I have always been what I thought was active. Two years ago I even signed up for one of those training teams to run the Disney World Marathon. However, it seemed that no matter how much I ran, I didn't lose any weight. I felt pretty good, but I was still overweight (230 pounds). The fact is I take medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If I were to graph the blood pressure and cholesterol numbers over the years, the result would look like the yearly stock market report. Unpredictably up and down.
I finally bit the bullet and asked my doctor if there could be another reason to my lack of success in weight management. I did not like his answer. In a condescending tone, he told me to lose weight, I had to take in fewer calories than I burned. No kidding, Doc! So in order to prove that my non-success was due to something out of my control (the “blame everything other than yourself” approach), I started to keep track of what I was eating. At the same time, I was running in a winter race series that had us running distances anywhere from 5K to 8 miles on some challenging courses. Lo and behold, I began to lose weight. But not much.
Then I decided to sign up for a sprint triathlon that benefits children with blood diseases. I even received a Tri-Buddy. With that as motivation, I looked at the workouts on BT and bought a book and started training myself. Between diet and exercise, the weight really started coming off. So did pant sizes. I even ingrew (opposite of outgrew) my belts. The doctor was right. (Please read the previous sentence with the appropriate amount of resentment: about 50%).
Since I have joined a triathlon training group, I plan to do 3 sprint distances and move the benefit distance from a sprint to Olympic. My success at weight loss has inspired some people around me. Some have been inspired to take up running and triathlons, others have been inspired to ask me if I am sick and tell me to eat more. By the way, the success is not being measured in body weight alone. I went to the doctor yesterday and my blood pressure was 102/68 and my pulse was 56 and my body weight was 175.
On behalf of my wife and two sons, thank you, triathlon, for saving my life.