In January 2010 I made the commitment to getting in shape. I was 25 years old and only 2 years into my professional career. I was busy, just like everybody else, working a 40 hour schedule and taking two graduate school courses with 10-15 hours of school work and class a week. I enjoyed typical fast food drive thru visits to Burger King, McDonalds, or Taco Bell. I wasn't doing myself any favors, and my life was getting shorter one day at a time, maybe more.
I decided to make a change for a few simple reasons:It's selfish to live an unhealthy lifestyle. Trust me, your friends and family don't want to see you die of a heart attack when you are in your 40's.
- I wanted to build confidence
- I wanted to be more physically fit
- I wanted to improve myself
- I was tired of being unhealthy
In 2009 I weighed around 225 lbs.
I started by doing what my friend Rob did. I walked a little bit, and then jogged a little bit. I did that two or three times a week around my class schedule and I did absolutely nothing to change my diet. I just focused first on being more active, diet can come later. It was winter in Ohio, so I walked and ran on a treadmill, which was good since it allowed easy control of my pace. It was NOT EASY at first, but the determination I had to get back in the game drove me. I remember a few of my first workouts went like this:
Walk 0.5 miles, run 0.5 miles, keep alternating. 4 miles total.
After I started getting better at that, I began to run more and walk less.
Walk 0.5 miles, run 1 mile, walk 0.25 miles, run 1 mile, walk 0.25 miles, run 1 mile. 4 miles total.
Then once I started getting batter at that, I could begin to run without walking:
Run 4 miles.
Run 5 miles.
Run 6 miles without stopping by middle of March, 2+ months into training.
This progression did not happen overnight, this took weeks of sweaty shirt drenching progress. By early March, my old body had begun to melt away, I saw the ‘1’ digit on the scale for the first time as I dropped below 200lbs. I must tell you that carrying around 25 less pounds felt so great, it made me want to do more.
I eventually took the running outside when the weather got nice. Running on the road and trails is different than the treadmill, and I’d say it’s harder, but in a good way. I think it has to do with the body being more naturally suited to moving on the ground, but I don’t know for sure.
By this time I had dropped to 180 pounds on the scale, an astonishing loss of 45 pounds over a two year period.
Currently we are training for the 2012 Missoula Marathon in June. The plan calls for 17 weeks of training totalling 630 miles. We are 6 weeks into the plan and it is going great so far.