Saturday, September 3, 2011

Da Gym (per Amanda's request)

I have been going to Fit Together for the past, I don't know, 6 years? When I first started, I was over 255 lb. and always feeling wore out, achy, sluggish ... I lost about 50lbs. in 8 months or so, was doing my cardio regularly, got up to running for an hour on the treadmill. When I started I was walking for about 20 minutes at a time. I actually won the cardio challenge and won a new pair of tennis shoes. I bought all new clothes, even some new hunting clothes, and went to the mountains elk hunting. That was my goal, to get in shape for the "elk hunt of a lifetime". So, after the elk hunt, I let the diet slide, stopped the cardio, but still did my 5:15am work outs every MWF. Gained a little weight back, but called it "lean mass". I built back up to 3 to 5 miles 3 or 4 times a week on the treadmill and ran in a 5k that spring, 30:52. I was 50 years old. The cardio thing is what really gets hard to keep up. The next February, at 51, I ran another 5K with Ange, and finished in 36:21. Lost a little endurance I guess. Last year, I tried to get in shape for a half marathon. In August I ran a quarter marathon in like an hour and 6 minutes. I was at 235lbs, still not where I wanted to be, but my foot started hurting all the time. Plantar Fasciitis I guess. Really, I had to stop running. I still went elk hunting with Jeff and when we got back from the mountain hiking trip, I was down to 225 and feeling pretty good. Late fall is the hardest time to stick with the program. Since then, I have slowly crept back up into the 240's and have been as heavy as 250. I've been riding my bike since the late spring, up to 20+ miles, no problem. But running still seems to be a problem for me. I've tried swimming laps in the pool, but have a hard time staying consistent with that work out. Tyler asked me if I wanted to do a triathlon with him on Oct 2, and I've been trying to get into condition to do the 500 meter swim, 21 mile bike ride and 5 mile run but I'm not sure that I'm going to be ready.
My trainer at the gym has had me doing cross fit workouts, lots of core and cardio stuff. One day, at the end of my circuit he put the weighted vest on me an I got on the treadmill. He set the incline at 15 and I started walking at a 3.2 ... 3.5 ... 4.0 (jog) ... and then 4.5 and then up to 5.0. Running up hill with a weighted vest on for 2 minutes had me sucking air so hard, I sounded like I was an asthmatic. I tried to grip the handles and get a heart rate reading, but I was sweating so profusely that it wouldn't register. When It finally did, my heart rate had slowed a bit, down to 161 bpm. 55 year old hearts aren't supposed to beat much faster than that.
I had my blood work done the other day and my cholesterol is too high (220) and my triglycerides are above normal, which means I have too much fat in my blood. Everything else was OK, blood sugar, Billy Reuben (I know that's spelled wrong, but that's what it sounds like) was OK, liver functioning OK. But how do you get the fat out of your blood? and how do you get your cholesterol down? Diet and exercise.
So, you might say, it sounds like your exercise is going OK, but you still need to do cardio 3 or 4 times per week, 20 to 30 minutes of jogging or fast walking ... OK, but 1 hour of bike riding 3 times a week is what I've been doing pretty regularly. So, what about the diet?
Well, it is hard to generalize the diet. I mean, we eat healthy. We seldom eat red meat. Mostly fish and chicken, and more fish than chicken. We eat salad almost every evening. Vegies are steamed or raw, maybe grilled, never (hardly ever) fried, and then stir-fried with very little oil. Only EVO or grape seed oil when we use oil. I have to admit, we have had ice cream as an evening desert snack several evenings this summer, and we got on a popcorn kick earlier this summer, but have recently cut both of those out ... for the most part.
This next week I am going to keep a food journal (again) as that seems to help in reminding me where I'm messing up as far as caloric intake.
I have found that after age 50, it is very hard to loose weight. I'd really like to be going to St. Louis next month to participate in the triathlon with Tyler, weighing in at under 200 pounds. To paraphrase the lyrics from an old Eagles song, 'we haven't seen that since 1969'. Well, anyway, it's been a long time. My thought is to starve it off, but everybody keeps telling me you have to keep the calories up to keep the metabolism up. If you starve your body, the metabolism shuts down and you gain weight just by thinking of food. So I say, what the heck, I need the calories, so I eat it or eat a little more, and then I get on the scales and you guessed it, the weight is the same or a pound more than last time.
I'll keep the journal and see how it goes in the next few weeks.


  1. cut out gluten. I did it for a week and my tummy was super flat and I felt awesome... but beer just tastes really nice.

  2. OK, I hear you. We eat very little gluten. When we do, it comes from whole grains. NEVER do we eat white bread, but cept if we eat out and they serve it to us, like at Olive Garden or Logans. Oh, and the chips & salsa at Mexican restaurants. We only eat out on weekends. So, that is why I have to log everything that goes into my mouth.

  3. Does wine have gluten in it?