Jul 10, 2008

From Seat 2A to IRONMAN

Building and running a consulting and training company has taken me around the country and the globe. Usually in First Class.

My favorite seat is 2A.

Sometimes I'd get quite irritable when crammed into the very small seats in the commuter jets that are the only way to get to certain clients. And why wouldn't I? I was a very big guy. I didn't need a seat belt extender...but I was getting pretty close on some of those planes.

So whenever possible, I always tried to secure the extra space available in First Class, seat 2A. A window seat where no one would be stepping over me. It was roomy and of course there was all the free beer and salty snacks I desired.

I learned that the beer always gave me a headache. But by the time I took my return trip, it seems that I always forgot how bad the headache was on the flight over. "Coors Light, Please, I'm watching my carbs."

For me, "Seat 2A" is synonymous with the fast-paced, soft lifestyle I was enjoying.

Great food and plenty of it. Desert? Sure! But who has time for working out?

Naturally gifted in running and soccer in high school, I really didn't start gaining weight until my late 30s. Following high school, I really did nothing consistently for a period of at least 25 years. But as my metabolism changed and my business prospered the weight piled on quickly.

It's pretty easy to hide those extra pounds in a suit. In fact, it is REMARKABLY easy to hide the weight. Keep that jacket buttoned, and no one has a clue that your waist has grown by 6 - 10 inches.

But the face does not lie.

The face, cheeks, jowls are a sure give-away if you are gaining weight.

And my face had gradually blown-up like a balloon. Literally! Take a look at those BEFORE side photos!

So what caused me to stop and suddenly make this lifestyle change?

As I have posted before, I literally tried every crazy scheme, every diet, every pill, every Internet program, no carbs, etc.

I was impatient and wanted quick results. I got quick results in terms of losing water weight. I skipped meals and lost a lot of muscle, exacerbating my problem as my metabolism slowed to a crawl. I stupidly believed that skipping meals meant fewer calories, and I actually thought that was the way to lose weight.

I enjoyed watching The Biggest Loser tv show and found that very motivating. For the first time I saw how hard work, along with diet, was having amazing, dramatic results. Just unbelievable. I think that show is just amazing. Of course, I really hate that artificial suspense but I suffered through each show monitoring their progress.

That was a start on this path.

But for me, it was all about committing to something and being held accountable by friends and others. So I signed up for a triathlon and interviewed a lot of triathlon coaches to work with me.
The accountability of a coach made all the difference in the world.

I tried working on my own, but that was far too easy to skip a workout and there were no consequences.

So From 2A to Ironman is my way of referencing the journey from corporate excess and sloth to a disciplined and consistent program leading to my goal of completing a full Ironman Triathlon in Tempe Arizona in November 2008.