Weight Loss and Exercise: Staying on Track with MS

Patient Expert

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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