Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Forty Days of Walking

Forty days of consistently walking each day for a minimum of 30 minutes - I am amazed at the results. I can walk briskly for 1 hr with no problem. I climb over 50 stairs without a rest and I can still breathe when I reach the top. I have gone hiking clambering over rocks, skirting along a creek and ducking under low branches and then stood in the spray of Big Horn Falls - no sweat! In addition, I have lost 12 pounds so far on this walking challenge! Yahoo! Overall, my weight loss since July 9 has been over 20 lb.  (since Nov 2011 - 40 lb!). 

Waiting to join Weight Watchers online was a benefit - I knew I needed to be 100% ready for a weight loss program and that did not happen until I had sorted out the food allergies/sensitivities. Done! Now it means sticking with the WW program which has surprisingly been fairly easy. Raouf cooks on plan every day and we eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. My bread consumption is very low and I watch pasta and pizza carefully. The new Points Plus program has been amazing and simple but then I try hard to keep  it simple. No need to complicate it with elaborate recipes. We had salads and some form of protein all summer and now soups - yum - I love soup!

Day 40 of my 100 Day Walking Challenge was supposed to be Saturday (Sep 22)! I made plans for a momentous occasion - a celebration of sticking to it but then I got sick and missed a day. I decided the number was not as important as the change consistently walking every day has made in my life and moved forth on my planned adventure. We hopped in the car and took a 120 K (2.5 hr!) drive up a forestry road that took us into the wilderness of the foothills of Alberta. I have not been here for about 33 years - at least not with the desire to hike into Big Horn Falls! This is not a long hike - in deed, it is only about 20 minutes into the small canyon - but these minutes added up to the up/down/over/under experience mentioned in my first paragraph. I had given up on ever being able to do this again. My knees were a wreck, my weight had increased and, I had aged! But, on Saturday, I knew I had worked hard for many weeks, increased my strength, dropped 20 lb and, realistically, I wasn't exactly going to get younger! We set out through amazingly beautiful country where few tourists venture unless they are horse back riders or hard core hikers or campers. The good news - you can drive there; the bad news - it is almost all gravel! BUT the views were soul-drenching! Golden aspens and poplars in stark contrast to the deep green pine and spruce. Crisp clean air and silence - you just don't get that kind of silence in the city. We arrived at the trailhead and I teetered on my first rock, jumped to the second, climbed the ledge, inched along, up to the trail, under the branches, back down to the creek bed and - voila , arrived at the falls. Easy! Knees were perfect. Heart rate and breathing - normal. New trail boots - happy to be walking on pine needles and river rock instead of pavement! My heart soared when I felt the spray of the waterfall, heard the tumbling water and soaked in the memory! This was a victory - this 20 minute hike will be a source of encouragement and heart-lifting as I continue on my journey to health. Obesity and lethargy are being conquered from the inside out. I will never forget this moment. What an awesome Autumn! What will Winter bring?!

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