A bit of history

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I've been a volunteer for the Wildflower Triathlon doing communications with the Cal Poly Amateur Radio Club since 1995.  I missed the first two years after my daughter was born, but have otherwise been doing chase on the bike course for both the Long and Olympic courses for 12 of the last 15 years.

Last year (2009), one of the guys from communications goaded me into promising him that I'd at least try to train for the Mountain Bike course in 2010. I didn't.

I've been thinking a lot about my personal health lately.  I hurt. A lot. (Not in the Emo-The-World-Doesn't-Understand-My-Pain sort of way.)  I'm 320lbs right now (weighed in at 318.8 this morning), the heaviest I've ever been.  My joints ache, my feet hurt from carrying so much weight, I have sleep apnea (for which I've recently gotten a CPAP; more on this later), I break chairs, I have to see a chiropractor at least once every two to three weeks.  It's not good, and I want it to change.

I know I have a very addictive personality, which is why I've never drank alcohol in my life, why I don't smoke, why I've never really done drugs (the two times smoking week in college don't count. ;-)

I'm addicted to food. Not certain foods, but food in general.  If there's food on my plate, I'll eat it until its gone.  When it's gone, I start looking at other peoples' plates for things they're not going to eat.  I'll keep doing this until all the food is gone, or until I'm stuffed to the gills.  I have an irrational fear of leaving food behind.  Don't ask me to explain it, because I can't.  But I recognize it.

All those other things, I have the willpower to avoid entirely and somehow that works for me.  But I can't do that with food.  I need food, we all do.  Imagine trying to tell a heroine addict that they need to take just a little tiny bit of heroine three times a day, just enough to tell the brain that The Good Stuff(tm) is coming, but that they can't have enough to actually get high.  There's no effing way they'd be able to stay clean.  Cutting it out entirely, letting the body get used to its absence, is easier and more effective than just decreasing it.

I don't have the will power to just eat less.  I've accepted this fact (for the time being, at least.  More on this later.)  So if I have any prayer of losing weight, I need to adjust the other half of the equation:

Calories In == Calories Out

Besides weight loss, doing more exercise has several benefits for my particular situation: More movement means more flexability means less pain.  More muscle mass means better support means less pain.  More muscle mass means burning more calories means more weight loss.  And, to be honest, I just feel good after exercising.

I've been trying to walk at night with a friend of mine, but we haven't been as good about this as we should be, and honestly I need to burn more calories than that to make a dent in 320lbs.  But unless I have some specific exercise goals, something less nebulous than "Exercise more," history shows that I won't do it.

So, here we are, another Wildflower Triathlon down, and I've still not done anything about it.  This is the year that changes.

I used to go on long bike rides (my longest was 65mi, 15mi was typical), so with a bit of training, 10 miles doesn't scare me.  (Yes, I know I'm going to need a mountain bike and I only have a road bike.  Let's start on the hardware I've got.  When I can prove to myself (and my wife) that I'm actually going to go through with this, I'll get a real mountain bike.)

I (somewhat) regularly go on 3 to 5mi walks with my friend Dave through the hills near our houses, so a 2mi walk doesn't scare me.  (Yes, I know it's supposed to be a run. In the interest of just finishing the damn thing, I'm going to plan on a walk for the time being.)

This leaves the swim.  I know how to swim, but I've always had a problem with breathing.  While learning as a kid, every time I'd turn my head out of the water to take a breath, I'd get a lung full of water. Consequently, I have a fear of breathing while swimming.  I can hold my breath for maybe 10 yards, stop, breath, then go again.  This isn't going to work for a quarter mile.  I basically need someone to teach me to swim again.  So, I'm looking into my options there.

All three of these activities, when taken on their own, are obtainable.  It's just a matter of a bit of training (and figuring out what I'm doing wrong with the swim-breathing thing), but I could easily do each of those individually.  The next question is whether I can do all three consecutively on the same day, and whether I can get ready to do that by May 1st, 2011.

Come with me, won't you, and find out.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Smith published on May 3, 2010 6:59 PM.

Private for now is the next entry in this blog.

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