals.  Stay focused on the Big Picture – your health, strength and stamina – and long term goals.  Ask yourself:  What do you need to do now to be your best in 10 years?