January 2014: Six Months of Training

The morning of July 2, 2013 was different from other mornings. It was the first morning of a ten-day off stretch that would set me on what I hoped would change things.

On that morning I weighed in at a personal record of 255 pounds that were surrounded by a size 44 waist.  The waistline stretched my scrubs and made getting out of bed a slow process. I hadn't felt comfortable with my weight or appearance for quite some time. My lack of comfort few into concern with the BMI numbers added up to obesity. My BMI was 33.6, classified as Obesity 1 with a "high" disease risk. It was all so obvious and now it was coming into I approached my forty-eighth birthday.

What did I do?
My Hybrid 
I decided to use my ten days off as a challenge. For the next ten days I walked every day, some days twice, starting with a 1.5 mile loop then progressing to 4 miles. I also dusted off my bike and started riding again. In the first 7 days I worked up to walking that 4 mile loop and riding 7-10 miles. I also changed my diet a little - nothing drastic, I just eat more of what I liked and cut out a few things. Since I really like fish and rice and salad  - the transition wasn't a problem. Listening to podcasts about fitness was helpful, too. By the end of the ten days I was a few pounds and was firmly planted on a path to improve my health. 

Setting Goals.
I'm not big on long term goals when it comes to fitness but to stay motivated I knew I'd need one. Of course, the biggest and most important goal is to stay out of the casket. After a little research I decided that completing a triathlon would be the age 50 (2015). Thats two years from my start date. I started reading everything about triathlon on the web and bought a couple of books and was on the way to training for a sprint distance triathlon...with on change. We'll compete in the 2014 Rochester Triathlon rather than waiting. 

After six months...
I can swim a 1.5 mile workout, bike 12.5 miles and feel good, and run a 5K with reasonable time.  I'm now wearing a size 36 and weigh 219 pounds. My BMI is now 28.9 and while still considered overweight, the doctor has assured me (along with lab valises) that my disease risk is significantly lowered. 

The old size 42 pants 
What's Next?
The training schedules are now specific for triathlon and I'm focused on improving all three disciplines. I still have a lot of work to do before the Rochester Triathlon in August, 2014. Ideally my weight should be under 190 pounds - another thirty pounds to go!

For the short term I'll continue training and plan to run a few 5K's prior to the triathlon. After that...maybe a half marathon!

Of course, I'd like to stay out of the casket as well.