Before: Couch potato, 235 lbs, low energy, feeling old.
After: Athlete, 175 lbs, high energy, feeling at least 10 years younger.
This will sound like one of those obnoxious advertisings for questionable diet products we can see on TV after midnight. But the contrast is so sharp and noticeable that I can’t avoid writing about it.
By the time I decided to run across the country in late August 2010, my weight was hovering around 235 lbs. In addition to that I was snoring a lot, had very low energy, and was feeling my age. I was so out of shape that the first day of training I couldn’t run more than a quarter mile!
A couple of years ago I visited a very well known plastic surgeon in the Boston area to learn about how I could lose the weight and get in shape with the use of a credit card. Of course he was happy to help me and explained that he would first perform an extensive amount of liposuction. But then I would have a significant amount of lose skin that would have to be reduced by an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and a gynecomastia (breast reduction for men). The total recovery time for all that would be some six weeks or more, and the total cost would be around 26 thousand dollars!
In addition to that I would have to be very careful with my diet for months in order to not regain the weight I just lost. I would need to work out to reshape by body considerably because I would have a relatively lean mid-body while my arms, legs, and neck would still be showing some fat. In general I would still be a bit round around the edges.
By running like I am doing I already lost all that weight that would be sucked out of my body by liposuction, plus some. Because I did it along the course of several weeks my skin had the opportunity to flex back in size to some extent and I am thinking that I will be able to avoid the abdominoplasty altogether! The breasts are also reducing and I am quite confident that I will not require a gynecomastia.
After finishing this run I will do plenty of body work to increase some upper body and that will get me exactly at the shape I want. Without surgeries, without the incredible expense, without guilt about eating or drinking the things I like the most.
Above all I already mentioned, I am really feeling a level of energy and enthusiasm I didn’t have since I was maybe in my 20’s. It is truly like as if in these four months of running I got some 10… maybe 15 years younger!
I started this run with a set of yellow shirts size XL. In Houston I switched to size L. Since El Paso I am already wearing shirts size M. So far I dropped some 50lbs, and I believe that during these last 3 weeks of running between Phoenix and Los Angeles another 10 lbs or so will be gone.
Oh, and one last thing: There was some concern expressed by friends about stress injuries or other consequences of working out so much, so often, for so long. So far none of that happened. My body recovers faster than it used to. My immune system seems to be working at it’s best. I don’t even take any pain medicine. Not even Ibuprofen!
Yes, I took some pictures of me before starting and I will take some pictures after I finish in Los Angeles. And yes I will post those before and after pictures here. They will show how much my body changed.
In regards to how much my mind changed and how much happier I am… Pictures can’t even begin to tell how much!