Monday, February 19, 2007

Eating Healthy, Working Out and Losing Weight

For the past few months I've been on a mission:
  • Eat healthier
  • Work out
  • Lose weight
When I started with HFD last year I had hoped to lose weight. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Sure, I was exercising more and getting in better shape, but I was not paying attention to what I ate. After I stopped hiking with HFD last year I started to gain weight. I wasn't as active, but I didn't change how much I ate and drank. Things were getting ugly, I wasn't fitting in my clothes and I hit 210 lbs! I knew something had to change, but I wasn't sure exactly how to go about it.

A few years ago I lost more than 10 lbs on Body for Life. As Steph would say, I was an animal at that time. Working out 6 days a week, eating 6 meals a day and being completely obsessive about sticking to the plan. I can't do that today. With my work schedule and travel, trying to follow a plan like Body for Life just wasn't going to work for me. So I had to find another way.

I decided it was time to find a personal trainer to help get me on the right path. I got in touch with Jerry Collett, we met during HFD last year and I always liked the way he pushed me during our group hikes to work a little bit harder. In December we started meeting twice a week and I joined a gym so I could work in 3 - 4 more workouts every week. I also joined to keep track of my how many calories I ate in a day vs. how many calories I expended to help me get a better grasp on how my eating choices affect my weight.

Its been almost 3 months now since I started and it hasn't been easy. I've been trying to eat more often with smaller portions. When I work from home, this is pretty easy, on the road its not. Making good food choices when I am traveling with work is very difficult, especially when I am running to a meeting or to catch a flight. So I have learned to carry food in my backpack when traveling. Usually I have a couple of Clif bars or Lara bars stuffed into my bag for mid-day snacks or, in the worst case, a replacement for a meal. I always avoid the "food" they offer on flights since it is often extremely high in fat and carbs. Airport food isn't much better, though some airports are better than others.

So where do I stand now? As I mentioned, when I started down this pathway I was 210 lbs. At 5'7", that puts my body mass index (BMI) at 32.9, in the obese range. Egads! Now I'm down to 192 lbs with a BMI of 30.1. I was wearing jeans with a 40" waist and they were getting uncomfortable. Now I'm down to a 36" waist — something I haven't worn since early 2002! — with a lot of room, the 34" waist jeans are not too far away. I'm also in a push-up competition with my friend Sandy and some of the HFD team. A few weeks ago I could barely knock out 10 push-ups with bad form. Now I'm up to 30 push-ups and working toward my goal of 100 push-ups in a single set. I'm lifting more weight than I ever have before, hiking faster and longer and generally feeling in much better shape than ever!

I still have a long way to go to my goal of 175 lbs, but I am continuing to lose weight, gain muscle mass and head toward my target.

No comments: