I’m sharing a bit of my fitness journey and answering the question I often get…Will walking take off pounds?
*As always, please consult your doctor before starting any diet/exercise plan.
MY WALKING JOURNEY AND A DONUT
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my Stories on how many miles I am walking each day. Nothing like being accountable to 14,000+ people to keep you going!!! But I haven’t always done this and it all began with a donut.
I had found a new bakery in our area that had great reviews. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good pastry now and again but it truly isn’t something I eat/buy a lot of anyway, but it’s part of this journey.
That day, I thought it would be a good brunch treat and decided to get some and support a small business.
Now, back when we lived in Arizona we would walk to get donuts once or twice a year. We at least felt we burned a tiny bit off.
I reflected on that past experience and how I felt about myself at that time. Since no one would be up at my house for a while, I decided to walk.
And, that was the start. I knew I wasn’t happy with where I was at. I had gained weight, physically out of shape and my clothes didn’t fit well, but at that time there was no great plan.
The next day, I walked again…or maybe I should say strolled. I looked at houses and took pictures and generally lollygagged. I loved soaking in the fresh air and nature!
But, each day getting a bit stronger and the walks getting a bit longer.
Again, if you follow on Instagram, you may have caught some of the weight loss that I have achieved.
In approximately 4 months I have lost 16 pounds. All during a pandemic, losing a sibling, having a day job on top of the blog, eating and making homemade pizza, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!
That may not be huge to some, but it was good for me as it is sustainable.
And the question I often get is: Is that all due to walking?
YES – 60% NO – 40%
The walking started it all, but I did realize, I needed more to make any kind of difference because of the granola bar test.
THE GRANOLA BAR TEST
After these little walks turned into slightly bigger walks, I started to think about my health and how to make the changes I wanted. That turned into looking into how much I was truly working off.
On average, I was looking at about 20o (or less) calories with these walks…A GRANOLA BAR!!!! One tiny little granola bar!!!!
I knew I was going to have to push myself harder to either burn more and/or cut back on food.
Since I like really like food, fitness needed to be a big part of what I need to be doing but in that, I have slowly made different food choices as well. There is nothing like comparing what you are eating to how much it would take to burn it off – Is it worth it?
MY WALKING JOURNEY THEN AND NOW
After four months here’s where I was vs. where I am:
- I started with a mile to two miles each day vs now I have a goal of 3-5 miles a day and to end my day with a minimum of 10,000 steps.
- I started with a stroll walk vs today I do intermittent walking, jogging, and running.
- Then I had no fitness goals vs today I have steps, stand, move, and mile goals.
- In the first week or two, I replaced the food I burned with more food. Now, I have cut out food that really wasn’t that great, to begin with, but just easy. I have replaced it with other easy foods like ready-to-go salads and nuts.
- Started with no exercise to speak of. Now, I walk/jog/run plus dabble in some planking, weights, and other smaller exercises each day as part of my routine.
- Hubby wasn’t walking and now he goes with me on his days off.
Walking has been great for me but as you can see it hasn’t just stopped there. If your goal is to shed some pounds, in my experience, you really have to watch your food intake too. As I know a lot of exercise gurus say: You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
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Here are a few tips that have been helpful for me:
- CONSISTENCY – I knew I had to go every day or I would do the exercise day shuffle..you know that one where you put off what you need to do until the next day.
- PREPARE – In order to go every day, in all weather, I needed to have walking gear for all occasions…even a breathing mask for fire season which I used. I also have a backup activity (stair climbing in the house) if I absolutely can’t walk outside.
- ACCOUNTABILITY – Knowing that I had all my viewers on Instagram, kept me going. Find whatever works for you to keep yourself accountable. Even writing this is a form of accountability.
- LIST – I keep a list of reasons why I am doing what I am doing to keep me motivated on days I don’t want to go.
- INFORMATION – Knowing how much you are burning and consuming is super helpful if trying to lose weight.
- TOOLS – In addition to your gear, I have found a fitness tracker/app or watch to be incredibly helpful. You can set your goals and reach to achieve them.
- GOALS – Not only do I have goals, but I stretch them all the time. I have some start and stop locations of run/jog spots and consistently try and push just a little more.
- SAFETY – Don’t forget to build safety into your walking plan. think how you will be seen (visibility) and how to signal for help.
- YOU – Most importantly, find what works best for you. This hasn’t been a super-fast journey for me. I don’t want it to be. I need something that I will be able to maintain.
NO END GAME
After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value. – G.M. Trevelyan
I didn’t start this journey to have an end game. My biggest desire is to incorporate things into my daily life that are achievable for each day going forward.
I don’t have an end date.
I don’t have a goal weight.
All that I have, are things that I will be doing every day to live a healthier life.
*If you have any questions about my walking journey, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.