I completed a 5k!

It’s been a minute since I last posted an update on my weight loss journey.
Last September I made a major commitment to change things drastically. During the month of August 2020, my weight had once again hit 360. I knew I had to do something. The time for messing about and being serious for a few months and then sliding for a few months was over. I started to cut back a little on my food consumption, and when I went to the doctor in September, I had managed to get it back ‘down’ to 353.

I talked with the doctor and we made a plan. It was time to take drastic steps and we scheduled a gastric sleeve surgery. Contrary to what I’ve heard some people say, this was not an easy way out. It certainly isn’t a “magic bullet” but rather a new tool in my nutritional toolbox. There was going to be a lot of hard work involved. I would be hitting “reset” on all of my old eating habits. I would have to exercise regularly. I’d have to confront the fact that I was addicted to food and to unhealthy choices. And I knew that I would need to depend on God’s strength every day; actually, I’d need to consciously trust God every minute of every hour of every day. I was living, not-walking proof that my own strength and determination alone just wasn’t enough.

As I started this new journey, I set several goals for myself, to keep me focused on what I am working for.
1. I want to be healthy and around for my Beautiful Wife
2. I want to be able to actively engage with my grandchildren
3. I want to get below 300 pounds for the first time since around 2001
4. I promised my Wonderful Daughter that I’d lose 100 pounds before her wedding this December
5. I wanted to actually be able to walk and complete a 5k

I started doing a little bit of exercise, but truthfully, if I walked out to the mailbox and back, I felt like I had done my walking for the day. I bought a pedal exerciser that I can use on a table and work with my arms. This allowed me to burn calories and build up my endurance. And it started to make a difference. I had my surgery in March and I had managed to lose about 25 pounds by that time. After the surgery, I became even more determined to walk for my exercise.

At first, I struggled to get to half a mile, but as I continued to walk every day, I soon was able to do a mile with no trouble. Within a month I was able to walk 2 miles without any problems. Then it climbed to 3 miles, and then 4 miles. I’m now at the point where most days I walk 4 miles. About once a week I try to stretch it to 5 miles. So far, I have hit 7 miles in one walk, but I am trying to build my consistency and stamina by keeping it to 4 miles regularly. I’m working on my pace now, and on a good day, when the humidity and air quality aren’t bad, I can get my pace down to 18:30 per mile. I’d say a normal pace for me is 20 minutes per mile.

A couple of months ago I read that the Moraine State Park Regatta was going to be having a 5k as part of the weekend activities. When I realized that 5k is 3.1 miles, I knew that a 5k was well within my walking ability, so I signed up for my first 5k! The 5k was this past Saturday, August 7. It went mostly good. The trail was a lot more “rugged” than I had figured and I swear the first 10k of that 5k was straight up the side of a mountain. Most of the trail had jagged tree roots across it and about 3/4 of the way thru one of them grabbed my ankle and I took a hard tumble. But I finished! GOOOOAAALLLL!

I’m now signed up for another 5k on September 3, and I have committed to one in October and one in November. From what I can tell, all of these will be on much better trails/paths, so I imagine that each one will be a little easier still.

As for other goal updates, I broke through the 300-barrier the first week of May and the 250-barrier is well within sight. Unofficially, since last August I have lost 94 pounds. Officially, from my first weigh-in with my doctor, I have lost 87 pounds.

Watch out 100-pound-goal, I’m about to kick your butt!

Grace and peace, y’all!

7 thoughts on “I completed a 5k!”

  1. I am so proud of you. Barbaric surgery is not the easy way out. It is work to change decades of eating habits.

  2. I know bariatric surgery is difficult and requires so much education and commitment. Congratulations and best of luck on your journey.

  3. Sharon Richardson

    Such an inspiring post Paul! Our prayers continue on your journey to better health and wellness. But also for your walk with Christ through it all!!

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