Scamper was the word I used to motivate myself through my Life Time Fitness 90-Day Challenge. I chose scamper because when I think of the word scamper, I picture a playful, joyous, agile child bouncing nearly effortlessly along. This summed up all in one word what I wanted to feel again. When you think of the word scamper you cannot help but smile or even laugh a little.
To describe my fitness journey I must first provide a glimpse of my past. As a teenager, I destroyed my right knee. I had seven surgeries on the knee, removing the cartilage and reconstructing it before I was out of high school. As I "matured," arthritis began to creep in, and for more than twenty years I endured ever increasing pain and limited motion. My body compensated and contorted, putting more pressure on my left side. Clearly, scamper was not the word one would use to describe my gait.
Two years ago, at age 53, I gave in and had total knee replacement on my right knee. I joined Life Time Fitness after that surgery and had hoped to get myself back into shape. Unfortunately, the years of overuse and misalignment had taken their toll on my left knee as well. Soon I was back to needing a cane simply to walk the length of a football field. I was not exactly scampering!!!
On Dec 4th 2014, I again had total knee replacement surgery but this time on my left knee. I now had two bionic knees. Fortunately, the Life Time Fitness 90-Day Challenge literally started in early February 2015, the day I was cleared by my physical therapist to return to normal activities. It was at this point that I decided I needed a vision to motivate me. Scamper was the word that gave me that vision.
I also knew I would need support and guidance. I hired a personal trainer for 2 days per week through this journey and enlisted the support of my wife. With this, my journey began. I found Cathy D., my personal trainer, was great at understanding my unique needs. There were many physical activities I simply was not able to perform given my starting point. Cathy has understood when I could be pushed and when we needed to go more slowly to strengthen key muscles before going more aggressively.
The very first week I learned the most critical lesson of this journey. It's 80% what I eat and 20% exercise. With that, I set out to also change how I was eating in addition to the commitment to strength training and cardio. My regimen has me waking up at 5:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, going to Life Time and getting in an hour of exercise or more each day. I make use of the LifeCafé to have an almond delight smoothie and a couple of hard boiled eggs for breakfast. I typically have a mid morning snack of almonds or a protein bar, and the salad bar at work for lunch. My wife would prepare a dinner made from primarily organic basic foods. Already prepared and packaged foods have been eliminated from our diet.
I learned to record everything I ate in "my fitness pal" app food diary. This has helped me stick to the plan. Midway through the 90 days, my commitment was tested. I had a period of 2 weeks when I only ate at home for 2 days. Every other day I was traveling. I had to conquer being able to stick to the plan while on the road. I still exercised in the hotel and weighed in for Cathy, texting her a picture of the scale from the hotel gym. I was amazed because when I weighed in after this time, I had actually lost 5 pounds!!! It was at that point I knew I was going to succeed. Traveling had always been my downfall before.
Every week I have felt myself get stronger and quicker. The most noticeable change has been how much the quality of my sleep has improved. I have found myself standing more upright and improving my sense of balance. In fact, I could even start to feel a skip in my step. The pounds just kept coming off. The plan was working!!!
Over the course of 90 days I have lost 32 pounds. I now weigh 210. My body fat went from 42.9% to 28%. I have not been this weight in some time. I still have some to lose, but the path forward is clear. I believe that this journey has taught me how to live in a healthier way. I can also say that this Memorial Day weekend we are going sailing, and I will indeed scamper across the deck of my boat. Scamper, the simple pleasure of having the agility and freedom to be able to move with ease and pain free. This is now my word!!!