It’s amazing how a little thing can make a big difference in your life. In early May I decided one Sunday morning to weigh myself to see where I was in terms of my weight. I was appalled…I weighed in at 210 lbs! I’ve never been that heavy in all my life. For the longest time I held steady at 200 lbs (and even that was heavy considering where I normally would weigh for many years before that). I was so angry that I decided that I was going to make some changes in my life and lose all the extra weight I had gained since I got married 14 years ago.

I decided I was going to approach the problem both from an exercise as well as a diet perspective. In the past I tried some of the “fad” diets like Atkins and they worked for me for a while…but once I reached my goal and I weaned myself off the diet I went right back to eating the way I did before and gained the weight right back. I’ve had a membership at the Wheaton Bally’s for many years (and, like most people, I would go infrequently if at all). Well, no more. These days I’m there at least 3 times a week doing weights and/or running on the treadmill at 5AM. I’ve also set two goals for myself:

  1. Run my first marathon in the spring of 2011 and
  2. Get my weight down to 175lbs

I’ve also started to run on the roads on Sunday mornings (I take Saturday off) – I’m working my way up to 26 miles. And I don’t just want to do the marathon and finish – I’m going to finish well. My goal for my first marathon will be to finish preferably under 5 hours.

On top of this I want to get back on my bike. When I was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, I used to race bikes. I rode so many miles every week that my weight was around 165lbs (on a 5′ 11″ frame) and my body fat percentage was around 12%. After many years I pulled my old Tommasini Prestige bike out mothball and took it to Silver Cycles to be overhauled. It wasn’t cheap (had to buy new tires and a few other things) but the bike is ready. Riding the bike is like spending time again with an old friend.

On top of that we belong to the Sandy Spring CSA and have more vegetables than we know what to do with (now trying to figure out what to do with all that rhubarb they sent us this week). I’ve completely changed my eating habits and have cut out all the crap food that I was eating as well as paring down on my portion sizes. I’ve also cut down on the meager amount of meat I eat and am considering going vegetarian completely (I already have cut milk out of my diet and have switched primarily to soy milk).

Overall I feel a lot better than I’ve felt in quite a while. In the past 6 weeks since I started this routine I’ve dropped 8 lbs and my energy level has climbed dramatically. I used to run a 5K in about 35 minutes – it’s now down to 31:30 (and I’m working on getting it down to sub-30 range). I’m also working on getting my mileage on the bike up to around 25 miles per ride. On the whole I’m sleeping better and feeling good about myself mentally. It’s amazing how a little thing like getting on the scale one day can really make a difference!