If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed that I’ve mentioned a few times about working out and running. Well I have been doing just that. My wife Corina and I have decided to shape up and get fit.
I think I had a few moments of clarity on this whole process. I had gained weight, maybe 8 pounds over my regular weight in the last year. For about the last 8 years I’ve weighed the same. I gained most of my weight in college and never really lost it. I always stayed roughly 235 until this last year. At about this time I was at work and overheard a co-worker talking about how he had lost 40lbs and had altered his diet, started biking and just generally got healthier. It was that day the light went on for me. I decided that tomorrow was the day I would start and began working towards my goal.
My goal is to get to 200lbs. I know I’m going to have to work hard to get there, but I finally feel like something inside me has changed. I feel driven towards my goal. My wife had been trying to lose weight for awhile now and had some success, but now we’d be going on the path together. I had kinda been horrible in that regard, she was trying to make healthier choices, but I wasn’t necessarily interested in doing the same at the time. So now we’re working towards the same goal and it seems to be working so far.
On the 16th of October, I started tracking my calories with MyPlate, an app that I had used before to lose some weight with some success. I’ve found it even easier to use than it had been before. Now I could easily track on my iPhone, iPad and computer. I created a pinned tab in Firefox that is always there so I can track my caloric intake. In the first week and a half I lost 6 lbs.
I started using RunKeeper to track my comings and goings. While I may not have been running, something like a trip to IKEA certainly is worth tracking given how many kilometers you end up walking there. I track bike rides, when I go roller blading and now when I use the treadmill at the gym.
I went out and bought a Kinect for my Xbox along with a few games. Corina had mentioned the idea of wanting to try Zumba, so I picked up a game for that. I also picked up Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012. I personally really like this game. While originally I had kinda thought the Kinect was a gimmicky concept to compete with the Wii, I’ve definitely found it is so much more than say WiiFit. It’s basically interactive workout. It can see what you’re doing and suggest how to correct it. It really is the next evolution past workout videos as far as I’m concerned.
I started going to the gym on the weekend. There is a gym at work that I had used maybe twice since I started there, so I figured I’d finally start getting some use from it. I’ve mainly stuck to the treadmill, as I have a goal to do the Jingle Bell Run 5k in Cambridge in 2 weeks. I’m actually amazed how well I’ve been doing. The first week I ran 1.6k, second week 2.7k, third week 4.7k. This week I wanted to do a 5k without including warmup and cool down in the distance. I was able to run 5.1k in 31:38, which I’m pretty proud of. I had to stop for 30 seconds, but aside from that was able to do the whole thing. My soccer conditioning definitely helps. I find I can recover quite quickly and keep going, even after today’s run I still had more to give in my legs.
I also picked up something called a FitBit. It’s basically a fancy pedometer then you clip to your belt. It can track calories burned, how many flights of stairs you’ve tackled and miles walked. I bought one for myself and Corina as an early birthday present and I love it. I have barely taken the thing off since I got it, as it also allows you to track your sleep too. To me this thing was the missing link to calorie tracking. On MyPlate they have settings for sedentary and light activity for calculating calories. I chose sedentary, as I pretty much sit at a computer all day. What I discovered with the FitBit was that I was burning a lot more calories in a day than I thought. I already took the stairs every day, but now that was being tracked. I broke 10000 steps this week after playing soccer. The FitBit gives you badges for progression, so I definitely have goals to shoot for that are attainable within the framework of my everyday life.
Now have I cut out all bad food? No, but I am now accountable for it. I know that if I have a bad day food wise that I have to offset it. If I know I’m going out to somewhere at night, I know to save calories during the day so I can indulge a bit at night. I’ve found one of the biggest things for me has been kicking drinking pop. This is all tied to my change earlier this year to quit caffeine. I had cut down drinking pop already, but now I don’t really have anything luring me back to the dark side.
So far I’m down 11 pounds since I started and have been quite encouraged by the results. There have been good and bad days, but I’ve been keeping positive and moving forward. Corina is doing great as well. I just want to keep moving along on this healthy path as it feels great doing it. I’m challenging myself in ways that maybe I’ve never done before and my body is meeting the challenge and then some. I’m looking forward to being stronger and faster on the soccer field and shocking some people next summer, that’s for sure.