Be gentle on your weight-loss journey…

Weight-loss can be a tough undertaking. Mayo Clinic Diet can be part of the solution.

I renewed a journey on September 1 of 2016 – a weight loss journey. I call it a journey because I’ve been on this road before. I’ve denied myself what I wanted to eat and eaten a lot of rabbit food in my quest to be thin.

I’ve tried all the programs out there and until September, all failed me. So knowing this, why would I renew my trek? Why not just say fooey and give up? Why not just accept the way my body looks and feels as my future reality? I certainly thought about it.

I’m not giving up because I have a heart condition. A condition that requires open-heart surgery about 8 or 10 years down the road. I have a deformed heart valve and an aortic aneurysm. Both need repair, but not until my heart failure reaches a certain point. I see the cardiologist several times a year to follow up on my… is it progress?

Progress or demise, I keep track of what my body is doing. Which is why I renewed my journey. Knowing the extent of the surgery, and knowing that I will be in my 70s, it seems important to prepare my body for that level of medical assault. Which means getting into shape. Which means losing nearly 80 pounds. Which means being honest with myself.

I started this journey at 218 pounds. That’s what I weighed at the doctor’s office. Although I’m not tall (5’5″), I carry this weight well-distributed, so you would never guess my weight if I didn’t tell you. When I weighed on December 16, I weighed 202 pounds. That’s a 16-pound loss. Sixteen one-pound packages of butter. Sixteen weeks of watching portion sizes… and realizing that I don’t need more food to feel satisfied.

If my journey continues at the same pace, I can expect to be at my goal weight of 140 pounds in another 62 weeks. I’m not so Pollyanna-ish as to think that things will continue unbroken at the same pace. I expect to hit plateaus. But I also expect to keep going. The goal is achievable – I’ve already proven that by meeting my interim goals. Now I just need to keep on going until I achieve my master goal.

I did find a program that is helping me on the trip. The Mayo Clinic Diet gave me a realistic understanding of portion sizes, as well as teaching me the number of servings for a normal meal. The app helps me keep track of what I’ve eaten and shows me where I’ve missed a serving of fruit or vegetables. I’ve not only lost weight, I feel great!

Oh yeah, I do include exercise. Yoga several times a week and walking on the other days. Nothing intense. Just enough to stay limber and cardio-fit. It also burns calories, so the activity helps me achieve my goal.

I guess I just wanted to let others know that the journey can be difficult, but it is possible to achieve the goal. No, I’m not at the end of the trail. But I’m a third of the way there, and that’s a good place to be for now.

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