I’m into fitness, take 14: Damn the scale

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After a 3.5-mile run, shirt drenched. If you look closely, you'll notice there isn't much flab left on the arms ... about damn time!

Talk about bad blog etiquette … this is my first post in about two weeks. It’s my first fitness blog in nearly a month. Not good considering you’re supposed to write three or four times a week to maintain a following.

So, here’s an update on my progress. The bad news is I haven’t lost any weight. The good news is I haven’t gained any weight. The great news is that there has been progress.

THE RESULTS

They haven’t been on the scale. In fact, there was a day when the scale registered 220 pounds. You talk about alarming … my low (at least in the past decade) was 213 pounds about a month ago. Fortunately, it went back down to 213 within a week (probably because I punished myself at the gym).

So where are the results, if I haven’t lost an ounce? For starters, I bought a pair of 36 jeans a few weeks ago. Not only bought, but actually put on and fit into. I haven’t worn a size 36 jean since 2001. Ten long years.

To celebrate this event, I ate a block of cheese. Actually, I went through our closet and pulled out all the “fat clothes.” Lots of size 44 or bigger jeans, and lots of XXL and XXXL shirts. They are now being worn by the needy.

More than enough to clothe the needy. A basket full of my "fat clothes" now being worn by folks who need them.

EXERCISE

The new routine is about two months old now. I’ve settled into it nicely. Muscles I didn’t know existed are popping up. There’s more definition. It’s evident in the mirror and through the eyes of my ever-supportive girlfriend, who has to reassure me at least once I week that “you’re putting on muscle, not fat.”

One of the best things about the fitness makeover is the way my body has responded. A year or two ago, I couldn’t imagine running more than a mile without stopping. Now, I run up to four miles without a problem, and at much faster pace.

In November, my goal was to burn 400 calories on the treadmill. Last week, I was burning more than 600 on the treadmill. Throw in another 300 lifting weights, and you’re talking 900 calories vaporized daily through working out.

Another “accomplishment” came Saturday. I’ve been eyeing a hill near our apartment for months, hoping one day to run the quarter-mile, steep-as-a-mountain (OK, it’s probably a steady 40-degree climb) without a break.

Three miles into my run Saturday, I decided to push myself. Consider that hill my bitch.

INJURIES

They’re part of working out, at least minor injuries. Though I have two friends who have suffered severe injuries. There’s Manon the runner, whose broken ankle has inspired me to never run in snow or ice. And there’s Nick the triathlete, who has been hospitalized twice due to biking accidents (might want to try something different, Nick).

I suffered my most recent injury last week. Half asleep still while working out at 6:30 a.m. (more on that in a bit), I dropped a 60-pound barbell on my left pinkie finger. I’m probably lucky it’s not broken, though it did swell up to the thickness of a hot dog and looked like it’d been tie-dyed for a few days.

The running shows mom got me last Christmas served me quite well ... more than 600 miles, in fact. Unfortunately, that's twice as many miles as you're supposed to put on a pair of shoes.

The other injury has been ongoing. I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot. It’s a sometimes-painful condition: the inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. It makes the first couple of minutes of a run pure hell.

The best treatment is probably rest. At this point, that’s just not an option. So I’ll keep pushing through it. A new pair of running shows will also offer some relief.

EARLY TO RISE … TOO LATE TO QUIT

So why am I working out so early? Necessity. I didn’t have time to take a lunch during work last week, so I was up at 5 a.m. to hit the gym. The early wake-up almost caught up to me Thursday when I tried to talk myself out of the treadmill after 45 minutes of weights.

I finally relented, jumped on the treadmill … and set personal bests for distance ran, mph averaged and calories burnt.

As I left, I ran into the center’s fitness/nutritionist specialist, who set up my current routine. She said, “you’re doing and looking great! Keep it up!” As I’ve written before, those compliments keep me going.

The next challenge? A new routine after the holidays, as recommended by the specialist. Bring it on. Like Donkey Kong.

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