Not so for Mike McAdam.
Since April 2012, McAdam, 41, a recreation coordinator at Goebel Adult Community Center, has lost an incredible 225 pounds.
“Last year at this time I would dread walking to the front desk to greet visitors,” he told me recently. “My knees hurt. I was tired and winded, and finally said to myself, enough is enough.”
McAdam joined a gym and began working out but then tore his meniscus, a knee injury, which delayed his efforts to get fit. After the injury was repaired, he began walking instead but couldn’t exercise long enough to lose weight.
His doctor recommended weight-loss surgery, and McAdam underwent the procedure to insert a gastric sleeve in his stomach.
“The surgery is just a tool,” McAdam said. “It forces you to change your eating habits, but in order to truly lose weight you must also increase your physical activity.”
Not long after his operation, McAdam began a walking routine, 10-minute segments twice a day. His goal was a 30-minute sustained walk each and every day.
“Once I began to lose some weight I really enjoyed the walking, and my energy went through the roof,” he said.
McAdam now gets excited about his walks.
“It’s something I was unable to do, and it feels great to have a new ability. I love being outside in the fresh air with the wind blowing in my face.”
Sometimes his two girls, age 9 and 13, join him.
“I think the girls are inspired by me,” he said. “They now argue over who will sit in my lap, now that I have a lap.”
The Thousand Oaks Council on Aging has recently partnered with Conejo Recreation and Park District to develop Conejo Walks, a community-based walking program designed to encourage physical activity and social interaction.
This volunteer-led, free program sponsors weekly walks in three locations: Conejo Creek North, 1379 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, every Tuesday and Saturday morning at 7:30; Conejo Creek South, 1300 E. Janss Road, Thursday evenings at 6; and Pepper Tree Walking Path, 3720 Old Conejo Road, Newbury Park, Saturday mornings at 7:30.
New locations will be offered as the program expands.
As recreation coordinator, McAdam is a big supporter of the program and is proud that the Goebel Adult Community Center had a hand in the development of Conejo Walks.
“The program offers some nice walking routes, an opportunity to meet new people and incentive awards from local supporting businesses when you reach your walking milestones,” he said.
To learn more about Conejo Walks go to http://conejowalks. wordpress.com/conejo-walksprogram. The program is administered as a class through CRPD. Register through the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks; call (805) 381-2744; or visit www.crpd.org and register for class No. 0888.