Archive for April, 2008

28th April
2008
written by bob

As I mentioned earlier for this bet, I tipped the scale at 224.2 lbs and my challenger weighed in at 290 lbs. Without giving away my friend’s identity, let’s call him Sam (since he has no idea I’m blogging about our challenge and I have not asked for his consent to use his real name). This is not the most I have ever weighed in my life. I once tipped the scale at 232 lbs. First, that is too much weight for me. I’m only 5’10″ with I have an athletic build but that is still too much weight for my frame. When I weighed 232 lbs, I had more back aches than I can ever remember! Second…weighing this much was the clincher for me to take control of my personal fitness level and make a change. I had too much weight on my front gut than I ever had and my back constantly ached.

Now, I have always had a membership to a local gym wherever I lived. Reason being, I never wanted to fall out of shape. Maybe I haven’t been doing things right all these years and I would never claim to be an expert in fitness but sweating my butt off in the gym only did so much for me. I was able to keep in pretty good shape however now that I’m in my mid-thirties, my metabolism has dropped a couple of notches. As well, I’m sure my diet wasn’t the greatest and the fact that I love beer has “something” to do with the weight gain. However, over the past 4 years I have discovered the only way that weight will just “melt” off me…running. That’s it, plain and simple. RUNNING. I kid you not! While I don’t love running (never did), it works and is hands down the best way and quickest way to lose weight.

In 2004, a close friend and I decided that we would run a half marathon together. Since we both worked for an airline at the time, flying somewhere wasn’t an issue. So we received input from another colleague that had run a couple races and his advice was to run the Santa Barbara Half Marathon. It is always held the first weekend in November and the weather is perfect! It’s a 13.1 mile course that starts at Ledbetter Beach and weaves through the ocean side neighborhoods. Approximately 8 of the 13 miles are running along side of the Pacific Ocean. Could it get any better than that? Since then, we have actually run that race twice…once in 2004 and again in 2005. The first year I completed the race in 2 hours 26 minutes. The second year I wanted to better the previous year’s time and did setting a new personal record (PR) of 2 hours 9 minutes! I was really pleased with my results.

How was I able to figure out how to training for a half marathon since I had never run farther than a mile (if I was lucky) in my life? I found a training program online from an expert runner/marathoner Hal Higdon (www.halhigdon.com) and used it to train for both these races. Thank you Hal for putting up such great information for people like me to use as a guideline! While there are lots of sites for running and the choice is yours, Hal’s site is what I used.

Another purpose to my blogs is that I want to see if myself, an average person, can get back into great shape. I don’t think I’ve seen my six-pack abs since I was probably 12! For me, the best shape (physically) of my life was when I was 22 years old and working full-time nights as a bartendar. I would start work around 5-6pm every night and work until 1-2am, go home to bed, get up around 10am head to the gym for 3 hours to lift weights (no running since I hated it) then back home to get ready for work again that night. That was my routine for 4 months…and I was in great shape after that summer! I weighed 183 lbs, was solid and in shape! Those days are long gone. Then I discovered running.

My experience with running and losing weight is no longer ever second guessed. When I hit 232 lbs following Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, I had enough. It was time to hit the pavement. Starting out is always tough especially if you haven’t been running on a regular basis. So…to ease into this I would set small goals: run one mile. Once that became easy to do, I would up my mileage to 2 miles and do that until things got easier. I continued this cycle and eventually I was running 10 miles at least once a week with shorter runs on the other nights. As my running progressed, my weight dropped…and dropped some more. My routine was to basically run 5 days a week and each time I run the shorter runs, try to complete 2-4 miles but never less than 2. Some days these runs occurred in the gym at lunch and others (most others) occurred later at night a few hours after dinner around 10pm. In four months of running, I lost 40 lbs! No kidding! I weighed in at 198 lbs and I felt great! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do but I stuck with it. In the beginning I set a goal to lose 20lbs…but then the weight just kept “melting” off so I continued to run.

In my next post, I will talk about some of the basic equipment to get for running including a subscription to Runner’s World magazine. There is no way to get inspired than to read the stories of regular people like you and me. By the way since my bet with Sam has started, I have been out running just over half a dozen times and have thus far lost almost 10 lbs! I need to commit to a more regular schedule to run and my weight will really start to change (for the better)! I will let you know how everything is going then.

28th April
2008
written by bob

Well…I’m back. It has been awhile since my last post. I got a bit busy with work and have made it a point to frequent my blog more often.

So…as I mentioned in my last entry, I wanted to start this blog about my upcoming fitness challenge; both personally and a friendly competition. I had made a commitment with myself to get back into better shape. About the same time I had made this commitment with myself, a co-worker asked me if I would like to make a bet regarding exercising and weight loss. He figured that since I was getting married that I could stand to lose some weight along with the fact that he also needed a bit of incentive to lose weight himself. The initial bet proposition…$50 that my co-worker could lose more weight(percentage-wise) than me over a specified period of time.

Now, initially I didn’t take the bet. Why not? Well, I wanted to make sure I had a chance to win. You see, my weight at this time was 224 lbs. My co-worker weighed in at 290 lbs. At 5′ 10″, I’m not obese by any means BUT I could stand to lose a few pounds (and I hide my weight well). In the end, it doesn’t matter how well hidden it is because I KNOW its there so after doing a few calculations that night, I took the bet.

THE FINAL BET…$100 to the person that loses the most weight based on highest percentage by August 1, 2008. The rules: you can lose weight by whatever means you are comfortable with and that’s legal. (In other words, whatever works for you.) Everything has to be done naturally and legal…no steroids nor illegal drugs. Since neither one of us is into that sort of thing…NO PROBLEM there!!

While my friend acknowledged this was a steep price, he was looking for incentive to lose weight and get back into shape himself. I said, “this should be double the incentive to win this bet.” Another co-worker and friend witnessed our weigh-in and, thus, the challenge was on!


19th April
2008
written by bob

I’m new to this blogging thing and I have been contemplating starting a blog and just chronicling some of my daily events. I hope someone finds it interesting and can relate to the things I write about. So… maybe I should start off this new blog with some background about me…

Well, I currently live in Tempe, AZ however I was born in Canada. I grew up in a middle class, blue collar town. I believe I had a normal childhood for such an environment. I played sports from the time I can remember – soccer, baseball, and my all-time favorite sport of hockey. I love that game! As with most young Canadian boys, I had dreams of playing in the NHL. BUT there comes a time when we all have to face reality. Now I wasn’t a bad hockey player…I was good enough to play Junior hockey in Ontario. Later in my high school years, I realized that the choice was either hockey or an education. Well, once I turned 17, I realized that the NHL would always be a dream and that I should pursue an education. It was a wise choice.

Thus, I graduated in 1995 from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario with a degree in Honors Science. Unsatisfied with the amount of schooling I had just completed, I decided to further my scholarly ways and go back to school in Vancouver, British Columbia for a computer degree. So, I picked up and moved across the country. I completed my second degree in Information Technology in 1999 and was hired by America West Airlines. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, I was more than happy to accept a position as a computer programmer especially since I have always wanted to live in a warm southern climate. BUT honestly…I didn’t think I would end up in the HOTTEST state in the US; I love it here! Where else can you play hockey, golf and ski all in the same day at any point in the year?

I have been in AZ for the past nine years. I still love it here! During my time working for America West Airlines I had the ability to travel to places I had never been and most of that travel was by using my “non-rev” employee benefits. By “non-rev” I mean…as an employee of an airline, we are allowed to occupy a seat on a plane as long as it hasn’t been purchased by a revenue passenger. I have been to places like all over the USA, Canada, and Mexico. A couple of the best trips I have been on were to… (1) Paris, France, (2) Maui, Hawaii, (3) Cancun, Mexico, and (4) Aspen, Colorado.

I have to say without a doubt…that the best thing to happen to me at the airline was when I met my beautiful future wife, Katherine. Although we had known each other for about 3 years at the airline, we didn’t begin dating until late 2005. Being from Minnesota (aka – southern Canada – hahaha) she grew up with Midwest values and loving sports…so naturally we were a perfect match! And…in late 2007 after we had both resigned from the airline and moved on in our careers to bigger and better jobs, I proposed to Katherine while skating at Rockefeller Center in New York City. (That’s a story for another blog.) Our wedding is set for August 31, 2008 and we are getting married in Aspen, Colorado. It’s an amazing place and getting married on Aspen Mountain is going to be incredible!

So what can you look forward to in blogs from me? Well…one of the reasons I wanted to start this is to blog about my upcoming fitness journey. But, who knows…I’m sure other things will come up and I will write about those topics as well. As a preface to my fitness blog, I’m planning to chronicle my attempt to win a bet about getting into shape. I wouldn’t say I’m really out of shape BUT I can stand to get into “better” shape and lose a few pounds. In my next entry, I will start my blog with my journey as an average person with a lofty plan to get into shape so stay tuned!

Bob.