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I've been exercising for about two weeks now. I never really did much exercising in my youth as I did so naturally by riding a bike everywhere, playing sports and running around like a little maniac. About the time I crossed the 30 year mark things drastically changed. My metabolism went through the floor and my job has basically been sitting at a computer, so slowly I noticed not only did I put on a little fat, but my muscles atrophied and I didn't feel as strong as I always have. I quickly got tired doing little things like carrying groceries. It was ridiculous.

Now I've pretty much always been anti-exercise having the mental image of sitting around lifting weights and talking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. How stupid is that? Well to me it was a stupid image of wasted time. Recently though I kept telling my kids "I'm gonna hit the gym soon and get rid of some of this fat on my waist". I told them that for about 6 months I guess.

I have always been pretty steady in my weight. It doesn't fluctuate much. It sometimes goes up dramatically but then it stays there. I'm about 5'7 and for the longest time when I was a teen I was 135 Lbs. Then I jumped to 145-150 and stayed there all through my twenties. I could eat and eat and eat and there was no weight gain.

Then thirty came and it was like I turned into an old man overnight. I got rear-ended by a huge work truck and it totally my VW Jetta and I've had lower back and neck pain ever since. Since that point I added on weight and my activity level was even further reduced and I moved up to 170 Lbs. I also gained a little ponch on my belly. I noticed my ass got a little cottage cheese looking too, not in a massive way just that it wasn't all nice and smooth all over and that's my prized possession. I have one of those bubble butts, not a huge ass, but all through high school girls would pinch it cuz they liked it. So I wanted that thing back in shape.

So I headed to the gym working on my Austrian accent all the way over there.

The place was empty and my kid jumped on one of the treadmills and I got on the other one. It was my first time on a treadmill. I was amazed at the elaborate electronics to it. It's one of those big fancy ones that can go uphill, downhill and all kinds of funky stuff including count your calories burned. Since I'd never been on a treadmill and the only experience I'd had with them was seeing Astro running on one towards the end of the opening theme of the Jetsons I wasn't expecting more than just a piece of tarp on some rollers.

That day I walked for awhile and then ran a mile. Back in Navy bootcamp they start you off running 1.5 miles as a group at 5AM, so I figured I could do a mile. Being a smoker I was breathing pretty damn heavy by the end and I could feel my body straining. I felt like a badass when I was done. "Sitting on my ass all this time and I can probably still out run most people". I was hooked.

I went back and ran a mile and a half that afternoon. Then I went the next day and repeated it. Then I hit a snag. After day three my hips were killing me. I couldn't even stand straight after working out without feeling like my femur was pushing straight through the hip joint.

I took a day off. That seemed to work and I continued on, but started getting sick of the two times a day routine. The thing I expected was that I wouldn't lose a damn pound and I was right. As my leg muscles got back in shape -- I'm all legs having those Italian genes makes me short and stocky -- I actually gained a couple pounds.

I haven't changed my diet either and probably won't. I normally eat some cereal in the morning and then have a decent sized dinner of a vegetable, rice or mashed taters and a steak or pork chop or two depending on who cooks. If I cook it's usually chicken, either shake 'n bake or just a baked chicken with garlic and pepper seasoning. Sometimes I have a snack during the day around lunchtime like a sandwich, some ramen or soup, but not everyday. My main drink is Coke and that's probably my major killer to my diet as it has massive sugar, calories and carbs in it. I probably have 1 or 2 a day. Coffee is the mainstay in the morning, with lots of sugar in it.

I don't think my diet is horrible, but I could be wrong. Either way it's not changing.

I just got back from my exercise this morning, which I did after dropping the kids at school. I spent about an hour to an hour and a half in there. I've beefed up my exercises now and cut it to one time a day. I did .2 miles walking quickly on the treadmill to get warmed up and then jogged at a quick pace for about .8 miles then kicked the last .2 miles at a run. Then I did the cool down thing finishing at just over a mile and a half and burning about 180 calories.

After stretching out again I hit the butterfly machine thing. I don't work on my upper body much and I'm not much into weights, so I just did about 25 slow reps at 30 lbs. with arms high and then 25 with arms low and then about 25 slow horizontal presses. I moved to the leg lifts just working on my front quads since they don't get as much work when jogging. I did about 25 slow lift on 30 Lbs. there too. Then I did the lat bar pulldown thing several ways close hands, far apart hands did some biceps crap, but nothing incredible, maybe 10-15 reps each on the 30 Lbs.

Moving on I went on the orbital skiing thing. I don't know what the hell you call it. I did that for a good mile and a half at a good clip and doing it in reverse too which is just painful, but I know it's working muscles way underdeveloped. I only do it on reverse for .1-.15 miles. It's not a pain of joint, but a pain of muscle. I burned about 120 calories on there.

Then I repeated the butterfly, leg press, lat and horizontal press deal again.

Then I jumped on the bike and rode a good two miles burning another 120 or so calories. I have always loved bikes and it is my favorite. I did a few stretches once more.

I think I did the butterfly thing once again but I can't remember. Then I jetted. At this point I'm fully soaked. Shirt sticking to your chest and back soaked, you could probably ring the sweat out. Then I walk home and hit a nice warm shower. When I first started I was taking cool showers when I got back and that seemed to aggravate my joints and muscles, so I've stuck with warm one from now on.

Now to some of you experts out there I'm sure I'm doing something wrong and you could probably rattle for hours about how I could do something better or that I'm overworking. For me though it seems to work. While I haven't lost weight yet my body feels more limber and "alive". It's doesn't feel like I'm carrying around a bunch of dead muscles anymore, which is how it felt.

I've stuck to it for two weeks now with an occasional day off when I feel a joint is too sore. I don't want to hurt myself or strain something all over a little exercise so I've tried to keep things moderate and not push anything too hard.

I'm kinda wondering if I'll start losing weight or not. My wife says she's noticed my belly has slimmed a little already, but she might just be feeding me lip service. I'm wondering when my ass will be it's shiny pinchable self once again and I can walk around sticking it out like the proud peacock that I am.

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Posted by Digger on December 15, 2004 11:52 AM (Permalink)

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Keep it up! You won't fall victim to the dreaded "metabolic syndrome" and all of it's various health risks! :)

Posted by: Katie on December 15, 2004 01:41 PM

It's good to see a man taking care of himself, Digger. So many people let themselves go to flab. Even if you see no results now, you will reap the benefits in the long run.

Posted by: LB on December 16, 2004 09:50 AM

You will definitely lose weight. With all the running make sure you get good shoes. Yes, they'll cost you over $100 probably, but the padding and shaping will save your knees in the long run. I'm serious, get good shoes or you will regret it. Trust me.

Posted by: Michael Williams on December 16, 2004 12:19 PM

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