Well, I’ve officially dropped out of ClydeLand. The past two mornings I was 199 on the scale.
This has been an effort that started three years ago when I stepped on the scale and found that I was just shy of 250. Over 50 years old. I felt like crap. I was spiraling down into a pit of depression. My blood pressure was on the rise, and my left knee and lower back was hurting all the time due to the added load.
My main diet at home wasn’t really the cause. We ate relatively healthy. Fruits, veggies, salads, very little red meat. What got me in trouble was lunches and snacking. I’d go out for the pizza or Chinese buffet way to often, and then sit watching TV snacking all night. I’d get some exercise biking on weekends, but follow up with beer and more pizza afterwards. So there was no excuse for the gains other than hand to mouth problems.
So the day I realized I was nearing 250 and tubbing out of control, I decided to make a change. I didn’t set weight goals. Those seamed too daunting and too unattainable. I thought 200 would be nice, but it just seamed too far to go. The first summer I started biking more seriously. I started at my normal 10-15 miles a week, riding with a ski club that bikes in the summer. The group gave me motivation. At first they waited for me a lot, but I got there, finishing that summer up to 50-60 miles a week. I also finished that summer at 235 or so.
The next spring I started earlier with my only real goal to do a 30 mile organized ride that summer. I bought a road bike to compliment the mountain bike riding I still did with the ski club, but I really didn’t put enough effort into the road work. Looking back on it that summer I wasn’t serious enough and training wise I did backslide a little. I worked really hard up until the 30 mile off road ride which with the conditioning to date, I could have done twice. Then I slacked off too much for the rest of the summer, only doing 20-30 miles a week. Net result though was another 10 pounds and I was carful to not put it back on over the winter.
Last fall though I shifted into high gear. I became serious. Real serious. I joined a gym in September and went to work. I started spinning classes twice a week, and weight training in between. The spinning was brutal at first, barely making it through the hour class. Far more of a true aerobic workout than just peddling. I added elliptical trainers and swimming as well. Ending up at the gym nearly every day all winter, spinning 4 times a week with the other things in between.
I exited this last winter in the best shape I have been in years. My neighbor who is an energizer bunny on a bike could previously kick my butt at any time, was left behind whenever I felt the need, especially on climbs. Before I’d be literally miles behind huffing and puffing up any slight grade. Now I was cruising up hills with relative ease, leaving him miles behind. That made me feel incredibly good.
The weight during this period didn’t drop off fast though. At the weigh-in for the gym I was at 224. By spring I was only at 210 and stayed there for what seemed like forever. This time with all the work, I was losing fat. I looked trimmer and my cloths needed downsizing, but I wasn’t losing much weight. I was building some serious muscle, especially in my legs.
Little by little though the scale finally again started to creep down, until the past couple of mornings I was just below 200. I’m by no means done yet. I’d love to see 185-190, but true to my previous effort, I’m not fixating on weight numbers. And oh yeah, my blood pressure has been around 112 over 70 or so for months now. My back doesn’t hurt, and my knee quit complaining as well. Plus the best prize was the cute little 27 year old girl who was riding behind me up a 5 mile grade and commented at the top that “You have really really strong legs.” “Your muscles just ripple as you peddle and I was working pretty hard just to keep up.” Nothing has “rippled” on me except for tremors through the flab in a very long time.
Ok, so I’m not in race shape and never will be. I’m not fast by most standards. I still have a ways to go, but I am SO much better than I was 3 years ago. I never thought I could get to this place, and fortunately never obsessed with the weight as a goal, but with a lot of time, and a tremendous amount of effort I got to this point… Plus I hope to never let myself get back to where I was. It just wasn’t a good place for me to be.
Just had to share in the jubilation that I’m feeling right now…