Friday, February 5, 2016

Phorever Phreddy

In my absence, I let myself go and reeled myself back in.  I've always been one extreme or the other, I suppose. In my teens and 20'si was very active. 30's, not so much. In my late 30's I set goals for myself, and the very second I accomplished them, I abandoned everything.

During the summer of 2014, my boss asked that I go to Manhattan to meet with a client. Since I've always been a "jeans and t-shirt" guy at the office, it didn't occur to me to try on my fancy clothes before I left. The morning of my meeting I put on my fancy pants. They were a little more than snug. They were downright vulgar. I put my shoes on and say down to tie them and split those mother fuckers right down the seam of my ass. Humiliated, I had to run out at 8 in the morning to find new pants. I was horrified to learn I was (then) in a 38. I vowed to do something about it the second I got home.

My adult bestie, Walt, has always inspired me with his own physical transformation. Having lost the equivalent of the Brady Bunch (the children, not the parents), I followed some of what he had done. if I'm being honest, I didn't do anything he had done, except for getting a FitBit to actually track my activity to see how lazy I had really become. The nice thing about the device, and being competitive, and having competitive friends, is that it kicked my butt into gear.

The first step in setting up the FitBit was to see how much damage I had done. I stepped on the scale at 245#. The next step was to set my daily (10k steps) and long term (140#) goals. I'm *sort of* kidding about the long-term goal. The next step was to annihilate Walt in the leader boards.  I still haven't done that, and doubt I ever will.  But, it's not stopping me from trying.  

I picked the absolute BEST time to start riding my bike to work. July, in Central Texas, when it's 90 at 5 am and sweltering in the evenings. My almost daily 22 mile round trip commute through the "gently rolling hills" (bullshit, there's nothing gentle about it) of Westlake had a nearly instantaneous loss of both Olsen twins. As the weight started to come off, I started looking like I had the ill-defined body of a 14 year old boy.  The next thing I did was contact a personal trainer to help me with some poor body image trouble spots.  I had to wonder though, were the trouble spots real, or only in my mind.  There's a lot of psychological damage that's done when you look like The Penguin.  

Last March, the day after Spring Break, I started working with my trainer twice a week.  I was AWFUL at every.single.exercise he gave me.  Like, seriously, awful.  Within months I had built up strength, stamina, yadda yadda.  My only regret about the experience is that I never took "before" measurements (or photos).  Through the year I noticed my clothes were fitting better and getting smaller.  I realize some of the shorts I wear now appear to be to small for some 4 year old's out there...but I don't care.  My work wife told me the other day that I looked "bootylicious", and I'm going to take it.  

This March will be one-year that I've started working out with Shawn.  What started off as twice a week sobbing in his gym by myself has morphed into Jed started working out with me.  Shawn has been coming to our house twice a week now, instead, and showing us things we can do utilizing items/equipment we already have around the house for strength/endurance training.  Instead of only exercising twice a week, I get some type of exercise 7-days a week, with strength/weights thrown in *at least* 4 days a week, sometimes more if the days fall on days that Shawn comes by to yell at us.  

Bodies that are in motion stay in motion.  I think I've *got this* now.  While I appreciate the accountability aspect of having someone hold me feet to the fire, I feel like I'm ready to walk.  I won't be one of those people who says, "This is what you need to do...", these have been my own lessons.  But I will say that whatever your psychological barriers to physical change are, just let them go.  I thought, and sometimes still feel, I was "too old" or "too fat" to change.  And maybe I am, both.  But I really just don't care anymore.  I'm tired of living with complacency.  When it's time to change, it's time to change.