460 Days ago, I made a very important decision. I decided to get myself in shape … again. I say again because at one time – 20-some years ago – I had been an athlete. In fact, I had been a runner. I was an 800 meter runner at Illinois State University, and I thought I was pretty OK at it. I was a 1:49 4 x 800 meter relay guy with 46 second 4 x 400 meter relay splits.
Unfortunately, when I stopped running in college, I just stopped. I quit cold-turkey. The bad news about doing that is I didn’t change anything else. This caused me to start gaining weight and gaining weight and … Over the course of the next almost 20 years, I put on about 130 pounds and ballooned up to 275.
Well, 20 years later that all changed. I was married and had a daughter, and for the benefit of them as well as myself, I (along with helpful prodding of my wife so I guess it is a We) bought our treadmill. After all the excuses in the world to not go to the gym or do any type of working out, there were no more excuses. A living, breathing treadmill was going to be in our basement on January 5, 2012.
I also made some changes to my overall diet as well. In order to successfully lose the weight, I didn’t want to change too much for fear it wouldn’t work or that too many changes weren’t good. Being from the Chicago Area, that meant that I still wanted to be able to have my pizza (deep dish or thin crust), Italian Beefs with giardiniera and Gravy, and anything else that is delicious. That is not not to say that I wasn’t going to make changes because making changes surely was necessary if I wanted to lose the weight.
The one BIG change I made was no more pop. I was a big pop (Regular Coke or Pepsi or Mountain Dew or …) drinker at work and home. I decided to give it up completely. NO MORE POP.
I also decided to exercise some portion control with my meals. No more giant meals at lunch and/or dinner. In fact, lunch during the work week (with the exception of Fridays) has become brown-bagged. Dinner then became manageable portions and not everything that was made. Leftovers are good.
Then, there was that treadmill thing I spoke about. It was walking only for the first two months and only 3 days per week. Having not worked out for 20 years or so, I figured I’d better start slowly. Otherwise, I would get hurt, get frusted, or just give up. Two of those days were 30 minute sessions, and the other was a 60 minute walk, but it was a heck of a lot more than I had been doing.