Ok, yeah, I'm new here. I didn't see anywhere to "officially" introduce myself, so I picked here. I'll try to be a bit serious, as I do want to become a part of the community here (I'm sure I'll have tons of questions), but as the title indicates, I'm not always successful at serious. ;)
TL/dr: I'm a "big" guy working on losing weight and glad to be here.
Here's my story:
I am 40 years old, and just passed my 5th month (21 weeks) of getting serious about exercise and health. Wait, let me back up. I've always been a husky guy. As a teenand 20-something, I had a small gut, but nothing too big. I don't really remember when I passed the 200-lb mark, but I'm guessing it was when I moved from a standing (fast food manager) job to a sitting job. Lots less activity and no real diet change.
I've always been relatively "healthy". By that I mean that even as my body closed on 300-lb, I had a good resting heart rate and generally average blood pressure. I could do strength stuff, and while I knew my endurance was dwindling, I was content being "healthy". My doctor's kept saying that my body couldn't continue supporting my weight, but since I'd never had any real health issues (still haven't), I mostly blew them off.
About 3 years ago, my dad went in for a stress test. He had been having some pains and they weren't sure if it was heart of gall bladder related. After the stress test, they sent him to have the dye injected to check his heart. When they put the dye in, he had a mild heart attack on the table as the dye blocked what little opening was there. He had the "widow maker" blockage. Bypass surgery and he is doing great now. I share this to say that even that event didn't motivate me toward health. By then I was over 300-lb and probably close to my max weight of 330-lb.
I have four kids and over the past 10 years, I've checked a couple times into increasing my life insurance over the "company paid" amount because that "company paid" is not nearly enough. Both times I didn't even apply as I knew the height/weight requirements for "extra" coverage (I worked for IT at the insurance company) and I knew I wouldn't qualify. In addition, I've coached or assisted all of my kids on a baseball or softball team. Had the kids run but I didn't run with them because either I couldn't run or got too winded running. Again, I say this to say I didn't consider either of these enough motivation to "get fit".
Last year, two things happened. Early in the year, for lack of a better way to explain it and to not offend anyone, I has a religious epiphany (more than willing to discuss, but this is already too long). I was already religious, but this experience changed my thinking about some core issues. Second was in the summer when a friend from my childhood posted a link to a mutual friend's weight loss. The guy had done the P90X training and was now teaching the class. He had lost somewhere over 100-lb. He described one event from "before" that struck a chord. He bent over to tie his shoe and stood up winded. I could relate to that very well; I was that.
I read the story and realized that I was too poor to pay some trainer, but then it hit me. I had done some lifting about 5-10 years ago with a college guy who was a friend of our family. I designed our workouts based on info I got from here, exrx.net. So I knew where to go for the basics. I also knew that all I needed was the determination to stick to it. I made the decision and set my start date for the first full week of October, 2010. I can't say whether this determination came from seeing the results of my friend, from my religious "experience", or from somewhere else. Wherever it came from, I had finally decided that I was tired of being fat and tired.
Starting in October gave me two things: September to gather information and 11 weeks exactly to my 40th birthday. I scoured the "beginner's" information on exrx.net and got my plans together. I didn't bother with much testing or measuring to begin with. I mean, I knew the "blue" walking plan was going to be mine, and I had some dumbells already. I learned about the single set with a 1/2 weight warm-up set. Between that and a few trial runs, it was fairly easy to determine a starting weight.
I do confess, in order to make life (and calculations) easier, I ate a bit more "freely" in the final week of September. I was around 328 and wanted to hit 330 on my first "official" weigh-in. You know, make the starting number easier to remember. Well, I succeeded. I also knew from the insurance stuff that at my height and body build, that I needed to get to about 180, so that gave me an easy number of 150-lb to lose.
My first goal period was that first 11 weeks. I wanted to lose 30-lb to come in at an even 300. I walked the "blue" plan every day on my treadmill. I did a 2 day split workout: upper body on Mon, Thur and lower body on Tue, Fri. I did the calorie counter and figured a spreadsheet up to see how many calories I could eat if I expected to lose the weight I wanted to. Since my family wasn't really interested in dieting (my sons will occasionally lift with me), I knew putting too many restrictions on food for my wife would be difficult for both her (in preparing meals) and me (in trying to eat differently than the family). I cut calories from my daily meals (easy to do when fast food is the norm for lunch), and became a HUGE fan of sugar free jello. :D
Eleven weeks later, I had lost 38-lb. I had my wife help with circumferences to help get a baseline. We were not sure with some things how to measure, but we got some numbers on paper. For my birthday and Christmas, I asked for (and got) a blood pressure cuff and an incline sit-up bench. The next step was a series of five 10-week goal periods. For each one, I needed to lose 25 pounds. That would give me two weeks for vacation if I needed them, and would also get me past my final goal of 180. I told my wife that if I could lose to 165, I would love to be able to tell people I lost half my body weight. That is my eventual goal, but if I don't get there before 18 months, I may have to give that one up.
Just finished my first 10-week period. I barely lost to my second goal weight of 275 (I counted from my first goal of 300, not my actual weight of 292). I switched during that period to a two day push/pull lifting, still MTTF, and I tried to finish the blue walking program. My treadmill has a weight limit of 250 (something I didn't realize until I was almost done with my first 11 weeks), so it will generally cut off before I get to the end of my walking. To compensate, I have been walking in the evenings when I am able. Not the same for endurance, but it will burn the calories.
This past Sunday, my official weigh-in day, I did circumferences again, and I did the Walkport test as well as the Sit-Up, Stretch & Reach, Push Up, Bench Press and maybe one or two other tests. I pushed my walking to 4.5 mph for most of the walk, peaking a few times at 4.7 and once at 5.0 (that didn't last long). Seriously, I thought I was going to die before that mile ended. Not literally, but I had exceeded 200% of my resting heart rate, and I was feeling the windedness. According to the tests, I'm "average" in a couple areas, but still "at risk" in a few. Walkport put me back on the "blue" program. :| So for the next 10 weeks, I'm sticking with my lifting and started the "blue" program at week 11 (hoping my treadmill will let me finish the 2 miles soon). I added in about 100 calories of work on the Wii fit board for balance in the evenings followed by some Wii tennis. :) It is just fun. So, when May 8th rolls around, I hope to report my weight at 250.
I'll post a reply to this somewhere with my routine and weights. I'm glad to have found the forums. I do get lots of support and encouragement from friends (I'm posting weekly updates on facebook), but it is nice to know there is a community I can talk with in more detail and specifics. Sorry for the long personal story.