Tuesday, February 16, 2016


January of last year I (temporarily) got some health insurance. I went in to the doctor for the first time in years because my stomach and my heart were . . . let's just say they were "uncomfortable." Regularly. It was making me nervous.

Doc took an EKG and told me my results looked great, whatever that meant. If I'm in the clear, I guess I don't much care exactly what the results are and how to interpret them. On the other hand, my weight made him uncomfortable and he didn't like my blood pressure, so I was instructed to take care of the one and let's see what happens to the other. It was the first time a doctor ever scared me.

I was in the neighborhood of 275lbs, the second time I've ever weighed that much. Because my health was at stake, I wanted to do something more drastic than usual. I started thinking back to what I was capable of in high school. I know it's not fair to compare myself at 36 to what I was at 15, but I was then conducting a set of habits during that time which had me in the greatest shape of my life. I was on the football team, the wrestling team, and the track team. All year long I was spending six days a week exercising 3-4 hours a day, and those hours were divided among several different activities. It wasn't three to four consecutive hours of goddamn jogging, that's for sure.

I do love to run (or, it is perhaps more accurate to say I have eventually learned to love to run), but I needed to mix it up if I were to put in that same amount of effort. My gym had lots of cardio options available, so I made use of four of them. Two focused on the upper body and two on the lower, and I'd alternate.

The time I'd spend on each machine was based upon which playlist I was listening to. Once upon a time I heard that a body needs 20 minutes of exercise before it starts pulling energy reserves from fat cells, so I would make exercise playlists in excess of 30 minutes, not including a quick warmup song and a one or two for a cooldown. After a couple of weeks I was skipping the cooldowns and going straight to the next machine and starting the next playlist. I was soon treating the warmup just like the rest of the routine. In total I would get 2 hours and 20 minutes of intense aerobic exercise five days each week (Three days on/one off, two days on/one off).

Helping matters was a show I was rehearsing at the time. It was very physical, so I ended up averaging an additional hour or two of sweat inducing movement right after my workout.

The payoff was great; after six weeks, I was down 22 pounds from where I'd started. I intended to keep going, but got distracted. That's another story for another time.

Every single time I've tried to lose weight, I've managed it. Every time except for this time. I'm missing something. Something is different, but I haven't figured out what it is just yet.

And the clock is ticking.

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