One day I started walking and that one day changed my whole life.
You may be surprised to discover that when I began my weight loss journey, it began with walking. At that time, weight loss wasn’t even a goal in my mind. During this time of my life, I was feeling particularly unhappy and insecure. I was working in California for a client near Redondo beach unsure of my future and unhappy that I had sacrificed so much of my precious life to corporate America. After a particularly stressful day, I went to the beach to sit on a bench, detox and dream of a new life.
When I arrived, I saw a walking path on the strand and many people walking. I hadn’t been active in over decade due to a bad femur injury, but something pulled me to that path as I told myself “I can walk. I should walk.” And so I walked.
As I walked, I felt the pain in my rickety joints from the lack of movement for so many years. I smelled the salt from the ocean and felt its breeze on my face. The air cleared my mind, released my anxiety and opened my heart. For once in my life, I didn’t feel strangled. I could breathe. I was free.
After my walk, I looked back at the ocean and thought to myself “I’m going to walk every day.” And that’s just what I did. Every day from that day forward, I walked. The first month 20 minutes the next month 30 minutes, then 40 minutes, then 60, then 90 and eventually I walked 2 hours. The day I started walking was the beginning of my life.
Walking made me feel good. It cleared my head, helped me make plans and set new goals. One of those goals was weight loss. Walking inspired me to eat healthier food, track the amount of food I ate and count calories. There were no protein bars, protein shakes or weight loss supplements. I ate real, everyday food and drank a lot of water.
After two months of walking, I lost 10 pounds. Those 10 pounds inspired me to keep walking and to stick to my healthy eating habits. And that’s just what I did.
Over 18 months, I lost 80 pounds. I didn’t run, go to the gym, swim, lift weights or do any of the fitness things I do today. I just walked. I was also diligent and honest about tracking what I ate and what I did. The pounds fell from my body almost effortlessly.
And with every pound lost, part of me died. The old me who didn’t love herself or think she was good enough. As that part of me died, a new me emerged. The me who is confident, secure and proud of who she is, who she has become and how far she has come.
Walking changed me. It not only changed my body, but shifted my mind. It opened my eyes to all the possibilities this world has to offer. It made me realize I could accomplish anything I never would have dreamed was within my reach before. Walking taught me I was capable of anything and everything. It showed me I could do more, be more, live more. Walking fired a passion in me to live life and experience all it has to offer. It sparked a dream that I could live a happier and more fulfilling life. I hope I never let go of that dream.
Walking is far too often put down as beneficial for weight loss. I’m proof that this is just not true. The truth is if someone has not been active for a long time, walking is effective for weight loss. It disturbs me how high intensity workouts are highly encouraged for weight loss.
Not everyone can do high intensity workouts due to physical limitations and let’s face it, an older person should not be doing burpees unless prescribed by their doctor. It’s risky for anyone who hasn’t been active or who is older with weaker bones to jump into high intensity mode. For the record, I consider myself old. The point is, you don’t have to run, do HIIT, insanity workouts or lift like a Cross Fit addict to lose weight. All you have to do is walk. Just walk.
So tell me. When are you starting your new life?
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