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.