On May 13th I asked the question "Where does Inspiration Come From?". I don't have to look far to see it! My wife, Polly, has inspired me throughout our relationship and especially since November. She has lost 22 pounds under not the best of circumstances.
I am totally inspired by this because she had a number of reasons not to start this weight loss journey or to even gain weight. Over the past 1 1/2 years Polly has been facing a number of issues. The most prominent of these issues has been the failing health of her parents. In January 2010 things started to unravel with her mom's health which created a tough situation for Polly, her sister, and our families. Her mom was the primary care giver for her dad who had suffered with dementia for years and now she was dealing with some major health issues and a series of falls that had lead to several operations and hospital stays.
In June of 2010 we got the news that Polly's dad had less than 3 months to live. Another tough bit of news to digest with everything going on in her life. Polly's dad lived for 10 months and passed at the end of March 2011. Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard. Knowing the timeline and having it extended for a period of time is a blessing and a curse. I think only someone that has been through this type of news can relate. You find out that you have a short period of time with a wonderful person, you work to make every moment special, to embrace all of the good times, to make that person happy and comfortable, and this goes on and on. You think every late phone call is the one telling you he is gone. You worry about anything and everything. And that does not even take into account the worry and stress you have for your mom or the worry and stress of all of life's other challenges. Because of all of this, Polly has been a road warrior traveling many weekends back and forth to Columbia and Pickens, spending all of last summer with her parents, and even needing to take some FMLA from her job as a school nurse.
I tell you all of this not to depress you, but for you to understand why she has inspired me through all of the challenges life presents us, especially the more precious challenges of the past 18 months. Polly decided to work on her weight and make a commitment to take care of herself in November 2010. She talked with me about wanting to do something and where to start. She did some great stuff. She "Kept it Simple" (KISS) and used what she knew and a what we talked about.
Polly used three main tools to get to this point in her journey. She logged, focused on her water intake, and counted her steps (pedometer).
- Logging involved her getting a "arty little note book and calligraphy Sharpie" (her words) to write down what she ate each day noting calorie intake. She did this armed with the knowledge of staying at or below her BMR (calories you burn at rest each day).
- Waterintake was increased to a minimum of 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day.
- Steps were counted on her pedometer with a target of 10,000 steps each day. She stayed above 8,000 steps most days.
And, Polly is down 22 pounds since early November and happy about her journey. She has done a GREAT job taking care of herself while taking care of her parents, ME, 392 students, and everything else life chunks her way. I am proud and love her very much for all she does for others in her life. I am very happy she is taking care of herself for herself.
Note to ME and YOU: Take care of YOU so YOU can best take care of others!