The Shape of Things

Approximately 1.5 years ago I began a bit of an undertaking in regards to getting into shape, other than a pear shape. When I was younger, this was not much of an issue as I was very active with some decent genetics and worked in construction, but then the interest in technology hit.

Going to school for Computer Science meant a copious amount of time delegated to studies without much time for maintaining any kind of workout schedule, much less anything else. After school came the career and always learning new skills, again without much time for other tasks and I let myself get out of shape.

There were several starts, when I worked in Washington, DC our company had a full workout facility on the second floor. This is where many lunch hours were spent, usually four days a week. Moving back home to Missouri in 2010 this convenience was lost and I again slipped into not finding or making time for my own physical fitness.

This inactivity all changed in 2018 with the purchase of a Bowflex MaxTrainer, this thing will kill you! I hauled it into work and began to use it on my lunch hour three to four days a week, after using a treadmill to get into enough shape to keep the MaxTrainer from ending my existence. The changes were slow at first, but then I began to notice little things.

My legs no longer end up sore from hiking, or long walks, and most importantly getting winded during these jaunts began to fade. I began to augment the cardio with some jogging and running, then changes really started to happen.

When I started this journey of shaping up my overall health was in decline. My resting heart rate was generally in the low 90’s, I was on various pills including a beta blocker for blood pressure and a statin for cholesterol. None of this was good and should be a warning sign for all of us to shape up or ship out, potentially checking out instead of shipping out.

I still do cardio, but have also added moving some iron to the list of activities, beginning in January of 2019 when we finally joined the local YMCA. Bringing up the local YMCA a few years ago, my wonderful wife exclaimed that it was too expensive and we would never use it.

Then in December of 2018 she initiated the discussion topic that our son, having just turned 5 a couple months prior, should really start taking swim lessons. She proclaimed that if we joined the local YMCA that the lessons would be less expensive and that we could all go work out as well. Genius level idea babe!

The YMCA has a great service called “child watch” where you can check in your child while you go work out. This is really a great service and not something your neighborhood gym membership generally offers. Adding child watch to an indoor track, an indoor pool, sauna, workout machines, and all the free weights this is a win-win deal. I am so glad she thought of it!

Back to the shape of things, I now take the lowest dose blood pressure medicine offered, and I only take a half of a pill every other day. I quit taking the statin approximately 6 months ago, changing my diet significantly along with the physical workout has made some major improvements.

My resting heart rate is one of the bigger quantifiers that I first began to notice. My resting heart rate was 50 bpm last night! That is monumental. Until hitting the weights I had shed just shy of 25 pounds in a year, however in the past 7 months 16 pounds of that weight has come back to the scale. This is a much better class of weight, it is muscle instead of unhealthy fat.

There is still more to go in some target areas, but its slowly shedding around the middle and getting better every day. The pear shape is giving way to a much happier and healthier individual. Interestingly, being active and eating healthier not only affects one physically, but mentally as well.

The shape of things in the past 18 months has improved in a magnanimous manner across many levels. Looking forward to what my blog post will be in regards to this journey next year.

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