Six-foot-tall 45-year-old tipping the scales at 255 lbs here, working in my home office between 8 to 12 hours a day. Mostly sedentary, in other words.
A couple years ago I made it down to 215, but I was stupid in how I exercised. I had no plan of attack at all, but just went out on my bike every day and tried to go harder, faster and longer than the previous day. I kept my stats in an Excel file, and became addicted to competing against myself. I took no easy days or rest days. I ended up burning myself out, and it took a year to recover from that. In the past year I've gently gotten back into cycling and exercising, and I want (no, need) to do it right this time.
So I joined a gym this winter, and have really enjoyed it. For the first two months I went three times a week, doing 45 minutes of cardio on the treadmill followed by some light weightlifting, hitting six or seven of the machines. In between days I rode my bike for an hour on the trainer. Then I took a whole week off and just went for walks. This let my muscles heal up nicely, and I was raring to go by the end of the off-week.
So, so far so good: two months on followed by one week off is a real plan of attack that feels right to me.
But here's my question: In my first two months of working out I noticed that I felt pretty beat up the following day, and often couldn't do much of anything. Which was a pain practically speaking, but I figured "no pain no gain." But now, in my first week back at the gym following my rest week, I've been running for a whole hour at a slightly slower speed on the treadmill (7.5 km/h), and I'm barely breaking a sweat. I don't get as much of the endorphin high anymore, but then the recovery process the following day isn't as excruciating or fatiguing.
I'm starting to think I could get into running every day for an hour at a slower speed and really take advantage of being in the "fat-burning zone." So, like...this is a good thing, right? Am I finally learning something that people in the know know? Is this, combined with cutting out the donuts, a better way to bring my weight down than beating myself up on the treadmill one day followed by couch-sitting the next day?
I think I'm on to something here that works for me. Am I?