It’s been many, many years.
It’s been many, many years.
the latest excitement:
thanks to kate for the kick in the ass.
after 3 weeks of wearing the Vibram FiveFinger KSO’s, it’s time to write a review and recap some highlights – but first, some history:
i started running back in august of this year (’09). i was nervous about running for several reasons:
but i realized that most of these were excuses.Â like with all the other changes i’ve made this past year,Â i did some extensive research on running, spoke to several people who are runners, plotted out my strategy, and went with it. i went and bought a pair of New Balance running shoes, took it slow (walking, then running, then more running and less walking, finally running 3 miles a night without walking), and really came to enjoy it.
i was doing well with the act of running itself, but my ankles, knees, hips, and back were just exhausted after each run. i mean, i was wiped! and the next day these joints were hollering more than just soreness. i figured this came with the territory and decided to just run my way through it.
and finally i had to stop running for a couple weeks because it just hurt too much. my knees were killing me and i was losing sleep from the pain at night.
i did what i normally do: i brooded a couple days, then started researching what went wrong.
and the only answer i could come up with is that i was slamming down on my heels with each stride – it’s what i remember doing when i was playing sports, right? heel-to-toe? and all that weight slamming down, jolting the rest of me on the way back up.
now let me say this: i’m not here to argue proper form (and thank God for that – others more qualified can do that and actually give a damn). for me, it’s the only thing i could figure.
so i started looking into barefoot running – it seemed natural for me, both in form and comfortÂ (i’ve worn only Birkenstocks for 12+ years now and when i’m not wearing my birks, i’m wearing nothing).
and this led me to Vibram FiveFinger KSO’s.
part two is coming right up!
i took the plunge and bought a pair of Vibram FiveFinger KSO’s this past week!
my initial reaction?
gimme a couple more days and i’ll post a more detailed assessment as well as my rationale for getting into barefoot running. for now, here’s some info to look into:
in the month or so since the contest ended:
i still have a good bit of work ahead of me – i’ve got a lot more gut to get rid of, but what a difference from may of this year (and a 70lb difference since 2005)!
and while i’m not sure yet whether i’ve won the month of august or not (and i’m almost certain i didn’t win the contest overall), i did manage to drop 24lbs this summer, and have added crazy amounts of muscle mass in my legs, arms, shoulders, and chest. this picture was taken earlier today out on pensacola beach @ 261lbs:
as i mentioned in previous posts, i’ve a long way to go still, but what a difference in body, mind, and spirit having worked so hard the last 3+ months to change 20 years of poor eating habits and virtually no exercise. the daily exercise (weight-lifting, circuit training, and biking) has really jacked up my metabolism. the healthy eating (more fruit, veggies; less meat and processed foods; calorie counting; normal portions; LOTS of water) has helped me feel better, and fuels the workouts. seeing and feeling the results is its own reward.
i’m thankful to Tim for agreeing to do this contest with me – we both needed some motivation to get started, and this was just right. Tim, i’m glad you probably won this contest, and the check is in the mail. truthfully, i can’t put a price on how much better i feel, but i’m glad we didn’t bet more than we did. :-)
and a final note: for all my silliness about how tough jillian michaels is, i met her daddy this past week. billy blanks is beating me far worse than jillian ever has. how do i respond? i say, “thank you mr. blanks, please can you hurt me some more!?”
or, Goals and Reflections
at this point, 11 weeks into this lifestyle change, i’ve:
i’ve still got a long way to go. i’m currently 264lbs, which, at 6′ tall, still puts me way out of healthy range. much of what i’ve read suggests having a target or a goal, but i’ve resisted this because i don’t want this to become something i HATE doing because i’ve not lost this or that amount of weight, etc.
what i WANT my motivation to be is to simply continue eating healthy, feeling healthy, using exercise and eating right to accomplish this.
if i were going to set a target weight, i’d probably shoot for 220lbs (in the back of my mind it sounds like a good, attainable, healthy number).
things i’m noticing
as i explained in Part I, this started out as a bet with my friend Tim. Tim has won both june and july, and i told him a few weeks ago: i feel so damn good, i’d rather lose the whole kit and kaboodle and continue this lifestyle beyond the contest rather than win and have gained nothing in a healthy lifestyle sense. i’m loving these changes!
now, in the interest of full disclosure, i need to admit that i started this journey during my summer off. being a high school teacher has been beneficial in the sense that i needed to work on getting these changes integrated when i was able to be incredibly flexible. school starts back next week, so the journey continues, but now under “real life(?)” circumstances. i’m going to be struggling with getting up early to get the first half of my workout done, then finishing up the second half after teaching high school juniors and seniors all day.
a final observation:
i’m very thankful that at age 40 and after 19 years of marriage, with some exercise and weight training, i can still make hott chicks swoon. here’s to the hottest chick in my life!
or, Addition and Subtraction
so, a quick re-cap: Part I explained the bet, the biking, building muscle mass, and the lack of weight loss. Part II explained my dawning realization in regards to needing more than just biking, and how i became Jillian Michaels slave at the end of june, beginning of july.
Part III deals with the additions and subtractions i had to make once i realized that physical activity wasn’t the only factor in weight loss.
these are some of the things that had to go -
the addition of the weight training, water consumption, healthy foods, and counting calories has made a significant change in my body and the weight loss.
now, i did lose the month of july to Tim by 1/1000 of a percentage point, but i’m hopeful that the month of august will be mine!
Part IV Finale Preview: Reflections and Goals
or, I Am Jillian Michaels’ Bitch.
after the first month of this weight loss contest with Tim (see Part I), when i had lost only 1lb (due to muscle mass buildup, and my not paying attention to any other area of my life in regards to this), i did my homework and realized, among other things, that i needed to do more than just exercise my legs.
honestly, i had no idea who jillian michaels was when i got the first workout DVD – Banish Fat and Boost Metabolism. she looked tough and there were a LOT of fantastic reviews on amazon.com – what more did i need?
again, i stress that at this point, besides a month of biking, i had not exercised since high school sports (20+ years ago).
when i attempted the 55 minute workout that jillian michaels puts you through – well, let’s just say that i made it to about the 20 minute point, stopping three times, and thinking my lungs were going to explode and send my lifeless body down the river of sweat coursing through the room.
it was CRAZY!! jillian michaels is CRAZY!! i was talking with lise later in the day and mentioned offhandedly this observation. lise said, “oh, yeah. she’s tough!” i looked at her bug-eyed and said, “how do you know jillian michaels??” and it was her turn to look at me like i was nuts. she said, “she’s the trainer on The Biggest Loser, dumbass! she’s the one who takes the worst of them and wins!” oy vey! no wonder i’m getting my butt kicked!!
it took me 10+ days before i could get through the entire workout in one session (and i still had to stop 2-3 times).
but then something clicked. i don’t know if it was the rhythm, my body adapting, finding my pace – not sure, but i started being able to push it through the whole routine without stopping.
and wow – talk about an endorphin rush! i AM jillian michaels’ bitch!
the cardio, the ab workout, the stretching, the planks – i felt great afterwards and for the entire day! not to mention that it seems to be a natural appetite suppressant (at least it is for me). i started noticing things like my ability to breathe easier, more muscles getting toned, a huge increase in stamina, increased flexibility in my arms and legs, and an overall healthy “high” feeling.
so at this point, i was still biking once a day, plus now working out to jillian.
other things needed to change, too! and other things had to be added. tomorrow i’ll tell you my next step…
Part III Preview: The Addition and The Subtraction
or, How I Roll.
several months ago, i challenged my friend Tim to a weight loss contest. i knew i needed to get serious about it, and i knew he felt the same way. we started off at the very end of May and the contest is set to run through the end of August. i won’t release details, but the stakes are cold, hard cash – something i figured we’d both need as an incentive.
i waited to talk about this with many folks because i wanted to make sure it would stick. as of yesterday, i’ve lost 20lbs, have built up some sweet muscle mass, and haven’t felt this good since high school (if even then).
i’m a bit ashamed to admit that i’ve not seen my weight south of 270 in well over a decade. about 4-5 years ago, i hit 320 and got a bit weirded out. the picture above is still shocking to look at and think how incrediblyÂ overweight i was. i lost 30+ lbs over the next 2 years by changing eating habits (exercise? aw, hell no!), but got stuck in the 280′s, give or take 5-10lbs. when the scale showed 265 on Sunday? wowza!
so, back in may i figured i was gonna have to get off my rear and do some physical activity. i dusted off my bike and started riding. and thought i was gonna die after only 3 miles. i mean, seriously. my head hurt, my lungs were exploding, my legs were shaky, my knees were killing me! Â i could do little more than shuffle into the house and lay on the kitchen floor for a half hour when i finished.
but i kept at it. slowly over the next several weeks i worked up to 8-10 miles, increasing speed, duration, and finally biking twice a day, riding up to 20 miles a day.
now, i was getting a bit frustrated at the beginning, too. for the first 3-4 weeks, i actually GAINED weight. i was feeling good, but wasn’t seeing the change on the scale.
so i started to do some homework on exercise, on biking, on weight loss – i never even thought about muscle mass! i never considered that, after years of being only moderately active and no exercise since high school, i would be regaining muscle that would weigh more than the fat it was replacing!
at the end of our first month, i eventually had a net loss of only 1lb.
i also started to realize that simply biking wasn’t going to be enough. it was exercising and strengthening only one part of my body. i hadn’t made any big changes in my eating (besides getting away from what i would have called “the REALLY bad junk food”) or portion sizes, wasn’t looking at calories or what i was drinking.
these things were going to have to change if i was going to win this contest! Tim took the first month’s prize, but i was determined to modify my attack and take him down!
part two preview: scott gets schooled by a sassy chick in tights