Parasailing in Bahamas (September, 1999)
Playing with children in Botswana
Whitewater rafting, Zambezi River
The Decision To Change
"We can do anything we want if
In November of 1994, I made a decision to change my life. No matter what it took, no matter how long it would take.
As I looked at myself, I realized that what I was doing was only making matters worse. I was miserable and doing nothing to try to become happier, other than the short-lived and immediate gratification of food. I would always say that I wanted to lose weight but never do anything about it.
Finally, I looked at myself and said, "Where do you want to be in five years?" I knew I did not want to be where I was. I decided that I would be no worse off if I made some changes than if I did nothing. If I did nothing, I would only stay the same or get worse. If I made some changes and lost a few pounds in a month, that would mean Id have lost twenty to thirty pounds in a year. And if I kept it up over several years time, I could lose hundreds of pounds. Which is what I did.
I started with making small changes in the food I ate, switching to low fat choices. I cut as much fat out of my diet as I could, and drank lots of water. I ate a lot of poultry, fruit, and vegetables. I lost the first fifty pounds within a few months.
Within a year, I began to incorporate exercise into my lifestyle, inspired by the success of Oprah Winfrey and the book she wrote with her trainer, Bob Greene, "Make the Connection."
I would get up five days a week, before I went to work, to walk up and down my 350-foot driveway. I started with just ten minutes a day, but that ten minutes was enough to leave me red-faced and winded. I took a shower after I walked, but I found that I was still sweating a half-hour after the shower.
I gradually built up my cardiovascular fitness and endurance. My time to rise in the morning got earlier and earlier, until it reached the time where I now rise, at 3:45 a.m. An hour of walking in the morning now barely causes me to break a sweat, so Ive moved on to more strenuous aerobic activity, like jogging and stair climbing. I also incorporated strength training into my weekly routine, and I lift weights several times a week.
In less than five years, my weight dropped by 200 pounds.
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