This morning, I had a follow up visit with my exercise physiologist, Stephanie. I love going to see her - she is so positive and supportive, just a genuinely nice person. I got to show off a little bit today too, which was kind of fun. we started by measuring body composition. My body fat percentage is now down to 26% (normal for my age is 21-33%) - so I am smack dab in the middle of NORMAL! It's been a long time since I was able to say that, it sure feels good! I can't seem to stop smiling today. I have converted from 109 pounds of lean mass to 126.5 pounds of lean mass since January, also a significant improvement. We did measurements too which are all way down. I am also down into what I call "exercise vitals" - those that are on the low end of normal due to cardiovascular fitness. We then moved onto the 12 minute treadmill test. This is a walk/incline test and it was hard for us to get my heart rate and perceived exertion up to the range we were shooting for (a good thing). Overall since January, my METS have improved from 5 (Poor for my age) to 11.6 (well above average, almost in the excellent range). I don't remember all the numbers, but when I get the written report next week, I will post more specific highlights.
I just love my visits with Stephanie. I think of all the people supervising my program, she is my favorite. It was so much fun to show her where I am and what I can do now - she just seems to be as genuinely excited and proud of my accomplishments as I am.
I worked out extra hard last night, with a 30 minute run on the elliptical and a 30 minute bike on the stationary. I cranked up my intensity as much as I could and really worked hard. I need to step up the weight training too, I have been slacking in that area the past few weeks. My sister loaned me "The Firm" video set and I think I will give that a try this weekend- that would be a nice change of pace for something to do.
I have a lot of people I owe thanks to for my success. First and foremost, my husband has been my biggest cheerleader and motivator. Not only does he tell me I am beautiful every day, but he pushes me to push myself. We are competitive and I am always striving to catch up to him so I can "win" - I think he knows that and always raises the bar to give me something to strive for. My kids have taken on the responsibility of cooking for themselves often and helping with watching my dogs or whatever needs to be done so we can get our exercise in. They had some pretty major changes in their lives too when we gave our 2-week notice to Dunkin Donuts and Taco Bell, and they have rolled with it pretty easily and without complaint. My family and friends have been tremendously supportive too, always with a kind word or trying to do what they can to be supportive. Recently I have also expanded my circle to include some wonderfully supportive folks I have met online through chat rooms and discussion boards. Not only have I been able to draw on their successes to motivate myself, but they have offered support to me as well and for that I am very thankful.
One of the things Stephanie asked me today was if a year ago I would have seen myself reaching the place I am in right now. I can honestly say I did not ever imagine myself being as successful as I have been. I think the biggest change has been in my approach to life. I used to spend a lot of time rationalizing why I couldn't do things - I couldn't exercise or take a hike because I was afraid I would fall. (I had fallen down some stairs in 2003 and broke my ankle - it became my excuse for why I couldn't do things. ) My attitude has evolved over the past year from "I can't do that because...." to "wouldn't it be fun if we tried......" It's funny how many opportunities are opened up just by changing your approach. I would never have envisioned the things I am considering today: trying Ride to Cure Diabetes, doing triathlons, taking on a 10K or half marathon. Getting off the couch was my catalyst and I hope I can inspire that spirit in others.