Time to Step Up

In April three years ago, wearing my size 26 pants and weighing in at 265, we changed our eating habits and started walking. My goal was to work my way up to 10,000 steps a day, and that took time. Initially, the best I could do was 500 steps or so before I needed to sit down and rest, but eventually my endurance improved and gradually the weight came off. We also hired a personal trainer who comes to our home for three weekly age appropriate workouts. My lowest weight was 183, and for months I walked 5 miles a day—12,000 steps—come rain or shine.

I wrote in my blog about this, primarily because my doctor had told me, that at my age I’d probably not be able to lose the weight. (In case I haven’t mentioned this before, it’s a bad idea to make mystery writers mad!) So on the one hand, it was a grudge match. On the other hand, my sharing that experience with my readers was a way of keeping myself honest. If I backslid, I figured the people who read my blog would let me know about it.

In other words, I turned my blog readers into an accidental weight loss/exercise support group. Lots of people sent me encouraging words. Lots of people shared their own stories and struggles.

You may have noticed that there hasn’t been a step update for a long time. In March of last year, I hurt my hip walking and that sharply curtailed my walking effort for a time, although corrective insoles made a huge difference in the hip department. The same doctor who said I couldn’t lose weight suggested the insoles. He also told me I was “knock-kneed.” I haven’t rubbed him out in one of my books and probably won’t, because he’s the same doctor whose prompt diagnosis of the kidney issue saved Bill’s life, just before Christmas. In other words, Garrison Bliss is safe so far.

So I hurt my hip in March. I was more or less back on track by June when we went on the cruise, but then July came along, and whammo—suddenly we were beset with my frozen shoulder as well as Bill’s worsening back condition. When I tried to walk, my shoulder hurt like crazy. That old song about the neck bone connected to the shoulder bone, etc is really true—from the shoulder bone right on down to the foot bone. So I didn’t walk. Each day, the walking app on my phone didn’t move out of the red zone—I was stuck in the 2000 steps and under category.

The day after Bill’s back surgery, my frozen shoulder miraculously thawed. (Is it possible that frozen shoulders are stress related?) I finished one book, and started working on the next one. But while Bill has been recuperating from the kidney event, I decided to get back on the walking track. Once again, it took time to build back up. I started out with a 4000 step goal, then 7000, then 8,000 and finally 10,000. I’m happy to report that, as of today, I have 29 days of 10,000 or more steps. So I’m definitely back on the move.

My weight has settled in at 194, and I’m happy with that. My size 16 pants from 15 years ago still fit. Since I’m within spitting distance of 75, I figure walking four miles a day is good enough. (When my mother hit 75 she announced to my dad that she was no longer doing roofing, so I’m taking a page from the Book of Evie!)

That’s my current step update. Years ago, when I was in the life insurance business, my agency manager, Gilbert F. Lawson, used to tell us, “Know the score; keep the score; report the score. The score will improve.”

And that’s why I’m reporting the score in this week’s blog. And speaking of scores, as of today my phone app tells me I have 3,159,274 lifetime steps. Of course, that’s only for the lifetime of my iPhone. But at 10,000 steps a day, they really do add up.

So keep walking, folks. Just keep walking.

28 thoughts on “Time to Step Up

  1. Congratulations, Judy! Keep up the good work!
    My Fitbit recently gave me my Russian RR badge for 5,772 lifetime miles, but not how many steps that would be, but my calculation is about 14,000,000. Btw, re: frozen shoulder-do you take statins for cholesterol? I had so-called “frozen shoulder syndrome” from taking statins. Doctor took me off, and shoulder problem went away. Then put me back on at a lower dose and that helps. Just an FYI!

  2. This post came at a most opportune time for me. I recently started a 9 week “get healthy” group sponsored by my health insurance. It involves daily weigh-in on a scale they sent me, that wirelessly “sends” my weight to my file and posting my food intake. There is also a coach and a “team” of other people who also want to loose weight and get healthier. Yesterday I realized that I also need to add walking “every day” to my 2 or 3 X a week workouts at a local health club if I am serious about this weight loss thing. Thank you! jan

  3. Yes Ma’am, keep walking! You inspired me to get off my butt, and it’s working for me too! Slower, think because I do my “steps” on a stationary bike, and still don’t cut enough calories, but the steps are adding up and thes sizes are slowly getting smaller. Thank you for the example you set and, of course, the entertainment provided in your books!

  4. I just had knee replacement surgery on my right leg in November. Walking is working fine now… stairs not so much.

  5. So proud of your persistence! Nothing is harder than following your own rule plan. At 60 I am definitely a slacker in the exercise department but as a reader I am right up there as an expert. Please keep walking and doing the wonderful writing that you do. I enjoy all your books and look forward to reading many, many more. Best wishes for Bill’s continuing recovery. Our heath is in our hands most of the time so I will try and follow in your admirable footsteps! ?

  6. Congratulations on being persistent with your goal. Life issues get in the way and changes must be made but you did not quit so Go You! I’ve been fighting off the crud most of January thanks to other people so hoping February is an improvement and I can finally accomplish something besides working and sleeping.

  7. Thanks for the encouragement. Being a nurse I just want to sit on my days off. I’m 64 and must force myself to get moving! Thank you.

  8. We try to walk every day if weather permits. We both have bad knees but struggle through it and as long as we stay on level ground we can do it. We especially enjoy walking along the beach, very soothing to your mind too. I do need a knee brace to walk in the sand but that doesn’t stop me.
    I enjoy your blogs and think you are doing “what the doctor ordered” and that is great. Keep up the good work and I can’t wait for your next book.

  9. That was just what I needed! Both the philosophy and the walking. Love reading your books and thoughtful thinking!

  10. I’m a little behind on your blogs, so sorry to hear about the health issues. One exercise routine I cannot stress enough is Essentrics by Miranda Edmonds-White. She has a short daily routine (even for beginners) that will build the flexibility and strength needed to live a decent life. I’m 66 and have been doing these for 2 years. I am the fittest I have ever been in my life! Try it please. You can stream on the internet (monthly subscription) or buy her DVDs. I recommend Season 11.

  11. Inspiring! My personal trainer told me today that I need to get off the boring treadmill and walk more so I’m gonna do it…even tho it’s coooood over here on the east side of the mountains. I’m setting an initial goal of 2000 steps. Here I go. Thanks!?

    • It’s wet on this side of the mountains. I have a 165 step inside lap, and ten of them equal a thousand. The dogs think I’m nuts. They watch, and I’m sure they wonder what’s the matter with her.

  12. I have 7,119 steps today, and that’s just doing my job!

    I am an Elementary School librarian. And I shelve all of our books myself. That way I know what we have and where it is. Quite handy.

    I admire your persistance, and I am so glad to hear that you and yours are on the mend. Keep up the good work.

  13. When I saw you in Casa Grande, AZ at a book signing, I didn’t know you had lost weight, but I thought what a tall slender nice looking woman you were. I had in my head you were probably about 5’5″ tall and slender. You know how you picture the author as the heroine she writes about. You are amazing, keep up the good work. I am getting back on track myself after receiving a pacemaker in October.

  14. You were my hero back when you first started and now starting again is Inspiring . I haven’t walked far but I did get us moved to Surprise AZ. From Dixon Ca. I am so happy that Bill is doing well when our other half goes down it really brings back reality.
    Keep walking , writing and tending to Bill . Spring has come to AZ and it’s beautiful here, have a grand week.. Jan

  15. Thank you, Ms. Jance! Your blog is such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your victories with us through your blog. I laughed about you snuffing out the “obnoxious doctor” (fictionally, of course) and I laughed again about how your 75 year old mother retired from roofing! See, this is why you’re such a good writer…you see the humor in life and make lemonade from lemons 😀

  16. You always have a way of motivating! It’s amazing how taking a day off from walking can quickly lead to another day off and then another day off and suddenly you haven’t walked in a long time. So easy to let any number of things become the reason for not walking today. Hopefully, I can get back on track and back in shape. I may have to read this particular blog over a few times to remind myself to get up and go! Sure glad you & Bill are so much better.

  17. I met you a couple years ago in Cottonwood, Az. You looked great! Never would have guessed you struggled with weight?! I used to live in Redmond and started your books when up there. Next Sedona then Cottonwood. Been to Bisbee so all your books have familiar surrounding. I have always wondered when you talked about the house in Sedona that took so long to build on Mesquite, if it was real? I was within walking distance, very close walking distance and watched it’s progress. It has a round window! Was that your house? I hope to meet up with you again someday. Maybe at the Sedona Art Center again?

  18. You are an inspiration for sure. I am 68 and I do a lot of walking, but compared to you I might as well be sitting on my duff watching TV…lol. I hope your doctor knows how lucky he is not to be “written out”…lol.
    I’m glad both of you are on the mend, and I hope you keep at it…walking and writing.

  19. My son just gave me a reason to “shape up”….his wedding will be this fall! As I was perusing the many mother-of-the-groom dresses online today I noticed that the models all looked more 20+ than mother-of. Hey, 65 can be beautiful, as well. We have the glow of wisdom and life experience in our corner! Ten months to lose 30 lbs? I think I’ve got this. Now, I should start looking for some fancy, comfy shoes…if that’s not an oxymoron…… Nancy from Prescott

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