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Greg P

Getting Healthy

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Ugh. Echoing Christian, I'm sorry to hear that as well. Will be praying for grace to your family.

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MattPage   

Right. Having suffered the agony of flicking through 200 photos of my rugby match on Saturday and seeing this version of me looking far fatter than I realised I'm on a sort of a diet. I've previously tried to avoid diets and focus on better attitudes to food, but I've let all this slip and need to get back to that and cut a few things to be less fat.

Part of my problem is though that whilst I do have a good deal of unnecessary fat, I also just seem to have a large stomach etc. Getting rid of the fat will help, but even if I were to lose it all, I can only imagine that my tummy will still stick out. Anyone got any tips on that?

Matt

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Hey, Phill... Just revisited this thread and saw your last post from Sept. Hope you're still making progress!

Sadly no. I pretty much stalled out around 226 and reverted back to my old ways. I peaked at 245 just a week ago and I was pretty depressed the rest of the day. I talked about it with my wife, who has been very supportive, and we came up with a plan. My ultimate goal is getting below 180 which will be a very healthy weight for my body type. That is a lot of weight to lose so it's not something that will happen any time soon. I've set a bunch of smaller goals and we have worked out a reward system if I reach those goals. The final reward is going on our first cruise.

I get really frustrated because I see friends around me that eat so much more and much less healthy than I do and they have very little problems with their weight. I get the impression sometimes that I gain weight by simply looking at a doughnut. I hope I can report some progress soon. I am 32 - almost 33 - and it is kind of pathetic that I am this heavy. It's not good for me or my family. I have three youngs boys that are counting on me being around for a long time. I need to get in shape just so I can keep up with them. I actually worked out last night with my 6 year old and 17 month old. Don't ask me how it worked but I was exhausted after 30 minutes of it! Hopefully I can keep it up. I need prayer. I know it's a really minor thing but I honestly don't think I can stay committed and focused without some divine assistance.

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I am down to 241.4 since recommitting. And when I consider that I had to get through Thanksgiving meals without overeating, I am very surprised that I have lost any weight. For the first time in a very long time, I am actually proud of myself in this area of my life.

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Darren H   

Well done, Phill. Your strategy of having short- and long-term goals is important. It takes a long time to gain a lot of weight and it takes a long time to lose it, so be patient and focus on your next goal.

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Thanks. I'm now down to 236. I had lost 5 lbs as of Sunday morning and then I got a stomach virus that afternoon and that knocked off another 4 lbs. Not really the way I want to lose weight though. I hope this won't bother me for too long because it makes it very difficult to exercise when you feel sick. Hopefull I can push through.

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Greg P   

In January of this year, I participated in a marathon (my second full) and suffered a stress fracture to my left fibula at around mile 17. Like a bozo, I continued running for another mile, despite mounting pain and ended up having to quit the race at that juncture. If i'd stopped when I first felt the pain, I would've been ok, but like a stubborn fool I pressed on. I was sidetracked for a good month or so after that, just hobbling around like an old man, and was fairly bummed out.

The fact was, I had not trained as rigorously as I should have for the event and my weight was around 205 at the time. Not terrible, but I was carrying about 15lbs more than I was the previous year. I attributed the stress fracture primarily to these factors and vowed NOT to go into the January 2011 marathon with the same issues.

So, as mentioned earlier, I've been training pretty hard since early October. My weight is hovering steadily between 177--180lbs right now, I'm eating well and feel like I'm in the best shape of my life. I run five, and sometimes six, days a week. I was doing shorter runs of 5 miles a day and then in November, started doing 7-8 mile runs. Last week I began ramping up with intended sets of 10-13 mile runs. My first one, a week ago Sunday night, was a breeze-- just a delightful time. I took a day off and then hit the 10-mile track again on Tuesday. From a cardio perspective, it was also a fairly easy session, but at the 8-mile mark i started feeling some pain in my RIGHT calf, just above the ankle on the outside... essentially the same area I began feeling pain during the marathon (only on the other leg) I slowed it down for a few minutes, but not without some considerable discomfort in the last half mile. I finished by walking, but by then it was too late. I believe I'm working on another stress fracture here... the pain is fairly distinct. It is clearly not a pulled muscle. BUMMED.

It's been nearly a week and I'm still hobbling around (no, i haven't been to a doctor yet! I know, i know...) So now after all the training, I'm having to face some rather unpleasant possibilities relative to January's race. Perhaps i have an unusually thin fibula that's prone to this type of injury, an improper running gate (too much weight-baring on the outside of the leg), not enough calcium in my diet over the past few years (although I seriously doubt this is the case) or worst of all-- I may not be cut out for distance running at this stage of my life.

Refusing to accept any of those, I wrapped the leg yesterday and attempted a short, casual run... hoping that maybe the leg was not so bad after all. I got about two blocks and promptly turned around and WALKED home. Poop.

Edited by Greg P

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Sorry to hear about your leg. That has to be frustrating.

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Darren H   

Oh, Greg, that sucks! I've done several 12-15 mile runs over the years, but my one attempt to train for a marathon was a disaster. I was following a program I'd found online and when I first printed it out, the slight increase in mileage, week to week, didn't seem like that big of a deal. Until I started running them. I wore myself out a month before the race and ended up not even registering for it. That kind of training takes a toll on your body.

I did a 10-mile run on Wednesday and an 8-mile last night, and my lungs and energy levels were great. But I got the dreaded twinge on the outside of my right knee, which I've begrudgingly come to accept as a warning sign. I'm going to take off a few days and do a lot more stretching.

Some good news, though: I got on the scale yesterday for my Monday morning weigh-in and was happy to see I'd finally hit the goal I set for myself last August. The last two pounds took longer than the first 12.

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Greg P   
I did a 10-mile run on Wednesday and an 8-mile last night, and my lungs and energy levels were great. But I got the dreaded twinge on the outside of my right knee, which I've begrudgingly come to accept as a warning sign. I'm going to take off a few days and do a lot more stretching.

Some good news, though: I got on the scale yesterday for my Monday morning weigh-in and was happy to see I'd finally hit the goal I set for myself last August. The last two pounds took longer than the first 12.

First, congrats on reaching your weight goal! This kind of endeavor gets tricky around the holidays!

Yeah, taking a couple days off is never a bad thing when your body is giving you warning signs. I wish to hell last week I'd paid attention to the soreness in my ankle/calf after the first run. Even after posting and bellyaching about my injury here on Monday, I tried to exercise yesterday morning. We had temps in the 30's yesterday in Miami (even had ice on my windshield this morning!) and I thought a nice, leisurely two-mile walk/lite jog wouldn't hurt my leg. Boy, was that retarded. In agony all night long and this morning and now it's officially in a splint.

On the plus side, today I weighed in at exactly 175lbs... Maybe the first time in 25 years I've been this lean. Other than the leg and the angst over my holiday bank account balance, I'm feeling mighty fine.

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Today I will try to reach a new max bench record for me. For dedicated readers of this thread, please pray for my face.

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So it's come to this. Today at the library I picked up two books about running.

I think the idea of reading about running is more appealing to me than actually running. May starts soon, and I tick up to 2.5 miles per run from 2.25 miles per run. That's right, just a quarter-mile increase a month. That was fine until I went from from 2 to 2.25. I keep hearing that I'm building my stamina, taking my time, doing things the "right" way. And then I ticked up those .25 miles and felt sorely tested. It got better as the month wore on, but now I have to increase again. Maybe I'm doing this too slowly.

Maybe I'll just read about running three times a week. That'll help me knock out that 5K and 4-mile run later this year, won't it?

Funny, then, that the first book tells me in its opening pages that most runners who start out slowly end up runners for life. Oh yeah? Prove it.

As for other matters, weight is good, someone told me I was looking thinner, and my blood panel showed solid movement in the right direction. So overall, things are good, even as I continue to question the point of running.

Edited by Christian

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Greg P   

So it's come to this. Today at the library I picked up two books about running.I think the idea of reading about running is more appealing to me than actually running.

Heh. Christian, I still feel like that sometimes, so don't feel bad. Just curious, is one of those books Murakami's? (that's a good one, btw... and so is "Born To Run") Also dude, when did you start this???

I think the only reason I gravitated towards running and stuck with it, is because it just suits my mental/emotional disposition. Something about the freedom of the open road, the headspace to daydream and argue with myself and the adventure of being out in nature, sometimes in some fairly wicked elements, appealed to me. The thought of going to a gym and counting reps, or flailing away on a stationary bike or treadmill still seems like hell to me and if those were my only options, I'd probably be obese. I'm not a natural runner at all and it took me about 3 months at first-- and maybe more-- before I actually began to enjoy it. The natural high, and sense of well-being and strength that I feel afterward have just kept me coming back. It's been almost four years.

I think the idea of reading about running is more appealing to me than actually running. May starts soon, and I tick up to 2.5 miles per run from 2.25 miles per run. That's right, just a quarter-mile increase a month. That was fine until I went from from 2 to 2.25. I keep hearing that I'm building my stamina, taking my time, doing things the "right" way. And then I ticked up those .25 miles and felt sorely tested. It got better as the month wore on, but now I have to increase again. Maybe I'm doing this too slowly.
It sounds like you're doing it right! Once I got up to the 3-4 mile range, I found the stamina to do the occasional 5, 8 or 10-mile jaunts came fairly easy. Once you consistently run 4-milers, the ability to break out and do 7 or 8 is more about mental stamina... Boredom and mental fatigue are the biggest enemies for me at that stage.

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Andrew   

Inspired in part by the discussion here, I bought a treadmill recently and have begun walking 30 min daily, so far to the accompaniment of Treme - after that, probably Mad Men. Running is not an option for me, due to my asthma, but this feels do-able.

I'm also trying to modify my diet, with more fruits and veggies, less junk food - with modest success. Of course, as others here have mentioned, the biggest help there is simply keeping it out of my house! I'm also psyched about the local farmers' market reopening in town next weekend, so I can have better-tasting food available at affordable prices (EarthFare and their ilk are a bit too rich for my paycheck at the moment).

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So it's come to this. Today at the library I picked up two books about running.I think the idea of reading about running is more appealing to me than actually running.

Heh. Christian, I still feel like that sometimes, so don't feel bad. Just curious, is one of those books Murakami's? (that's a good one, btw... and so is "Born To Run") Also dude, when did you start this???

Earlier this year, I found myself running a mile one day on the treadmill instead of walking. I conquered a psychological barrier -- a mile! -- and decided to try out incremental increases, with the goal of running a 5K in the fall and a 4-mile run on New Year's Eve. We'll see if that happens.

Yes, one of the books is the audio version of "Born to Run." The other is the print edition of the Complete Idiot's Guide to Running. The latter is kind of discouraging, even as the author tries to lay the groundwork for encouragement. He writes about the difference between "jogging" and "running" and says some people run a 5:20 mile, some a 4:30!! OK, maybe he didn't mean it to come across that way, but that's how I read it. He was writing about his own personal improvement in running time. I was running a cool 9:20 mile (!) until I increased the speed of the treadmill (from 6.5 to 7.0 in "treadmill pace") and cut that to something like 8:40. Guess I've got a ways to go!

I'm not a natural runner at all and it took me about 3 months at first-- and maybe more-- before I actually began to enjoy it. The natural high, and sense of well-being and strength that I feel afterward have just kept me coming back. It's been almost four years.

That's encouraging. Thanks.

It sounds like you're doing it right! Once I got up to the 3-4 mile range, I found the stamina to do the occasional 5, 8 or 10-mile jaunts came fairly easy. Once you consistently run 4-milers, the ability to break out and do 7 or 8 is more about mental stamina... Boredom and mental fatigue are the biggest enemies for me at that stage.

I'll keep that in mind as I push ahead. I've been doing a treadmill solely, but the weather is getting nicer and I'm starting to think about running in the "real world." Have to map out a route, buy some decent running clothes, etc.

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Guest Pax   
Guest Pax

After avoiding exercise and eating pretty much what I wanted, I had a health scare last week: Venous deficiency, a vascular problem, in my right leg. (My BP and cholesterol were both near perfect, FWIW. I read somewhere that 50% of heart attacks happen to patients with normal cholesterol.) Other than a touch of arthritis, my health has always been good.

My wife's had a lifelong battle with morbid obesity and recently joined FA, losing ~50 lbs. in three months, diet alone. Looks like I'll be jumping on board (for the diet, not the whole FA program). I shocked the guys at my men's group this week when I ordered fruit and cottage cheese (instead of corned-beef hash and three eggs).

Exercise still sucks, but it beats not seeing my grandkids.

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Greg P   

He writes about the difference between "jogging" and "running" and says some people run a 5:20 mile, some a 4:30!! OK, maybe he didn't mean it to come across that way, but that's how I read it. He was writing about his own personal improvement in running time. I was running a cool 9:20 mile (!) until I increased the speed of the treadmill (from 6.5 to 7.0 in "treadmill pace") and cut that to something like 8:40. Guess I've got a ways to go!

Christian, 8:40-9:20 is really good-- especially at this stage! I don't think I've ever run anything under 7, but then again I never pushed myself to go faster... The best competitive time I got in a 5K a few years ago was 24mins.

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He writes about the difference between "jogging" and "running" and says some people run a 5:20 mile, some a 4:30!! OK, maybe he didn't mean it to come across that way, but that's how I read it. He was writing about his own personal improvement in running time. I was running a cool 9:20 mile (!) until I increased the speed of the treadmill (from 6.5 to 7.0 in "treadmill pace") and cut that to something like 8:40. Guess I've got a ways to go!

Christian, 8:40-9:20 is really good-- especially at this stage! I don't think I've ever run anything under 7, but then again I never pushed myself to go faster... The best competitive time I got in a 5K a few years ago was 24mins.

Thanks, Greg. Turns out the morning uptick in distance wasn't too tough.

Pax: Your grandkids will thank you!

Edited by Christian

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Darren H   

Christian, that 8:40-9:20 pace really is good. When I do a 5-6 mile run my goal is a 9:00 pace. Anything over ten miles and I'm fine with an average mile in the 9:30-10:00 range. I've never been fast and never will be.

Congrats on the new efforts, Pax. Your grandchildren will thank you, and you and your wife will thank each other when you both start to feel better. Of course, now that you've posted in this thread, you've given us permission to check in on your progress every few weeks. Accountability!

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I'm not a runner. At least not yet. I would like to be at some point because it's a great way to burn a lot of calories in a fairly short amount of time. Right now, my knees are just not responding well to it. I have tried to do some jogging/running but inevitably, my knees are very sore after I am done. I don't think that is a good thing...is it? What do I know? I have never jogged before like this so perhaps I should feel some pain in my knees.

I have lost over 11 pounds in the past month. I have started using a website - My Fitness Pal - which helps me keep track of all the food I eat and how many calories I have taken in each day. I've tried to count calories before but it never really worked because it was so tedious. I don't find MFP to be tedious at all, even though I am sure some people might. It's helped a lot and I think I am finally on the right track.

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Darren H   

Phill, from what I've learned over the years, severe knee pain can be caused by a number of things. The most worrying one is a physical injury. Have you had knee pain in the past? If so, it might be worth talking to your physician. The more likely causes are fairly easy to treat.

First, stretch. Stretch a lot. Even if you're only running for 15 minutes, stretching your knees and hips will help prevent injury and will also improve your running form, which will keep you from putting unnecessary stress on any particular part of your body. When I mentioned to a physical therapist friend that my outer knee tendons were my problem area, he nodded and said, "That's because you have a hip imbalance. I can see it when you walk. Stretch more." Sure enough, the problem only presents itself now when I get lazy and tight.

Second, if you're at all serious about this, invest in a good pair of running shoes. If there's a runner's store in your town, it's totally worth paying the 15-20% markup to get fitted by a shoe salesperson who knows what they're doing. I get refitted every 12-18 months, and almost every time I end up switching to a new shoe. For example, I wore the Nike Pegasus for about two years but my running stride changed and Nike tweaked the design, so I moved to Adidas for a while, and then Brooks, and now Mizuno. I don't have any brand loyalty; I just wear whatever new shoe fits my running form right now.

One last thing, several recent long-term studies have shown that runners don't suffer knee problems at a greater rate than the general population, as had long been believed. The only exceptions are long, long distance runners and people who run while significantly overweight. I can't remember the exact BMI but the general wisdom is that obese people (BMI 30+) should walk instead, gradually increasing distance and speed, until they can run without pain.

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Your last paragraph answered my question. (Not that the rest of your post was not helpful - it was.) My BMI is right over 30 and has been for some time. I am carrying around too much extra weight and I think that is putting too much strain on my knees. I will probably back it down a little until I lose some more weight.

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