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David Freeze: Robin and Isaac make strides in February

Different paths to similar results

Robin Satterwhite, a professor at RCCC, and Isaac Miller, a Salisbury policeman, were trending on different paths as they reached the end of the February, our second month together. Both committed in early January to an improvement with general wellness, not quite as easy as it may sound. The theme for February was effort, effort against those habits that must be left behind, and effort to build new and successful habits.

Both were faced with problems to conquer. Robin said, “I wanted a cheat meal every now and then. January wasn’t so bad, but February has been a challenge with this. It wasn’t the Valentine candy but more a temptation to grab a chili dog at a drive thru. Also, I’ve struggled with meal planning and ideas for healthy snacks. I look forward to researching some ideas, then making appropriate grocery lists and preparing for the week ahead on Sundays.”

Isaac struggled more. He said, “It’s been challenging to balance work life, home life and healthy living. It’s a sacrifice, and no one is willing to budge on either side. You do well on one thing — and someone complains on the other. Balancing life was the biggest problem of the month.”

I have encouraged both to count calories daily at least until they break over the top. Robin said, “I am using MyfitnessPal for the daily calorie count. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the accurate listing and calorie count, especially with home cooked meals. Some days I have trouble using all the calories allotted.”
Isaac said, “Yes, not finding the actual calorie count of an item and making decisions on what to eat. At the end of the day I want a doughnut, but I know that would put me over or just be empty calories.”

Robin has been open about adding on exercise to our usual cardio heavy workouts. She said, “I really enjoy the jab/kickboxing class at the YMCA. It is a good cardio workout that forces me to focus. Rayna Gardner’s Body Blast class at the Forum has been enjoyable also. It’s a good mix of cardio and weight training.”
Isaac has struggled more to branch out. He said, “Running allows me to temporarily forget how crazy my life is. I’m a big fan of weight training for great stress relief, but I’ve put down the weights to focus more on cardio.”

One of the most fun results of this column are the readers who get to know the participants. Already, people are talking to Robin and Isaac. Robin said, “I have had support and kind words expressed to me from family, coworkers and friends since the first Post article appeared in January. No strangers have approached me yet, but I feel sure that could happen at any time. People are tuned in to wellness, know what they should be doing, and follow those of us who are trying our best. Several friends and coworkers have told me they are using me for motivation to begin an exercise routine.”

Isaac added, “Nothing but good things so far. One thing I constantly hear is, “Are you done eating?” I do feel slightly judged for eating the proper portions of food, when everyone else is eating a full plate.”

Robin branched out to do the Will Run for Food 5K last Saturday. She said, “An awesome experience and my best time yet! A mostly flat course and beautiful scenery on that Saturday morning. My best previous 5K time was 51 minutes and 17 seconds. I shaved four minutes with a finish time of 47 minutes and 16 seconds! Still slow, but an improvement.”

March goals for Robin include “To lower my resting heart rate and continue to see my anxiety slowly disappear. I want to see weight consistently drop every week. As mentioned above, I also want to successfully research and implement a good, workable meal plan.”

Isaac simply said, “To knock out ten pounds.”

I asked about hobbies to know them better. Robin enjoys traveling and hopes to afford more. She also enjoys reading, especially WWll historical fiction, plus crochet and spring gardening. Isaac likes fishing, video games and people watching. He also enjoys cooking and is searching for healthier options.

We’ll soon tour a local grocery while learning to read labels and identifying better choices. Most of my clients have initial difficulty understanding what labels mean.

For February, Robin lost 3.5 pounds for a total loss of 6.5 pounds.
Isaac lost 2 pounds for a total loss so far of 10 pounds.
There is plenty of work ahead and much for me to share.

See you back here at the end of March.

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