Staying motivated while making lifestyle changes can be challenging. How many times have you started an exercise or diet program just to fizzle out in enthusiasm after a month or two?
In February I shared with you how wearable technology, such as a FitBit device, can help to provide motivation to make lifestyle changes. I began wearing a FitBit last summer, but it wasn’t until November that I began making a concerted effort to exercise more, taking advantage of the Airdyne exercise bike in my basement.
Throughout December and January, I attended twice weekly physical therapy sessions to work on strength and range of motion with the goals to improve physical function and reduce the pain I was experiencing from knee osteoarthritis.
When I reported my progress in February, I had lost 19.5 pounds. Here it is 28 weeks from when I started keeping track of food consumption and exercise, and I have now lost 34 pounds. Whoohoo!
Measurements of success after 28 weeks:
- 34 pounds lost so far, which exceeds my one pound/week modest goal
- 15 inches smaller in overall body measurements
- Baggy clothes
- Less pain from osteoarthritis and spasticity
- Improved sleep
- Improved energy
March and April were very busy months and I didn’t ride the bike as much, but I continued to watch what I ate. Although, I’ll admit that we still enjoyed the occasional dark chocolate or cookies in our house. The weight loss has slowed down a bit but I continue to feel better.
I still don’t “feel” any lighter or smaller but clothes are beginning to hang a bit baggier. Compared to measurements taken in mid-December, I’ve lost about 15 inches, including two inches from the bust, 2.5 inches from the waist, three inches from the hips, and a whopping 3.5 inches from the upper thigh.
Now that I’m six months into this new routine—keeping track of what I eat and getting a bit more exercise—I am sleeping better and experiencing much less pain and spasticity.
With 24 weeks remaining until I reach the one-year mark, I know that I’ll need to stay vigilant. I can’t let a couple of months of reduced exercise keep me from getting back on the bike or paying attention to what I eat. This is the crucial moment I make a conscious decision to continue focusing on my personal needs and make myself a priority. I’m already looking forward to the day I can provide you another positive update.
Until then, please be well, my friends. Stay motivated and know that the fastest path to reaching a goal may be by taking the tiniest steps, one after another.
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Lisa Emrich is a patient advocate, accomplished speaker, author of the award-winning blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA, and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers. Lisa uses her experience to educate patients, raise disease awareness, encourage self-advocacy, and support patient-centered research. Lisa frequently works with non-profit organizations and has brought the patient voice to health care conferences and meetings worldwide. Follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.