A Simple Act of Walking

I’ve never been much of a walker. It seemed so basic to me. If I set out to exercise I ran. I was a runner in high school and thought it was the only true endurance exercise. It gets your heart rate pumping. It makes you sweat. It really gives you a work out. Walking? Well, I was convinced that was for sissies. After walking consistently for over a year now I have changed my mind. At this time six years ago I was in my 33rd week of a twin pregnancy. I would continue to carry the twins into my 37th week, which is fantastic for a twin pregnancy. On November 6, 2005 I gave birth to a 5# 10 oz baby girl and a 6# 4 oz baby boy (total baby weight 11# 14oz!!!). Both babies were over 19 inches long. That’s a lot of baby living on my lungs, kicking me in the bladder and pushing on my lower back! During my pregnancy I was told that a twin weight gain should be between 50 pounds and 80 pounds. Yikes! I gained about 50 pounds. I also had to have the twins by caesarean since Ellie was breach and Evan was transverse. So here I was in my mid 30s with a 50 pound weight gain and recovering from major surgery. I did take on the grand adventure of nursing the twins which I think helped me drop 30 pounds that first year, but as soon as I stopped I gained 15 back. And I have sat at that weight until a year ago. I have lived in frustration for five years trying to figure out how to shed those unwanted pounds. In the spring I would drop maybe 5 pounds as we opened the pool and began heading outside again. I would adjust my eating, which is typically a lower carb/low sugar diet anyway to lose a few pounds. However as the summer faded and the smell of donuts wafted from every QD in the city the scale would start upward again. Add in the “candy” holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and the five pound loss was recouped and then some by the time spring rolled around again. Then last year I started City Saunter. The idea was simple; go into town, park the car and walk an area for awhile two or three times a week. I would continue this pattern for as long as it took to walk all the streets in the Lansing city limits. My first walks were averaging about a mile. I finished tired and my feet hurt. While family and friends were training to run marathons I was depressingly barely making it a few miles. At each walk I tried to walk a little further. I found each hour I was out I was walking about 3 miles. I stayed at that steady pace most of the spring and summer; twice a week. That’s six miles a week. Not too shabby. After a few months at this schedule I noticed something. My midpoint weight (or set point) dropped. The spot on the scale where some days I was over and some days I was under went down about 5 pounds! Not only that but my fat %, which my scale measures, had also gone down. I was thrilled!! Then in August my son started classes at LCC and needed to be dropped off for a two hour class and picked back up again. I decided to use that time for my walks, allowing me to get in a six mile walk at least once a week. After a year of walking I have lost almost 15 pounds of non-fluctuating weight and almost 5% body fat. I didn’t diet and ironically I don’t really feel like I was exercising; I was just walking. There were no sweaty gyms, no weight lifting, no grapevining, no torn ligaments, and no achy knees. It was simply me with my camera wandering around the streets of Lansing.

6 responses to “A Simple Act of Walking

  1. You are inspiring :).

  2. Your picture is beautiful!

  3. Very nice story Ariniko, you are a descriptive writer and you drew me in to your story. I didn’t really understand what City Saunter was about although I’m sure you have said along the way. Good for you staying with this idea and your reaping the fruits of your discipline, you look beautiful!!! Your words are inspiring to others and your photos show the beauty of taking time to really ‘see’ your community. Proud of you! Vicki (Kyle’s mom)

    • Thank you so much for your kinds words! I really appreciate it. My optimism has been a little less inspiring than I would like so I have been trying to find silver linings when I can. When I read comments like your’s it really helps me to stay positive. Thank you again!

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