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It was a very challenging month for me, as I had knee surgery on Thursday, March 15. I was in a lot of pain the first week of the month, so I mostly just did my minimum 30-minute walks, as you can see in this month's chart below.

At or around the 7th, I got some pain pills from my doctor to help me out until the surgery. That, too, is reflected in the walking chart below. :-)

I really wanted to try and not miss a day of walking, so I walked the morning of my surgery, from 8:30-9:00, and then went in for my surgery, which was scheduled for 12:45.

It was okay to put weight on my knee as soon as I could, so I actually went to the gym the next day (late in the day), and I walked on the treadmill for part of my 30 minutes, and then did the rest at home—albeit all at a glacial pace.


Here are the numbers for March:

[Click to enlarge] Chart showing a walk every day of the month of March. My average walk was 38 minutes long.
Background photo: During a March walk, the light at the end of this tunnel on campus struck me as
a metaphor for what I hoped might be some pain-free walking again after my surgery.


I was not as disciplined about my eating as I was in January and February. As you can see—particularly the day of (after fasting for 12 hours) my surgery (March 15) and the days immediately following—I went a little wild.

Here is my March food and exercise diary as recorded in dailyburn.com:
Dailyburn March calendar showing calories eaten and calories burned
The calories burned by walking are included in the "Cals Burned" amount, which also includes calories burned while doing ab crunches and my upper and lower body strength training whenever I did that in addition to my walking for a particular day.

Disclaimer: Once again today's calorie count is an estimate. It's what I plan to eat if I "stay on track" today.


That reduced eating discipline, together with my decrease in exercise intensity due to my knee surgery, definitely affected my weight loss this month.

With that said, I'm still thrilled with a five-pound loss, as it put me at the 30-pound loss milestone, and all while not missing a day of walking in spite of my surgery.
Chart showing a weight loss of a total of 30 pounds since starting in January through the last Monday in March.Background photo disclaimer: Like last month's photo, I was never as big as the starting guy,
and I'm nowhere near in the shape of the ending guy.


Here are some reflections about this month's experience:

  • I forgot to mention that at the end of February, I added a five-pound weight to the ab bench for my crunches. I've been doing ab crunches, 300 (15 sets of 20 reps), for over a year now, and adding weight while doing them is something I never saw myself being able to do. Yay for that. And yay for (knock on wood) no more lower back pain (which I used to have chronically) since I've been doing them regularly.

  • The 30 minutes of walking I got in on the day after my surgery consisted of 17 minutes (at an incredibly slow speed, understandably) on the treadmill at the gym, and then later in the evening, 13 minutes near my house, as part of checking my mail.

  • On Saturday, two days after my surgery, I walked in my neighborhood for 30 minutes without any problems. I listened to R. Kelly's The Storm Is Over several times, while also thinking about that tunnel on campus. Also, I was singing so loudly along with it that I think at one point a lady out raking the leaves in her yard heard me. Too bad. I'm happy to have a healthy knee to be walking on.

  • Toward the end of this month, I actually added another 5-pound weight to my ab crunches. That just amazes me still, and I can definitely feel the difference, both while doing them and the next day.

  • I'm not yet back to the original weights in my lower body routine, which consists mostly of leg exercises, but I'm making progress on it.

  • I'm a little bit concerned about really getting back on track with my eating, but I actually weighed 193 this morning. I didn't include it in this month's chart, because my official weigh-in day is Monday. All that is to say is that it's encouraging and is helping to renew my commitment.

  • That, and the fact that it still ain't pretty naked.

  • One commitment that there's no doubt about is the goal to walk every day left of 2012—&deity willing.


So, the great Walking Challenge 2012 is one-fourth over. In business terms, we're moving into 2Q2012.

The invaluable thing that this challenge has done for me is to make daily exercising non-negotiable—that the question about exercising now is always "when," not "if."

February's Challenge Entry | All Challenge Entries | April'sChallenge Entry



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
Well I believe this makes the month of March a SUCCESS! Great job on sticking with it, John, especially with the knee surgery. You're such a trooper, my lazy self would have definitely milked that and just lain on the couch watching junk TV and eating ice cream!
Apr. 4th, 2012 12:27 am (UTC)
Re: YAY!
Thank you, my friend!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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