As I mentioned a couple months ago, I've been on sort of a "blogging hiatus" so I can focus on getting my fat ass into something that resembles "shape." Over the last six months, I've been eating right and going to the gym regularly, and since I've just about reached my fitness goals, I figured I'd go ahead and tell the story.
First, I might as well show you a couple "before" pictures. I of course realize that no matter my heft, I'm quite a handsome stud of a gentleman. But as you can see from the photos, I was packing on quite a few extra pounds. Not to put too fine a point on it, but when we went to Sea World, a couple of the elephant seals offered to buy me drinks.
|Chowder in a bread bowl. NOT approved.|
Sometime around Christmas, I decided to get on the bathroom scale and assess the damage. While the number I was looking at would've definitely gotten me into the finals at the Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open on the Professional Bowlers' Tour, it was not good news when it came to my weight.
So I decided to take action.
|Homer Simpson's stunt double?|
I mix in one "cheat day" per month just for sanity's sake. Let me tell you, there is no food quite so tasty as Cheat Day Pizza.
But as the fitness gurus will tell you, there's more to losing weight than simply eating lawn shavings and gristle. To supplement my new-found healthy eating habits, I joined our local 24-Hour Fitness club. My wife Theresa decided to get on the "get-in-shape bandwagon" with me, so now instead of watching TV and scarfing down Cheetos at night, we go to the gym. I won't bore you with the entire program, but essentially we work out six times a week, for about 90 minutes per visit. We do 30 minutes on the treadmill every night, 30 minutes of weight training four nights a week, 15 minutes in the sauna, and occasionally 15 more minutes on the elliptical machine or stationary bike. At first this routine was exhausting, but as time went on it got easier. Of course, as the weight came off and my muscles grew stronger, the exercising wasn't as difficult. And once you see results, your motivation just sort of snowballs.
Also, I can't say enough about 24-Hour Fitness. The club in our neighborhood is relatively new, with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a basketball court, swimming pool, spa, sauna, and a nice selection of fitness classes (Theresa loves Zumba). The staff is terrific, especially those working at the check-in area. They always welcome members with a smile, often remembering the names of the "regulars." Our favorite is a girl named Alicia, who treats me and Theresa like we're her favorite members in the entire club. While we'd like to actually believe that, I'm sure she treats everyone that way. In short, if you're looking to join a gym, I give 24-Hour Fitness an enthusiastic "two biceps up."
And now, the results.
From January 4, 2012 to today (June 22), Theresa and I have lost a combined total of 160 pounds which, to provide some perspective, is fifteen pounds or so more than Sugar Ray Leonard weighed when he fought Roberto Duran for the World Welterweight Championship.
Aside from looking and feeling a hell of a lot better, I no longer need the sleep apnea machine. My blood pressure has returned to normal, and I actually enjoy shopping for clothes at stores that aren't managed by a guy named Omar the Tent-Maker. In short, life is good. Here's a look at what dieting and exercise have done for both of us.
On a sad note, the elephant seals are no longer interested.
Afterthought: If you're like I was, struggling with your weight and your health, I would like to encourage you to take the leap of faith and do something about it. As I said, this whole process (as of this morning, I've lost exactly 80 pounds) took less than six months. Yes, it takes commitment and focus (basically, aside from work, getting in shape was pretty much our entire life), but think about it this way. If you start right now, by Christmas you'll feel like a brand new person. Six months, people. Looking back, my only regret is that I didn't do this years ago.
Good luck, and if you decide to go for it, I'd love to hear about your progress. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.