‘Other’ Changes

Now and Then.  The left picture was from my last 5k race and the one on the right is from my first 5k race in October.

Now and Then. The left picture was from my last 5k race and the one on the right is from my first 5k race in October.

Last May I started working to run a 5k.  shortly along this journey I became fixated on performing in a triathlon race and eventually a series of triathlon races.  At the time I was extremely over weight and out of shape.  Most of my life was dedicated to a motivated couch potato life style.  Looking back at the me of last year I almost do not recognize the me of yesterday compared to today.  Beyond my on going physical transformation there have been other aspect of my life that have been impacted by my push to be a fit, more inspired, athletic person going into my forties.  Since its Thursday I figured it would be a good day to share my list of noticeable ‘Other’ changes that have been produced by the effect of my triathlon training.

Things that have changed since I started training for triathlons:

  • Post photographs of Myself – If you have read this blog for a while, you will notice that often I put pictures of myself up on posts.  I do this because as an obese individual I have always hated the way I look in pictures.  Blame it on the poor showing of excess flab or just the raw honesty that become noticeable in pictures, for an over weight insecure person, photographs might as well be immortal torture.  As I have gotten fitter and have become more mentally secure with my changing self image, I determined I would post pictures of myself on this blog.  I have actually grown to like the way I look in some of them as the weight has come off and I have become more athletic.
  • Locker room nudity – May sound odd to some, but since high school gym and maybe earlier, I have always felt awkward getting naked in front of other people.  I know its just a bunch of other guys, but being over weight had set this one in pretty firm.  When backpacking I often went out of the way to find places to change where no one could possible see a sliver of my flesh.  After a  few months of triathlon training this fear began to erode, as I often spend 2-3 times a day in the gym or in a shower that is not my home shower.  Often I shower more in other places than home and all toiletries are available at all times.  I have come to accept that in a locker room and common shower, nudity happens.
  • Changing clothing behind towels in public – At some point I realized my need for non-performance clothing trumped my public changing vanity.  Lately I seem to have no problems wrapping a towel around my waist and just changing my clothes, regardless how many people are around.  This was an issue for me almost as much as public nudity/locker room nudity.
  • Tight fitting shorts- Bike and tri shorts are made to be tight on purpose.  Being over weight often means a wardrobe of loose fitting baggy clothing and nothing that comes close to actually hugging the skin anywhere.  Serious athletic training requires tight shorts and sometimes tops for performance reasons.  I now find that I own way to many pairs of compression and spandex shorts and I wear them without another baggy pair over top.  Yes I still have allot of middle baggage that goes on display when I wear these shorts or shirts, but you just have to put them on and own wearing them.
  • Shirtless – In some ways this is a guy right of passage, taking the shirt off in public without a care in the world.  For me this used to only occur when swimming and promptly when exiting the water a shirt went immediately on.  Now days I find I don’t parade around without a shirt deliberately, but I am less concerned about not having one on and if I need to take it off, away it goes!
  • Multi-workout days seem normal – I have gotten to a point where I almost forget that at one point the idea of running in the morning and biking at night seemed ludicrous and preposterous, or any two or three multi-hour activities in the same day.  Often I will refer to a previous days workouts or the current days workout plan when discussing workouts with my work mates and their jaws drop at the sound of it. Until I started working in an office, I some how forgot how jarring a triathlon training schedule can seem and how extreme training can get.  Its truly on the border line of obsessive.

That is my quick and dirty non-training specific list of “other” changes that I have noticed since I started this adventure a year ago. Did I miss any? Do you have any personal ones you want to share?  Leave them in the comments to discuss. Til next time.

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22 comments

  1. I frequently think that the “other” benefits we get from training far outweigh the physical ones. For me, it’s the calming I get when I run or bike. Everything important, crazy, frustrating just goes away, slips into the abyss for just a bit. Serenity!

    1. I totally agree,I love the calm of a work out too, even though I often get more energized after exercise.

  2. I love this! And you know I can relate quite a bit. Go Chatter go!

    1. Grin,I forgot to mention having a virtual fan club and being part of others fan clubs.

  3. Great thoughts. The change I saw when I lost 43 pounds and started running, years ago, was that before I thought I was busy and didn’t have the time, and I was really tired all the time. Then I realized that I did have the time – I was just choosing to spend it watching TV on the couch in the evenings, or sleeping in. Once I structured my life differently, I had so much MORE energy!!!

    1. I was in the exact same boat, I prioritized television then and prioritize fitness now. Also after a couple of months I became energized after workouts instead of exhausted. Of course I could not imagine fitting in training and kids, sho I give my hat off to you.

      1. Thanks – life is kind of crazy but I feel so much better than when I would just eat chocolate and watch TV after they went to bed!

  4. I finally got to a point where I’m okay with the Lycra and tight fitting shirts and jerseys last year. Training helps to allay a little if the self doubt but I feel your pain on that one.

    I can tell you this brother: you’re literally training your ass off. Just keep it up no matter what. I have a very good friend who lost half his weight (500 down to 250!) and he quit. He went right back up… It was heartbreaking to watch. Now he’s miserable again. Absolutely dig that picture of you in black… Look at the difference!

    1. The picture of me in black is one of the only race pictures I have wanted to purchase so far. I can see the athletic tone in my body unlike the picture from October. While there is still some heft, I think I look more fit and look more trim and even happier.
      Don’t have to worry about me quitting, I love cycling and triathlons and I now find I no longer miss the TV as much. I have no plans on going back to the way I was and as long as I put a decent yearly race schedule with some time for the wife mixed in there is no reason to fall back.

      Thanks for the support brother!

      1. My pleasure my friend. I’m coming down to Lake Burton (or is it Burton Lake) on the 10th of July… Have to see if we can’t fit a ride in or something.

    2. BTW the black shirt is a 2x and is loose at the waist, the orange shirt is a 3x and tight everywhere!

      1. That’s even more impressive. Awesome.

  5. You look so happy when you are running! I feel much more self confident since I started training for races and with my triathlon club. I always did some kind of exercise, but training to get better, faster, stronger just gives one so much more.

    1. Thank you Nina, I was actually really hurting at the time, moments later after this picture I was across the finish line and almost puking. I do try to smile for the ladies… er camera.

  6. Awesome points and a picture truly is worth a thousand words – there is such a huge difference, not in just the weight but you really look like a runner! You look so much more comfortable in all regards. I’m excited to have seen and read about the changes as they occurred and look forward to hearing about all the great things yet to come.

    1. Thank you my friend, I also enjoy following your progression as well. Thank you, I am really starting to like the way I look in pictures more and more.

  7. Amazing post Chatter – this one speaks to me so clearly. I can totally relate to every point you make. I love that you have the confidence to post pictures of yourself on your blog (I’m working on my own confidence to do the same). Reading your blog and hearing your progress inspires me all the time! Keep at it buddy! You’re doing amazing!

    1. Thank you very much. This blog has taken on a life of its own and has been a great outlet for expressing all the crazy things that happen when making a drastic life altering transformation. I have tried to be always honest here and open about the good and the bad. As I have blogged and continued to progress, I have found it very therapeutic to put pictures, even uncomfortable ones up and claim them. Your progress sounds like its coming along as well. Thank you for the warm comments, glad I can inspire as well as be inspired by others in this great little community we are part of.

  8. […] this weekend, in the form of many inspiring posts by my fellow bloggers.  Bloggers who’ve seen improvement, overcome fears, taken on new challenges, found some perspective, and lots of others too.  I love […]

  9. kruzmeister · · Reply

    Isn’t it amazing how quickly something as simple as eating healthy and exercising can bring about such enormously profound changes in self esteem and self belief. You have had such an amazing journey so far Chatter and it is only going to get better. Kudos to you mate, you earned all the benefits! – Simone

  10. […] ‘Other’ Changes (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com) […]

  11. […] ‘Other’ Changes (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com) […]

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