I was going through some old photos with my wife the other day and was amazed how much body weight I have put on over the years. When I was in the Army, 82nd Airborne, I weighed about 190 and had very little body fat. I was in the best physical shape of my life. When I got out, of course, I started to gain as I passed thirty. In my early thirties I began running again and loved it. In fact, I ran about 5 miles day and lost about 20 pounds – until I hurt my knee. Then, the weight I gained all came back as I was incapable of exercise for too long.
Now, I am getting ready to turn 53 this month. I am nearly 270 pounds and have been seeing a weight doctor for about three years. I have been taking the dreaded diet pills which seem to do little more than keep me from gaining more. I do not feel good and I do not like how I look. I want to get back in shape! I want my wind back (I love to sail and often get too tired too fast), I want to slim way down to 220 and I want to be able to keep my sons wondering if I can still kick their butts (22 and 17).
I am not ready to give up and I am not ready to go on some fad diet that takes my money and makes some skinny trainer rich. I want the truth about health, weight, diet and exercise. Along my journey I am keeping a journal and you are welcome to go along with me and watch my progress in this blog. I hope I am successful and I hope you get inspired.
After much research I have decided on a hybrid, poor man’s version of Vic Magary’s weight loss program. There are several reasons why I am going this route instead of Weight Watcher’s points or meals-by-mail. Here are my thoughts:
1) Magary’s program doesn’t require any special equipment or memberships if you don’t want to spend the money on them. It can all be done from home. Not me though. I am going to the rec center because I am not afraid of young, buff dudes and chicks. Besides, its real cheap there.
2) Magary’s program is based on the US Army’s exercise regimen and that is when I looked my best and felt my best. I did it then and I think I can do it again. For me, it was successful once so it must be good.
3) Magary echoes what I have always heard – whole grains are not as good for you as many people say. I will cut out most, if not all, whole grains if I can. I love bread and I love pasta but it has to go for a while as does beer and any alcohol made from grains, including Sake made from rice. Everything else you can eat as much as you want – within reason. And I mean within reason! My weight doctor once told me moderation is the key. If you eat a ton of ice cream you will weigh a ton. If you eat a ton of yogurt you will weigh a ton. I will be sensible and eat well but moderate without whole grains.
4) Magary suggested people go to the gym and look at people who have been doing cardio workouts for a long time. The thing that most of them have in common is they don’t look much different than they did a year ago. The Army program is a short (15-30 minutes) work out with more intense muscle workouts like push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, knee bends and if you want, weights (but not necessary). Also, short runs or sprints to get warmed up. The problem is I have the A type personality so I instinctively think if 15 minutes is good 30 is better. No fear of a stroke! I am going for it. I have a chosen a 15 minute walk-run to get warmed up. As the weeks pass this the time I spend on the track will increase.
So, tomorrow we ride! I will renew my membership at the Claremore Recreation Center in Claremore, Oklahoma, brave the tough stuff and write it up in my posts. I do not know how many times a week I will go but I have committed to at least four times a week. This is my plan of action for week 1 based on the Army’s suggestions at http://www.goarmy.com/downloads/physical-training-guide.html :
15 Minute Run-Walk to warm up
15 Modified Push-Ups (modified is on your knees instead of your toes)
21 Crossover Sit-Ups (right elbow to left knee is one count)
25 Deep Knee Bends
10 Reps on Butterfly Machine
10 Reps on Military Press
20 Reps on Lat Pull Down Machine
At most this will be around a 30 minute (maybe a minute or two more) workout. Wish me luck!