Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Beginning

I'm 6'1" and I weight 270lbs. How'd I let that happen.... again? Growing up, I was never skinny. I weighed over 300lbs in high school. I got myself down to 207 at my lightest by joining the wrestling team in my junior year. I kept my weight down around 215-225 for the longest time. I felt great about myself. I went off to college and I was very aware of what I ate and made sure to work out frequently. When I turned 21 at the beginning of my junior year in college, the drinking began. It started slowly. I didn't like beer, so I stuck to hard liquor, but that didn't last long. Once the beer began, the empty calories starting pouring into my body once again. I also stopped going to the gym. Two big mistakes. Before I knew it, I had ballooned up to 250lbs.

The summer after I graduated from college, my step-dad mentioned to me that we should do the BikeMS City to Shore ride. He got me excited to work out again. He had two hybrid bikes, and he let me barrow one to train on. I started that summer and lost a little bit of weight, but I knew I was getting healthier. My friend and I started training together for the ride. It was wonderful. I hadn't been on a bike in YEARS, probably since middle school. When I first started, I was so afraid to get on the bike because I was afraid I would blow the tires out due to my weight. I didn't. My friend and I started riding a few times a week and rode a path from Valley Forge to Manayunk on occasion, which was straight and flat; ideal for a big boy. By the end of the summer, I had started working, and had less time to ride, but my friend and I still did short rides after work before it got dark. I had a hard time finding time to ride on the weekends because I wanted to visit my girlfriend. We don't get to see each other much, because we're both in graduate school and we live an hour train ride apart.

When the BikeMS City to Shore ride came, I felt prepared. Unfortunately, due to health complications, my step-dad could not make the 75 mile trip with us, but my mom and him, and my beautiful girlfriend met us at the end of the five and a half hour ride. Once the ride was over, I had nothing to train for anymore, so I stopped riding, and started drinking again... more heavily and frequently than I had. My girlfriend told me recently that I traded my bike in for beer, and when I thought about it, she was right. I rationalized it by saying it was too cold to ride, and my friend who did the ride with me and I share a passion for good beer. We drink together. It's a bonding thing... something to do.

My girlfriend told me after the BikeMS City to Shore ride that she wanted to do it with us next year. I was so excited. She knows exactly how to motivate me. I love playing sports with her. It's exciting and it's great for our relationship, and my health. She's already in great shape and I'm sure I look like quite a load standing next to her. Last weekend, we went to Performance Bike and both of us bought brand new bikes. She's going to be riding a K2 Mach 1.0 and I'll be on a K2 Mod 3.0. We got great deals and decided we would train to do the century ride in the BikeMS City to Shore 2009 bike ride.

I want to use this blog to track my/our progress in training and in my weight loss. This isn't a New Years Resolution. Nobody follows through with that crap. This is serious. I'm out of shape, overweight, and a little scared that I'm going to get seriously sick some day and leave (as of January 5th, 2009) my new fiance without a man to take care of her. I'm going to use to track my food intake as regularly and accurately as I can, and update here with any interesting information about my journey with weight loss and training, hopefully motivating others to get active and get healthy.

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