From my early teenage years, I have always struggled with pudginess. In later years I have discovered it to be in part due to a medical issue, I have a pituitary tumor, more specifically a prolactinoma. We affectionately like to refer to it as “Petey, the Pituitary Tumor.” The effects Petey has on my endocrine system make it more difficult for me to maintain my weight, so I have to work harder. The challenge I have is balancing family life, career, church and community service, and somehow fitting in time to exercise and be active.
In recent years I have done a lot better managing my weight and fitness. In the last six years, I have gone from 250 pounds and out of shape, down to 180 pounds and running marathons. Currently I am a little over 200 pounds and if I were being chased by a mountain lion, I could maybe squeeze out a half marathon.
My goal now is to get back down to about 180 pounds without going to the extreme of marathon running. Don’t get me wrong, I do love running and the challenge of pushing my known limits. I love the feeling of finishing a 20 mile training run, the satisfaction of pulling off blackened toe nails. The feelings associated with finishing a marathon are irreplaceable, but they come at a cost. I’m no scientist, but I have learned through trial and error that there was an effect on my metabolism, and not for the better. When I was running and logging lots of miles, my weight stayed stable, but when I stopped, even for a few days, the weight would come back very quickly.
I was always careful to try to pack most of my training miles into the early morning hours, but on weekends, the 3 hour training runs definitely took me away from family time that I should have been spending with my wife and kids.
So here’s the new plan:
1. Eat better: My wife and I have challenged each other to a sugar fast. Until the New Year we will not eat or drink anything with added sugars. We have planned 3 cheat days a month to get us through the holidays. As if that is not difficult enough, we also decided to go gluten free for five weeks. There is some evidence that “Petey” will treat me better with a gluten free diet. If I complete the challenge, I get an Apple Watch next year.
2. P90X 3: So they got me at a weak moment. It was 3 a.m. and I couldn’t sleep. While flipping through channels I saw the infomercial for P90X 3. It looked easy enough so I bought it with three easy payments. I have actually found that I like it a lot. I am currently on day 50 of my first round and I like that the workouts are only 30 minutes. Good job Tony Horton, you’ve done it again.
3. Running: I don’t want to lose all the gains that I have made in running. I want to be able to participate in the occasional 10K or maybe even a half marathon here and there, so I am running about 20 minutes every morning after the P90X 3 workouts.
4. Rigorous Family Activities: This is something my wife and I really want to work on this year. It gives us exercise, helps our kids get out and active, and we get to spend time together. We plan to get out with the kids and go hiking, biking, skiing, etc…
I just want to acknowledge none of this would possible without my beautiful, smart, funny, multi-talented wife to help me eat right and stay on track nutritionally.