You probably have seen them at one point. Maybe even made fun of in a movie or TV show.
Usually older folks, trudging along and hugging the walls as they walk the parameters of the interior in a continuous loop. I know I saw them. And I used to make fun of them like everyone else.
Then something happened to me over several years. A steady increase in my body weight. First due to a medication I had been on, but there were other dietary and drinking habits that like a snow bowl kept growing into a weight gain of about 33%.
My once 32 inch waist had expanded to a 36. I weighed in at my peak at 182 lbs. For a guy who was very thin in his early adult years (28” waist and about 125 lbs) it was a frightening moment of realization that was reinforced by my doctor who showed me a graph of my increase that looked like a 90 degree incline.
His suggestion? Exercise. I hate exercise. But I liked walking.
Could walking be effective exercise for weight loss? I looked it up. Turns out yes, walking can produce calorie loss significantly reducing weight by walking about 10,000 steps per day. It varies depending on height, weight and diet, but generally speaking the 10 grand will do it on a daily basis.
Around this time I noticed this heart shape on an app on my iPhone that I realized had been tracking my steps since I owned it. As of last June 2018 I was taking short walks and averaging 2,822 steps a day. There were days where I only took 624 steps the entire day!
I stepped up my game and made a conscious effort to take longer walks every day. By July I was averaging 5,261 steps per day just by doing a short walk on a scheduled basis. As the Summer drew to a close, I had taken advantage of the great weather and low and behold, I was averaging 9944 steps a day. Some days I would do as much as 16,786 steps, while my low days were close to 6,000. This was a far cry from my lowest days before. And guess what?
Yup, without changing diet I lost about 17 lbs and reduced my waist almost 3 inches!
But this is where my dilemma came in. The weather was changing. It was getting colder and wetter into the Fall. My 91 year old uncle made a suggestion; why not try one of the local malls? Sure of course he did. I cringed at the thought of marching in the zombie army.
But then I thought about it. It was better than paying for a gym membership. Better than walking a treadmill. It was climate controlled. There were bathrooms. Reluctantly I gave it a try.
It turns out I was able to get into the facility as early as 6:00 AM no one is there! Actually there is about 6 of us die hard regulars.
In November I increased my average to 10,988 steps per day. I made a vow that on January 1st I would increase my output to 25 laps around the mall. As of this month I am up to an average of 14,235 steps per day. That now includes taking Saturday through Monday off due to work schedules and the need to rest my aching knees and joints. I have also taken to a light sprint for 20 of the laps at a certain point of the mall that lets me have a straightaway. A typical 25 laps is about 6.1 miles and it takes me almost two hours.
But to date I have lost more weight and am back to a 32” waist. Plus my attitude and stamina in general have improved.
So, yeah, I joined the mindless gropers trudging in the suburban monuments to excessive lifestyle choices that make us such an out of shape nation. But I haven’t felt this good in years.
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