Recent Entries
Summer Vacation: Tips for Traveling with CHD
How Do You Start Your Morning?
Balancing Parenting & Congenital Heart Disease
The First Five Years
My Journey to a Grateful Life
Now What?
Medical Home Sweet Home
Still Cliché’?
To My Village: Thank You
Education is Key in Spreading the Word about CHD


The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

Baby Steps

Jun 19

Posted by: ACHA
6/19/2014 12:25 PM  RssIcon

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

I am loving this summer. After an extremely brutal winter it’s been wonderful getting outside again. The winter cold forced me to give up my daily walks. I’ve worked hard nearly every day to get in even better shape than I was last year. Well, that and lose the 20 pounds I gained.

I’ve set two goals for myself that I intend to hit by the end of September. One is to be able to run the three miles that I currently walk every day. The other is to lose those 20 pounds I gained this past winter. I’ve tried to do this a few times since my last surgery. In the past I’ve gone at it full blast, changing my diet and adding a lot of exercise all at once. Usually I do well the first few weeks, losing a few pounds and feeling good about the changes. Then, life gets in the way and the whole thing falls apart within a few days.

I know there is someone out there who has done this as well—tried to jump in with both feet and then fizzled out quickly. This time, though, I’ve decided to add little things at a time. About six weeks ago I started walking my three-mile loop again. A couple of weeks ago I felt well enough to start running part of it and so each week I run a little bit more of it.

This week I’m working on my horrible pizza addiction. No, I’m not giving up pizza. I’m making my own. They take about 30 minutes to make using an eight-inch flour tortilla as a thin crust. Best thing is that it allows me to use leftovers from the fridge and they taste even better than the store bought stuff.

Now I know you’re wondering how much headway I’m making toward my goals. So here’s the update: I’m running about a half mile out of the three miles each day and I’ve lost two pounds. I know, not a lot of weight loss for six weeks. I’m not worried, though, because I have lost enough around my waist to need a belt to hold my pants up. So I hope by making small changes in my life I can make big changes in my health.

Note: Always make sure to check with your ACHD cardiologist before beginning any exercise routine.

Jon Ritchings, Jr., is a 40-year-old father who was born with pulmonary atresia and hypoplastic right heart syndrome. Although he has made a career in retail, he prefers to be outdoors kayaking and taking photos. Jon likes to draw inspiration from quotes and one of his current favorites is from Lao Tzu: “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”

Location: Blogs Parent Separator ACHA Blog

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel