Mary and Karen, still making slow progress

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 5, 2018

Both ladies are still at it. but the results have not been what any of us hoped for by the end of July. Monthly goals are certainly easier said that done. I asked the ladies about their commitment to the program and here is what I got.

Karen Leonard, Oak Park Retirement Activities Director said, “I feel 100 percent committed to this program. With the support of David and Oak Park, it has given me an amazing opportunity to be committed to an on-going fitness program. This is now something that I do daily. It has become a life changing experience. I have always tried to be committed to a healthy lifestyle but have to work harder at it now in order to reach my goal.”

Mary Burridge, Smart Start Project Manager, said, “I am committed to the program, but more than that I am committed to this healthier lifestyle. A lot of progress is still to be made and I am excited to see what these next five months have in store.”

With their comments, I believe they are committed, but there are certain times when it is easier to do less than they should. Both Mary and Karen are making cardiovascular fitness improvements. My fear is that the workouts are still not intense enough and there are slips in calorie intake.

Often, the past stars of the Salisbury Post Wellness Program are competitive with each other, especially as the program has headed toward completion.

I asked the ladies if they see themselves as competitive and Karen replied, “I am very competitive. I like to have goals and reach goals. With this program, my goal was to lose 20 pounds this year. I started competing with myself and raised the number of pounds I wanted to lose once I started getting close to the goal.”

Mary’s answer was more complex. She said, “I am not a competitive person by nature. Meaning that I don’t like to compete with others. However, I do compete with myself as I always try to be a better me than I was the day before. I don’t like falling short of my goals. However, falling short often drives me to work harder to catch up.”

We discussed what has been getting in the way of success. By mid-year, the same exercises that worked earlier have to be ramped up. I asked both ladies to consider taking group classes in strength, spin or something similar.

Karen said, “I really don’t feel anything is getting in the way. As far as more intensity … I have improved so much and will just keep adding to my workouts. Running for a longer distance is a new goal of mine to help increase intensity.”

Mary said, “It is hard for me to make the additional classes work with my schedule but I am pushing the intensity. I need to be more consistent with my daily workouts and sometimes changing cardio exercises for a bigger benefit.”

For August, Mary must get started in classes and for Karen, a class is very good, but they need to be regular. Twice a week would be a good goal. There is nothing wrong with two different types of workouts on the same day if they work different muscle groups. Pushing the intensity is the key.

Remember that a 3.1 mile run is only good for 350 calories burned at the most. Losing a pound takes burning AND not eating 3500. Strength workouts are not going to do much for weight loss at this point, but core strength helps with completion of cardiovascular workouts. We are still lacking in getting enough real workouts. A walk is a secondary thing, not primary for the day. How will you achieve more intensity and make the most of every day?

One really good thing happened during July — both ladies completed 3.1 miles of running without stopping on the same day. A slight increase in distance is in order. As an example, the weight bearing exercise of running could be complemented by a spin class or swimming. Both ladies have made strides with water consumption. Mary has added fruit to her diet. And they continue to have good attitudes.

With seven months done, Karen has lost 16 pounds and Mary has lost 33. Neither made their goal for July but continued to make progress. Realistically, Karen should drop 4-5 more in August and Mary 6-8, all the while continuing to improve their diets.

So, we will keep at it. Join us again at the end of August.