Anyway, I have a very special story to share for Motivational Monday today. I was going to include this on the typical MM post, but there is just so much to tell, I felt it deserved a post of its own. Do you remember Jared, the young blind man that my parents hosted while he visited from Tennessee? He was a pleasure to chat with when I met him, and he said he was inspired by my weight loss. I was delighted to get some email updates from him telling me that he's been working hard on his healthy lifestyle. I'm so impressed with all he has done! Here is his story, in his words (with his permission), from his emails...
It's Jared Jackson! You know, that chunky blind redneck from Tennessee? How's it going? I was just writing to tell you about my progress thus far with my weight loss. On February 22, I started walking for exercise. I'd not done so previously, due to getting horrible pains in my lower back after a hundred yards or so. I thought it might have been due to my wearing shoes that are at least four years old. I asked my parents (with whom I currently live) for months, now if they'd consider taking me out to Subway at least once a day to start the Jared Fogle Subway diet, but they really didn't want to do that due to it being a hassle. So, I used some of the knowledge I'd picked up from having had a personal trainer friend give me some pointers, and from watching the Biggest Loser. "If you can't walk very far, then do what you can, but try to go farther each time."
I also knew that if this plan had any hope of getting up off the ground, and not crashing shortly afterward, I wouldn't be doing this walking outside in my neighborhood because I'd find every excuse to not get out to do it--the weather, traffic, the hills, etc.. Well, for some time, my mother (who's also a very indoorsy sort of person) started walking in our house. We have a condo with a connected kitchen, dining room, living room, and two hallways. It's flat, climate controlled, I can stop to get a drink or use the bathroom if I need to do so, etc.. So, as dumb as that looked to do, and seemingly unlike exercise, I tried it. I walked it in my house shoes to start, due to my tennis shoes hurting too much, and I only got in thirty laps before my back started hurting. After measuring, I found out that one lap was approximately 48 feet, and it would take 110 laps to do one mile. I couldn't walk much more than a quarter of a mile.
But I've stuck to it, and continually increased my sets of laps, and then my number of laps per set (as my trainer friend says, "frequency before intensity"). In less than two months, I've gone from that tiny 30 laps a day to walking two sets of 220 laps (2 miles). So, I'm walking 4 miles a day, and ready to increase that soon. Oh, I'm also back into walking in my tennis shoes which weren't the problem; it was my being too overweight. It took destroying a brand new pair of house shoes to get to here, but it's been worth it.
With some help from my Mom, I also diagnosed what it took to make the Subway diet sandwiches at home, and have done so with pretty good accuracy. My weight loss diet consists of a multigrain cereal, a small cup of 100 calorie yogurt, and some orange juice for breakfast; a low sodium turkey breast sandwich on flatbread for lunch; and a veggie flatbread sandwich with cheese for supper. I sometimes have a stevia drink mix with water, or even the OCCASIONAL cookie. On weekends, I keep my breakfasts and lunches the same, but will somewhat splurge for suppers. This does NOT mean that I'm "pigging out". I'll eat some of what I'd normally eat, but in smaller portions, and that's only if it's something I really want. This convinces my little, sick mind that I'm not being deprived.
With all of this being put to use, I've lost 70 POUNDS in 23 weeks. I have walked over 650 miles, and all of the walking has been in my house. I just thought you'd like to hear about this, and know that you helped inspire me to do so. Thanks, again for that. Please, pray for me that I'll be able to continue this diet and exercise. I've already had to exercise through a blood blister and a foot injury to follow. I'm working my way up to going to the gym. Have a good 'n'!"
|From 368 to 298 pounds|
Jared sent me another update this week to say that he just recently has been able to see a little more than the "black and white blobs" that he was able to make out after his second surgery (the doctors told him he'd never see more than those blobs):
"Last week, I was able to see the freckly pattern of my wonderful (he said facetiously), mottled, Scotch/Irish/English/German skin on my legs. Though this might sound like kind of a bizarre and ridiculous thing to get excited over, to me, it's yet another example of God's wonderful mercy, grace, blessings, and providence in my life."
I find Jared's story incredibly inspiring, and as proof that there truly are NO EXCUSES. He has found his way past so many obstacles, and he is now well on his way to a very healthy body and life. I will update on Jared's story again as he continues all of his hard work!