Thanks to Joe at work, there's a good chance I might die in the next month.
2 months ago Joe started going to Irontribe. Joe had never lifted a weight before (according to Joe). What little I knew about Irontribe was that it was a form of crossfit, which to be honest was not something I'd ever thought about, much less thought that someone like Joe would not only stick with for 2 months, but also enjoy.
Nothing against Joe. I just know we both spend the majority of our week sitting in front of computers.
2 weeks ago Irontribe hosted a session one Saturday morning to come out for an (easy) practice workout to see if it would be a good fit. As an added incentive, if you're referred by someone (re: Joe) then you can take the 4-week Tribe 101 class for free. I enjoyed the practice workout, and it only took me 5 days to recover. For free, there's no reason to not try the 101 class and learn the moves that they speed through during the regular class.
The 101 classes I'm in are Mon/Wed/Thu at 7pm. I've gotten through the first week, and I've enjoyed each workout. I've yet to not be sore afterwards (or even during, sometimes). It's the only real exercise beyond walking that I've done in years. I'd been slacking off on my walking schedule and realized I need something different - were someone else sets the time and tells me what to do vs walking around a track at a pace I just kind of fall into.
I've had a lot of huffing and puffing. I can actually trot - not quite a jog, but faster than the walking pace I had going around the school track. Granted, that trot is 100 meters at a time vs a 3 mile walk, but string a couple of those together while throwing in some excercises that invariably make my thighs burn, and I think I'm getting a better workout.
The first night we ran a 15 minute capped exercise routine. 100 meter run (well, trot), 3 sets of body weight squats, 25lb kettle bell swings, and sit-ups (set 1 = 15 reps, set 2 = 12 reps, set 3 = 9 reps), finished up with another 100 meter trot (mostly a walk at that point). I managed a 10:38 time. At the end of 4 weeks that time is supposed to go down. I wonder if I can get it down to 8 minutes?
Monday was a milestone day for me. Literally. On Dec. 16, 2013 I started using the Nike+ running app to track my walks. 11 months and 136 walks later, I passed 500 miles.
That first walk at the end of 2013 was 2.5 miles. 2 months after gastric sleeve surgery I was still getting in "walking shape" and shooting for 20 minute miles, and 2.5 miles was a nice little challenge. After I would walk, I would pretty much be worn out and ready for bed. Monday morning, I walked for almost 2 hours and traveled over 6 miles. The best part is that except for some leg muscle soreness that kicked in about 3 hours later, it felt like a normal day.
Jerry sent me a text to warn me of upcoming storms later in the day (he's my designated weather alert system) and that if I wanted to go walk I should get a move on. We were on the same page, as I was on the tail end of my walk and heading back toward the car around Mile 4, where the Athens greenway hits the track behind the baseball fields of Athens High School.
The track intersects a 2nd greenway, which I've always hated as it's a 1.206 mile stretch where I have a hard time making out details and can't quite figure out how far I've got left. Most of the trail looks like this:
Nice, but nondescript. Eventually I made it out of the greenway and came out along Highway 72.
I still have a quarter mile left on my walk as I've started to park in the Lowe's parking lot. The greenway has a grassy area to park in, but I kept timing my walks with mowing schedules. Jsut to make life easier, and to add a consistent length to my walks, I picked a designated parking spot at Lowes.
It seems to work. Every once in a while I get a call from Gina asking "Are you walking? I think I saw your car."
So now I have walked 500 hundred miles. I guess I'll walk 500 more. I bet that song's still going to be stuck in my head for a while.
1 year ago (yesterday), 401 lb me went off to the hospital for Gastric
Yesterday, 297 lb me thought about what's happened in the past year.
I've had a f'n awesome year.
There have been a few low points (being unemployed again would certainly count), but looking at the things that are actively under my control, I'm completely happy. There are day to day things I do that I make sure not to take for granted, little things like walking across a parking lot and not being sweaty and out of breath. To celebrate such, I went for a 6+ mile walk this morning.
My biggest question asked is still if I miss eating the things I used to. I
don't. The idea of a big juicy steak and baked potato, or even a binge trip
to good old Sonic for corn dogs and cheese sticks sounds good and
causes my mouth to water (it's watering as I type this), but were it all
sitting in front of me I wouldn't touch it. Tempted probably, but I would
My friend that I've never met, James Buchanon Puckeepsee (not his real name) has a compulsive personality. Alcohol, food, exerciser. I think he's found how to focus his compulsiveness positively (mainly exercise) but that wasn't always the case. Some 10+ years ago, I heard a recording of a talk he gave to a group at Overeaters Anonymous. He brought up a point that has always stuck with me, but only now can I really apply it. Dieting is the only activity where you reward yourself with what you're trying to avoid. As a reward for losing 10 lbs, have some cake (or something else you've restricted yourself from)!
Over the past year I've not thought of food as a reward. I've tried to make my menu fairly mundane. I'll have an occasional treat, but not for doing anything special or as a reward. Instead, I'll think back over the past month or so and see if I've not gotten carried away with eating anything I shouldn't. If I've stayed on track, I'll allow myself to falter a little. Tuesday night I had some chocolate chip cookies, no diet/fat-free/low-sugar ingredients anywhere near them. They weren't a reward, they were a treat. I ate them, now time to move on to more protein shakes and salads.
The exercise regimen that James McDonald Puckington (not his real name) focuses on is also inspirational, although I don't take it to his extremes I do make an effort to be more active than the 441 lb lump on the couch I once was. I'll try to get out and walk 3 times per week. If I don't, it's ok and I don't beat myself up about it. If I do, it's ok and I don't need to shout to the heavens and get kudos. Walking is something I do for me - it makes me feel better. Sure, I'll mention it here when I hit a milestone (should hit 500 miles total walking this month) or go particularly farther than normal (did I mention 6.38 miles this morning, much more than my normal, piddly 5 miles), but in all honesty reading about hey, I walked 5 miles again for the 3rd time this month is about as boring as it would be to type it. When out on my walks through the Athens greenway system I enjoy myself and take active notice that I couldn't do this very activity a year ago, and that makes me smile.
As for complications from my surgery and the side effects thereof, I never had any. Never threw up. No hair loss. No vitamin deficiency. No protein deficiency. I'm still drinking 3 protein shakes per day. I'm still taking vitamin supplements 5 times per day. The doctor expected me to be around 200 lbs today, so I've only lost half what he wanted. I wanted to be 240 lbs, but not necessarily today. I wanted to be healthy today.
I feel pretty healthy. I'm counting that as a win.
Next I keep doing what I'm doing and watching to see if more weight will slowly drop off. Maybe I'll hit that 240 yet. I'm in no rush though. And I don't think I'll stop in on Sonic along the way, either.
My normal walking schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while trying to
manage a 5 mile route each day. Not bad for someone who needed to rest when
walking across a parking lot 2 years ago. This past week I faltered on
Friday as I thought I would get rained out - the local radar always showed
rain nearby but it always dissipated by the time it got here.
To make up for missing Friday, I went on an evening walk Saturday. I met Gina over by the school and she took her first walk with me in a couple of months (due to her plantar fasciitis messing everything up). She made it a mile before the pains started shooting, but I'm proud that she made it that far.
I stayed and walked a little farther. I've noticed that normally when I walk in the mornings, 5 miles of walking over an hour and a half feels about right. Later in the day, I don't want to walk as far but my pace seems to naturally quicken. When nobody else is within sight, I've even taken to attempting what I like to call a jog. Anyone else would call it a mildly controlled seizure where I somehow remain upright. Saturday night, since the walking track was devoid of anyone else, I decided to up my random jogging spurts.
Normally on the last mile of my walk, when I'm in my zone and nobody is looking (see above), every ¼ mile (there are posts along the trail marking this) I'll jog a little until I run out of wind. This normally takes about 30 yards, although I would swear it's really about a ¼ mile. I'll then try to catch my breath before the next ¼ mile post and start the process over again. Saturday I decided to just see how many of my jogging spurts I could get in on a 1.5 mile lap.
My lighting fast jogs register as green on the map above, save for the first one at the bottom around Athens-Limestone park. There are 6 green-shaded areas where I broke the sound barrier with my lighting fast pace. Lighting moves at a 13 minute/mile pace, FYI. Most importantly, I didn't pass out, fall down, or die from this extra exertion. Due to the tightness in my thighs I knew that walking around today would be.... fun, I'll go with fun.
The grunts each time I get up and start to move are signs of fun.
I'm just happy to be able to move and run around a little.
It's been a little while since I mentioned anything about my walking regimen,
but I'm still going at it. I've switched from 5 times per week to 3 times per
week, but upped my distance per walk from 3.7 miles to 4.5-5. I've also slowed
my pace a little, due in part to not walking as much with Gina (as she tries to
get over a bout of plantar fasciitis) but a slower pace is also easier on my
knees. I tell myself the longer distance helps to make up for it.
I've also started walking in the morning instead of the evening. Starting a walk at 6AM helps to beat the traffic, plus just moving around during the course of the day seems to help keep me from feeling as stiff as when I walk and go to bed soon thereafter.
I'm not sure how much of this is in my head and how much really makes a difference, but I still feel better every day.
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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