A Quest to Get Fit

September 17, 2012 — 1 Comment

healthOne if the reasons I had originally wanted to revive this blog was to chronicle my efforts with losing weight and learning about leading a healthy lifestyle. I wanted to share things I learned about how & what to eat, my exercise activities and more.

Well it’s been 18 months since I started this process and these are the first words I’ve put down on paper…so I am going to try to consolidate those 18 months into this one post to catch up.

To look at me most people have said “Lose weight?? You don’t look like you need to lose weight at all, why do you need to lose weight?”

While kind words, the fact is I did. Even though the only thing you could “see” was a modest spare tire around my midsection – in January of 2011 I weighed 219 lbs. Not morbidly obese by anyone’s standards but at 5’11” it meant that I was 25-35 lbs on the wrong side of healthy according to many of the accepted guidelines. Based on some of these mine were:

Weight to Height Ratio: at 5’11” I should be 165-185 lbs.
BMI: 30.72% means that I was obese.
Waist-Hip-Ratio: Your waist divided by your hip measurement. Mine: 45/44 equaled 1.02. (1 or over = high risk of cardiovascular problems).

Not good!

But then the same thing that happened to me when I finally quit smoking happened – I reached the end of the proverbial rope. I felt uncomfortable and had a hard time breathing – nothing major I just realized that my breathing was more labored than it needed to be. It was becoming increasingly hard to hide my belly and sucking it in was turning into an exercise all its own. And I didn’t like the looks of the guy looking back at me in the mirror.

So it was time for a change. Time to see if I could reverse many years of health neglect.

You are what you eat
I like food….no…I LOVE food. But the older we get the less likely it is that our metabolism will keep up with our intake. Especially if you are as inactive as I was. Exercise for me consisted mainly of golf…and that’s it.

So the first thing I realized I needed to change was what I was eating and more importantly how I was eating it. After doing some research online I started in mid January 2011 and within a few weeks I had lost about 9lbs. In March of 2011 I added a workout regime using P90X and by July 2011 I was down to 204. Awesome!!! I was really psyched and happy with my results and if I could keep up what I was doing I’d reach my goal by the end of 2011 – lose 30lbs and get down to 190lbs.

Well the first thing to go was P90X – I’m not much of a gym rat and it got old to me and easy for me to find something else I’d rather do. I still was watching what I was eating for the most part – but I was only maintaining my weight.

Then the holidays hit and by March 2012 I had ballooned back up to 226 pounds. Ugh!!! I was not very pleased with myself obviously.

So I started again. Did more research, learned more about what types of food affected your weight and why. I started using an app to track my intake (yes I am a geek). And as I expected, down went the weight. By the end of June 2012 I had lost 23lbs. No exercise. No special diets. Nothing. Just changing what, when and how I ate.

But here I am – in mid September and I’ve plateaued again. Some of that is due to not sticking to my eating plan religiously (remember I love food) but I also believe that like everything else there has to be a balance between “dieting” and being active.

On August 20th I took a leap a faith and decided to take up running for the first time in over 25 years. It was a leap because I have chronic back problems and have been told ever since my back surgery 11 years ago that activities like running were not best for me due to the disc damage in my lower back and the 2 bulging discs located above that one. I have allowed that medical verdict to guide my decisions for 11 years.

Between years of watching athletes come back from greater injuries and watching 2012 Olympian Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee, run the 400 meters in London – what the hell was I trying to avoid?

Make no mistake my back issues are very real…ask anyone who has seen me suffer with it. But a large part of my issues are exacerbated by my physical condition. First and foremost is this unneeded spare tire. So it made logical sense to me – cautiously resolve the physical condition of this body and my chronic back issues would lessen.

Avoiding all activities that may lead to back problems had to be eliminated from my inventory of excuses of why I couldn’t do things I used to do 20+ years ago. So I did. And as of today (9/17/12) I have ran over 29 miles, cycled 20+ miles, burned 5317 calories and am set to run my first 5K with my best friend Judson VanZee on October 28.

My weight is still stuck…it’s actually gone up a couple of pounds but I think it is because I have yet to balance my eating with the run training. I am hungrier now but for very different reasons and once I get that under control I believe the rest of the weight will go.

So that is basically the back story. I hope to chronicle my quest here more often so please share your thoughts, stories and tips.

Tommy D

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One response to A Quest to Get Fit

  1. Best of luck on this journey, Tom. Hope you get fantastic results. It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it. Keep on running!

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