My exercise and weight loss

Old 11-02-2011, 07:38 AM
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Default My exercise and weight loss

With all the active threads going on, I figured I should start my own instead of hijacking another.

I was a competitive swimmer from age 9 up through 18. At my fitness peak, probably in grade 11 or 12, I was swimming 12 practices a week (10,000-12,000 yards per day), doing 1000 ab exercises per day (situps, leg raises, etc.), running 3 times a week, and going to the gym 3 times a week. I woke up at 4 in the morning and got home around 9 at night. Of course I had school somewhere in the middle. I swam year round, all through high school, and one year in college. I won every single regular season race I swam in all 4 years of high school. Swimming helped me into an Ivy League college (that I *barely* graduated from). I was 4% body fat, weighed 175, and am 6'2" tall. Pretty much any exercise was easy; I could do 100s of pushups, at least 100 pullups, etc, etc, etc. I was eating at least 6000 calories a day and not gaining an ounce.

Then I quit swimming and kept eating. My general level of fitness kept me OK through college, but I quickly gained a lot of weight after college. By my early 20s I was up to 240 or 245 (maybe even 250) and my size 38 pants were tight.

One day I needed to run 1 block to catch a bus to work. When I got on the bus I was hyperventilating and soaked in sweat. I realized on the bus ride that something had to change and soon. There was a small lake (1.5 miles circumference) a couple blocks from my apartment. I started jogging around the lake 3 or 4 times a week. At first I had to walk it. After a couple months I was able to do more than one lap. Then winter came (I was living in Boston), so I bought a rowing machine. I started rowing for 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week instead of running. I noticed improvements in how I felt and looked, which caused me to feel guilty when I ate bad. I started to change what I was eating and reduce my intake. Things got a little extreme when I was down to only a small salad for lunch. The weight came off fast. I dropped 60 pounds in 6 months. At the end of those 6 months I hit 185, bounced back up to 190, and stabilized.

I was *skinny* but I had no muscle. And I feel that most of the weight loss came from reduced eating, not exercise. My metabolism was very low. I moved to VA and did not have EASY access to a gym, so I stopped doing any exercise (I'm lazy). I continued to eat OK for awhile, but eventually got into the habit of going out for a big lunch with coworkers every day. The weight started creeping back.

About 4 months ago I decided it was time to get back in shape and lose some weight. I was not in great physical shape and weighed 215 on a good day. I'm hoping to make a lifestyle change here, not a temporary dent in my weight. I've been trying to eat healthier, but not necessarily a lot less. I'm trying to eat 1 dinner instead of 2 or 3, but I'm not keeping myself to 500 calories a day and I do go out to eat on the weekends. I'm trying to exercise every week day. I started with swimming because there's a local pool. But swimming is boring, so I eventually added in running. I July I almost died after 1000 yard swim. Yesterday I did 3000 yards at almost twice the per-lap pace without much effort. When I first started running I was gasping for air and severely beat up after 2 miles in 22 minutes. Two days ago I did 5 miles in 43 minutes.

I'm now down to about 200 pounds and am much stronger. There's a hint of some visible stomach muscles. My goal is to get down to 190-195. I'd like to get to a position where I'm exercising 5 days a week and can eat pretty much whatever I want. I'm not interested in lifting weights. I want to be lean, not muscular.

I've been tracking my workouts and progress on because they have some nice charts and what-not. My complaint about dailyburn is that the days I've skipped exercise aren't very obvious. In the attached images, the dots are the days I've worked out and the low points are the days I've done short distances.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:37 AM
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You sure look like you are organized and have a plan. As I am sure you know, diet and intensity of excercise are critical. Controlling insulin will be the edge.
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