Thursday, August 12, 2010

Battle of the Bulge

Yeah. This is me.

Well, not technically me, because this picture is not of my abdomen, but I can identify with it.





A food-fueled love machine.

Call it what you will, we all know what it really is.

Fat. Fatty, fat, fatty.

I didn't used to be like this.

Actually, that's not true completely true.

The year I turned 35, I was anticipating the birth of my second son. I was over 200lbs, and felt old. I had a 3-year-old and didn't feel like I could keep up with him, activity-wise. I'd start to sweat if I pushed my son on the swings for 5 minutes. This was not the way I wanted to live, so I went to my local gym and talked to a trainer. I started working out with him, eating better, and losing weight.

By the time my second son was a year old, I'd dropped nearly 50 lbs and begun training for marathons. Eventually I completed 2 full marathons, several half marathons, and countless 5- and 10-K races. I was never an age-group contender, but was happy in my middle-0f-the-pack finishes. No matter where I finished, I was proud of my accomplishments. I looked at myself as a runner. As an athlete.

Fast forward a few years- stress from the job, the ravages of age and gravity have reduced my once-impressive physique to that of a stereotypical middle-aged man. (I can't help but think of the Mike Myers skits on SNL). I find myself once again north of 200, eating poorly and spending too much time sitting on my rear end.

But that ends now.

It's not easy to start working out again, but then again, very little worth doing is easy. It's tough to have to walk before you've finished jogging a slow mile when you used to be able to run 10 miles without a break. It's tough to find yourself gasping for breath after 5 minutes of activity when, not long ago, you could work out for an hour easily.

Tough, but it has to happen.

Fitness is a journey, not a destination.

It's been a little over a week, and I can feel my endurance returning. I'm more careful about what I eat, and feel better in general. The tricky part will be maintaining this progress once I return to work (that's another issue entirely!), but I'm confident I can.

Besides, I owe it to myself and my family.

(Cross-posted at; photo from


  1. I feel your pain, Jim. My weight has been a see-saw battle my whole life. What you're doing is awesome. Keep it up!

  2. Way to go Jim. Keep it up. You can do it, take it one day at a time. I'm fighting the same battle. I've been winning but it's a very slow process. The exercise is the key that helps to unlock the door to success.
    I look forward to your reading more.

  3. Very inspiring post about your journey Jim. Thanks so much for sharing with us here. It's wonderful to find support and others here fighting the same battles! Thanks again. Glad you're writing with us!

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. My husband and I are both teachers and I just became a consultant for our school district. We have four children and both of us have gotten heavier over the years. NOW is the time to change. I have become a member at Spa Lady and have been working out three times a week and I feel so much better. I am motivated to watch what I eat. I just hope that I can find some time to exercise and keep this up once we both head back to work. My husband has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a machine each night. He is feeling more rested and I hope that he has enough energy to begin getting active. As you said, you owe it to yourself, as we all do. As parents and teachers we must make sure we take care of ourselves so that we have enough left to 'give' to others around us.

    Continued success on your journey.