Getting Back Into Shape

I never realized the toll that Nachos, Burgers, more Nachos, IHOP, and more Nachos would take on my ability to adventure.

I grew up having to work to keep weight on. I remember eating hard to meet the 70 lbs needed to play Pop Warner football when I was trying to make the Mighty-Mites weight requirements. In basic training at 21 years old I was given a meal card for extra food so I could become a cop. I had to put on extra poundage before going to Pre-Ranger and Ranger Indoctrination because they knew I would have more than average weight loss. In Dive school I persevered through hypothermia because I had no fat.

I always loved running, swimming, biking, and hiking all through childhood and well into my middle-aged years. I naturally stayed in great, not good, but great shape. I even continued to bike 36 round trip miles to work when the mood felt like it. I never trained for marathons, century bike rides, or two weeks on a trail….I just did it.

Then I hit 45.  That was the magic number.

Black magic. Voodoo. A curse.

Suddenly gone were the days of a quick metabolism. I grew a gut. I huffed up and down hills. My bike sat neatly posted on the wall like a decoration. I blew up to a horrible weight. My waist expanded…Size 30 to 36 and working past 38. I was a diet Coke short of “duex-hundred”…I felt 50 years old.

Right now I am on the road to recovery. With the exception of a cheat day here and there I have been religious about getting back in shape. My main workout is swimming. At least once- and in some cases twice a day I can be found knocking out anywhere from 1000 to 2300 yard swims, participating in deep water aerobic classes, or joining in with a competitive stroke class.

My diet has changed as well. Gone are the 4-6 sodas (a day), 1-2 candy bars (a day), and the weekend full of eating out. I no longer knock out a bag of chips and a jar of nacho cheese sauce, I have grown to love almonds, carrots, and other healthy alternatives.

I love the fact I have dropped from 198lbs to 185lbs in a few weeks and feel 40 again. I love that on the past few hikes I am charging up the hills with a pack on. I like the good moods I am in.

Its sad in one respect because AIQ was built around getting people off the couch and into adventure. I had become the audience I have reached out to for so long. But I now have a better understanding of what its like to be that person on the couch and why it can be so intimidating to make a change.

I still have a long way to go but I am motivated. I know everything step I take gets me back to the adventure guy I used to be, and maybe a better ambassador to those less inclined. I have my cheat days that I enjoy. I went out today with a buddy for a bacon-cheese burger, fries, and a coke. It was good company, good food, and GREAT atmosphere…but it was a treat not a staple. I just understand that tonight I have to work off the 1500 (extra) calories that were not in my budget.

Now its off to the gym….

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