Introductions/Plans

Hi there. My name is Jeff and I went vegan pretty much on my 27th birthday, just a few months ago.

My road to this point has been an interesting one; growing up I lived in a pretty typical lower middle class Texan family that lived on fast food, Tex-Mex, steak, and potatoes–in that order. As you might imagine, my parents and I were also significantly overweight. It was a struggle throughout my adolescence and by my junior year of high school I was up around 320 pounds. Over the next two summers–and the intervening school year–I dropped down to about 195 by my eighteenth birthday.

But my method of weight loss was poor, and I inevitably fell into old habits, and gained the weight again. Up and down I’ve gone over the last decade. As I sit today I weigh 247 pounds, down about 30 pounds from where I was when I met the woman to whom I recently became engaged. We met in early 2011, began dating in March of 2011, and through quiet and completely non-pushy methods she somehow turned this long-time omnivore-leaning-more-carnivore into a vegan. The conversion came about two months ago, and in that span I can already feel a difference in my overall health and have seen some movement on the scale.

Now, however, I’ve come to realize that I need to do more than just eat right. Don’t get me wrong, I love the vegan diet–it is full of variety and completely cruelty free. I’m not going to go on any kind of rant about it being better for you or anything like that. It’s a good diet for me, and aside from B12 (which I take a vegan-friendly supplement for) I get everything I need nutrition wise out of my diet–including protein. But diet alone isn’t going to get me where I want to be.

I’ve decided to begin an exercise regiment called the ‘Couch-to-5k Running Program,’ which is designed to slowly work up over several weeks to jogging a full three miles (roughly 5k) without stopping. Starting tomorrow evening I’ll begin the program and do it every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Following this I intend to do the similar Pooch to 5k program on the same M/W/F schedule, because my girl Izzy isn’t getting any younger and she needs to be healthy too.

That will be a total of 21 weeks focusing pretty much exclusively on cardio. By then hopefully I will have lost a significant amount of the weight I hope to lose. Then I will begin the Lifehacker Workout, again following the same M/W/F schedule. This will be continuous, slowly building up that monster Deck of Cards Wednesday workout to the point where, maybe someday, I can actually do a full deck. I think at the start I’ll be lucky to makeĀ  it through a quarter of the deck.

So… Why, you ask?

GOALS

SHORT TERM:
– Complete a three mile jog in half an hour or less by December 31, 2012 (beginning of week 9, Couch-to-5k)
– Lose 25 or so pounds by my 10-year High School Reunion (not sure when that is, exactly)
– Lose 50 or so pounds by my Wedding Day (tentatively set for 11/30/2013)

LONG TERM:
Avoid, as much as possible, arthritis, dementia, and other physically and mentally debilitating diseases.
– Live actively enough in old age to horseplay with my grandchildren.
– Live long enough and alertly enough to see the tricentennial (July 4, 2076–I’ll be 91)

These aren’t my only goals; I’m sure I’ll come up with other goals and landmarks to celebrate along the way. But at this instant those represent my ‘big picture’ goals.

So, how will this blog be formatted? What am I going to show you?

Not sure exactly. I’ve decided that Wednesday I will have a Weigh-In Wednesday post where I do my weekly weigh-in. Beyond that I’m really not sure exactly. I do know I’ll follow the same M/W/F schedule as my workouts–though if doing both the workouts and the blogs in one evening becomes overwhelming I may shift the blog to Tu/Th/Sa. We’ll figure that out as we go, I suppose. Probably going to post workout updates, meals/recipes, vegan news, etc.

We’ll see where it goes. I just hope you’ll join me for the ride.

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