Getting in shape
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07-23-2009, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Originally Posted by
Growing up, I had always wanted to play hockey, but as the nearest rink was over 50 miles away, it was never practical. I had recently moved to the Cleveland area, and my new years resolution was that I would play hockey by the end of
I deliberately gave myself a lot of time, because at 33, I had become very out of shape. I've always worked in the entertainment industry, first Television, then Video Game development, then working in Motorsports. The one thing that they have in common is that I was working long and odd hours with all, of the jobs, and never had time to cook properly for myself. Many times I'd grab fast food on my way in to work, somebody would do a lunch run at work, and then I'd stop at the only places that were open at Midnight, on my way home. And those places were never healthy. At 6'4" ,I was at 315lbs at the start of the year when I made the promise to myself. I quit eating fast food (with the exception of the occasional Taco Bell Fresco Taco) and just started looking for excuses to exercise.
I had a decent treadmill that had become the usual "Clothes rack" got it out, and committed to walking on it whenever I was watching hockey. I even got the point of turning it into a game where I would start the game at 1 mph, and then increase it by .5 mph whenever a goal was scored.
Eventually I built a "TreadDesk" out of some foam and wood to go over the handles of my treadmill. As I had started taking online courses to finish up my degree, I would use the treadmill the entire time I was doing my homework. I'd set it to a low speed usually 1-1.25 mph, but would be on it for 3+ hours a night.
I dropped from 315-285 in a little over 2 months, but then kind of hit a wall. I stayed at 285 for almost 3 months, and no matter what I did, the needle just seemed to stay there. I tried weight lifting, cycling, Wii Fit, EA Sports Active, and altering my diet even more. It really did start to get disheartening.
Where I work they started up a Weight Watcher's group and I joined, more out of fear of my weight going back up, than being convinced I would lose more. I know it's not for everyone, but keeping track of my points really held me accountable to what I was eating, and being able to do it on their webpage through my blackberry tickled my inner geek. Since starting up on it 8 weeks ago, I'm averaging a little over 2 lbs a week, and focusing on filling up on "Low Point" items that I should have been eating in the first place, fruits, vegetables, salads, and fiber. Some days I have trouble eating all my alloted points, because I know all the foods I can fill up on, and avoid many of the higher carb foods that were common in my diet previously.
6 weeks ago, I stepped out onto a sheet of ice for the first time in my life. The local rink is having "Learn to Skate" sessions, and I'm the only person there over the age of probably 10, but I've been having an absolute ball. The first week my instructor couldn't let go of me or I'd fall. I left the half hour class completely drenched in sweat head to toe but with a smile on my face. Since then I've been to every open skate at the rink that I could possibly make, plus I've found other rinks nearby and have their Open Skate times memorized. I've been on the ice out about 4-5 times a week since then and it has been fantastic. I can actually see muscle definition in my legs (woohoo!) and the time I spend on the ice before being worn out has gone from a half hour at first to being the first one on the ice, and then getting chased off by the Zamboni at the end of 2 hours.
I can't say my weight loss has been solely because of Weight Watchers, and I can't say it has been solely the extra exercise I've been doing by skating, but doing both has helped considerably.
I am still falling quite a bit, but it's ok because it's part of learning. The dilemma I am facing now, is buying equipment. I've been contemplating some pants and shin guards to make the "learning" a little less painful, but as the weight is falling off now, I fear making the investment in those pieces of equipment now, and then needing to replace them in another 6 months if I keep losing the weight as I am.
As somebody who started playing hockey at age 33 and also went through the learn to play hockey at the same age, all I can say is that is awesome. Congratulations and keep up the good work.
As far as the pads go, you could go down to a play-it-again sports and pick up some used stuff or even new cheaper stuff. They tend to carry the 2 - 3 year old "overstock" models so you can get unused for not too much money.
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