I’m into fitness, take 18: Beating the plateau


A few weeks ago after a seven-mile run.

Two-hundred and fifteen. That was my plateau weight. And it was one hell of a plateau, as in a four-month plateau. No matter what I did, how many miles I ran, how well I ate, I simply could not get over that hurdle.

The fact that I’d gain weight with any letdown made it even more frustrating. As I wrote a few weeks ago, my weight climbed as high as 223 during Christmas vacation (Of course, I did indulge in a cheese coma on Christmas day).

When I returned to work and got back into a routine, the answer seemed obvious: Working harder. Running farther, lifting more weights, continuing to count calories. As I’ve said many times, there is no quick fix. To lose a ton of weight, you’re going to have to work your ass off.

So, I pushed myself. In the middle of January, I went from running three miles a day (about 400-500 calories burnt) to running four miles a day (about 600-700 calories). By the end of the month, I’d clocked my first 10K and was averaging close to five miles a day.

Toward the end of January, the weight started coming off again. First, back to 215. Then, to 212, the lowest weight since 2001. Then, in early February, I hit 210. As of today, I weigh 207.8 pounds. That’s 15.2 pounds since Dec. 26.

Last weekend, I set a personal best with an 8.2-mile run. Had it not been 12 degrees (windchill of about 8 degrees), I might have run 10 miles.


As I’ve written many times, I don’t necessarily love running. I love what it does for my body. But there are days where I don’t enjoy it. I avoid burnout by setting goals, and lofty ones.

Last week, I tried to run five miles a day for five days, or 25 miles. This week, I’m trying to run 40. Through four days, I’m at 23.5 miles, nearly six miles a day. I’ll likely burn more than 9,000 calories this week.

That’ll lead up to my goal for the spring: to run an official 10K, then a 10-miler.

After six miles on the treadmill at the gym, shirt drenched in about three pounds of sweat.


I can finally see it. Nearly two years later, I’m eight pounds from 200 and nine to 20 pounds from the ideal weight for someone my height (5-foot-8) with my frame (large).

The weight loss total is at 102.2, which is great. But the best and more important part is that I feel great, healthy. In fact, I feel better at 35 than I ever have. And it doesn’t hurt that I actually look good!


One thought on “I’m into fitness, take 18: Beating the plateau

  1. Kathy Williams

    Congratulations Ernie. I know how easy it is to give up. You are an encouragement to many. Maybe you’ll soon be ready to do a marathon!

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