Day 3 of Running

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No, this isn’t turning into an exercise blog, I promise! However, exercise is now a part of my lifestyle, and not posting about it would be leaving out an important aspect of my journey. Besides, if I stick with the Paleo theme, I can just imagine myself being chased by a Sabretooth Tiger or a Wooly Mammoth or something. I’m sure our Paleo forebears did plenty of running!

My latest run was pretty decent. I started off with a good pace and settled into a little bit slower but still good pace. I also increased the distance a bit while the time increased by under a minute over the previous run. In any rate, I’m happy with the result, and happy to have broken the 2 mile mark in my morning run.

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I was experiencing a little bit of pain in my knee before I ran, but by being mindful of my steps and being careful, I found that the pain was some sort of phantom that disappeared, likely just an ache from sleeping. Once I was running, there was no pain at all. Breathing was pretty good today, too.

On the tech side of things, I had two new items with me today that helped my run. First, I got a belt that allows me to put my phone into it. This is huge because I hate having to carry or hold anything in my hands when I’m running. The second was a new pair of bluetooth headphones. These worked far better than I expected, and I’m really happy with them. I ended up buying another pair to give to Sherry for her runs.

I’m also using new shirts and shorts for running, and I have to admit that they are superior to regular t-shirts and cotton shorts. I don’t feel weighed down, and the sweat evaporates quickly which allows me to keep cool while running. Where were these shirts when I was on active duty?

All in all, I felt good again today. This “easing into things” is working out quite well. I might be able to keep this up for at least the next two decades.

Day 2 of Running is In The Bag

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Me, post-run, at 5:45 a.m.

I did it. I made it out for my second day of running. Notes from this run:

  • Started off with a good pace and after the first half mile, settled into a decent pace.
  • After the first mile was done, I felt absolutely great; no heavy breathing and no muscle aches or pain. If anything, I felt very neutral.
  • At the end of my 1.62 mile route, I realized I got there quicker than the first time, so I ran some more to get at least 20 minutes in. I ended up with 20 minutes, 32 seconds and 1.88 miles.
  • At the very end, I started to feel a little bit of aching in my right knee, but it’s not injured. I’ll take some Motrin today and it should be alright for the next run day after tomorrow.
  • The post-run walk was much easier, and I didn’t feel as winded or sore. If anything, I felt really good.

If runs can feel like this every time, it might not be so horrible.

I was explaining this to Stevie this morning on our way to work while stuck in traffic in the carpool lane, and I realized that I have a plan that just might work this time. I run as hard as I can without going past “easy.” When it stops being easy, I stop. I’m not interested in beating anyone in a race, or in getting to some super-fast speed goal. I don’t care about bulking up, or losing weight through running (which I know isn’t a thing). I’m after getting in better shape, using up some extra calories, and building stamina. By pushing past “Easy” a little at a time, I won’t be breaking any speed records in how quickly I will get into shape, but I am hoping that this plan allows me to get in shape without getting injured and without hating it every step of the way.

Some people really enjoy pushing themselves and “Feeling the burn.” I’m not one of those people. I enjoy a more leisurely pace when it comes to my exercise progress. I don’t dislike progress. I do like that. I just don’t enjoy pushing myself to a failure point like others do.

So, I know: running under 2 miles isn’t impressive. Running sub-11 minute miles is not impressive. But doing that after not running 100 yards in the past 20 years is a big accomplishment for someone who was over 312 lbs just a year ago. I’ll take that as a victory and continue on with my slow pace and try to enjoy it along the way.

Weight Loss for People with Physical Limitations

I just read another Facebook post by someone who has been injured and has been unable to exercise. I get it; I’ve been there. Using injury as a crutch to be fat was a specialty of mine (I’m not implying that the person making the Facebook post was doing this. I used to do that!). What made me sad was that this person still believed that exercise was the key to weight loss.

90% OF WEIGHT LOSS IS WHAT YOU PUT IN YOUR BODY. 10% IS EXERCISE.

I know this is a fact because I lost 110 lbs in one year without exercise. You read that right. I did nothing. Sure, I dabbled here and there with some physical activity, but nothing regimented and definitely nothing that would make me sweat. I only recently began doing push ups daily, but that’s a far cry from an exercise regimen. I’m working up to it, and I’ll get there someday (soon, I hope!), but for now, I’m still living an exercise-free life and still losing weight.

If you’re putting off losing weight because you think you need to exercise, stop. Stop buying into the hype and marketing that losing weight means sweating. It does not. Not even a little. “But I know people who have lost weight by exercising!” you’re thinking, and you’re not mistaken. People who exercise tend to eat better and pay attention to the quality of the food they are putting into their bodies. My sister is phenomenally fit, and she eats foods I would never even consider eating, but she eats them in very small quantities and she also exercises more than 90% of exercising people I know. Not only is she limiting her caloric intake, but she’s exerting far more than the average gym rat.

“So you’re saying that I can lose weight just by eating certain foods?” YES I AM! I did it. Look at this picture of me before and after. Bear in mind that the only difference between the two photos is 10 months and a different diet.

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No, I’m not skinny (yet!), but I’m no longer obese. Also, I didn’t do some sort of weight loss diet like Adkins or the Cabbage Soup diet. I changed my eating habits and adopted the Paleo Lifestyle after doing a Whole30.

You can lose weight without exercise. You can have two broken legs and lose weight. You can be a paraplegic and lose weight. All you have to do is eat right.

I’m not taking anything away from those who love to exercise, or who use exercise to be fit. I just don’t want anyone to believe that if you can’t exercise, you can’t lose weight, or worse, if you don’t exercise you won’t lose weight. That’s complete BS, and I’d be very incredulous of any fitness “Expert” who tells you that working out is the only way to lose weight. I’d stay very clear of anyone who spews that BS.

Take it from a guy who lost 110 lbs in one year without exercise: change your diet, eat healthy, and just get up and move a little, and you will lose weight.

A Little Exercise: Better than None

File_000 (31)I admit it: I have started to do a little exercise.

I wrote about me doing kettle bell swings. I had to stop when I hurt my back a few days after starting (completely unrelated to the swings, btw). This past week, however, my back finally felt good enough to allow me to start something. Anything. So I did.

After reading a Reddit article, I decided to start with doing a bunch of push-ups every day. It’s not a lot, and to most people who are gym rats, it’s laughable. But remember this: I haven’t done any serious exercise since leaving the Marines in 1997. I’m not going to jump in and hit the ground running and injure myself. I’m going to gradually get back into it and take it slowly.

As it stands, I still have daily soreness from just these few push-ups I do every day. I do the few that I do and I feel like I did when I was at my physical peak after I’d run a mile and a half. Yes, I’m horribly out of shape. I know that.

I will start increasing my number of push-ups later this week. I’ll also try to make some time to possibly get back to walking every day, or at least every other day. I’ll also re-start the kettle bell regimen. I want to strengthen and tone what’s under all my excess skin so that as the skin shrinks (which it has been doing so nicely, I might add), there will be something nice to see.

This is the hardest part of the entire journey: sweating for some results. I can’t say I enjoy it, nor do I like it, but I am tolerating it. I’ll be doing my best to keep it up. I just hope I don’t injure myself anytime soon.

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