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Moving Forward

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Friday, September 14, 2012

I have been really examining my journey and I have to say in alot of ways I have dodged a bullet figuratively speaking. The fact that I have lost over 110 pounds, trained for numerous races, learned to swim for a triathlon simply by "flying by the seat of my pants" is a miracle and testament that I think that everyone has a resident knowledge of what it really takes to move forward and if acted upon, will produce results BUT....

I think this is one reason why I have stopped making progress. you can only do so much shooting from the hip.

What I am trying to incorporate into my routine is that...a routine, an organized way, a methodology. I have a friend who I consider to be a mentor who, if he reads this, will probably think "well glory be... its about time" I am not one for following plans of any kind, however, I have hit a place that I think that my way will no longer work.

That is not a bad thing because todays problems cannot be addressed with yesterdays thinking.

I was and have been inspired by Ben Greenfield. He is an exercise physiologist, trainer / consultant, and body builder turned professional triathlete up to and including the Iron distance. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry has some sort of idea or diet plan but when people like Ben Greenfield or Joe Friel (another professional coach) talk, I listen. They train champions.

My history (briefly) At 385 pounds @ 38 years old, 6'2" tall, my resting metabolic rate was approximately 3150 calories. Meaning, just sitting around, it took that level of energy just to support my basic living without exercise. As hard as it is to believe, I never had an easier time losing weight. This was my honeymoon. With that many calories to play with, you have alot of wiggle room. I was able to get away with murder dietarily and still lose.

This is why I am convinced that the early stages of any major weight loss undertaking is largely mental/emotional and dealing with food addictions rather than true physiological trouble, speaking in a general sense not including genuine diagnosed conditions of course. All it took was an intuitive cleaning up - dump the pop, whole pizza before bed, drive thru etc..., take up some walking and biking and SHAZAM! The fact that I was a couch potato was actually to my advantage. When you are untrained, your body is extremely inefficient at just about any form of exercise and you naturally will burn more calories for the level of exertion. the weight started falling off. It took a month or so to start seeing anything on the scale but I did feel better right away.

Such easy wins lead to embedded sloppy habits because if it works don't fix it. Not to say that there have not been issues but I have managed to lose the majority of my weight within the first 2 1/2 years of my journey.

It is now 4 1/2 yrs later and I am far more efficient...harder weight worries though.

I have been looking over material and am putting together a training / dietary routine that I believe will put me on course. I wont bore you with details but since I have been lacking structure, this will probably work and I will go into it more once things start falling into place.

change takes time. the free ride is over, we will see what the next 30 days will bring. I believe it will be good things because I have never seen consistant effort go unrewarded.


I will take a shirt off "before" pic and then follow up with subsequent 30 day pics but I will not post them...yet, maybe in the future. I am still far too appearance sensitive to do that now. If it were possible to have a six pack for ones legs, I have them.. big time. MY legs are CUT and very strong but as for the rest of me... umm different story. soggy.

However, I am not driven by vain things such as looking good. That will come if I reach my training goals but that is not my drive. My drive is to be light and fit with the core strength to perform well at the 70.3 mile distance. If I lose enough, its off to the Ironman (140.6 miles)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    thanks for the inspiration and congrats on all your accomplishments so far. I am sure you will make it to the ironman competition and do well. Have a great day!

    1369 days ago
  • v DOTTY7267
    I am getting more structure as well, so that I contain myself in maintenance.
    1373 days ago
    I did similar to you, but I followed a structured plan loosely, first I did the maintenance plan because it was less than what I was eating at the time. I moved to the next step done a long while later because I was able to lose weight quickly due to the mere fact that I changed exercise and eating habits. I have no doubt with a structured plan you will get to your goal! Onward and upward!
    1374 days ago
    1374 days ago
    1374 days ago
  • v DANLENO1949
    What a good blog, How can you fail with that determination. emoticon
    1375 days ago
    1375 days ago
    Oh Robert! This is just what I needed to read. I have packed on 10 lbs! Yeah, no structure, and pulling from the hip thinking everything will be fine. Phew! Now the process of getting back into the swing seemed daunting till I read your blog! Great job and THANK YOU so much for sharing and caring the way you do. Keep it up! You have no idea how many lives you touch.
    1375 days ago
    Can't brag on my legs like You can -lol, but my eating plan works. Eat only when actually hungry, stop when full, eat food that tastes good to you, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, don't weigh yourself daily. emoticon Love your spirit!
    1375 days ago
    emoticon Interesting thoughts and plans. I know it's time for a change here, too.
    1375 days ago
  • v DUXGRL1
    Sounds like a great plan! Now that I am so much closer to my goal, I do often find it harder than the first year, so I can identify with what you said.
    1376 days ago
    You are sounding very positive again Robert, good luck. Maureen
    1380 days ago
  • v DDOORN
    Wow...just terrific to hear how well you are doing in putting one foot ahead of the other!

    I haven't had anywhere NEAR the stressors you've had in your life, job, potential strikes, etc. However I've seriously lost much of my momentum over this summer and my bike has been seriously neglected. I'm impressed by how well you manage to keep going!

    I've signed up to ride the Apple Cider Century ( in SW Michigan next Sunday and have serious doubts as to being able to ride a century due to my own neglect of cycling lately. I may opt for a shorter ride. We'll see...

    1380 days ago
    1382 days ago
  • v BMCKEOW1
    Sometimes structure can be a great thing. It will probably help you reach your goals. Just keep them in mind and it will help you through.
    1382 days ago
    Well said! I'm glad you are embracing a more structured regimen. I bet you will see tremendous results quickly and consistently. Keep up the good work!
    1382 days ago
    Yep, losing was much easier early on....and re-losing this last 8 lbs or so is taking FOREVER. Okay, not really, but it feels like it! It is just like you said though. Even Spark overestimates my calorie burn much of the time, so I rely on my HRM to give me accurate information, and it's sad sometimes, how hard I really have to work to get my heart rate up enough to burn calories. I keep trying to remind myself though that this isn't a race and that my heart health is every bit as important - and more so - than the numbers on the scale. Here's to an all out assault on our last "squishy parts"!!!
    1383 days ago
    I know you will make the ironman!! I have faith in you Robert!!
    1383 days ago
    I can relate to you somewhat as well. Unfortunately I was pretty active before I started my journey, though regular, hard cardio got my body losing, but I was able to just cut back to small portions of the same things since I ate far too much junk, except of course I did give up the junk food, and pop, and make some better choices, like salad over pizza etc. But it was easy, and I lost most of my weight in the first few months...I have spent the last half of my first year maintaining and on a plateau. I too, am going to have to make some new changes to lose the other half of the weight I need to lose. emoticon
    1384 days ago
    You are where I am at, the little stuff doesn't work anymore I have been on a 30 day mission to focus and see how it treats me. So far so good down 3lbs and feeling energetic, can't wait to get to days then I can really focus.
    1384 days ago
    I'd love to hear the details too if you find yourself with time on your hands and would like to share. I'm taking a fresh look at food, exercise etc too so always interested to learn more.
    I love your determined attitude - I know you can do this! I don't think appearances are all that important but you are fabulous on the inside as well the outside so don't underestimate yourself. Just ask your wife and children what they think and I'll bet they give you a positive answer!
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    1384 days ago
  • v GOSPARK45
    It sounds like you've really hit an a-ha moment. We can only change little by little and it sounds like you found a new path. Way to go!


    1384 days ago
    I also would love to see your plan. I am firm believer in shaking things up every 30 days so habituation does not set in. It is almost as if we have to surprise our bodies every now and then to jump start them from complacency! So, if you feel comfy about it, please share your plan!
    1384 days ago
  • v BEECHNUT13
    A training plan makes a huge difference! And I'd love to see the boring details. :)
    1384 days ago
    You know, you can make a plan over detailed. But I think seeing your plan could help others, but that is up to you and I wonder if you are over detailing your plan. But can't really say as I can't see it. I will just say don't put in so much detail that you are setting yourself up for failure and giving up. And don't treat the plan like it can't be changed. Great to have a plan, as long as you don't really expect perfection. As none of us will attain perfection. Hopefully the plan will help you get back to make progress that you will be pleased with.
    1385 days ago
    I think when you develop a plan, you're invested in it. You've worked and researched to plan it; that's your time and effort. You know what you want and need to do. You have goals. It sounds awesome!
    1385 days ago
    Yes, please, bore us with the details! When I post my plans it helps SO much! What is your plan??? I, too, will probably never post a midsection pic...yes, much smaller than 55 pounds ago, but no 6 pack over here. I understand not wanting to post.

    I do want to hear about your plan, though! emoticon emoticon
    1385 days ago
  • v LINDAK25
    I agree with you. I think the better physical shape you are in and the closer you get to your goal weight the harder it is to fly by the seat of your pants. You need a balanced nutrition plan. One that will help and not hinder your training.

    1385 days ago
  • v 123ELAINE456
    Awesome Blog and Plan. You ROCK!!! You are very smart and learn everyihing you can on Weight Loss ane Exercise. You Can Do It Ironman. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Enjoy your Bike.
    1385 days ago
  • v ACTIVE_AT_60
    Robert, have you ever read anything by Chris Carmichael (you know his most famous client). He and Joel Friel talks about periodization - or dividing your year up in periods - periods where the intensity of your training is related to timing of events.

    A few things that always concern me with people on this website are - 1. burnout (self explanatory) - 2. injuries because of overuse 3. overtraining and 4. underperforming at events.

    I think this time of the year you should focus on base building. Aerobic training and focus on strength.

    Great blog by the way.
    1385 days ago
    Congrats on recognizing what you need to do to move forward. I'm sure that you'll make it happen!
    1385 days ago
    I think your reflection and evaluation are spot on. I know you are a very smart guy, but to be one of the best in industry/job, you studied, you practiced and learned. Becoming an athlete and excelling at weight loss is no different. You need to study, educate and learn to be the best you can be. With education and understanding come great power and success.

    I have no doubts that you will exceed your own expectations! Ironman, here you come!!!

    1385 days ago
    I never thought of it that way, but I think you're right. Things I remember about my own weight loss (and gain) history are consistent with this; I lost easily by the seat of my pants for a while, bounced off a weight just above healthy BMI range, and then lost the weight easily once I had an organized system.

    1385 days ago
    It sounds like you have a good plan to follow. I can't wait to read about your success. emoticon
    1385 days ago
    You Rock! You CAN do it my friend!

    1385 days ago
    Good for you. The beauty of this journey is that it never ends. The agony of this journey is that it never ends.

    You are kicking it into the next gear now. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1385 days ago
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    1385 days ago
    I'm in the same place as you. Lost the first 130 easy peasy - and then haven't been able to drop a single pound in over a year and a half, during which time I have adopted a lifestyle that includes endurance sports which has me burning an insane amount of calories. Body just doesn't want to move anymore with regards to the scale. Looking forward to seeing how you're going to fight this too!
    1385 days ago
    I can't to hear how your plan goes!! You continue to be an inspiration to me!!!
    1385 days ago
    We had to do before pictures for the BLC and I thought I'd choke. Oh well.. And I know what you mean about it being harder. I have been active, but without the eating component being real. Forget it. Thanks for sharing your heart. emoticon
    1385 days ago
  • v SPIRIT42013
    Sounds honest. Best of luck, and watch the stressing.
    1385 days ago
  • v LYNSEY723
    Sounds like you know what you need to do and you are getting it done! Way to go! I can't wait to hear about your progress!
    1385 days ago
    Congratulations on making such an important life change!
    1385 days ago
    You can do it - find a plan tweak it to fit you and your goals...Get Ready Get Set and GO!!!
    1385 days ago
    Look forward to hearing about your success with your new plans!!
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    1385 days ago
  • v QUAIL75
    You can do it! emoticon
    1385 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/14/2012 11:18:32 AM
  • v LINDAKAY228
    You got this! You will do it. The calves of my legs are muscular because of the hiking I do and is probably my best feature LOL. I have 6-pack calves. Too bad the rest of my body is not in as good a shape
    1385 days ago
  • v 4RASCALS
    You can do it Ironman. Keep moving forward. You can do it
    emoticon emoticon
    1385 days ago
  • v GINA180847
    Movin' forward is right! Ironman here you come!!!!!
    1385 days ago
    Good luck with your new training plan! Can't wait to watch you grow! emoticon
    1385 days ago
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