What is your workout schedule?
“I started walking 1½ years ago as a means to lose weight. I started walking a half-hour each day and built up to an hour each day as my body adjusted to the routine. I slowly increased my speed to 4 miles per hour as I lost weight. Last October, as my weight loss plateaued, I knew I needed to start running some. I slowly added running. I now run five days a week, depending on how busy my schedule is. I use Saturdays as my longest run day. I try to rest on Sundays.”
Where do you work out, and what do you like about that place?
“I am here to say that you don’t have to belong to a gym to be healthy and have a fitness routine. Until last October, I did all of my workouts on my own, just walking and running on the streets of Seymour and in the country near where I live. I joined Planet Fitness in Columbus in January 2015 when they opened. Since I drive the school bus to Columbus every day for C4, I have 1½ hours of spare time each day, so I use that time to work out there at Planet Fitness. It’s convenient and gives me something to do up there every day. I like to run on the treadmill the most. It helps me learn to pace how fast I am running.”
What do you eat or avoid eating to be healthy?
“I have lost 58 pounds since January 2014. I have tried to eat lots of whole grains, foods high in protein, lots of fruits and veggies and salads. I limit my carbs and junk food eating. I eat three small meals a day and small snacks, like yogurt and granola, and cottage cheese in between. My weight-loss goal has been to eat 1,200 calories a day with 60 grams of protein and as much water as I can to drink. I always eat on a small plate, which helps me with portion control. It doesn’t sound like much, but you would be surprised how much food that is with careful planning. I avoid eating out as much as possible and avoid eating empty calories, like chips and soft drinks. I must say, eating healthy is not cheap but very rewarding. I use My Fitness Pal to plan my meal before I do go out to eat. It is a great free phone app, and I have lost 30 pounds since I started using it in August 2014.”
What are your fitness goals?
“My main goal is to do whatever it takes to maintain my current weight. I am still trying to lose the last three pounds to get to my goal weight. I have calculated that to not gain or lose weight, I need to eat about 1,900 calories a day as long as I am walking or exercising daily. I have been running a few 5K races, a 10K race and a mini-marathon race to help keep me motivated to find time to exercise. My race goals are under 36 minutes for the 5K, under 1 hour and 19 minutes for the 10K and under three hours for the mini-marathon. I have had lots of foot problems through the years, like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and torn Achilles tendons. So a goal of mine is to keep my feet healthy, too.”
What are some fitness goals that you have achieved that you’re proud of?
“I still have trouble comprehending that I am 58 pounds lighter. Also, although I played field hockey and softball in high school, I never have been a runner. So it’s awesome for me to think that since May 2015, I have run in the Seymour Half-Marathon and a 5K and 10K race. I may be slow and am often way behind the other runners, but I focus on a steady pace and finishing the race without getting hurt.”
Are you training for any type of event, such as a marathon, triathlon, etc.? If so, what does your training or routine involve?
“There are several 5K races this fall in the area that I plan to run in if my schedule allows it. Also, Columbus has a mini-marathon on Sept. 26 that I am training for. My training for that entails alternating days running slow or at pace, long runs on Saturdays and Sunday rest days. I use the free apps Map My Fitness and Run Trainer for my workouts. These workouts then sync over to My Fitness Pal, where I log in all of my food and exercise daily.”
How does exercising make you feel?
“I do enjoy walking. I can’t say that I have learned to love running yet. But I do get a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when I finish that race that I am doing. Also, I know that exercise helps me maintain my current weight. I guess I have decided it’s a necessary evil if I want to stay healthy and maintain my current weight. So I am trying to stay positive about my new exercise routine and continue walking and running for as long as my health allows it.”
What is your advice to encourage others to exercise?
“If I can lose 58 pounds at age 63, you can, too. It’s never too late, and you are never too old or too heavy. Please get checked out by your physician first and get that OK to start a new exercise and eating routine. Don’t call it a diet, but a permanent change in eating habits. When you are tempted with a food decision, think of it as it won’t be the last time you’ll ever eat that or just take a small bite, not a huge piece. Sometimes, it helps to get an accountability partner, though I did it on my own. I didn’t want anyone to know how heavy I was. Start slow and work your way up to a faster pace. Lose the weight slowly, one to two pounds a week. Decide now to change those unhealthy habits. I decided that I wanted to be around a long time for my kids and grandkids.”
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