Promised you I would be back soon ! I said it right here, in this blog on Dublin.
Some of you might know I have been making a few life changes since January of this year. And now is a good time to let you all in on the lowdown. Please allow me to tell you my story on my mission to lose my overweight, as I am excited about my progress so far.
Overweight: The Wake Up Call
On October 15, 2013 I took a VHI health check at work to see in what state I was at the time. I was getting a bit worried about my overweight and I had to bite the bullet and face reality. So I took the test, and as expected, my health was not in a good state. My cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI where too high and I was at risk for developing diabetes or heart problems, I was advised to go see a doctor. I didn’t go see a doctor, I was worried about where I was going, but I didn’t take any action…..yet. The following months after the health check, every time I looked into the mirror I really didn’t like what I was looking at. I realised it all had gotten out of hand, I was way too fat, unhealthy, lazy, finding excuses, but it was time to change things around. At my worst I weighed 140 kilos.
With the health check still on my mind I took matters in my own hand and in January I joined the Operation Transformation (OT). OT is a TV program on RTE here in Ireland, and at work they had created the opportunity to partake in the program. We would be weighed and measured, the canteen would offer the diet, and the gym would keep track of our progress once every week. The goal I had set myself back then is to lose 50 kilos and to walk the Wicklow Way (127km) in the summer of 2015.
In the past 8 months I have completely changed my lifestyle with support from the fitness instructor, and it gets easier with every step I take. I had a few hick ups and struggles, but managed to stay on my path. With my own determination and advice from the fitness instructor, him also giving me incentives to keep going, I managed to hit goal after goal. I went from no activity in my life whatsoever, to being extremely active and living a healthy life.
Just last week I passed my half-way target, losing 26 kilos so far. I have another 12 months to lose the other 24 kilos. Yesterday I took the health check again and my blood pressure is perfect, my cholesterol has gone down significantly, I went from morbid obesity BMI 42 to moderately obese BMI 34. I am getting back to a good health, good fitness and live a longer and better quality life.
Next goal is to drop below BMI 30 and just be overweight. Haha. Never figured that could be a good thing.
I keep myself active by swimming, hiking and following a weight lifting program provided by the fitness instructor (I am in the gym twice a week after work). I have recently added badminton to my list of activities. The diversity in activity keeps it interesting and fun, and I don’t get bored and I don’t get the feeling I want to quit. My other passion in life, photography, goes hand in hand with hiking, and I am taking images of the breath-taking Irish landscape, from the most amazing sceneries this country has to offer.
I am wearing T-shirts I bought 10 years ago, still brand new, they never really fit, now they fit comfortably. Shorts bought in 2007, occasionally worn before they got too small, now need a belt. My belts are too big, I need to add more holes. I can finally tuck my shirt in my slacks these days, something that I couldn’t really do before. I am buying fashionable clothing off the rack. People respond to me differently, as if they can feel the positive change I am going through. It feels great to get compliments, it just keeps me going. It is those little things you can do again, like crossing your legs, that makes me smile. I want more of this, don’t want it to end, and all I need to do is just keeping walking on this path I started walking (literally) 8 months ago.
I guess now I know what it feels like to be fit and achieve goals. 18 months ago I had to catch my breath walking stairs here at work. I recently broke down crying at the summit of Diamond Hill, realising I am now climbing mountains. So now I have set myself more challenging goals for the next couple of years and they make great vacations too !
- Ireland – Carrauntoohil 1,038m – 15km – 2014
- Ireland – Wicklow Way – 127km – 2015
- Sweden – Fjällräven Classic – 110km – 2015
- Tanzania – Mt. Kilimanjaro 5,895m – 64km – 2016
- Nepal – Mt. Everest South Base Camp 5,150m – 50km – 2017
- Canada – West Coast Trail – 75km – 2018
- Spain – Camino de Santiago – 800km – 2018
The opportunities my employer offered me, such as the VHI health checks, Operation Transformation, the gym and our recreational team are the catalysts that helped me to change my life. Good stuff for sure, but without my own determinaton and hard work, it would not have been a success. I do take credit for this change, and I hope it inspires you as well. It needs to come from within, otherwise the tools alone won’t be enough.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to leave your comment. Others might be inspired by your story.
Happy hiking everyone.