One thing that I've learned about myself over the years is that I need goals to be able to perform to the best of my ability, in almost any facet of life. Unfortunately for me I figured this out a little late and ended up having to dig out of a few holes that took some time to work through. Over the last 10 years I got my career in order, my relationships with loved ones and finally my finances. One glaring omission is my physical health. I let my body slowly grow and my fitness slowly deteriorate until I found myself at 317 pounds and winded from walking up the stairs. Over the last couple of years my doctor warned me of high blood pressure, bad cholesterol and finally this past March she uttered the D word. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. This one was wake up call for both me and my wife, so I began changing the way I eat.
Gone were the cans of soda and bowls of ice cream. I started watching my portion sizes, eating more fruits and vegetables and choosing whole grains instead of simple carbs. Being as heavy as I was, the weight started melting off of me. By the middle of July, I had lost 40 pounds. I have a goal of losing another 30 pounds before Thanksgiving, but I know I'll need more than just diet to achieve that. The one piece that I was still missing was exercise.
My wife and I had been dream gym customers for two years. You know, the kind that pay their membership every month but only set foot in the gym 4 or 5 times a year. We had finally cancelled our membership two weeks before I was diagnosed. So, a few weeks back we reinstated our membership (which they let us do at our previous rate, thankfully) and I've started going to the gym again.
Now is where I get back to my need for a goal. Getting on the ski type machine thing (no idea what its called) and pumping my heart for 45 minutes is not going to last if I don't have something to work towards. So today I found a goal. I am going to train to run a 5K on October 3rd, just 8 weeks from now. I'm hoping to find a friend to share the experience, but I'm planning on using this blog to keep me accountable. I'm going to follow the "Couch to 5K" plan from coolrunning.com, modified slightly because I'm a bit more fit than the first two weeks indicate, plus I only have 8 weeks until the race.
Today I tried to run a bit on the treadmill at the gym, but i have a hard time adjusting to the pace of the treadmill, so I'm going to start running Wednesday on a track at a local park. My short term goal is to run this 5K race on October 3rd and finish. After that, my family is going on a vacation the week after Thanksgiving, and during that vacation there is a 5K run that I'd like to participate in. Beyond that ... who knows. Maybe a 10K, maybe even the Peachtree if I can get in, then maybe a half marathon. Or maybe another fitness goal, I don't know, but I do know that I feel a lot better about exercising now that I have a purpose. Stay tuned.