On May 14, 2020, Sherry (my sister), Connor (my nephew), and I were discussing how Sarah (Connor’s girlfriend) & Connor had started using “MyFitnessPal” and started exercising to get healthier. I said something like, “I’m turning 50..I should really do that too.” And…so the “Finding Jodi Journey” started.
It has had me exercising, making modifications to my lifestyle, and analyzing various aspects of “me” to learn who I really am. I suppose it could be part of a mid-life crisis, but it was a healthy version of one. We started exercising 3 times a week. Then, it increased to four. I started walking on days I didn’t go to the gym. Now, a year later, I exercise 6 days a week each week…and sometimes 7. I try to stop eating by 6 or 6:30 (unless it’s Connor’s graduation weekend). I’ve started drinking more water, but…I haven’t given up soda altogether. From the center picture in the collage at the end of this blog entry, you can see that I still have a long way to go to reach the “ideal weight” the doctor would dictate, but my goal is to simply be healthy.
I had hoped my weight loss would’ve been 60 pounds as I had been losing about 5/month for the first several months. However, I hit 40 pounds on Christmas Eve and have been up and down a few pounds ever since. I could easily get discouraged by that and give up. Yet, I continue to focus on my goal of “getting healthy” and “Finding Me”. It helps that I’ve dropped a size in clothes since December. I told Connor that I’m like a map app….I’m “reconfiguring”. People always say that muscle weighs more than fat; I don’t know if that is true or not. I do know that the body I have now is a whole lot different than the one I lived in a year ago.
How? I’m glad you asked…
1. Last May, my goal was to keep the elliptical at 3.5 mph and not to fall below 3. Now? My slow pace is 4 mph and my fast intervals have me between 6.2 and 7.2 mph. I sweat a lot more too!
2. Last May, Connor challenged me to push myself and set the Hip Abduction machine at 100 lbs. Now, I can do 175, but generally do my 3 sets at 160.
3. Last year, I would do 3 sets of 12 on 4-6 resistance machines. That built to 6 sets of 12 on 8-10 machines. Now, I’ve reverted to 3 sets but we do 15 reps as advised by the trainer.
4. Yep, that’s another change. Last summer, I did whatever I decided to do. Let’s face it…ANYTHING is better than what I was doing prior to May 14, 2020. Now, Sherry & I have met with Bethani (the trainer at Planet Fitness) who created a 4-day workout plan. Each day focuses on either abs, back, arms, or legs. We do a 5 minute warm up, 6 machines/weights/exercises, then 20-30 minutes of cardio. We’re on week 3. After week 4, Bethani will change our workout to keep our muscles working instead of getting accustom to the routine.
5. Last year, when I’d walk, it would take about 20-23 minutes for a mile. During a 5K in the fall, I finished in under 56 minutes. Lately, I can keep a mile under 17 minutes if I push it…and 18 if I’m downtown with traffic, broken sidewalks, and other pedestrians.
6. Last summer, I would drink water in restaurants and occasionally at home. Now, I have a gallon jug that I empty in a day to a day and a half. Currently, I still add some colorless flavoring, so I need to work on going to straight water this year. (Not a fan of plain water.)
7. A year ago, I would eat whenever and whatever I wanted. Now, I try to eat smarter, but I refuse to be on a fad diet. Done those. Lost weight. Gained it back. I eat what I want…I just try to watch my serving size and the time of the meal. Then, there’s chips & salsa…everyone has their kryptonite!
8. Last year, the stair climber scared me to death. Now, I’m still NOT a fan, but I can do 13 flights in 5 minutes, and have done over 20 flights at a time. However, I prefer walking or the elliptical to that dreaded invention!
9. I’ve NEVER chosen to post a full body shot of me on social media. However, on the Saturday before Easter, Sarah snapped a shot of me playing Bocce ball, and I shared it. I know…I am still overweight. The medical profession I’m sure calls me obese or even morbidly obese, but…compared to where I was a year ago….I was so proud of myself.
10. The final big change occurred a couple weeks ago. A book was given to me that required me to stay after school on Thursday for a book club in order to go to a training in Atlanta. Now, I really wanted to learn from this school, but I had also just committed to the 4-day workout plan. So, I picked ME over an additional task for my teaching job. This was HUGE. It may have been the first time I picked me over a job-related request. I had picked ministry over school fairs in the past, but I had never picked “ME” over a school-related need. I was so proud of myself, even though I also felt like I let people down. (I did send an email to administration apologizing if I disappointed them but reiterating my commitment to getting healthy.)
The coolest transformation is that these changes that started as “have to” on my list have become “need to”. Today, to celebrate the end of my 25th teaching year, I took a personal day and went shopping with a retired teaching friend. When we were discussing what time to leave, I suggested 10:00. Why? That would allow me to walk and eat breakfast. I had my exercise ring on my Smart Watch closed before I even earned my 4th standing point of the day. Exercise has become an essential part of my weekly, if not daily, life. I may have to start telling my students that I now have FIVE favorite verbs. For years, I had three: read, sing, sleep. Then, when I started publishing books and having a blog it turned into four. Writing! Now, I may have FIVE: Read, Write, Sing, Sleep, & Exercise.
Anyway, along the journey, I’ve posted updates to my weight lost. I post daily selfies and pics of my exercise as a form of accountability. I told myself when May 14, 2021, arrived, I would post a tribute. This is it! Happy Anniversary, Healthier Jodi. Looking forward to what this second year of my journey will reveal.
What goal do you have? Go for it! Don’t be discouraged! You can do it. You’re just not there yet. I’m not either, but I’m a lot closer than I was a year ago!