When I give talks one of the frequent questions I’m asked what I do to keep fit. When I first lost my vision fitness became a low priority. I was more focussed on learning other living skills such as cooking, cleaning, personal care and orientation and mobility.
I stopped exercising and my diet wasn’t as good as it should have been. It was much easier to use pre packed or frozen food and takeaways than prepare a healthy meal. In addition one of the side affects of the steroid medication I was taking as part of my treatment after surgery was weight gain.
This combination of events caused me to put on quite a lot of weight. For many years I accepted the situation but I was never happy with the way my body felt (It wasn’t so much how I looked as I could no longer see myself).
One day I decided enough was enough, I had come along way it not letting my vision loss affect other parts of my life and I decided it wasn’t going to stop me being fit either.
I started by walking – my first Guide Dog Khan walked with me, his company really helped me stick with it even when I would have preferred to stay inside.
After a couple of weeks of regular walking I began to also use the elliptical trainer that my husband (now ex) had. I could work out harder and increase my heart rate to a higher level using a stationary piece of equipment than I could whilst walking.
Next came the rowing machine, I loved using a rower. The sales person showed me the correct technique and how I could use it without needing sighted assistance.( I wore my first rower out so I recently replaced it with a new a water rower).
As my fitness improved I became motivated to improve my diet. I overcame my anxiety about chopping fruits and veggies and cooking and began to prepare my own meals.
With the increased exercise and better diet I started to lose weight. According to the doctors scales I lost around 30 kg over a three year period. I also lost quite a few dress sizes. Happily for the last few years my weight has been stable well within the healthy BMI range.
These day my exercise regime includes an hour or so of rowing, around 8-10km of walking and approx. 20 minutes of lifting light weights. I also enjoy fortnightly running training with the Achilles group here in Canberra.
I have always wanted to try yoga but never found a class that was in a convenient location held at the right time. That has recently changed and as of next Wednesday I will going to yoga classes once a week. It will be fun trying to learn all the poses, the instructor knows I may need a little extra help until I get the hang of it. No doubt she will have to push and pull me into the proper position for the first few weeks. I can’t wait.
Meanwhile what we have been up to ……
It has been a busy week for talks, Wiley and I have been hopping on and off buses and in and out of taxis all over Canberra. Thankfully we have managed to get where we needed to go and back home again with no problems.
The dogs and I have enjoyed catching up with a couple of friends. As going out is still a little tricky with the munchkin living here we have all gone dog walking, with coffee and cake back at my place afterwards.
Now for the exciting news, the lovely Jessica from The Way I See the World has given me a Liebster award – thanks Jessica 🙂 I will be writing a post soon about the Liebster award and my responses to the questions Jessica asked.