Written by Doug Collier:
Time has a way of catching up with everyone and for me my early 40’s was the wake up call. Weighing in at 340 lbs I realized that time was running out. I felt that if I didn’t change my lifestyle 350lbs was next and it would only get worse. Diabetes, high blood, pressure were all on he horizon and I don’t like shots. So I began slowly at first “learning” how to eat.
I began buying frozen “lean”, “healthy” dinners at the grocery store. This taught me portion sizes and I lost some weight this way. The process was slow and I knew this was not the answer. I still wasn’t mentally committing to the process. So like an addict I went cold turkey.
This was the breakthrough I needed. I thought to myself, I know how to loose weight. I know what I have to eat. I know I have to work out and exercise. I just have to do it. I didn’t set a goal weight I just set a time. One year. For one year I would eat right, exercise and commit.
My first step was joining the Broadmoor YMCA. I began working out 6 days a week. I started walking on the treadmill and lifting. Slowing building. Soon I began running my neighborhood. Running one block and walking to the next for a mile. Before long I was running a mile without stopping. Then two. Then I began running to the YMCA to work out and running home.
The second step was throwing away just about everything in my kitchen. I downloaded the app “Lose It” for my Iphone. The app is free and with it I kept track of EVERYTHING I ate. It helped me set a calorie max for the day. This was the most important step of the whole process, knowing how many calories I was consuming and burning.
Within 9 months of my year goal I was down to 190 lbs. I had begun running in local 5k’s, something I thought I would never do. After about 8 or so 5k’s I wanted to do more and running 5 miles every day for workouts left me a little board. A friend at work suggested I do a triathlon. I picked up a used road bike and I did my first duathlon (run, bike, run) then a couple months later I ran in the first of three Sunrise Triathlon Club races.
I then set my sights on The River City Triathlon. A training accident on my bike a week before the race left me with a broken collarbone and unable to swim so I had to miss the race. I was able to forego surgery long enough to ride in the Hotter N’ Hell 100 mile bike ride in Wichita Falls, Tx. that I was also signed up to do that month. I was proud of myself for completing that ride. I now understand the thinking of athletes that play injured.
During the down time of my surgery I put on 20 lbs in about 2 months. I see how easy it is to reach a goal only to yo-yo and put the weight back on. If it weren’t for that lifestyle change I probably would have put a lot more weight back on. I plan to take that 20 lbs back off but not in the extreme way I did originally.
I’ve continued competing in triathlon’s even doing my first half Iron Man in New Orleans earlier this year. I exercise almost daily running, biking or swimming. I plan to ride in the Katy Flatland 100 mile bike ride next week. Baring any injury I’ll race in the River City triathlon in August followed by my second tour of the Hotter N’ Hell 100.
Before starting any exercise, diet or health routine, first consult your physician to make sure that your body is healthy enough for physical activity.