The Erik Beck Fitness Challenge 2k17 (and, really, for the rest of my life) – Day 42/Intro

For the large majority of my life, I have been unhealthy and overweight. This is a thing I’ve always been aware of, always been self-conscious about, and always “tried” to work on. However, in “trying” to work on this, my attempts were often less than successful.

The majority of my high school and college years were spent between 235 ad 245 pounds. The two notable outliers correlated two the two different times I was on the cross country team. My Senior year of high school, I dropped to around 225 by the end of the season, and I could tell I was more fit than I’d ever been. I gained the weight back quickly, quite literally packing on my Freshman 15, thanks to being much less active and having much more *freedom* in choosing what I was eating. My Junior year of college, I went to Guatemala, and lost about 30 pounds thanks to the diet and the amount of walking we needed to do; this dropped me down to 215 at the end of that spring. I joined the cross country team that fall (after putting some weight back on at camp), and danced around 230 for the year.

After college, I moved to Denver to start seminary, and gained a lot of weight – to the tune of weighing 252 pounds when I went home for Christmas. Once again, the *freedom* associated with needing to buy my own food and a lack of physical activity (due in some part to a severe ankle sprain that summer) contributed to the weight gain. This new height of my weight called me to action, and I got back down into the 230s by the end of the spring. Still, there wasn’t much difference from what the rest of my life had looked like – until the next summer.

In part because I was going back to camp for a week and I wanted to look better; in part because a friend was going to be passing through Denver halfway through the summer; and in part for myself, I decided to begin a concerted effort to start working out and eating better. This was also the summer after finding out about my food allergies, which played a huge role in changing my diet: I can’t eat most processed food anymore because I’m allergic to soy (and a bunch of other food because of other allergies). I began running almost daily once the semester ended, began eating better, and hit my goal of being under 220 by the time I went to camp. The compliments I got at camp continued to motivate me, and my weight loss continued to progress thanks to a continued food effort, running, and weightlifting at the community college gym across the street.

I didn’t hit my goal of getting under 200 by the new year; I got there three weeks later. It was an incredibly exciting experience to get on the scale and have a 1 as the first number in my weight for the first time in who knows how long (probably at least 8th grade). I made it to a low of 193, but two Frisbee games a week cut into my running, I stopped lifting, and an overall school stress ate into my focus as my weight began to creep back up.

I spent the summer in Georgia, and was still below 200 before I left. A combination of the work I was doing (including quantity and food consumption) as well as some hip issues kept me from much physical activity, and I came home around 210. I continued to gain after heading back to Denver, and some attempts to regain control were mildly successful until recently.

As of right now, I am just shy of 220 (last I checked, about 2 days ago). A couple visits to the chiropractor helped with the hip, and he gave me stretches to help loosen things up. I started running again at the start of March, stopped when I was back on my feet 6 hours a day at work, and restarted this week. Food remains an issue.

Quite honestly, I’m back to not being happy with where I’m at. I realize weight is not the only metric to be concerned about, but I have noticed myself being weaker, slower, more easily winded, and making worse food choices for a few months. At the same time, I’ve been seeing more and more media that has been pushing me to get back into the swing (including, Casey Neistat, Craig “Wheezy Waiter” Benzine, and the 100 days channel). With that, and my own desire to actually be in shape, I want to lay out a preliminary list of goals here for the future.

I would like to say that the ultimate goal is to run a marathon soon-ish, but the actual ultimate goal is to stay healthy, so we’ll call the marathon the penultimate goal. Other than that, here are a couple of changes:

  1. Every Saturday is going to be a post about my progress, at least from now until the end of the year.
    1. Each post will include a physical activity log.
    2. Each post will include a food log.
    3. Each post will include a sleep log (at least, to the best estimation).
  2. The primary physical activity at this point will be running. The goal is to get back to 3 miles being a short run (3 miles is currently a long run – I’ve been out of running for about a year now). I’ve done enough poorly with regards to taking things at a pace where I don’t hurt myself, so I don’t plan on this happening for a while. Running will happen at least 5 times a week (this may seem like a lot, but I actually really enjoy running, and cross country experience makes this normal for me).
  3. Food goals will be set after figuring out what I’m eating.
  4. I have an unnecessarily complicated relationship with sleep (that I’ve almost written about here); I like to stay up late, and am an undiagnosed insomniac. I’d like to get more, better sleep, but I don’t know what that means yet.

This is the preliminary list. At this point, there are a bunch of unknowns that I will be solidifying more in the coming weeks, but at this point, I’m hoping this will keep me accountable and motivated.

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