Approximately three and a half months ago, I could barely finish our home’s flight of stairs without trying to catch my breath. Jogging was the last thing on my mind. I was a kitchen person. I preferred to create delicious meals, be inside the kitchen, and eat, instead of thinking about the effects of excessive food in my body. I started to abuse my own health until one fateful day, when I had to undergo a simple physical and blood examination at a nearby clinic, I learned that I was inching closer everyday to becoming a diabetic. I was given notice by my sister, after she received my blood test results, and that’s when realization hit me, that if I don’t make any changes to my lifestyle now, diabetes would be the least of my worries. I went back to my room and stayed on my bed, staring blankly at the ceiling for what seemed like eternity, with my mind trying to comprehend the news that was given to me. I got too close to an illness, that, once acquired, can never be cured. What went wrong? How could I have become so careless? Now what?
That’s when it hit me. I realized that everything I was close to having was a result of the reckless eating that I did every day. I had to make a choice. Either continue this downward spiral into a life of prescriptions, hospital bills, endless supply of syringes and insulin, or pick myself up and start taking care of myself better, which my body, my own God-given physical self, desperately needed.
This is when I started my own daily 10k steps challenge. It wasn’t easy. Every step was painful, and each one I made came with a singular thought — I want to start walking home. But I didn’t give up; and 14 weeks later, I was 40 pounds lighter, my blood sugar was excellent, my cholesterol levels were that of a high school kid, and I’ve never felt better. In this article, I wish to share with you the weekly program I went with. This would probably be available over the internet, so please do feel free to go with something that would work for you, if in case this week by week program is too boring, or too challenging. Each week listed on the chart below, I wrote it down each week as I went through it. I didn’t get the list first and then followed it. I didn’t want to try something out of someone else’s program, because chances are, I won’t follow it anyway. So I made my own. I did what I felt comfortable with, that way, if there’s anyone to blame, it would only be myself.
To quickly explain the table: each corresponding week had three daily goals that I had to complete, Steps, Time, and Calories Burned. Sounds simple, right? The first column is quite simple; finish 10k steps each day of each week. As for ‘completion’, it’s the amount of time that I had to complete 10k steps each day for that corresponding week. Lastly, the calories burned; luckily, I had an available fitness band that worked hand in hand with my smartphone to compute the calories burned for me, so I also monitored the calories I burned each session for the particular week.
So, to understand the table better, here’s a quick example. On my 5th week, I had to complete 10k steps each day, without going over 50 minutes, and have a minimum calories burned of 350. I made this table so that I could push myself to beat my performance the previous week, and be better each day, otherwise, what I was doing would be all for nothing. I might as well just go back to the kitchen and continue my path towards diabetes.
As you may have already noticed, the completion time started to go down. which meant that I went faster each week. My legs started to adjust to the activity. My heart and lungs got accustomed to working together again. I ran faster, I felt way better. As of this week, my Week 15, I have already successfully reached a completion time of 33 minutes for an entire run of 10k steps, and my final goal is to reach my 6th month doing this and be able to complete 10k steps in just around 25 minutes. Doable? I hope so.
Feel free to use the table as you see fit. I’m sharing this here because if it was able to help me, it can definitely help others like me. And again, if a former lazy person who did nothing but eat and sleep can make that change and be better, so can you.