Saturday, February 23, 2008

Getting Fit with Tom G

At the beginning of the year I decided it was time to get in shape. To be completely honest, I decided to change my life. See, over the last months of 2007 I found myself working too many hours, leading to no time to workout and eating like crap. I know it's cliche to start in the New Year. But it really did correspond to an acknowledgment on my part that what I was doing wasn't working. So I embarked on my journey.

There are 3 major parts to my plan. First, manage my work schedule better. Basically, there's no reason for me to stay too much past 5. There's always going to be work. If I stay later to work on something, this will just mean more work in total. So I've made it a huge part that I leave sometime soon after 5:00 unless there is a real need to stay later. That way I have no excuse for not going to the gym. Which leads to the next 2 parts.

If I really want to get in shape I had to come to the realization that I needed to lose a lot of weight. I still think of myself as the athletic kid who could eat whatever he wanted. Those days are way in the past. Once I made that realization, I also raised the stakes somewhat by framing this as a life or death situation. It's not exactly, at least in the short term. But my hope is that I get in the shape I want to so that future dieting/exercise means something like losing 5 lbs instead os multiple 5 lbs.

From a dieting standpoint, I started by keeping a food diary. Being the idiot I am, I am only tracking calories and fat. I know I may be making some weird choices, but this is really more of a guide than accuracy. Even though I try to be as accurate as possible, how exactly would I classify the pasta bar I ate this week at a work offsite? As long as I sufficiently penalize myself when I eat unhealthy, I accomplish the point. And I've noticed a big change in the foods I eat - definitely more fresh and energizing. My biggest obstacle in the past was my snacking. By keeping the diary I have eliminated almost all snacking. And I do allow some deviation - once a week for lunch and once a weekend. Still have to keep track but don't have to beat myself over it. And all beer is tracked during the week. Weekends are a free for all, but are somewhat factored into my goal of weekly calories.

For exercise, I am shooting for 4-5 times a week at the gym with running over the weekend when weather conditions dictate. It seems a little strict for me but again, it's all about results right now. Once I get to a certain level I can scale back as it's about maintaining weight as opposed to losing weight. At this point I have rediscovered my love of running. So much so that I am sorta contemplating training for a marathon. Obviously have a long way to go but so far so good. Given that I ran in high school, I may never have the knees to run a marathon. But the good news is the ease and happiness I am getting so far from running.

So how have I done so far? Pretty pretty good, I must say. I will weigh myself on Monday to see my progress over the last 2 weeks. But after 6 weeks I had lost somewhere between 10-15 lbs (old scale sucked so it's an approximation). This is very exciting. Then again, it's also a little frustrating. For I have made such great strides and realize I have a long way to go. But the hope really is to do this now, while I'm still youngish so I can enjoy the rest of my life in much better shape. Will keep you informed of my progress when relevant.


*Tom G*weight loss *diet *exercise


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