Introduction to The Recovering Fat Kid Part 5 or The Tough Mudder Summer Hangover

You know that feeling you get when you finish a difficult challenge and then you just want to do absolutely nothing after because you earned it? Multiply that by 50 and throw in a limp and that was me right after the Mudder. I finally conquered the one race that was the epitome of being physically fit. If it wasn’t for my left cheek/hammy violently meeting a 2×4, a line of 70+ people for a wall climb, volunteers on the other side of said wall screwing in additional pieces of wood for “safety reasons”, and the fact that me and diving/falling with style into a pool was probably the most terrifying thing I saw that dreary May day, I completed every obstacle the Mudder threw at me. While basking in the post Mudder glow for about 2 weeks one question kept creeping into my mind, trying to grab my attention. Now what?

Without another race lined up, there wasn’t an immediate event on the horizon to act as a motivator to keep improving to ensure a solid finish time, or in the case of the Mudder, basic survival. All I had was a long term goal of getting down to 175-180 pounds by December for my friend’s wedding and general slimming down. I’m also a procrastinator by nature so 7 months seemed like a life time to get down to business. I was about 215-217 by the time I ran the Mudder, down a total of 40ish pounds and that was impressive sure. So I thought the summer would be a breeze. I’d run some more, continue going to Planet Fitness, avoid anything even resembling pizza party night and I would golden. Overconfidence has a way of knocking us all down a couple pegs and remind us that it’s an ongoing process.

In the following months, I maintained a similar running and workout regimen that I had prior to the Mudder. But, my old kryptonite would rear it’s annoyingly delicious head and stall my progress. Bread, pasta and everything even remotely resembling a carb was fair game. In my defense, I was being much more moderate and still eating well about 75-80% of the time, so the highest I ever slipped back to was around 220 and as soon as that happened I went hard for the next week to get back down below 215. But I was having trouble breaking the 210 barrier and getting into the single digits and it started wearing on me a bit. Working 6 days a week on top of finding time to run and workout did not exactly make for the most balance summer, so that *probably* had something to do with the general funk I experienced. So when my friend Bucko, the groom in the wedding I’m going to in December, proposed going to a gym run by a couple friends of ours from high school, I figured what the hell, might as well try something new. So we went to the 6am class at Sonic Boom Fitness at the end of June and as they say, it was on like Donkey Kong. (Come on, you all are shocked it took me 4 1/2 posts to make that joke.)

I can’t stress this enough; if you’ve hit a plateau and are frustrated with the lack of movement on the scale, 5K time, or your hopscotch game don’t let it bring you down. You just need something to break up the routine and push yourself past where you thought your limits were. For me, that was Sonic Boom. It’s nice to have guys that run the place that A) actually know what they’re doing and B) are just as competitive as you are and structure the workouts to bring out that competitive fire. So with the workouts getting a needed jump start, I had a renewed energy to tackle these long term goals of mine. Though a funny thing happened on the way to 180. The scale largely remained unchanged.

Over this summer, I’ve seen my weight largely remain unchanged. steadily between 208-215. Granted that’s 50 pounds less than I was at the start of the year and I felt while I might not earned a parade per say, a few hearty brunches would have been appreciated for my efforts. However, what did wind up happening over this summer were changes that aren’t immediately seen but speak to my overall better health and fitness level. Start of the year, I was happy I could “run” a 15 minute mile and not need an iron lung after. Now, my fastest run is 8:35. Thank you Jen for being an excellent pace car for that particular car. On the whole my mile times are either right at 10 minutes or around 9:45. If you told me that this time last year, I would have laughed in your face and gone back to eating my tacos and beer resting comfortably on my belly. I can actually deadlift more than my body weight right now.

The most important lesson I learned and that I can impart on you guys is this; don’t let that obnoxious scale be the end all, be all measure of success. It’s a number. An important number sure. But the amount of importance we place on what the scale says in determining your mood, how you feel about yourself and whether or not that particular day is going to be a good is complete and utter bullshit. (This page is PG-13, I’m allowed one of those per every 5 posts.)

So going into my birthday/friend’s bachelor party/wedding season, I’m presented with a crossroads. Either be a slave to the scale and let it lord over aspect of my life and mood. Or put the work in, eat better, and throw the scale in the closest until the Thanksgiving deadline as highlight by that handy dandy countdown clock at the bottom of the page. It’s a bit of a no-brainer isn’t it?

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