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A Great Example

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 Ho’s 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 other’s 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. .

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Had to laugh today when I stumbled across this video:
    3302 days ago
    What strikes me about your husband's approach to his health is how direct it is. He just does it, doesn't over analyze it. He was somehow able to jump over all the nonsense I normally toss in the road ahead of my goals. Just do this and don't do that any more, no matter what happens, stay the course. Remarkable in it's simplicity!
    3303 days ago
    That's awesome. I'm so glad DH is with you in your journey - even if not on Spark. I'm sorry he's had so many battles to fight, but just think if he'd not been on this path and still in his unhealthy ways! I'm sure they would be much more difficult battles. Congratulations to both of you for wanting to live more quality lives and being good examples for your children.
    3303 days ago
    Wow that is so neat. I bet you are very proud of him, and he of you...
    3303 days ago
    Your writing is always so beautiful. And I love the story you have shared. Living with pain is sometimes difficult, but I am glad your DH does not let it keep him inactive and depressed. Here's to a long and healthful life.
    3303 days ago
    What a beautiful and loving story. Glad you both inspire each other to remain fit and healthy. Time to join your hubby in his runs Sue! You can do it! Geez! I never did realize how young you are because of your grown children! You must have had them quite young as I did!


    My daughter also suffers form juvenile RA but, like your DH is extremely courageous and stays fit. She had to go on massive dose of steroids for the pain at one time and she blew up like a balloon at 5'1" and around 220lbs. She has finally lost it via swimming, biking and running. She too did an Olympic triathlon rasing a few thousands for Amercian Heart Association about 4 years ago which got her down to her fit and healthy weight which is not skinny by any means which you may have noticed from her wedding photos! This disease delayed her from getting married at a normal age while her younger sis went and did so at 25 and she is 5yrs older than her! My baby suffered a lot and I can empathize with your hubby.

    Way to go Sue with your blogs!! emoticon
    3303 days ago
    that's a great story~ i'd love to get my husband on board with the healthy lifestyle. unfortunately, he's at the stage where he wants to change but makes excuses not to. maybe it'll happen one of these days. congrats to both of you for both working hard to ensure that you're both on this earth longer for each other.
    3304 days ago
    You must be very proud of your hubby. When I started going to the Y, I asked my hubby to join me. It wasn't till I stuck with it for a few months that he joined me and he is a great motivator for m now. Have a wonderful weekend.

    3304 days ago
  • SUZY6281
    I think that is incredibly sweet. I love how you and your husband support each other in your own ways. What a great inspiration you have living right under your own roof! .

    3304 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.