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June 2009

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August 8, 2015 Finishing the Get Steppin 5k

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My November 2008 Self - The Before Picture!

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BACK HERE in 2015. In the intervening 5 years, I have had a knee injury and while I was recovering from that, I got hit with a blood clot in my left leg. I dealt with a divorce and home foreclosure and things were difficult, and to some extent still are. Over this period, I put back the weight I had lost and an extra 5 to bring me up to 265. Last fall, I decided that I had to do something about my health. I scheduled a long overdue physical and over a few months, discussed with my doctor a plan to move in the right direction. Beyond my blood pressure, the rest of my blood work was good. I had been on coumadin (blood thinner) since my blood clot. My doctor thought that because of the location of the clot below the knee, there was no reason to stay on it. We did more tests and finally made the decision to eliminate it. There was one vein in my left leg where the valve was damaged from the clot. I underwent a procedure to bypass it and eliminate the back flow that had caused some swelling. Once we had all that out of the way, it was time for me to get back to what was successful back in 2009, tracking my food and exercising that included a good amount of cardio and running. I had lost a few pounds prior to mid-February, but that was when I started to organize myself. In early March, I found that Spark People had a smartphone app and that was the last piece. One of the problems I had back in 2010 was that the SparkPeople site was blocked at work. I needed to be able to log my food right away to keep it accurate and this fit the bill. I was making it to the gym frequently by that point. I wanted to use the cardio machines to not only burn up calories, but increase my cardio endurance, and strengthen up my legs (especially my knees) with low/non impact exercise before going out on the streets to run. Also, to protect my knees, I wanted to get my weight down a bit to decrease that stress on them. In mid-March, I got out on the road for the first time and I felt awful. I just ran no more than two times a week but kept on increasing the intensity and time on the cardio machines. I signed up for a race at the end of March. A 5k I had done back in 2009. When it came around, I was just hoping to make it the whole way "running". I met that goal and finished in just under 32 minutes. I have run three more races since then with my fastest 5k now down to 29:21. Still slow but improving. As of today, May 11th, I have lost a total of 46 pounds and am now down to 219. I would like to get below 200 by the first day of summer or at least July 1st. I have just stopped one of my two blood pressure medications and hope to be able to eliminate it completely once I get down to around 190. I will carefully build up the miles I am running and hope to run another half marathon before the end of the year. I try to stay in the 1300 - 1600 calorie range each day and keep a balance of nutrition. I still allow myself some treats and even have pizza occasionally. My nutrition and exercise trackers are available for anyone to look at. There is no mystery or big secret, just keeping tracking of things and staying in balance. I'm not sure what my weight end game will be, whether it is 190 or 180 or something else that works for me and keeps me running competitively enough to keep it interesting. Feel free to ask me any questions you have. I'll just keep trucking.....

I have made it a year here in SparkLand. I didn't reach all of my goals but made a lot of progress. Unfortunately, I gained back some weight during the second half of 2009. Most importantly, though, my health and prospects for my future health are a lot better than they were at the beginning of 2009. I have dropped about 60 pounds. I went from virtually no exercise in 2008 to walking in the beginning of 2009 to running races. I began with 5K and worked my way up to a Half Marathon in October. Just prior to the Half Marathon, I ran into a knee problem but I have been rehabbing it over the last month and am just about ready to get back out onto the road (once it is clear of snow and ice!). I managed to eliminate my blood pressure medication through exercise and eating much better. While I still plan to lose another 20 pounds, I am much happier with my body in both form and function. I will try to incorporate more strength training this year and hope to reach my fitness and weight goals before summer. While my eating habits slipped a bit in the last part of 2009, exercise has remained a big part of my daily life. I am back to tracking my food and am already starting to see the results. I am looking forward to 2010. The other great thing about 2009 was all the wonderful Spark Friends I met here. The encouragement and positive reinforcement you all supplied was an incredible help to me. Thanks to you all! Over the next few weeks I will updating my goals for 2010.
MAIN (Original) Intro:
Just trying to become more healthy to be there for my kids for many years to come. My lifestyle at the beginning of this year (2009) almost guaranteed that I would have major health problems in the years to come. Blood pressure and weight issues reared their ugly heads and opened my eyes. I have decided that a lifestyle change that includes nutrition planning and tracking and regular exercise are the best ways to do this. Medication and regular exercise have already helped my blood pressure. Continuing with the changes I have made will take care of the weight issue. As my fitness improves, I am hoping to be able to get off the blood pressure medication completely.

UPDATE - As of 5/4/09, I had dropped over 50 pounds and my doctor has taken me off my blood pressure medication. I'm responsible for monitoring the BP going forward now. It is a great feeling to be off the meds! I am running on a regular basis now and participate in road races to help keep my focus.

I have setup some weight goals that will be fun to try to achieve but they aren't the "be all and end all" of my changes.

Weight Goals for 2009:

Starting Weight (1/3/09) - 260
End of January: 242 Actual: 239.0 Met Goal!
End of February: 232 Actual: 227.4 Met Goal!
End of March: 224 Actual: 216.6 Met Goal!
End of April: 216 Actual: 209.2 Met Goal!
End of May: 208 Actual: 201.6 Met Goal!
End of June: 200 Actual: 195.8 Met Goal!
End of July: 192
End of August: 184 Actual: 196.0 (Time to restart!)
(Current Final Goal Weight)


Get and Maintain Blood Pressure in Normal Range through Exercise, Nutrition, and Medication. Eventually eliminate the need for the medication. MEDS ELIMINATED 5/4/09

Original (Bad) Reading: 176/128

Actual 2009 BP Readings by Doctor

January: 112/82
February: 120/74 (2/19 - BP Med Reduced)
March: 120/80 (3/19 - BP Med Reduced Again!)
April: 120/82
May: 122/78 (5/4-BP Med Eliminated!) Woo Hoo!
June: 124/82 (with no meds)

3/28/09 Nayatt 5K - 28:18 (How did that happen??)
4/5/09 Giunta 5K - 27:43 PCR! (8:57 pace)
4/19/09 Louies Run 5K - 29:01 (Just one of those days!)
5/9/09 Run for the Water 8K - 44:06 (8:53 pace - Woo Hoo!)
5/24/09 Barrington Firefighters 5K - 26:12 PCR! (8:27 pace)
6/24/09 Colt State Park 5K 25:38 PCR! (8:16 pace)
7/11/09 Little Compton 4.8 Mile 39:46 (8:17 pace)
7/24/09 Blessing of the Fleet 10 mile 1:31:13 (9:07 pace)
9/6/09 Stella Blues 5K 24:42 PCR! (7:58 pace)
9/20/09 CVS Downtown 5K 25:14 (8:08 pace)
10/18/09 United Healthcare Half Marathon 2:08:25 (9:48 pace)

Member Since: 1/6/2009

Fitness Minutes: 38,425

My Goals:
Just working to get more healthy in order to be there for my kids and enjoy life more.

I want to set a good lifestyle example for my kids and be able to share in the fun physical activities of life with them.

I want to fit comfortably in a Fenway Park Grandstand seat and have the bar on the roller coaster snug for both of us when I ride it with one of my girls.

I want to eliminate my blood pressure medication by staying physically fit.

I want to be able to participate in sports that I enjoy for a long time.

I want to get back my running skills and beat my previous fastest 5K mile pace (6:08) from 24 years ago.

I want to be at the point where I can be mad at myself for taking so long to do this but proud for attaining my goals and maintaining a healthy lifestyle!

2015 Running Goals:
Run Sub-24 minute 5K
Run 2nd Half Marathon
Run Obstacle Course Race

My Program:
I am using the Nutrition Tracker to maintain awareness of my diet and stay within the weight-loss meal plan ranges. I am doing cardio on a daily basis to help with the weight loss, blood pressure and overall fitness.

Personal Information:

Other Information:
Upcoming Road Races:

9/12/15: Irish Music Festival 5k Run in Pawtucket, RI

Read More About CONAN1956 - Profile Information moved here. (Updated September 12)

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