Today’s number: 18.1 stone

I swear that I am not writing this post because I’ve just made a New Year’s Resolution regarding weight loss and fitness. I made the resolution last November in no way associated with the new year.

Regardless, here’s the situation: after living the “good life” in Spain for a couple of years, I returned to the States in 2002 and went on my first Atkins binge. I lost a lot of weight, getting myself down to a svelte 210 pounds. Before you scoff, keep in mind that I’m 6’6″ tall (shoeless) and weighed 225 in high school. In addition to the Atkins, I was playing golf 2-3 times a week meaning that I was walking 12-18 miles while carrying a heavy bag (12 if I was playing well and 18 if not!). I was also doing Yoga which, for some reason, turns out to be a good weight loss practice.

Fast forward 7 years or so and I’m back to 254 pounds. Obviously, it’s all Atkins’s fault (dead or not).

What happened? The most significant thing is that I started “working again” in 2004. From 2002-4 I’d been doing occasional consulting but never going into an office for more than a day a week. When I started Centeris (my software company; now “Likewise”) that changed drastically. Not only was I going to an office 5+ days a week, while there, I was sitting on my ass half a day then having a restaurant lunch before coming back and sitting down some more. If I wasn’t in the office, I was probably traveling, eating in restaurants and drinking too much. It took me 9-12 months to return to my pre-Atkins weight.

What now? For one, I’m running again. I started running about 15 months ago then got injured and stopped. Now, I’m healthy again and can run 3 miles at least two or three times a week. In addition to running, I’m working with, yes, a “personal trainer” at the Bellevue Pro Sports Club.

If you’re a current or former Microsofty (as I am), you know what I’m talking about. You pay $50-$70/hour to someone in order that they can shame you into working out. It works, too. My trainer calls it “accountability”. If you’re on the hook for a good bit of coin, you’re going to make it to your appointment.

Here’s something else that I’ve discovered: if your trainer is a woman (or better yet a “girl”), it works even better. And, although it has something to do with sex, it has nothing to do with Sex. The reason why it works is that, when a woman asks you to do something (e.g. a bunch of crunches), you’re gonna do it. You can’t say “no, I’m too tired” or “I’m just too weak!”. You’re going to buck up and do whatever she asks you. The smaller and younger the trainer is, the better success of this phenomenon.

I’ve had, 4-5 sessions now and I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m feeling good. I’m particularly working on strengthening up my knees to avoid further running injuries. Although it’s early, I think it’s effective; I’ve been able to run without any knee or hip or shin pain.

To further exploit the “accountability” factor, I’m going to emulate Bridget Jones here and start posting my weight on a periodic basis. Don’t forget that 1 stone = 14 pounds.

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