My Year In Fitness: 2015

You read that title right, I’m writing about my year in fitness. And I also realize this comes on the heels of my Year In Beer post. Being in decent shape hasn’t been a priority for me whatsoever for the majority of my adult life. After being an athlete through high school, I dropped off the working out radar, relying on a lean frame and fast metabolism.

But in 2015, I felt gross, and was sick of it. In January, I tipped the scales (for me) at 205 pounds. It was the heaviest I’d been in my life. I wasn’t taking care of myself well at all. I didn’t eat great, sat on my butt a lot, and workouts were non-existent.

The previous year I decided to address this by getting a water rower. It’s a great machine that looks like a piece of furniture and rolls out of the way when you aren’t using it. But after a month of inconsistent workouts, I quit. In 2015, I gave it another try.

Starting in February, I put in 30 minutes on the water rower each day. This ended up being about a 3 mile row. It’s no cross fit, but it got my heart rate up, worked plenty of muscle groups, and got me sweating. A couple months later I decided to begin tracking calories and steps with FitBit. I had a FitBit Flex for a couple years, but it also fell by the wayside once I got bored of my terrible step counts. But in August, I decided I was going to give it another try as well. I tracked my steps for 154 days in 2015, and walked a total of 1,036,400 steps, which is 503 miles. This helped me burn 819,476 calories. I’m looking forward to having data for an entire year in 2016.

The combination of eating less calories than I burned plus using the water rower plus actually walking each afternoon instead of slumping further into my office chair really paid off. It’s also about habits and routine. I’m already a creature of habit, so it was vital that I made time to do this stuff. So first thing in the morning, I get dressed and walk straight downstairs to the water rower. There are plenty of mornings when I talk myself out of it before my feet hit the floor, but for some reason I just keep doing it. I also read The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business this year, which sheds light on how to develop better habits. It’s a fascinating read.

I’m not a fitness nut, and the shape I’m in now isn’t even that amazing. It’s just way better than it was a year ago, and my goal now is to maintain that. Like most of you, I want to be able to eat and drink what I want and not feel and look gross (mostly.) This gets more and more difficult the closer I get to 40.

My goal was to go back down to the weight I was when I was married 12 years ago. That weight was 185 and I was able to get down to 180. I don’t have any dramatic before and after picture to post here, but I can tell you that my clothes fit better, I snore less at night, and I have more energy.

I know that losing weight is harder for many folks than it was for me, so don’t take this as a guide of any sort. I just wanted to share some results. It’s also partially so I have some extra motivation to maintain these habits.

I also hope this small example can serve as motivation for others who don’t want to totally change their lives to get in shape, but want to change. In 2016, I plan to keep these routines going, and maybe add in another element or two.

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