Whatmerunning's profile

WhatMeRunning

Male
Lenexa, KS
"Lose the fat; Get as healthy as I reasonably can; Go into each passing year as physically prepared as possible."

About Me:

I'm in my mid-40's and have been fat most of my life since 10 years old.

Father of five, the three youngest of which have severe autism.

Why I want to get in shape

What I'm currently doing is: Building muscle to get strong and to help burn fat. I'm following a strength training program (upper/lower body split using goal rep system), a high protein primal diet, and low impact cardio (frequent walks).

What I plan to do next is: Repeat until I am happy with my body fat percentage (15% would be great). Incorporate running again once strength hits a plateau.

How I got here: Like many, I got fatter and more out of shape starting in my late 20's working a desk job. I ate whatever appealed to me the most. Generally the less healthy the food was, the more I liked it. There was no time for regular exercise, not even with pending gym membership dues. I tried a few diets. Some with a little success, but all failing in the long term. Having three children diagnosed with severe autism took a mental toll on me that I did not pay proper attention to. Binge eating was the norm for many years.

In 2014 at 42 years old I weighed 316 pounds. I was diagnosed pre-diabetic with high cholesterol/triglycerides and was vitamin D deficient. For reference my ideal body weight is 180 pounds. I was "morbidly obese" per BMI and even simple, common sense. Having seen type 2 diabetes irreversibly steal my father’s health, I was determined to make permanent healthy changes to my life.

I decided my long term goals were: Lose the fat; Get as healthy as I reasonably can; Go into each passing year as physically prepared as possible.

A carb restricted diet started my weight loss. Metformin started bringing my insulin response back in line. I lost over 30 pounds in the first 3 months with just diet and Metformin alone.

I started walking regularly to keep up the progress. My walks became longer over the next 3 months until I felt walking was not enough. So I started running for short periods during my walks.

I signed up for a 10k as a bucket list idea. I ran for longer periods on my walks to prepare for it. Since I never managed to run a full mile during these walks l planned to walk/run the event when the day arrived. But at that 10k event I not only ran my first mile, but also my second, and all the way to the finish line. I was stunned! I had discovered how significant the mental aspect of running 6.2 miles was.

Riding on the high of this achievement I signed up for a half marathon being held 2 months later. I trained for and learned the physical barriers of running a half marathon versus the mental barriers of a 10k. It was very tough training. The event itself was the hardest thing I had ever put myself through. But I completed that half marathon. I was certain I would never do anything like that again as I made my way home. I was wrong.

I began wondering how far I could push myself. I ran a series of several half marathons as I entered my second year of running (Half Fanatic #11765), and by the end of that year I ran my first 3 full marathons within a 29 day span (Marathon Maniac #12019). The rigors of training for all of this permanently changed my life, or more accurately I had to change my life to achieve all of this. It was beyond hard. But I was achieving goals I truly believed were impossible for *ME* to achieve…even just months earlier.

In my 3rd year of running I ran half marathons on a near weekly basis (any nearby events that were available). Unfortunately I injured my foot on a fall while trail running in the early summer, bringing that year of running to an early halt.

During this downtime I ate like I was still running. I had let some bad eating habits slowly creep back in while I had been able to run those mistakes away. Now that I was not running these bad habits took a toll. I did not weigh myself or take back enough control of my diet. By the time I was healed up and mentally ready to start training again I was back up to 296 pounds. Only 20 pounds less than my original weight of 316 when I started this journey 3 years prior.

I started 2017 determined to get back to running and losing the weight. I built back up to half marathon distances and incorporated many hills to help build strength and form. My weight loss was slow. I had quite an appetite from all of that "building up". My running pace was slower than I could accept, beyond the cutoff times of most marathons and some half marathons. I was not happy with my running pace but I still loved running. I pushed on because I knew I could do better and would eventually lose the weight. It seemed really far away though.

Then one day in June I was really not feeling it as I started a long 13.5 mile hilly run. I was not going to quit though. I was going to get a good workout in one way or the other! I diverted my route to a local high school track to do some sprint intervals instead of that long run. I felt renewed. I honestly felt more achievement over those several short 100m dashes than I did from my recent half marathons. This happened again when I set out on my next long run, and a few more after that.

These sprint workouts were tough. They were Max HR efforts. I pushed myself as hard as I could on my sprints and repeated them until I was unable to keep up an honest sprint effort.

I felt fantastic after these workouts. I found I needed more rest days to recuperate. My weight began dropping at a faster rate. I was visibly seeing a trimmer me in the mirror after just a few weeks of this. I was also noticing a steady increase in my sprint paces week over week. All of this despite running fewer days and with much lower calorie burns. I did not miss the crazy high mileage or huge calorie burns. I liked what was going on. I knew this was because I was training differently.

So I took a serious look at what I was doing, and why. Even after all I have done, my long term goals have not changed. They are still: Lose the fat; Get as healthy as I reasonably can; Go into each passing year as physically prepared as possible.

So now my focus is on building strength, adding muscle, and reducing overall body fat. I can achieve the “newbie gainz” in this type of fitness because I am a newbie. Unlike where I was with running.

I'll be running again though. But first to lose weight and gain strength…

My Inspirations

  • Myself. It's really the only reason that helps keep all this long term.
  • Seeing in others where I've been and where I wish to be.
  • Keeping type 2 diabetes away for life.
  • Experiences of those who died who could have avoided some suffering.

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