I probably won't have time or be compulsive enough to update this regularly, but I'll try to do so (and post progress photos--"before" pix are at the end of this) when I think there's significant progress. First a recap of my progress up until I joined VBBF last month.
I started getting serious about getting off my ass and working out in May of last year, when a few years of being relatively sedentary (unusual for me) resulted in my weight topping out at 198 pounds--some day I'll be able to say "Once I was an 198 pound weakling!" Since I still appeared in better shape than most of the people around my age (46) I knew, I didn't think of myself as obese I guess even though my BMI said I was (I'm only 5'7"). However, I certainly didn't like what I saw when I looked in the mirror, especially since up until about 10 years ago I was never above 160.
So I started running a lot (for me), working up to maybe 35-40 miles a week by early last fall, and lifting weights when the urge hit me and I felt like spending a few bucks for a day pass at the gym (i.e., pretty sporadically). I also tried to watch the calories, and ate very low fat for a few weeks. I got down to 175 or so by September and was pretty pleased with my progress, especially when I was able to break 30 minutes in the one and only 5k race I've run. The only trouble was, I kept getting nagging little injuries (plantar fascitis, ITB syndrome, and once a pulled calf muscle), never enough to make me stop running for months or anything, but enough to make it hard to put in the mileage I needed to. Long story short, with the nagging injuries and the three months of hell called "another typical Midwest winter," my level of physical activity dropped off considerably for a few months and before I knew it I was back up to a shade over 190.
Spring eventually came, and I dusted off the running shoes as well as hitting the weights and playing lots of basketball. Unfortunately, achilles tendonitis struck down my plan to eventually start running 50 miles a week. Still got in 2-3 hours of cardio a week on the elliptical machines at the gym and the occasional run or game of basketball or soccer with my son, but my injury as well as a crazy busy schedule at work kept my progress agonizingly slow. Even though the elliptical machines are supposed to be low-impact, I'd find that my heels would get really sore (bruises I guess) if I did more than about 20 minutes, plus even with my iPod I get really fricking bored on those things!
So, time to change my plan. About mid-June, I decided to start lifting more regularly, and figure out ways to vary the cardio so my injury would heal, which eventually resulted in my buying a new bike (yay!). I also started cutting way back on the fat in my diet again--not to the point of denying myself the occasional piece of chocolate or whatever, but enough to make the scales start moving downward again. A week or so later, I found this site and joined VBBF. These forums are great! Keeps me motivated and you guys are full of information and enthusiasm--and, just as important, vegans!
Currently I'm going to the gym 3 times a week and doing a full-body workout (largely machines but some free weights) most of the time. I supplement it with my free weights (though no bench!) at home when I can't make it to the gym or hit all the muscle groups. I'm running occasionally but mostly just doing a lot of different things (basketball, soccer, racquetball, and since I got my bike, cycling) to get in on average an hour of cardio a day. It helps that work has eased up and I have loads of free time to work out for the next couple of months!
I didn't write down details for every workout, so there are a few gaps, but here are a few highlights of my weight training progress so far this month:
Inner Thigh: 8 x 212.5, 12 x 202.5
Outer Thigh: 12 x 137.5
Leg Press: 2 x 8 x 175
Leg Extension: 2 x 8 x 85
Leg Curl: 2 x 12 x 85
Calf Lift: 2 x 15 x 130
Incline Chest Press: 2 x 8 x 100, 6 x 115
Seated Row: 2 x 12 x 175, 8 x 175
Shoulder Shrug: 2 x 12 x 120
Shoulder Press: 12 x 60, 2 x 6 x 70
Seated Dip: 2 x 8 x 120
Low Back: 3 x 12 x 130
Dumbbell Curl: 2 x 12 x 25
Bent-Over Row: 12 x 60, 12 x 70
Shoulder Press: 10 x 70, 8 x 70
Bench Press (free weights lying on the floor, since I have no bench!):
15 x 70, 16 x 70
Shoulder Shrugs: 15 x 100, 16 x 100
Dumbbell Curl: 6 x 30, 7 x 30
Seated Dip: 10 x 130
Incline Press: 15 x 85, 6 x 92.5, 6 x 107.5
Seated Row: 2 x 8 x 175
Dumbbell Curl: 12 x 27, 10 x 27
Hammer Curl: 12 x 15
Shoulder Shrugs: 14 x 130, 3 x 12 x 130
Shoulder Press: 12 x 70, 8 x 70, 8 x 70
Crunches (Machine): 12 x 30
Low Back: 15 x 130
Leg Curl: 12 x 85
Leg Press: 2 x 12 x 145
Inner Thigh: 12 x 205, 10 x 220
Outer Thigh: 12 x 145
Leg Extension: 12 x 85
Incline Press: 6 x 115, 6 x 107.5
Seated Row: 2 x 10 x 175
Dumbbell Curl: 3 x 6 x 30
Leg Curl: 10 x 90
Inner Thigh: 2 x 12 x 230
Outer Thigh: 2 x 12 x 145
Leg Extension: 2 x 12 x 92.5
Squats: 12 x 90
Okay, here are my first progress photos, taken around July 1. Weight was around 183 at the time. I'm really psyched about the progress I'm making now that I've started lifting regularly and maintained or increased my aerobic exercise. I've gone from 185 in mid-June to 178 as of this morning (July 14), and put on some muscle as well. More to come!
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