Getting In Shape

Last modified on September 10th, 2009

Strangely enough, most people in Vancouver probably don’t remember me as ever being super skinny. For whatever reason, I’ve always had a bit of meat on my bones. You can chalk it up to a slow metabolism, or crappy genes or whatever, but there are not many times in my life where I’ve been rail thin.

The first time I came close though was probably around grade 11. I was playing three sports at the same time, getting lots of rest, and for the most part, lived a pretty stress free life. I couldn’t tell you what I weighed during that period, but looking at old photos I definitely think I looked fairly athletic.

For the most part, I stayed relatively skinny during university. I’ve always sort of oscillated plus or minus ten pounds fairly regularly, so I’m sure there were times I was a bit chubbier, and times when I was a bit skinnier. I remember in second year university I was going to the gym quite a bit (mainly because it was across the street). I had a professional body fat assessment done, and the results came back at 13%, which is in the athletic range. Strangely enough I was 197 lbs at the time, which on a 5’9″ frame is quite a bit of weight. You do the math, but I guess that means I was carrying quite a bit of muscle, at least from a weight perspective.

When I moved out to Ottawa, everything kind of went to crap for me. I was commuting two hours a day, constantly tired, and had a fairly stressful job, mainly because of the crazy dot-com boom that was going on (which translated directly into long hours for me and my friends). I was drinking a pile of coffee each day, most of which was sweetened with a ton of sugar. I didn’t own a scale during that period, so I really didn’t notice the gradual shift upwards until I had left Ottawa and came home. Needless to say the first thing I did when I got back home was to sign up for the gym.

Without a doubt, I’m always in my best shape whenever my stress levels are low and my ability to do outdoor activities or hit the gym is high. After Ottawa, I spent the next two years doing my master’s degree, and managed to not only shed all the weight I had picked up in Ottawa, but overshot by a long margin. When I ended that fitness regime, I was a tiny 178 lbs, which on my frame almost made me look sickly.

After leaving school for the work force, I once again entered into a high stress job, and didn’t really get many opportunities to hit the gym. I know that seems like a cop out, because in a lot of ways it is, but given the pressures at work at the long hours we had, hardly anyone in the company seemed to have time for that kind of stuff. Couple that with a pretty traumatic event in my life, two surgeries, a super bug, and hospitalization for pneumonia, the end result is that the pudge monster returned.

One of the main reasons I moved out in the country here is so that I could actually have time to hit the gym and eat normally again. For the most part, the ball has been in my court for quite a while now, but I haven’t pulled my racquet back to start a proper volley. So as of today, I’m going to start making a concerted effort to get back in shape.

I have a monthly gym pass already, and as of today, I’ve been at the gym twice in two days. So hopefully the hard part is over. To encourage myself to keep it up, I’m going to try and post weekly if I can. I’m also making this a dedicated series for ease of use.

The hardest part for me is not really having a gym buddy. Getting up in the morning and hitting the gym would be a lot easier if I knew someone was waiting outside or out front for me. But lacking that, maybe I can get a few virtual buddies for support. So if you’re also trying to improve your fitness level, then drop me a comment (*cough* Jennifer Stoddart *cough*), and maybe we can virtually encourage each other. Anyways, day two’s in the bag.