A few weeks ago I emailed Carol and Dave to let them know that April would be the last month I would be covering their story. They’ve come to the end of their 12-week program with Inside Out Studio, and I fully expected emails back with one word in the subject line: “phew.” Instead…crickets! When we finally touched based by phone a week or so later, Carol’s reaction was “that went fast,” while Dave’s was twofold: “good” and “uh oh…now you’re on your own, David!” Thankfully both have enjoyed the process of having their journey documented for their fellow Leasiders.
The path to weight loss and wellness is never an easy one. Most daily habits require change, which takes time and hard work. The number of calories we take in daily and hours put in at the gym are easily quantified. What we don’t have control over are the ups and downs that life tosses our way. The emotional side of life can very much affect our daily program. Last month both Dave and Carol had life challenges that could easily have derailed their progress. Food, as you know, can be a very powerful comfort during times of stress.
In Carol’s case, she’s taken the steps to remove all tempting foods from the house. So when she’s faced with a stressful situation, she isn’t tempted by junk food. Instead she can direct herself away from food and move to mindfulness techniques, including deep breathing exercises and meditation for comfort. She has found that “staying in the moment” with mindfulness has helped her remain encouraged about her weight loss. Having lost weight in the past and then regained it, Carol is determined to make this a permanent change in her life. “Ups and downs are natural,” she says, “but the key is not to get discouraged..
Carol has every reason to be optimistic. She’s already lost 24 pounds and 12 inches in three months. For the ladies out there…that’s a full dress size. Way to go, Carol! She is staying committed to the process through the encouragement of friends and family. Seeing the positive changes to both body and mind has made them very proud.
David, too, had a stressful month in his work and personal life. His father-in-law passed away in early March. The death of a loved one can take a huge toll on one’s heath both physically and emotionally. He was also travelling for a work, and it was ACTRA awards month, for which David is past president. By the time I spoke with him, he was ill with a nasty cold, and working out took a back seat to life’s curveballs. But as David said to me, “When one makes a resolution towards better health…you need to get back at it.” He’s still feeling confident that 2017 is off to a great start and plans to continue playing badminton on Monday nights with his wife. He’s optimistic (as we all are) that in the warmer weather he’ll be able to take more walks and enjoy the outdoors. He’s very excited about having worked up to 20 push-ups (from one) in the first 12 weeks of the year. He’s also happy that he’s maintained his 12-pound weight loss over the month and plans to continue watching what he eats.
Barry Samuel at InsideOut Studio is thrilled with both Carol and Dave’s progress since January. I asked him about getting back on track when life throws curve balls. He suggests, “Taking your thoughts back to where you were before you started your program and being mindful of your personal growth.” He feels strongly that both Carol and David have taken a “practical and sensible approach” to their wellness. And while he’s proud of their weight loss and increased strength, he hopes they are “feeling good mentally and that these habits change their lives.” In almost every one of my conversations with Barry he’s made the airline analogy of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first before you help anyone else. He reminds us of the importance of “embracing that need to put you first so you can then help others.” A healthy diet, sleep, exercise and mindfulness sum up the InsideOut approach to a balanced life.
Both Carol and David will be participating in the InsideOut “Spring Into Action” run at Sunnybrook Park on May 27. Carol has been training hard for her first 5K run so please send her your good wishes. I will be checking in once more with them for the July issue of Leaside Life to see how they’re progressing. Until then, we wish them well and thank them for sharing their personal stories with us.