Plus-Size Participant Needs Suggestions

What PS woman can suggest a good walking shoe to be used over a 10- day period? My requirements:
A. No sandals
B. Comfort is important, not fashion
C. I must wear compression knee-high socks. Compression hosiery are out of the question.
D. In the past I have used New Balance laced leather uppers, replacing the insoles with Spenco insoles. Is NB the best for a PS woman?

I will be walking in mountainous area most of the day when not traveling.

  • Suggestions to prepare for the walking. I admit to being a couch potato. I walk one section of the mall before my lower back begins to hurt.

  • Suggestions for treating sore feet & sore back at end of day?

My trip is not until Spring 2015. HELP! I do not want to miss any of this trip!

P.S. I will be traveling to mountain ranges in Portugal & Spain as well as the French Alps. Although a coach will take my group to Fatima, Lourdes, & destinations in the mountains of Spain, the walking will be uphill/downhill. There is nothing comparable in Houston.

My intention is to slowly build up my stamina to walking five to ten miles/day. I will use the gym staff to teach me how to use the equipment I need to use to build muscle - again at my pace, not theirs. I am checking into water aerobics, also, as suggested.

Feel free to message me.

Posted by Gretchen
Seattle, WA, US
66 posts

How fun to be preparing for a trip!!!

First I am not a huge fan of Spenco I prefer Super Feet they seem to fit in women's shoes better than Spenco.

To get ready for all that walking I HIGHLY recommend getting a Fit Bit pedometer. I have the cheapest one the "fit bit zip" it keeps track of how many steps you walk each day I wear it clipped to my bra You'll be surprised how motivated you can be just tracking your steps. I went from walking about 2,000 steps a day to walking 13,000 a day. Everything from my stamina to my sleep has improved.

Have a great trip!!

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
721 posts

Take your socks and head to a good running store, yes a running store. Tell them you need to train to walk and get them to help you fit shoes. Get a pair that work for you, don't get hung up on "color", "brand" etc... The "sore" and back comments may mean that your shoes are not working for you. Don't worry about hiking shoes yet, you need to start with training where you live.

Then it's time to use them. Start slow and start walking. You need to get out there and walk a couple of times a week building up to longer walks on the weekends. So let's say that on Monday and Wednesday evening you start out with 20 minutes each day and then you do two miles on Saturday. Next week it's 25 minutes and 2.5 miles and so on.

After you build up some distance you then can decide if you are going to need boots for your hiking, get them and then go find some hills/mountains where you live and use that for your weekend walks.

If you start slow and remain consistent this can be done!

I also use SuperFeet Insoles but only because I have a high arch that has already caused some arthritis damage in my foot. I would recommend getting advice from either the running store or a podiatrist before just using insoles becasue "everyone says I need them" I honestly don't need them at all for one foot.

Posted by Marie
Atlanta, GA
54 posts

Great advice from Carol! Getting a professional fit for your shoes, either from a running store or a walking store, should help with the back pain.

Start easy with the walking and then work your way up. The important thing is to do a little each day. Once you are comfortable with flat ground, I would try to start adding some hills into the mix. Hills are a much bigger workout than flat ground.

A fit-bit, or even a simple Omron pedometer, is also a great idea. It really helps with the motivation.

Posted by Beth
Boulder, Colorado, USA
122 posts

Try Keen brand, they are great.

I have noticed that walking in a mall is a very odd pace and that may be what causes your sore back. Try walking where you can maintain your natural pace. Also if possible do your walks not on concrete, find a gravel or dirt path - perhaps there is a park near you?

You will make great progress with daily walks. Start where you are and do what you can. If five minutes is all you can do at the start, accept that and build slowly but deliberately to your goal. You have pleanty of time to improve but not time to recover if you get injured by trying to do too much too quickly.

Enjoy the trip and the preperation!

Posted by JenC
Houston, TX
34 posts

I second/third the recommendation to get professionally fitted for shoes. I noticed you live in Friendswood and two stores that were recommended to me in the Houston area for getting shoes specially fitted are Luke's Locker and Fleet Feet. Luke's Locker is supposed to have a good return policy even after the shoes have been worn. The Walking Company in the Galleria also has a good selection of shoes and inserts, but not sure how helpful they will be at fitting your shoes. Just because a brand is suggested does not mean that all shoes within that brand will work for what you need and how you will wear/use the shoes. I have seen many people suggest Keen shoes and while they are great for some people, I got plantar fasciitis walking in them in Italy because they did not have enough arch support for MY feet.

Hope this helps, good luck and have fun trying on shoes!

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
808 posts

Colette - along with walking on the tread mill in the gym you might consider add some strength training - either on the machines or with free weights = provided you have no health concerns that would bar you from doing so. I know from my own experience that the weight machines can be very intimidating - especially for a PS woman. But strengthening your muscles will help your over all goal as muscle burns more calories than fat - yay!

Start as small as you need - 1 lb weights for free weights and the lowest setting on the machine if necessary - it's not a contest. Start with low reps - 2 sets of 5 or something along those lines and slowly increase as your stamina increases - work uppers one day lowers the next. If your gym has a trainer available - utilize them - or the gym staff to teach you how to use the equipment. Grinding on the treadmill gets old but incorporating other exercises into a workout helps keep it interesting and rewarding.

Get a buddy - so important - either a friend or meet someone at the gym - you will help keep each motivated.

As always - check with your physician before beginning any program.

Posted by Jean
Mill Creek, WA, USA
435 posts

Hi Colette,

If your back is hurting from walking at the mall, you might want to try a low impact water aerobics class. It's a great way to strengthen your legs and back with less chance of hurting afterwards - just go at your pace.

Also, make a graph and post it in a visible spot in your home that shows how many steps you walked or how many times each week you did some type of exercise or whatever is meaningful to you. Let it be motivating & a sense of accomplishment; if you miss a week, just think about next week...

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by Lo
Tucson
1098 posts

From another plus size woman who has to wear compression socks...

You don't say where you are going, or exactly when, but I will bet it will involve stairs, lots of stairs. You may not have hills where you live, but even the malls will have stairs if there is an upper level. Use them. Slowly and a little at a time at first.

Another option might be to go to a high school track, walk around it once, go up and down the bleacher stairs, then around the track again, then up...you get the picture.

The treadmill will help with stamina and improving muscle tone. Any thing you do will help, but as a gym user and an outdoor, on dirt roads dog walker, there is nothing that compares with doing it under more realistic conditions.

As always, consult with your doctor before starting any rigorous program.

As others have said, one person's best shoe ever is another's nonsupportive blister maker, so heed the advice about getting the right fit and shoes. My new favorites are high topped Ahnus which have both good foot and ankle support.

The good news -- my husband and I eat anything we want on our trips and still lose weight because of all the walking. Some of the distances already listed may make you gasp, but they are typical.

Posted by heidi
10 posts

I'm a size 3x/4x, about to leave for a 6 week trip. Unfortunately I caught a cold a month ago, then sprained my knee, then got food poisoning, so I won't be in the shape I'd like to be. I'm glad you're starting early!

When I went to Italy many years ago, I found the cobblestones to be troublesome. I don't know how the women walked in them in high heels!

I bought a pair of Brooks Addiction walking shoes for this trip. These are good for people who need arch support. I also have to put in my insoles that I got from an orthopedic shoe store. In fact, if you have a place like this, as opposed to a running store, they might have a better selection for your needs, if you need wide shoes or custom arch supports. The supports have made a big difference for me in pain levels, btw.

I also have a pair of Keen water sandals that are very comfortable for me, but I think it'll be too cold in the fall for them. Like everyone said, what works for one person might not work for you, so try things on. Superfeet insoles are good if you don't need a lot of cushioning or your shoes already provide that.

Posted by Colette
Home Sweet Home :-)
482 posts

I will be going to Fatima, Portugal, various places in Spain, & to Lourdes, France - places where the Virgin Mary has appeared. (Note: Mary, rarely if ever, comes to sea level.)

Posted by Nancy
Millstone Twp., New Jersey, USA
26 posts

As a plus size myself with a lot of your issues, I am also trying to eat better and lose weight. I am using a Nutri Ninja to make green smoothies. The base is kale, swiss chard or another green, and you can add fruit, ginger and liquid to make a filling "blast" that makes you feel great, helps you get off refined carbs and sugars, and gives you lots of energy. You'd be suprised how good they can taste, as green as they look! There are lots of recipes out there and you will find what combo works for you. I was hardcore into bread, cookies, sweets...now rarely eat sweets and a little whole grain bread. I am convinced the green smoothies (in the beginning it was more like sludge until I got it right for me) help a lot in transitioning to better eating. Even my husband started doing it. I do not work for Nutri Ninja, but recommend this brand after the latest Consumer Reports article on smoothie blenders (current issue). I also have an expensive juicer, but prefer the Ninja because you get ALL the good stuff and fiber. You throw a lot of that out with a juicer. I also had trouble finding shoes that were comfortable to walk long distances. Went to New Balance store and got a good fitting and inserts. They are not sexy, a bit clunky, but feel great, and I don't care if the look is American Old Lady, I am going with what keeps me going in comfort. I have tried a myriad of other less obvious walking shoes without success. Maybe when I drop the weight I will have sexier feet. Meantime, my hair is a bit edgy and I have dangly earrings to let my freak flag fly!

Posted by crystald
Seattle
27 posts

Hi Colette -

Congrats on the trip, it sounds very exciting! It sounds like everyone has addressed your first request for suggestions. But the second... I would suggest Bliss Foot Patrol, it comes in a travel size, and it has a very delightful peppermint scent, relaxing!

Again, enjoy the trip, and enjoy the preparations!

Crystal

Posted by BB
Calgary
86 posts

I always have trouble with my feet on vacations. They are my biggest impediment. I have very wide but very short feet, and it's difficult to find properly fitting shoes, even in "Wide" sizes. On my trip in July, even though I had brought 3 pair of my most comfortable shoes, I ended up buying a new pair of shoes in Vienna, because my feet were hurting so much. The problem was that my feet swelled more than usual with the heat and all the walking, so my shoes had a lot of pressure points. I ended up buying a pair of shoes that was a size too big. I felt like I was wearing clown shoes at first, but they did the trick. Between those and one of my other pair, I was able to finish my trip with my feet relatively intact.

So my suggestion would be to bring a pair of shoes that is a little bit too big.

Posted by doric8
240 posts

I understand what you are saying about outdoor exercise in the Texas summer heat......I say use all of the indoor tricks for a couple of months and then zip up your jacket and enjoy walking outside in the the texas "winter". something that is really good for my feet is to alternate shoes.....im also Plus Size and we just did 10 days in Italy, and at least two of those involved STEEP hill climbs.......I wore my reeboks on those days, and tried to wear Birkenstock sandals the other days, I know you cant wear sandals, but both Birkenstock and haflingers make some excellent shoes that are a tiny b it dressier than my nikes......

Posted by Mimi
Morrison, CO, USA
448 posts

Colette,

Sounds like you're going to have a great trip!

About the shoes, Years ago I bought two pair of Soft Walk shoes from Nordstroms for a trip to Europe. I love them and wear them here in Colorado a lot. They have an insole that looks and feels like an egg crate that you put on top of a mattress. Which makes you feet feel comfortable all day even in Europe on lots of cobblestones. They have been to Europe with me 5 times. I have recommended them to many friends and no one has told me any negative feedback about them. Nordstroms has a great return policy even on shoes, so if you get them and get them broken in and they don't work for you you'll get your money back. The other advice I have is to find whatever shoes you want to use now and get them broken in, which should be easy since you're into walking now.

Take care and have a great trip, looking forward to seeing your trip report when you get back
Mimi

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
1198 posts

I will add that when you do go to try on shoes, do it late in the day after you have walked so your feet are bigger than they might be first thing in the AM. I have switched to Altra Running Shoes which have a very wide toe box and a zero drop platform (no heel, oddly, flat shoes are better for plantar fasciitis/fasciosis and work for me). As an overweight soon-to-be 65-yr old I walk, I do not run. These shoes fit me really well and my toes like the room to spread out.

Since you have until next Spring, you have plenty of time to get in shape. I also do a graduated increase in mileage, but you need to have a base first so start with increasing your number of days for the first month, working up to walking 5 or 6 days a week. After a month do a longer walk one day a week, increasing by not much more than 10% per week. If you are walking 20 minutes, increase to 22, or actually you can probably add 5 minutes onto your time on your long day. Trust me, this works. I am up to walking 10 miles by adding 10% per week. I suggest you do your walking as early as you can. Not sure what time daybreak is for you but I would have to be out there at first light because of your heat if there is somewhere safe for you to walk that time of day.

Have a wonderful time!

editing to add: I agree with the person upthread who suggested your back may be hurting because of your shoes.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
2168 posts

Colette,

congrats on your future trip and doing something before you go instead of after the fact.

Its unfortunate, but there isn't any one shoe that will make all of your pains go away.. If there was, then you wouldn't see the different answers to your shoe question.

As someone mentioned one shoe could be comfortable and on the other hand may cause blisters for another.

There is no easy way out of this. YOU will have to head on over to your shoe stores and do some testing. As mentioned you dont say what type of mountains you will be walking. Your mountains are hills where i come from.

When you go looking for some shoes, plan to spend most of the day doing so. Its not going to be a try one and its Cinderella's shoe, but spend some time standing/walking in them in the store. If you have any sporting goods/REI or similar stores in your area i would check and see what they have to offer too. Again, spend HOURS standing/walking in them in the store. They shouldn't mind, if they do, find a different store.

Being a couch potato isn't a good start, but if you're determined you can overcome that. I would also go and get a checkup by your doctor and let him/her know what you are going to do and to get any suggestions, info do/not do so you dont end up in an ER somewhere.

Also, shoes are just one component. Sox are important too. So look for some comfortable sox to bring along. Sorry nylons dont provide any cushion, so again, look for some comfy sox. If you dont have any buy some. Also, look into marino wool. They come in different weights and such. Also, i wouldn't buy any shoes until you settle on the sox you're going to wear and bring with you.

One last comment. Your feet will change with your weight. So If you happen to loose weight on your trip, it may affect the fit of your shoes. It happened to me and it took me a few moments to remember that.

ALso, if you're going to be walking/hiking a lot i would invest in a 2nd pair of COMFORTABLE shoes so you can swap them from day to day. Also, if you're packing additional weight, you will break them down faster too.

happy trails.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
6008 posts

Thanks to everyone for so much thoughtful advice! I was surprised the size sneaker that I ended up with after a professional fitting a few years ago. Also, I find that my feet usually swell on the plane to Europe, and maybe on other transportation, too, so I look for shoes that are adjustable and certainly not tight at home or they won't go on in Europe. Merrell makes a range of hiking, walking, and travel styles that many of us like, and those probably will be an available option to test at REI or other active shoe store. My non-professional method: I give myself foot massages after a day of travel, and soak feet in cold water if they're hot and swollen. It seems kind of a miracle that feet that were so sore when you went to bed could be ready for more the next day.

Posted by Jaye
Orange
18 posts

I have some suede Ryka Visible Technology Sneakers that I can walk in all day. They look more like Oxfords than "athletic shoes" and go well with trousers as well as with tights and a skirt. I liked my first gray pair so much that I also bought navy and brown. The toebox is roomy - a must for me! I have hiked, shopped and spent hours sightseeing in them with no problems.

Posted by Jaye
Orange
18 posts

I have some suede Ryka Visible Technology Sneakers that I can walk in all day. They look more like Oxfords than "athletic shoes" and go well with trousers as well as with tights and a skirt. I liked my first gray pair so much that I also bought navy and brown. The toebox is roomy - a must for me! I have hiked, shopped and spent hours sightseeing in them with no problems.

Posted by Nancy
Millstone Twp., New Jersey, USA
26 posts

Ouch! I bought the shoes that were the best fit for me. I agree there are a lot of more fashionable NB Shoes, and hopefully something snazzier will work for you.

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
721 posts

Here's a GREAT resource to get you started walking!

This program has gotten literally THOUSANDS to complete their first 5K so it's a good way to start from "couch potato" (The program's description not mine LOL!)
http://www.halhigdon.com/training/50936/Walking-5K-Training

It gives you 8 weeks to get to the 3.1 mile goal And while some of you think that's too slow, it's better to go slow then to go out gangbusters, get injured and give up! Remember DLF beats DNS
(Dead Last Finish beats Did Not Start) so your goal is to start and stick with it! You can do this!

I am also going to say something that my podiatrist will hit me for, but he tends to be clueless about shoes. He said the same thing "New Balance" My feet HATE New Balance. They made me sore, they made my legs hurt etc..... That's why I go on what my running store says. And my podiatrist has never had a problem (heck he once said "those shoes seem to have helped your foot more then anything I suggested" LOL! ) I think they know New Balance is a decent brand and just go with it to get folks out of Keds LOL!

Posted by Kyla
Ypsilanti, MI, USA
195 posts

I am a school teacher, on my feet long hours at a time, and wear Finn Comfort Vaasa shoes. After the break-in period of a few days, I never have to think/worry about my feet again. (They are not stylish, though--a teaching colleague of mine called them my "nun shoes" one year.) They have good support and are wide enough for my wide feet (unlike most other shoes out there). I also wear them when traveling in Europe, and other than looking weird with my "little white socks," I can walk for hours in them, and my legs wear out before my feet hurt. They are very expensive, but I view them as an investment for my job.

I wish you great luck getting ready for your trip. Sounds so exciting!

Posted by LeAnn
Seattle, WA
40 posts

I second the recommendation for Finn Comfort. I'm also plus-sized, and the Ikebukuro style works great for wide feet with high arches. They are quite expensive, but really last. The best is that you can request a complete refresh (including a new sole) for 1/3 of the price of a new pair.

Posted by Claire
Sacramento, CA - Calif, United States
204 posts

Also keep in mind that what used to work for shoes, may not always work. Shoes change in their fit and feet really change. I have custom made orthotics and I have to have them adjusted several times.

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3612 posts

Been reading all these posts with great interest. I looked up Finn Comfort Vaasa and found this style that I love... finncomfort.com/soft-cusco-womens-shoe-jasminewhite-okapigolf-82736-900278.html
But, wow, they're expensive at $335 before tax. This is a dumb question, but are they really worth the price?

Posted by Zeeba
PNW
27 posts

I run and walk. Proper fitting is a must. If you hurt, the shoes are wrong, easy as that. The local store I use offers returns for any reason - they want everyone to be happy. Often the shoes in stock can be ordered in other colors like a nice, unobtrusive black.
One thing I've learned is that compression socks are good for recovery, after exercise, and compression "sleeves" are good while you're exercising. That way you can use the right socks, but your calves are compressed and warm.
A good shoe store can sell you the right insert for your feet. Mine roll to the outside, so the common ones with arch support to keep feet from rolling in don't work for me and in fact cause injuries.

Have fun walking and preparing for your trip.

Posted by Claire
Sacramento, CA - Calif, United States
204 posts

Finn Comfort shoes ARE comfortable but I don't pay that price. Mine were on Sierra Trading Post. If you register online with STP, you will get an email every day with a different coupon. I paid under $80 for the 2 pair that I have which are T strap. I bought them over a year ago though. It's a place that you just have to keep checking. They are great if you use your own insoles or orthotics because they are extra deep.

Posted by Colette
Home Sweet Home :-)
482 posts

@Carol in Atlanta . . . TY for the link to building up stamina for a 5k. I went to gym to get help like this & they wanted to sell me a $200 pkg of 5 sessions w/a trainer. :-( (Plus I was offended when told losing weight would raise my confidence.)

For those who recommend a brand of shoe, could you give me the style you purchased?

I appreciate everyone's input. Please continue on any subject that you as a PS woman on tours feel are somewhat unique to us (even if they are not).

Colette

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
808 posts

Colette - How disappointing your gym is like that - they are all not like that.

Posted by Lo
Tucson
1098 posts

Ahnu Montara boot. Work great with my compression socks. High tops support ankles and provide great stability. Feel a little weird at first, but great after a few minutes of walking. Actually make my 9.5-10 size feet look small. Tried them on at REI, then ordered them online. Found out much later that my 3x-4x daughter with size 10 feet wore them everyday for 6 weeks on an archeological dig in Sweden last summer and loved them. Come in several colors. Hers are purple (astral aura). Mine are dark navy.

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
1198 posts

To the gentlemen who are reading along, this is when you might want to turn away.

I'll add something in a non-shoe vein....compression shorts. When it is hot or when I am doing a long distance walk even if it is cooler I wear compression shorts under my capris/sweat pants/jeans to avoid chafing. There are some plus size ones out there (Moving Comfort) but I usually order online as I live in a black hole for shopping. My favorite online retailer for them has gone out of business so I will have to look elsewhere when my current ones wear out. I don't think the Moving Comfort ones will be hard to source. I do take these with me on vacation...either to my European destinations or my favorite US destination (Yellowstone).

Poo on your gym. That is not what you needed to hear.

Posted by Marie
Atlanta, GA
54 posts

A few more thoughts ....

As was suggested previously, any low-impact exercise -- water aerobics, swimming or cycling -- will help to save your joints while you are getting into shape.

Also, as somewhat of a couch potato, I find a heart rate monitor very useful for managing the intensity of my exercises at my own pace. I try to keep my heart rate within a specific range for about 30 minutes. When my heart rate gets to the high end of the range, I take it easy for a while; when my heart rate gets to the low end of the range, I push myself a little harder.

Posted by Leigh
Missouri
377 posts

Good for you Colette! I find that my best motivation for getting in shape is travel. If only I could travel every 6 months I would be in great shape. ;-) When I don't want to go on an extra walk or walk an extra mile, I picture me walking wherever I will be traveling to and I keep it up. I hope you do post some updates, and definitely come back after your trip and post a trip report. Have a great time!

Posted by Kathi
Portland,Oregon
55 posts

Colette, I am loving your proactive attitude. You go girl!

Posted by jeff.bock
8 posts

Colette,
Let me add a few thoughts that I do not think have been mentioned yet....

Walking in Europe is "slightly" different than walking in TX ...

  1. Chances are you will be walking on cobble stone, your feet will not be used to them, so be sure that your shoes have a sole that will support your feet.
  2. you will most likely get blister(s) and they can make your trip miserable. I suggest you bring "Moleskin" (no it is not the skin off of a Mole". ) I could not find any in the zillions of Drug Stores (Why so many Drug Stores?) on my trip. Hikers have been using Moleskin for years.
  3. Choose socks that dry quickly, you will be rinsing out your socks and some take longer to dry than others. You put on wet socks and you will need to see my "2nd" comment.
  4. Buy a "Fit Bit" (or some equivalent) it will track how far you walk each day along with how much activity you are doing. Each day do a bit more than the day before and before you know it, you will be walking to Mexico and back. We used ours on our trip and averaged about 17K steps a day.

Now go "take a hike" and enjoy your trip :)

Jeff

Posted by Colette
Home Sweet Home :-)
482 posts

!!! UPDATE !!!

RE: WHAT THE POST IS ABOUT . . . I am traveling to the Iberian Peninsula and France next year. Most walking will be in towns that are situated in mountains. (It will be like walking in San Francisco away from the waterfront -- up and down. Although I have been to Europe 3 times already (1 time to villages in the French Alps & to Rome), I wondered if there was a specific shoe (I wear New Balance daily) that would work better. The conversation took off from there.

MOUNTAINS: My travels will take me to a town in the French Alps as well as cities located in the Pyrenees in Spain. Although I currently live on the Texas coastal plains which is as flat as a pancake except for the overpasses on the highways, I grew up in northern AL in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. As I child I would play in the forests on the hills. I am no longer that child & I know I need to build up stamina in my legs for the upcoming trip.

SHOES: I am still looking. I go at the end of the day when my feet are swollen from the day's activities to try on shoes. BTW, some of you were right. I am wearing the wrong size shoe, size 7. One running store pegged me at a size 8 while another pegged me at 7.5. (I wore a size 6 forty-three yrs ago!) I am used to paying $35 to $45 (discounted) for a good pr of New Balance walking shoes that are last year's discontinued style. So I do get sticker shock when I look at shoes that are $100+.

SOCKS: Since a bout with blood clots, the doctor requires me to wear compression socks. (I do not wear hosiery.) I wear athletic knee-hi compression socks. So selling me on socks is out of the question.

EXERCISE: A person should not change themselves because of someone else. They should want to do it for themselves. I appreciate the support I receive towards working out, etc. As of last Saturday morning I began walking the treadmill at the gym every other day for 30 minutes at slightly under 2mph with no incline without a trainer ;-) This Saturday I will add a slight incline and increase the mph I am walking. Thanks to the people who reminded me to stretch before exercising as I am one to just jump in & do it. I am looking into lap swimming and/or water exercise.

A staff member who is in the gym at 6:00A is willing to show me which machines to use to build up strength in my leg muscles.

PEDOMETER: A Fitbit Flex is now on my wrist & the computer is set up to sync with it. Unfortunately I cannot sync my IPhone4 with it. I need a newer model cell phone. (Anyone have an AT&T IPhone4s they are not using? -- just joking) The sleep tracker is wonderful considering I have (treated) sleep apnea & do not know when I come out of a sleep for a few seconds.

CLOTHES: I was going to purchase new clothes NOW for the trip until I realized I will be losing weight & inches with my new routine. So I will wait until January to begin looking for travel clothes. By Thanksgiving I maybe able to surprise three daughters w/Mom's new image! In an hr I meet with a friend who will take some measurements for me to add to the settings on my Flex. I hope she can do this each week for me.

FOOT CARE: Again, thanks to those who gave me tips on how to deal w/feet that are ready to commit "mutiny" at the end of the day.

In general I feel very upbeat. At first arising & staying awake at the time the puppy wanted breakfast (5 - 6 A) was tough. Now I feel I have a full schedule everyday.

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
808 posts

Sounds like you have a great start and a reasonable plan that you can stick with. We'll keep cheering for you!

Posted by Lo
Tucson
1098 posts

You are doing great, and setting us straight on the socks is a good thing. Knee high compression socks are the only ones my husband and I wear. He likes the white athletic style and I go for more "fashionable" ones, but we both wear medium graduated compression socks. Based on your experience with your own best socks, I expect you will not have any problems with them.

I loved your story about shoe size. I wore size 8 until about age 50. At 68, I now wear 9, 9.5 or 10 depending on the shoe. Oddly, that variety of sizes is often counter intuitive. Some of my enclosed lace-up shoes are in smaller sizes than my sandals. And this San Antonio native must've lived too long in the Pacific NW because I have no problem with wearing sandals with my compression socks. That's a good thing because some of my sandals are more supportive and comfortable than my enclosed shoes.

You have a great adventure ahead. Enjoy every minute.

Posted by mary
1 posts

Colette, I was in your place. I just returned from 3 weeks in Italy. The first trip 2 years ago I was 20lb heavier, out of shape, had leg swelling. For Christmas I received a fitbit one, I walk most days for 7500 average steps, some days more and some less, I do have the advantage of living in a hilly area. Anyway, in 9 months I was able to hike with my husband in the Cinque Terre, climbed the 323 stairs of the dome at St Peter's in Rome. We averaged over 15,000 steps a day! I wore compression socks on the flights which helped. I am still 40 lb overweight but still a HUGE difference just losing the 20 lb. Plus, shopping for new clothes was fun before leaving on the trip. ENJOY!

Posted by Colette
Home Sweet Home :-)
482 posts

Thanks for the encouragement, Mary. It is my doctor's orders that I must wear compression stockings (not hosiery) during the day because of a history of blood clots. Even though the only "hill" I can find is eventually going to be an overpass (it has been there for 37 yrs), there are stairs in my house, and a nearby office building has a stairway, also.

I have a letter from the dr stating I can do as much exercise at the gym as I am comfortable with. Kathi & Christi are two others giving me encouragement.

I wish you a good Sunday.

Posted by Donna
Cleveland, OH
531 posts

Hi Colette, reading your post and all the helpful responses has been very inspirational! Sounds like you are on the right track to have a wonderful vacation. Keep up the good work!