Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I'm Half the Man I Used to Be.

OK. Not quite half, but I'm working on it. I don't know just how I let it happen, but sometime between college and when my career interregnum started I ballooned to about 280 pounds. You'd think as a guy who has a family history of men dying of massive heart attacks well before they hit 60 that I would have paid more attention to my weight when my dad had one 8 1/2 years ago. But, I didn't. Through much of the past decade, which encompassed my mid 20's to my early 30's I was right around 270 to the 280's. I could try and blame it on the sedentary office jobs I've had for much of the time since I graduated from college, but that would be excuse making.

I was lazy, and so I got fatter.

That's the long and short of it in my case. I am a person who is prone to weight gain and I did nothing to combat it during the time in my life when it would have been easiest to do. I ate the wrong things and far too much of them to boot. I got next to no exercise other than walking to and from my car or office. As I got bigger I went out and bought new clothes rather than just getting a gym membership. And it's nobodies fault but mine.

Likewise, no one could do the work for me to get the situation back under control. Not that Inky and XL haven't been a huge crutch for me to lean on during the process, because they totally have been. But in the end I had to do the work alone, just as they have had to do their on their own. The funny part for me is that the work isn't the hardest part. Once I'm at the gym I work very hard, but sometimes it's getting to the gym that can be hard. When I'm sore or tired it can be hard to put my workout kit on and make the drive to the gym.

Tomorrow marks six months since I signed up for my gym membership. But the work started before that including really cutting back on the junk I eat. Part of being unemployed is not having the money to just blow on crap you don't need, and that is more true at the supermarket than anywhere. So Inky and I have been eating a whole lot better over the last year and a half which went along way to kick starting things.

Of course any weight loss has to be a combination of cutting back on calories in while also focusing more on calories burned. In the beginning I just went out for long walks whenever the weather allowed, but the progress was slow. From a high water mark of 284 at the time I was laid off I had gotten down to 261.5 when I started at the gym on October 7th of last year. So in 15 months I had dropped 22.5 pounds or about a third of a pound a week.

Then I started going to the gym about 6 days every week. I got a great deal at Planet Fitness where it cost me nothing to sign up and then only ten bucks a month there after. So that's 26 weeks for $60 and for that investment I have gotten myself down to 235.5 representing a 26 pound loss. That's a pound a week for half a year thanks to a whole lot of sweet.

I'm not quite done, but I have to at least pause and reflect on how far I've come. While I'm happy to look a little better, and I also enjoy putting on my much smaller jeans and tee shirts, the real benefit is how much better I feel. I'd like to think I can keep up this pace till October of this year which would see me lose 26 more pounds. I know my "ideal weight" is probably less than 200 pounds, but if I can get below 210 I think I might even buy a few more years for my self. And that's what it's all about for me. A longer, better life to spend with my friends, family and most importantly: the best wife in the world.
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