Apr 13, 2014

August 2013 - November 2013 Man On A Mission

November 2013
I haven't posted in almost a year, but that doesn't mean I haven't been doing tons of stuff.

Most noteworthy for me was a determination to get back on a path to a healthy lifestyle. At 53 (when I started) I was determined to be in the best shape of my life by 55. To that end on August 12, 2013 I started doing the 7 minute workout on Tuesday and Thursday (days I was working from home). I did that through a September 7-14 trip to Tampa with my parents to their condo. While at Tampa, every other day I ran/walked on the beach and did my 7 minute workout after.

My path to better health included more than just exercise. The first several weeks I drastically cut what I ate. In fact, until I could get my metabolism kicked back in I completely cut out breakfast (I know... those of you who are health experts don't need to lecture me about breakfast being the most important meal of the day... for me it was the most important meal of the day to eliminate completely). Overall, I eliminated breads and potatoes almost completely, and reduced the portions at all meals drastically while cutting sweets to almost nothing. I also tried not to eat after 7pm.

Upon my return from the Tampa trip I had built up enough "in-motion" momentum to transition to the workout room at my workplace (and began eating a bowl of oatmeal from breakfast on workout days). Since I'm in the office three days a week it was perfect, and thus my lunches became workout time (mind you I didn't skip lunch, I just ate a small, healthy lunch at my desk after my workout). I began this new phase of re-vitalization by spending 25 minutes on the elliptical machine followed by 30 minutes or so of lifting on the universal machine they have available.

In addition to the exercise and much better eating habits, I also adjusted to intentionally include eating some super foods that burn fat. I had eliminated caffeine a few months before but now added in some green teas as well as increased my cinnamon intake. I was pleased to find out peanut butter was a super food (and other guys who are getting up there in age will be pleased as I was to learn peanut butter is supposed to help replenish testosterone more naturally) and began enjoying it, apples, and raisins as afternoon snacks.

I believe it was mid-October when I began transitioning off the universal machine at our work gym and onto free dumbbell weights. My workouts were spread out between three different sets of weight lifting designed to work specific muscle groups. So Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I would spend 25 minutes on the elliptical and then 30 minutes of lifting. Typically I'd do a set of three specific dumbbell exercises for 10 - 15 repetitions (and if I started out on a certain weight at 10 I've increased up to 15 over time before jumping up to the next dumbbell set), then another set of three dumbbell exercises for same repetitions. Each day was two different sets of three exercises for 10 - 15 reps. Then I'd cap it off with what began as three sets of 15 sit ups on the bench and has transitioned to a set of 25, a set of 20, and a set of 15 sit-ups on a fancy sit-up device at the office gym and added three sets of 10 leg raises in between each sit up set.

While I didn't have a specific weight goal in mind, in the back of my mind I knew I was about 178 lbs when I graduated high school so that was floating around in my mind, however, I truly had no weight goal I was working towards. This was all about getting my lifestyle back "in-motion" and being healthier. That said, I began this regimen weighing in at the heaviest I have been in my life... 205 - 207. In mid-November I was pleased to get on the scales and see my weight was staying around 175 - 177. Yep, 30lbs lighter in 3 months. I was really shocked that I did it. I was even more shocked that it was doable. I honestly expected the transition to take a couple of years.

So that was five months ago, and it's been eight months and one day today since I began the whole journey. I'm pleased to say I'm still seeing 175's, 176's, and 177's on the scales. This is a good sign as I know, since I'm continuing to workout and eat better, that the little residual fat pockets across my body that had built up for 30+ years are slowly (much more slowly) being replaced by heavier, stronger muscle tissue.

Oh, side note. In August I was wearing pants size 38 waist and shirts were between large and extra-large. I know I'd been wearing 38's since the mid-2000's and X-Large shirts since about the same. Mid-November 2013 I replaced the 38 waist pants with 34's. I do not remember the last time I was wearing 34 waist pants. Also, I am wearing between a medium and large in shirts. More large than mediums now that my muscle is beginning to build, but grateful for the better fit! Oh, and the 34 pants are a little big now. In fact, I bought a couple of pairs of 33 waist Levis' the other day.

Last piece of catching up on this journey. I felt good enough to get signed up for and start playing in city league volleyball for the first time in at least 10 years. I'm playing twice a week and it feels great! This body and life that had grown heavy and sedentary has returned to a more healthy weight and is becoming more "in-motion" again. It's great. So happy for the motivation to do it.