Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Story

In my childhood I was a skinny athletic kid who was always active and always hungry. Meals were homemade and if it wasn't fried it was considered an average meal. No worries though because as soon as dinner was over I was out of the door and in the neighborhood playing until the street lights came on.
If I wasn't at home I was at basketball or baseball practice.

Fast forward to my college years. Yes, I gained the "Freshman 15", or in my case it was actually 10. However, I became more active in playing softball, baseball, and other sports through my fraternity. I still never missed a meal or a large late night pizza with some beer. Not to worry because I subconsciously knew that my activities would counteract the intake of the food I was consuming.
A few years later I graduated college and started my first "real" job. This job had me traveling the Midwest the first 8 weeks of my employment. I lived out of a suitcase and bounced from hotel to hotel. About 90% of my meals (lunch and dinner) were fast food or all you can eat buffets. In case you were wondering there was minimal exercise taking place.

This was the real beginning of my weight gain over a period of about 7 years. The eating habits never changed and the exercise practically stopped. Life was good though. Got married, started a family, and had a good job. My weight gain was the least of my worries.

I wasn't until you start looking at pictures of yourself and deep inside you know you need to change, but where do you start? I didn't like the way I looked.
I was addicted to caffeine, more specifically, Coca Cola. I could down a case of Coke in a few days. I love milk too. In fact, I drank a very tall glass of whole milk each night before I went to bed around midnight. As you can see my habits needed to change.
So here I was....overweight at 220 pounds. I've got the gut and the "man-boobs" going on at this point.

My wife and I joined a gym, but getting the motivation to get in the car and drive to go do a workout was a chore.

My wife is a runner and encouraged me to start running. My excuse was that "I hate running" because it gives me shin splints blah blah blah.

So I got a road bicycle and started to really like this type of exercise. I slowly started biking more, but then again, nothing real consistent.

It wasn't until the spring of 2009 when my wife got real serious about losing weight herself and challenged me to do the same thing. I was seeing her lose weight and I wanted to join the party. She had downloaded an app to her iPhone called "Lose It". I was amazed by this application. This fits me perfectly. I can track my calorie intake, calories burned, and track my weight with charts right from my very own iPhone. It was too easy. It took a little while to get used to tracking all this stuff, but once I got a routine down it became second nature.

I knew exactly what I was consuming and then determined how much exercising to do to get down to my maximum calorie intake for my weight loss goal. This kept in line and kept me motivated. As a result, I started eating healthier and exercising a lot more.

After a few weeks I was losing weight which kept the fire inside me burning. The best motivator to me was the results I was seeing. By the Fall of 2009 was down to about 175 pounds and feeling good. During the winter months I gained a few pounds, but then as the spring of 2010 arrived I got back to exercising a lot and I am at my current weight which fluctuates between 165-175.
I still struggle with the food part, but I have gotten better.

In August 2010 I decided to try a triathlon.  I did a mini triathlon just to see if I would like it.  Well I was hooked from the first race.  During the off season before 2011 I decided that I would be doing more tris.  This means more swimming, more running, and probably less biking (I am used to biking about 1200 miles per year). 

In 2011 I did several tris, a few 5k's, and a half marathon.  Having training that involves running, biking, and swimming has made me more fit than any single sport has.

2012 was an awesome year.  I smashed personal best times in just about every race that I did and competed in some longer distance triathlons.  I also qualified to compete in the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship which will be a very rewarding yet humbling experience. 

As I get older I know there things I can't do now that I could in my 20's, but this won't stop me from trying.  From what started out as a little competition with my wife on weight loss has led to 5k's, half marathons, marathons, triathlons, and championship events.  But I am not done yet.  I have aspirations of doing a full Ironman race someday.

I am a happily married man of 12 years, have two beautiful kids, have a great "day" job, and an enjoyable second job (photographer).  Life is good!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Mike,
    Just a quick message to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter. I am currently following you now and am awaiting for your follow-back. (#FYI I do RT’s ‘anytime’ for all #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners #Marathoners #FitnessProfessionals who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned for support…)

    All the very best to you & your family for 2013 & beyond Mike. Look forward to hearing from you…