I’m going to intersperse these messages with the usual political diatribe or the occasional ode to the opposite sex. I’m trying to keep myself accountable while also providing some steps on the journey for anyone who at some point decides to see how I lost a fuck ton of weight.
I’m now finishing week 5. The best I can tell, I’m down roughly 13 pounds from the start of my latest kickoff and about 22 pounds total from May 2016. I realize water weight can fluctuate lots, so I have only a “best guess” right at the moment based on some measurements this week. I had a really salty cheat meal last night, so I’m not counting the weight today as it’s like 3 pounds higher than yesterday. The wife would errantly think my cheat meal made me gain three pounds, but that could only be done if I went 10,500 calories over my daily limit yesterday. I hit my calories within 5-10 calories yesterday.
Some highlights this week:
- Walked 4.12 miles twice. Once was about 2 hours, the other was about 90 minutes. The two hours one was a relaxation walk. It still registered at like 1100 calories or so burned with the steps. I’m not entirely sure this is accurate.
- Ran 3 times…1.25 once and 1.5 twice. The 1.5 runs I did with 1 mile walking warmup and about an 8 min cool down.
- I biked once for 14 miles. The last half of this week has been wet and dreary, so I went to the treadmill downstairs. Fun fact: did any of you know these things need to be lubricated? I got a warning on my treadmill that it should be lubed. Found a silicone treadmill lubricant online and did it up. I guess it minimizes friction and helps the belt last longer.
- Worked out chest/triceps and biceps/back once each. I’m not doing leg days yet and I haven’t incorporated a ton of exercises at this point. I’m trying to do some of my favorites and keep routine.
- I’ve had two cheat meals this week. It was supposed to be one. It was two. The first one was a lunch with my team. Planned on a salad. After 3 straight days of heavy workouts, a salad just wasn’t going to cut it. So I got myself a meatball sub. I was still 100 calories under for the day, and it was a rest day. The second…was supposed to be a salad from Appleby’s, but the plans were changed last minute and the wife hates Appleby’s, so we ended up at Iron Hill Brewery and I got myself a pizza. I just about hit my calories exactly last night. I think I was 5 calories over using a 2 pound per week formula for calories. So it still had me losing weight on my app. I’m not beating myself up like I did in years’ past. I’m kicking ass, and a cheat here and there isn’t going to hurt as long as I’m good the rest of time and keep my exercise up. Today (Saturday) is a rest day, but it looks like that might not happen. Cleaning today and I might do some running later. I can do the rest tomorrow.
- Bought a few things at Under Armour. Usually when you’re a big dude, you can’t buy cool shit. You have to go to the Big and Tall store and suffer through the limited choices. The MyFitnessPal app also links to UA Record App. It also has something for “shop UA”. I was like, “maybe I should check out the wrist bands there”. Next thing you know, I see they have my sizes (and bigger) in a lot of shit. Bought a pair of shorts, a hoodie, a T shirt, and a pair of running shoes as a flyer. Let’s see how their sizing holds up. It’s going to be a little brisk out here soon, and I’d like to get some gear to run into December and from February on. In high school, when I lost 70+ pounds in a little over 2 months, I started running at the end of February. I’d like to keep my momentum going through the holidays.
- Bought some Nikes at the outlet yesterday. I tried on some running shoes and they felt weird, so I got some workout shoes. Light as shit. The shoes I’ve been using for running might be 7 or 8 years old by now and have a LOT of miles on them.
What I’m noticing now in week 5 is running is pretty easy now. When I was in my 20s, it would take me until about week 3 to get back into it after a long hiatus. This was about 4 weeks, maybe 5…so I am getting older now. Also, it could be the oatmeal. It’s like rocket fuel and I think I’m going to eat this about 45 minutes before every single cardio workout. My last run was 1.5 miles, but had I kept the same pace as the first 1.25 miles, I might have been good for 2.25-2.5 miles. Why?
Well, something I learned in health class in high school, and why this fat man can always run. Anaerobic ATP. At the end of all of my cardio workouts, I always try to push it. So if I were to run 6 laps around the track for about 1.5 miles, the last lap I’d try to have a half speed run or so. If you want to learn more about aerobic versus anaerobic running, check here.
“But Nate, you’re fat…you can’t run!” I could hear my friends say out loud. My friends are also known as the Ballbuster Fraternity of Life, so I don’t take a lot of stock in it. I’ve run most of my life, sometimes taking a year off, sometimes running for months at a time. My problem has always been stress and eating like garbage as a result of it. This produces more calories than you burn, which causes weight gain. On top of it, when you eat like dog shit, you’re not giving your body proper fuel to workout and run efficiently and effectively.
To those who think fat people can’t run. Or for those of you who think you’re too fat to run. Bullshit. Here’s the deal with running:
- I learned in 4th grade from Mr. Shuey that you need to be able to talk to someone running next to you. If you can’t talk to them because you are out of breath, you are running too fast, in anaerobic running, and your pace needs to be slower.
- You might want to spend 2-6 weeks building up some leg strength from walking first. I was sick pretty bad about 5 months ago for like 3 weeks. Had a long winter, smoked cigarettes. Took my dog out for one lap around my development (.4 miles) and felt it in my legs and lungs. Was like…fuck me. I need to get back at it. Turns out, it also happened to be my highest weight, like ever. Long ass winter, coupled with the last of 6 years of graduate school started to get to me. I really did bad and needed to make some changes.
- Plan. I used to like to run in the evenings when it was getting dark or dark on a track. First, it was cooler at night and sometimes when you’re a fat ass and run at noon on a 90 degree day, you feel as if the gates of hell opened up and are breathing on you. Terrible workouts for me at this time. So plan a good time of the day that works for you, find a place you might have some privacy if you’re embarrassed.
- Get some good running shoes. Break them in with some walks. I have had cross trainers forever. They are a little old by now and a little heavier than I want my running shoes.
- Get some loose fitting clothing.
- Get some music playlists going. For my runs on the treadmill, I have a holder for my iPhone and a jack to plug into the treadmill. I actually prefer chill music because running (when done right) is a de-stressor for me. I’d rather enjoy a two mile run at a slower pace than a 1.25 mile run at a tough pace that hurts because my music is jacked up.
- Take 3-4 weeks to get going, running about 3 times a week. What I mean by this is the first few times you run, it’s going to suck. Try “couch to 5k” to try and get you used to running at stints at a time. I did that over the summer for a few weeks to get back into it. But what you want to do is hit about 20-25 minutes of cardio where you are able to jog at a steady pace…not stopping.
- GRADUALLY increase your heart rate. Not sure what it’s like for the skinny bastards out there, but I feel like a cruise liner getting going. for my shorter runs, I am looking at a 5 minute warm up at a brisk walk, then hit a slow jog…maybe halfway through I slightly increase my pace, then the last 1/4 or so of my workout I’m increasing to push myself to the finish line. I’m also creating anaerobic ATP which I feel is helping me build for my next workout. For longer runs, I’m starting with a slow walk for maybe 5 minutes, then a brisk walk for 5 minutes, then a jog for a mile – then I start slowly increasing. Years upon years ago, I’d get into this groove after roughly a half of a mile and I could hold that pace for several miles. I am starting to feel that “groove” after 5 weeks of running now.
- WARM DOWN. For shorter runs, I’m doing 5 mins, for longer runs, I’m doing 8 mins. This helps me calm down, gently lower the heart rate, start to get the runner’s high, you know…all the good stuff. I’ve read that stopping suddenly puts a bit of stress on your body.
- I believe firmly that most people fuck this up because they go from 0-60 and they run at an oxygen deficit…and if you read about the anaerobic running in the above link, you will know that they are destined to failure. Success comes when starting slowly, getting the heart rate up holding it there, letting it normalize, then gently increasing it. My jogging might be slower than someone else’s fast pace walk. So fucking what. Make fun of me because I can jog 2 miles, but it’s not as fast as you? Fuck you. I’m trying. Which is more than I can say for a lot of people out there. So to my brethren who have some girth who feel they just can’t run….I probably weigh more than you and I can probably run 2.5-3 miles, today, without stopping. I’m looking to do my first “official” 5k sometime in the Spring, hopefully around 50-60 pounds less so my time isn’t so…..dramatically slower than everyone else’s. It’s still going to be near the back of the pack, but I just don’t want to finish last 🙂 I don’t have to run faster than everyone else, just faster than you.
- Fuel your body properly. In previous blogs, I mention one thing I used to fuck up a lot. I used to really starve myself into losing weight and running on top of it. So…don’t know about you, but have you ever been 100+ pounds overweight…biked 20 miles…ran 3 miles, played tennis for 2 hours – all in the same day – AND did it on 1200 calories? Yeah. Not smart on my part. After about a month or so of doing that your body literally tells you to fuck off and you go into a hibernation mode. Been there, done that, got the T shirt a few times. What seems to be different this time around is I’m eating a LOT more…but HEALTHY food…and providing my body some great fuel that is not only helping me to have great workouts, but helping me recover a lot better. My body is not telling me to fuck off, it’s craving my workouts at the moment. Interesting sensation I haven’t had since HS.
- When you do this right, and you get into the “groove” after 4-5 weeks or so…you may find yourself really, really finding some peace with the world when you run. It’s a de-stressor and extremely healthy for you. I remember taking some long runs over the years trying to run out some of life’s worries and it’s just a really calming effect. After you “hit your stride” with aerobic running there’s zero pain…no struggle…you run just as easily as if one would walk. When you get done, you get blasted with the feel good runner’s high…you feel amazing…you hit the showers and relax.