Friday, February 06, 2009
I believe it was the fall of 2006, shortly after his father became ill and entered a nursing home that my husband, at age 52, embarked on his personal lifestyle-changing journey, six months before I began my Spark journey. It started with adjustments to diet, like cutting back on red meat, eating more fish and poultry, less snacking on salty foods (he is a potato chip-aholic), enjoying more fresh fruits and veggies, switching his beverage of choice from soda to water (or fruit juice) and ending for good his frequent consumption of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ring Dings, Sno Balls and the like. I think you get the picture!
His exercise routine began with leisurely walks around the block and graduated to very brisk four or five mile walks through the neighborhood. He continued this routine for a few months, eventually joining the Y where, in addition to doing strength training on the gym equipment, he built up a pretty rigorous regimen on the elliptical and treadmill. As his stamina increased, so did his desire to take the workouts a little further. The walking turned into running. Eventually he was running up to two miles on the treadmill four times a week. And when that was not enough, he kept increasing his distance to the point where he was averaging at least twenty miles in a week, and in the spring he will go for weekend 10-mile runs, to keep the gears running smoothly, he says.
In the course of two and a half years my husband has lost almost 40 pounds, has run one 2k, one 5k, completed his first half marathon and continues not only to keep up his winning streak with good diet and regular exercise, but also by staying informed with the latest health data and information. As he pushes forward with the new way of life, however, he has also had to deal with unpleasant things along the way, kidney stones, mild scoliosis, three pinched nerves in his neck, lyme disease and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few. This last condition is proving to be a real problem because the medication he takes for it causes persistent weight gain. It really frustrates him, as he has already gained back 10 pounds so far. If this had been me during my pre-Spark days, I probably would be knee-deep in Hostess Ho Hoís by now! But fortunately my husband is stubborn, emotionally strong and there is no way he will ever return to his old, unhealthy ways.
Early in his journey, after six months of admiring and envying his progress, I joined Sparkpeople and started a rewarding journey of my own. I was constantly urging my husband to come along for the ride and sign up too! After all, he was already making that lifestyle change and could share his knowledge and experience with other people. We could be Spark buddies and leave comments on each otherís pages and be on the same teams. LOL But to date, he has not joined and I no longer bother him about it. We do however continue to work towards the same goals, striving to be healthy and fit, looking ahead to a long and happy life together. .