Community blogger Alan Foster, 50 of Fuquay-Varina reflects on his weight-loss efforts:
Starting weight on Jan. 1, 2011: 225
Current weight: 203
What was your goal weight? My real goal was to come off blood pressure medicine and to do that, I thought I needed to get to somewhere less than 200 pounds.
How did you shed the pounds? A combination of exercise and smarter eating habits.
What were your biggest weight-loss stumbling blocks during the year and how did you overcome them? As with most families, special occasions such as holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, vacations, etc. are accompanied by big meals or sweet treats and hard to resist. I chose not to overcome them but to enjoy them and maintain my activity level and return to smart eating the next day. Additionally, life events (illnesses, trips, weather, etc) get in the way of exercise routines. The best time to exercise is when you can.
What did you learn during this process? That maintaining a healthy weight is essential to maintaining health. Due to my weight loss, I was able to stop all hypertension medication.
What's next for you? Will you continue losing -- if so, will you use the same strategy or something new? If you're looking to maintain, how will you go about that?
A recent physical revealed I have a borderline high cholesterol level. Because my physician has faith that I will continue to lose an additional few pounds and maintain a heart-healthy diet, he is foregoing any cholesterol-reducing medication for three months. My immediate and long-term goals are to continue to exercise, eat smart and really watch my intake of sugar. I believe this strategy will continue to help me lose a little more body fat and maintain a prescription-free life.
For you, what has been the biggest benefit of losing weight? The most valuable benefit for me is the improved health. However, I did come to appreciate the benefit of feeling better and looking a little better.
What advice do you have for others who are embarking on their own weight-loss journey in 2012? Don’t consider the journey as a diet. To me, “diet” implies a short-term deprivation to lose a finite amount of weight or inches or clothes sizes. I have found more success by just staying active and being smart about my eating. Take it slow, stick with it, keep your good health as the goal, and enjoy life.
Final thoughts: One year ago, I began this blog with the famous maxim: “You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.”
At the beginning of 2011, I reflected on how life events had contributed to a noticeable weight gain and a general decline in my overall health, to include a new diagnosis of hypertension. I set a public goal to lose 30 pounds and to come off blood pressure medicine.
Now I look back on where I’ve been over the year and feel satisfied with the results but a little less than satisfied with the effort. I didn’t quite make the 30 pounds lost, but I’m officially off blood pressure medicine. I know I could have worked harder to lose those last few pounds, and in reviewing my year-long blog, I can better see my weaknesses and obstacles to maintaining a healthy weight. As far as my health as it relates to my weight, I can say with a little more confidence where I’m going because I know where I’ve been.