Whatmerunning's profile

WhatMeRunning

Male
Lenexa, KS
Member since July 15, 2014
"Lose the fat; Get as healthy as I reasonably can; Go into each passing year as physically prepared as possible."

About Me:

In my late 40's, father of five, the three youngest of which have severe autism.

https://www.strava.com/athletes/7849663

Why I want to get in shape

After a nearly 4 year hiatus from actively participating on MFP I am back to start a new journey in the spring of 2021.

I started this 2021 journey on March 8th weighing in at 297.6 pounds. My ideal body weight is 180 pounds. So I have a lot of weight to lose, which I have done before thanks to MFP (as described in the lengthy story below).

My goal this time is to lose weight and burn fat for fuel using intermittent fasting with a clean Keto diet, and for fitness to balance cardio, strength and mobility. I have done some combination of all 3 in the past but was either focused on long distance running at some expense of strength training, or focused on strength at the expense of running shorter distances (or even not at all).

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 many diets. Some with short term 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.

2014
I started the year at 42 years old weighing 316 pounds. I was diagnosed pre-diabetic (A1C was only 0.1 away from an official diagnosis of diabetes) 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 multiple family member'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 continue the weight loss. My walks became longer over the next 3 months (up to 2 hours) until I felt walking further/longer was no longer enough benefit to justify the added time. So I started running for short periods during my walks. My weight was down to 250 having lost 66 pounds in these first 6 months of closely tracking my diet, keeping my blood glucose levels in line, and getting exercise.

In order to help push myself into running, I decided to sign up for a 10k in September 2014 as a bucket list idea. I ran for longer periods on my walks to prepare for it. Despite how hard I tried, I was never able to run a full mile non-stop during my walks, so l was unsure what to do. Some MFP members in the running related forums gave me advice to start towards the back (just in front of the people pushing strollers) and just run/walk the event. I lined up towards the back as suggested, and when the event started I not only managed to run my first full mile non-stop, but also my second, and all the way to the finish line! I was stunned! I had discovered how it was just my mind that kept me from running a mile (let alone 6.2), and I could do it!

Riding on the high of this achievement I signed up for a half marathon being held in November 2014. Early on in the training I encountered limits as I pushed past 8 mile runs which my mind alone could not simply push me through. But by sticking with the training plan I worked up to a 12 mile run just prior to the event.

On the day of the event, I weighed 220 pounds, having lost 96 pounds in a little over 10 months. Running the full 13.1 miles was the hardest thing I had willingly physically done to myself by that point. But I completed that half marathon. As I walked to my car afterwards, cold and aching incredibly, I was certain I would never do anything like that again. I was wrong. I began looking back at how far I had come in just that one year and started wondering how far I could push myself.

2015
I started off by training for (and running) a half marathon series called Heartland 39.3 which was 3 half marathons in under 30 days in the spring of 2015 (Half Fanatic #11765). I followed that up by training throughout the summer to run 3 full marathons within a 29 day span in the fall of 2015 (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.

By the end of 2015 my A1C was in a perfectly healthy range and I was no longer considered pre-diabetic. My cholesterol levels where all in healthy ranges, and all of my blood work came back healthy for my age. My weight was consistently around 230 - 240, up 10-20 pounds from the end of 2014, but I was trimmer and healthier in every way. A lot of that weight was added bulk and glycogen from all of that training for all of that running. But I was struggling to lose more weight and that was frustrating.

2016
Going into my 3rd year of running I ran half marathons as my normal long run on a weekly basis at any nearby events, or just as part of training (except during rest weeks) during late winter and through spring. I decided to start trail running in the summer with thoughts of trying a 50k at some point. I injured my foot on a fall while trail running in the early summer, bringing my running in 2016 to an early halt. During this downtime I ate like I was still running. I was accustomed to simply running those mistakes away, but now those choices took a toll. I wasn't weighing myself and by the time I was healed up and ready to start training again I had gone up from 235 pounds to 292 pounds!

2017
I started 2017 determined to get back to running to lose all the weight I had gained back. I built back up to half marathon distances and incorporated many hills to help build strength and form. My weight loss was incredibly slow and by late spring I was really struggling during long runs. One day I diverted to a local high school track at the start of a long run and wound up doing sprint intervals. I liked it so much I started doing this each week in place of those long runs. These were exercises I did not do as part of long distance training and I found myself really enjoying them. I liked them even more when the weight loss suddenly started back up again. These also helped me begin to pick up my running pace.

This made me start to rethink everything I was doing until that point. I began to realize that while I had built up a lot of strength to endure long distance running, I never built up a base level of strength prior to adapting my body and muscles to long distance running.

So I switched my focus to building muscle to get strong and build muscles, which in turn would also help burn fat in that new muscle. I was following a strength training program (upper/lower body split using goal rep system), a high protein primal diet, and low impact cardio (frequent walks).

2018
I was really happy with the strength gains I had achieved, but started slacking off at first by slowly leaving out the cardio (walks) by the fall. My diet went more lazy primal (lazy meaning not counting macros) which is due to me no longer using MFP. I don't know why I stopped using it. I think I just felt I had things fully under control. This is when I stopped weighing myself too (last weigh in at 269 in February) because my weight was staying roughly the same despite looking trimmer. So I started using the mirror to determine progress. Despite these discrepancies, I felt great. I knew I had lost my cardio, but just didn't care at that point because I felt nice and strong, was still seeing strength gains and felt and looked trimmer and healthier.

2019
This is the year things started going off the rails compared to prior years. My diet was more "lazy low-carb", which isn't even a thing as far as I know. Later in the year I started missing strength workouts due to the stresses of life and shortage of time. Things I would not have allowed previously, but started allowing.

2020
Pure shit show. But at least I never binged on carbs and kept carbs reasonably down throughout. Outside of that I did nothing at all in terms of fitness and health. Oh, and I drank a shit ton. To be perfectly honest, I had just given up. On everything just about. It should go without saying that I gained a lot of weight that year.

My Inspirations

  • Experiencing "less healthy" just sucks extraordinarily more (cont. below)
  • than experiencing "more healthy" in every way.

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