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Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition

The Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about topics related to sports and sports fitness, general fitness, bodybuilding, nutrition, weight loss, and human health. Here, you'll find everything from nutritional information and advice about healthy eating to training and exercise tips for improving your overall well-being.

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Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 3)

Posted February 16, 2010 11:10 AM by merph

My weight loss wasn't accomplished through diet alone. I feel that diet is maybe 80% of the equation; it's very important to eat well, but eventually your results from diet alone will slow down. Exercise can really help to keep you moving towards your weight goal. (Don't get me wrong, in terms of overall fitness, exercise is very important!)

Get Up and Get Moving

If you are as sedentary as I once was, any activity beyond the normal "lazing about" will be of great help to you. I took a part-time job at a retail store back in July and that helped to get me off the couch. I was using FitDay to track my calories burned and was amazed to see how many calories I would burn just working a single shift. The simple act of standing and walking around for hours at a time really helped to kick start my weight loss.

After taking an offer for a much better job that happened to be at a desk, I had to take time out of my day to exercise. It was difficult for me to get into that habit at first. Luckily, by that time I had found a support structure in the Men's Health weight loss forums. There, I was able to connect with others who had been in my shoes; I was able to share my story and read theirs. I started participating in their "52 Day Challenge" in January, which helped push me to focus more on my diet and exercise a lot more.

Choose a Workout You Enjoy

It's important to choose to exercise in a way that you enjoy. If you don't, it will be that much harder to stick with it. With so many different ways to get active, why not choose one that is fun for you?

I chose running. My wife and I got a treadmill last fall, and I had been using it occasionally to walk and jog on. At the start of the Winter 52 Day Challenge, I decided that I wanted to get a lot more serious about running. I found The Couch-to-5k program on the internet and started following it; the plan is designed to get your average sofa spud up and running a 5k in 9 weeks.

Running was difficult for me at first; I was struggling to run for more than a minute or two at a time during week 1 of the program. Since then, I've made great strides (pardon the pun). I started week 7 this past week and I'm already running 5k distances without having to stop and walk/rest. The change in me is incredible. While some people struggle to get back in the shape they were when they were younger, I was never in shape. I have vivid memories of running the track in middle school, wheezing and feeling like I had to throw up after a short sprint. I had never imagined that I would be running 3+ miles every other day… but now I'm out there doing it.

The "Secret" to Weight Loss

There's no secret diet or pill that is going to let you lose weight without putting effort into it. The combination of eating healthy and getting active is the only "secret" I know of. Except it's not a secret; it's what everyone knows and chooses not to do. The key is to achieving your weight loss goal is finding the motivation to make it happen.

Do you have a weight loss story to share? How do you keep yourself in shape? Leave a comment and join the discussion.


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


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Re: Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 3)

02/16/2010 7:58 PM

When I saw your comment on using the couch-to-5K program, I laughed. It was the exact same site that my boyfriend has been using. His goals included being able to run for long distances and with a good workout routine like the couch-to-5K which lended structure to his workout, he is one step closer to achieving his dreams.

I, on the other hand, prefer the trusty stationary bike. I have the goal of becoming stronger (I have lost a lot of muscle since leaving high school because I don't participate in regular sports at college). I also integrate my cardio with weightlifting and yoga. At work, I participate in the summer softball league, because I thoroughly enjoy it. I also started a lunch-time yoga session at work (2 times a week). This way I am held accountable for starting the yoga sessions and going through with them.

I have yet to make goals for myself (like say 30 regular pushups without breaks or at least 40 crunches per minute), but that is my next step to stay motivated.

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Re: Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 3)

02/16/2010 11:08 PM

Congratulations to Merph on the great progress! And also for sharing this story.

For those just starting (or reestablishing) an exercise regimen, it might be good to begin with swimming, biking, or hiking. These low-impact activities will safeguard against stress injuries to joints that have been underexercised for a while.

Hooking up with two or three others is good, especially if all are making similar progress. Ideally, each person will then get a chance to lead once in a while, which is really encouraging.

In addition to exercise routines, try also to work some kind of active sport into the picture. This tends to be more fun than so many reps/laps of such-and-such.

And just keep on truckin'!

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Re: Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 3)

02/17/2010 7:06 AM

In my last health check up Lipid test showed that my Triglyceride level was 258 maximum allowable is 200. I stopped eating fried food and fatty foods did my regular morning walk and 1 hr yoga exercises. I reduced my Triglyceride level to 88 and 2kg weight in 2 months.

"Engineers should not look for jobs but should create jobs for others" by Dr.Radhakrishnan Ex President of India during my college graduation day

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Re: Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 3)

03/01/2010 9:47 AM


Great story and congratulations to you! I am very happy for you!

With some discipline, knowledge and will power you have become a much happier and healthier you - and you said you are not finished yet. I wish you much continued success.

Your new lifestyle (and I was very happy to see you refer to it in such a way, becasue the word diet is just a another poor "4 letter word") has opened so many doors for you. You no longer have boundaries holding you back from doing things because of your poor eating habits and health.

You are a smart person, do not pain yourself over your past ignorance as you mentioned in Part 1. Live in the moment and for the future that is what you have control over. And for you they are both looking very bright!

Great Job!

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