I am going to save you some time and take a note from Reddit, but do it first instead of at the end:
TL,DR; I’m doing all the shit that people always say to do in order to get into better shape and stop feeling crappy.
I have always thought, “Oh, I’ll exercise” or “I did enough, right?”. Well, apparently not. I rode my bike the other day for 3.8 miles and my body’s reaction to that was a healthy, “what the holy fuck are you doing to me”. This is unacceptable, along with sucking wind if I go from the basement to our bedroom (2 flights of stairs) or on a nice long hike. I’m kind of sick of it all.
Now, I am 240lbs give or take 5-8 pounds depending on the scale and the weather (or whatever the hell makes your weight fluctuate all crazy). I am also 5’10″ tall. I have a little bit of a belly, but it doesn’t stick out like some people and I wear this weight in an OK manner. My wife, who is awesome, says that despite my BMI (which is a crap indicator of useless information) of 34.4 AKA:”morbidly obese” that I don’t look fat. She’s beautiful and amazing and at least somewhat right. I’m not rocking a 3rd chin or oozing out of anything when I sit down. My pants don’t fit right and I suck wind, a lot. Oh and the belly.
I have tried different things that have worked for other people in the past. One example is that I spotted drinking soda once for 154 days, which is the longest I have gone without soda since I was like 13. I didn’t lose shit. The reigning theory is that I compensated with Juice and other food. I also did not exercise. Another example was to buy a bike, a bike rack, and to ride the thing around the block a couple times. Then I stopped. I got an app called You Are Your Own Gym (YAYOG), which I used for about 3 weeks and then got “busy” at work so I stopped doing this over lunch. I am really good at starting shit, not so good at finishing.
I’ve been told that, “You’ve got to want to do it, you can’t just like the idea of getting in shape”. I’ve really liked the idea for too long. I want it now.
This time, besides “wanting it”, I am trying public embarrassment of myself along with playing to things that speak to me: “Numbers, goals, delicious food, and bucking the system”. What does this mean? I will try to explain in the most verbose and boring way possible. Really, don’t read this crap below – it’s more for me than it is for you. Skip to the goals and closing arguments.
I like to play games online where I can see my progress, but I need short term and long term progress meters because if I don’t have both I get bored and leave. For example, when I play Empire Avenue, I had 3 main goals: Grow my share price (short term), Grow my daily dividends (multiple medium term goals), and get in the top 100 worldwide (super long term). I have achieved all of these goals along the way by doing things that were fun – like blogging, tweeting, and posting to Facebook. Now, the long term goal is to see how high I can go, because I am #84 in the world for personal accounts. <- self promotion, ego stroking
So, to find way to appease my numbers based brain, I have been thinking about goals. The easy one is weight loss or inches loss. These are both long term and medium term goals when it comes to exercise. So, I need something more short term. I realized when I decided that I was actually going to try to do this and while watching The Olympics, that there is a short term goal that I can aim for. Time/mile and sets/reps. Time per mile is an easy one, I just start my timer on my iPhone and start pedaling. I have a 3.8 mile route picked out with a big ass (for me) hill in the way, my first ride was a respectable 6.22 minutes per mile, if I was running. My short term goal is to get down to 5.5 minutes per mile consistently (like a week of that time).
This one is super hard for me, because I love food. I have been collecting recipes in Evernote and trying to eat at all the Denver restaurants people are constantly talking about. I realized that while I eat better than I did in college, this isn’t going to really work. I read and article about a guy who was a vegan and realized that processed foods were likely the culprit for his weight gain/stasis. So, I am attempting to cut out as much processed crap as I can. I have not getting rid of it completely but I am doing much better that I was by avoiding things like noodles, breads, and sugar as much as possible. One thing I tried which was awesome was replacing noodles in spaghetti with julienned squash and zucchini with sautéed onions and mushrooms on top. It was awesome. Probably one of the best spaghetti meals we have ever made at home.
Sometimes, I feel like shit. I have been getting migraines and have been feeling pretty lethargic. I can let my self sit for a whole weekend on not feeling good. I know two things: 1. Water is a huge player in this. So I’m drinking more water, mostly water actually. 2. The food I eat is some of this and maybe more than some – I don’t really know enough about nutrition and my metabolism, but it’s worth looking into. This is just more motivation to eat differently because I am tired of feeling crappy. To this end, I am making myself eat breakfast (this is harder than it sounds, which is weird because I am hungry from about noon onwards until bed time). I also have yogurt or fruit for snacks. This is just repeating what other people have been telling me to do forever, but who I always just ignored. Now, I’m trying it.
Bucking The System
This goes a bit into “Delicious Food”, because I am still going to eat awesome food. It’s just not going to be pizza rolls and Ramen. It’s going to be more veggies and less crap. I also stopped drinking soda regularly, which was easier that the last time because I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I just sort of stopped. Yeah, I’ve had a couple sips and one whole soda in the last couple of weeks, but that’s it. It’s definitely not 1-2 a day. Coffee is a different story and I’m not talking about it right now, because I sweeten with natural/local honey not sugar and I don’t add milk when I’m at home.
The other systems that I need to buck are my ability to never finish a damn thing and my ability to excuse my way out of kicking my own ass. This is probably the hardest part of the whole deal. I am real good at watching TV and not having enough time to do anything. So, I’m exercising around lunch time. This means a bike ride while listening to music or a romp through YAYOG while watching something on Netflix. I don’t like exercising in front of people, it makes me feel silly. So, I just won’t exercise with my wife around. It’s weird, but damnit I am allowed to be self conscious about something. I don’t mind walking/hiking with her or riding bikes (before she got pregnant), but pushups or other body weight exercises just aren’t going to happen.
The other thing which is ancillary to all of this, but helps me teach myself to just get off my ass is that there’s a big list of shit that needs to be done around the house or before the baby comes. This makes me feel better from a mental state, because the list is getting smaller, and I feel like I am teaching myself to just “get up and get the shit done” instead of letting it pile up. This is making it easier to “get up and go ride the bike” as well, which is strange to me because all of this stuff was always an option before.
- Getting to the point where exercising doesn’t make me feel worse than I already feel
- Toughen up my ass, that road bike hurts like a mother for like 3 days after I ride. Yes, I have padded shorts…
- 5.5minutes per mile for a solid week of bike riding
- 2 iterations of YAYOG without getting light headed, consistently
- A 10 mile bike route in under an hour
- Be in better shape for when the baby gets here, so I can do things like carry her around and not hate myself afterwards
- Losing 10 pounds down to 230
- Losing an inch off the belly
- Look better in photographs – ok, I am self conscious about 2 things
So, now that I have written this and posted it online, I hope that I have shamed myself into actually doing this because if I haven’t I just wasted the time of you who actually got this far into my post. I have been told that the “feeling shitty after exercising” is something that goes away. It has been a huge motivating factor for my couch getting worn the hell out, so that’s why my first short term goal is getting to the point where exercising doesn’t feel like the flu (puking, body aches, gross feeling).
Well, here it goes. I’m off to ride #2, up the damn hill and back down again. We’ll see if I can beat 6.22 minutes per mile.