The Workout- As promised

Just to let you all know, this will be a long post. If you want, you can skip down to the bottom for the workout. I’ll try to keep it as interesting as possible 😉

As promised, I will be discussing my workout plan with you, so that you can see what I’m doing, and possibly follow along (if you’d like). But first, I want to tell you all a little bit more about myself:

I’ve struggled with weight all my life. I was the token fat kid in grammar school, and through part of Junior High. It was during my eighth grade year when I decided that I wanted to make a change: I didn’t want to be fat anymore. I started out by going on a strict diet of Slim-Fast and SmartOnes frozen dinners, while going to the gym with my father in the evenings. After staying with the program for a little while, I noticed the pounds start to come off. Then, my parents began to take notice. Then my siblings, and so on and so forth, until everyone had taken notice.

Six months later, I was 100 pounds lighter, and officially skinny! I looked a whole lot better, and I felt great. It was also great to hear the words of encouragement, and congratulations from everyone who had witnessed my transformation, as well as the astonished looks from those who I hadn’t seen in a while. Being skinny opened up a whole new world, where I could compete in sports, not get winded, and I wasn’t “that kid” anymore, you know, the one you wouldn’t want on your team because he’s fat and slow.

My progress continued as I was introduced to intense weight lifting and running during my freshman year of high school while I was on the football team. I was in great shape, and getting quite a bit of attention from the ladies. Life was pretty good.

Then, around the middle of sophomore year, I fell into a depression. Little by little I started eating more, and working out a lot less. Eventually, my metabolism couldn’t keep up, and the pounds slowly started to creep back. At the end of sophomore year my family and I moved from Brooklyn to Staten Island, something which I lament to this day.  Effectively, it ended my workouts, playing ball with my friends, and pretty much any physical activity.

I stayed in the same high school in Brooklyn, making the trip back and forth from Staten Island everyday. By the time I got home, I wouldn’t want to do anything but eat, use the computer, watch TV, and sleep. At that point, I had already finished my phys ed curriculum, so I wasn’t required to take gym class. The deadly cocktail of laziness, mixed with an appetite that would rival an elephant, with a dash of depression/homesickness, led to the undoing of all the hard work I had put into losing the weight.

By my sophomore year of college, I had put on a staggering 130 pounds! Had all this weight really stacked itself on my frame unchallenged? No. I actually made quite a few, ultimately fruitless, attempts at holding the pounds at bay, and reclaiming my once great form.

By now, you’re probably saying to yourself “Geez. This is all well and good, but what’s the point?” Well, there are a few points I would like to make. One is that getting fat isn’t necessarily an accident, nor does it generally happen by chance. It’s a process that, barring any medical phenomena, is controllable. Also, losing weight is not easy, takes dedication, and ultimately, is only the beginning of the battle. The real struggle is maintaining that weight loss.

If you’re like me, and perhaps you were once in great shape, but can no longer see your toes, it can be hard to make a disconnect from what you used to be able to do to what you’re capable of now. I would often find myself gung-ho about working out, and getting back in shape, for about a week. Then I would try to pick-up where I left off in my workouts while I was in shape. That would usually leave me burnt out by the end of the week, which lead to not keeping up with the program because I was too tired. Ego can really hold you back sometimes.

The key to making any kind of major life change, such as one to lose weight, or to run a marathon, is to take things slow. When you just decide to make a change at the drop of a hat, the chances for you to succeed in general are a lot lower. In the case of losing weight, if you just decide that tomorrow you’re going to go to the gym, workout, and start eating a lot less calories than you’re used to, you may find that after a short while, you’ve reverted back to your old habits.

However, should you introduce just one change at a time, and allow your body time to adjust to these changes, things will go a lot smoother for you.With that said, here is how I started to introduce these changes in small steps, and how I plan to continue to introduce these changes:

First, I’ve been walking to and from work everyday for a while now, which is roughly 2 miles each way, making my daily mileage roughly 4 miles. Sometimes, I will even walk a mile or so on my lunch break.

After walking for a while, I decided that I should introduce a stretching/yoga program to relieve stress, and feel better. So, I set my alarm clock for 5:00 a.m., and I get up at that time to do a stretching routine that lasts from 5 to 20 minutes.

I started feeling better after starting the stretching program, but my diet was still somewhat out of control. Before cutting down my daily amount of calories though, I decided that I would not eat anything past 9:00 p.m. I also tried to eat my bigger meals earlier in the day, and have the lighter meals later. After getting used to this, I decided to change the foods I eat slightly, and eat less, but more frequently throughout the day to stave off hunger.

Once all of these changes were made into a habit that could easily be continued, I decided that I would do something I have wanted to for a while; start running. This too I would ease myself into, and my training regimen shows that.

My regimen is what’s commonly called a run/walk program. The eventual goal of this program is for you to build-up a strong running base over the course of 8 weeks, so that you can run for at least 30 minutes straight.

After building up my base, I plan on continuing my training so that I can run a 5k, then a 10k, a half marathon, and eventually, the NYC Marathon next year.

Without further adieu, here is the workout:

From About.com

  1. Week one: Walk for 6 minutes, then jog at an easy pace for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times. Aim for three sessions with that same sequence for week one.
  2. Week two: Walk for 5 minutes, then jog for 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Aim to do three sessions in week two.
  3. Week three: Walk for 3 minutes, then jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 4 times. Aim for four sessions in week three.
  4. Week four: Walk for 2 minutes, then jog for 5 minutes. Repeat 4 times. Shoot for four of those sessions in week four.
  5. Week five: Walk for 2 minutes, then jog for 8 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Do four of those sessions in week five.
  6. Week six: Walk for 2 minutes, then jog for 9 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Try to do four sessions for week six.
  7. Week seven: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 11 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Do four sessions this week.
  8. Week eight: Congratulations on making it to week eight! For your first run this week, try walking for 5 minutes to begin and end the workout, and run for 20 minutes in between. By the end of the week, try to run for 30 minutes without stopping.

So there you have it! If you made it this far, congratulations! You either have a lot of free time on your hands, or a lot of patience (lol). As always, all comments, suggestions, and questions are welcome.



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