C25K Conclusion!

    I had posted blogs on my experience with the C25K app for smart phone.  Basically in a nutshell, I was diagnosed with very high cholesterol by my doctor and after convincing her to give me 6 months to change and avoid medication, I started the C25K program the next day.  Well, the 6 months have passed.  I combined this running program with weight watchers (another program I’ve had great success with) for 6 straight months, going from barely being able to run a mile, to being able to run 8 miles, all while going from 206 pounds down to 182 pounds.  I didn’t want to go on medication.  The doctor said that having cholesterol that high could have been “hereditary.”  I have a huge issue with “hereditary,” mainly because (for the most part), it’s overused.  Sure, some things are.  But some things are bullshit.  Like when cancer runs in the family, and then you notice at a mass family gathering, everyone is outside smoking.  Or, cholesterol problems run in the family, but everyone is out of shape, doesn’t exercise, and doesn’t take care of themselves.  This isn’t a direct correlation to my family, (well the smoking part was, I had noticed it at a family holiday party).  My step-dad has higher cholesterol and isn’t in bad shape, but he doesn’t really work out.  I had to find out for myself: “Did I really just have a problem with my cholesterol, or did I just need to bust some ass?”   I know some people need to be on medication for cholesterol for whatever reason, but I was not about to give in that easy at the age of 35.  
     Tuesday at 5:30pm was judgment day for me.  The final chapter in my 6 month workout saga.  I brought my wife and daughter with me, we got into the car and drove to the doctor’s office.  The doctor came in with my numbers.  I went from a total cholesterol level of 265 to 219.  About 19 points away from being in the “normal” range.  She said that she had never seen someone pull that off in 6 months (she’s younger) and was super impressed.  Everything else she said at the moment is a blur.  I was so happy and so blown away that I was just focused on my wife and little baby, thinking about how much I loved them both.  They are the soul motivation for my drive, the air in my lungs.  So not only did I miss a bunch of what the doctor was saying (all good stuff according to my wife) but I was basically trying not to cry like a huge pussy.  It’s weird.  I guess you have to have a kid to know the feeling, but you see this little version of you sitting there, looking at you in amazement every second it’s awake, and you just want to do everything you can to be there for her.  In my case, it was staying alive.  I didn’t want to have heart problems because of sky high cholesterol.  I want to see this kid do karate or play soccer.  I want to be there for every milestone.  If it means I have to go running every other day for miles and miles, and eat healthy, than god dammit, I’ll do it!  I just did.

Update on the C25K App!

    A while back I stated that I wanted to get into shape.  The Dr. gave me a high cholesterol diagnosis at my yearly and basically said I needed to get it down or go on meds.  I hate meds.  So I decided to start running every other day, and started using the “Couch to 5k” app, which puts you on a program for 9 weeks to safely prepare you to run 3.1 miles.  I am proud to say that I finished the program and consistently run 3.1 miles every day, in fact I am in the process of increasing that distance.  This is one of the few things that I have completed exercise-wise.  I’ve tried so many things to get into shape, workout videos, Nintendo Wi, exercise bike-all of which I found to be insanely boring which was followed by me quitting.  Running unexpectedly became an addiction.  I had heard people say that it was addicting in the past, always wondering to myself how anyone could ever find it enjoying.  It’s actually amazing, and very addicting.  Why?  Because you start seeing results in a very short time.  It’s not 100% about weight loss, in-fact, most people start running thinking that they will lose weight.  You do, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re like the type of person that reads about the newest extreme diet guaranteed to shed off 10 pounds in 2 days, or whatever, it’s not for you.  Weight-loss, real weight loss, is a slow process with big rewards.  You don’t have to go to extreme measures to lose weight, you just need to change a few things and get into portion control.  When you run, you burn a lot of calories, but most people quit when they run for a week or two and then barely see the needle move.  Truth is, after your finished running, your muscles repair themselves and you retain water.  You can’t get into this worrying about moving the needle a pound or two hear and there.  You have to not pay attention to the needle, and pay attention to your workout.  Focus on the program, and focus on your running.  I’ve followed this since I started and have now lost almost 20 pounds.
    2 years ago I did weight watchers and lost almost 30 pounds.  The program is amazing and it teaches you how to eat good foods, how to maximize the amount you eat, all while learning correct portions.  It’s an amazing program that I am still on.  The difference between when I lost 30 pounds back then, and the 20 I have lost now, is that my body is different.  Running completely transforms the way you look and it gets more and more addicting.  Pretty soon I will look like this:

Ok, maybe not like this…but probably a little better….
I’ll keep this topic updated as I continue my routine!  If your thinking of getting into running, give this app a chance!

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