Less Than 5 Months Later: A Visual Comparison

Last October, I was still in that place where I was constantly stress-eating and feeling too overwhelmed and demotivated to work out. It was when I really started applying myself to running what’s become my normal route, and so I took a few photographs to have on hand as “before” pictures at a later time. Despite that fact that I didn’t do ANY exercise throughout the entire month of January and the first week of February, I’ve made a lot of progress. I cast of that extra weight that I put on during my unscheduled “time off” at the beginning of this year in only four days, and I’ve been keeping up the pace steadily with another 20 miles completed this week. When I got home from my run today, I decided to snap a few shots since I’m now pushing into new territory after running all that necessary damage control.

The snapshot in the top frame is the before photo that I took in October. My scale clocked me in at 203 lbs with an extremely high body fat percentage; I couldn’t even get a read because I was unable to get my body fat calipers around the fat on my abdomen.

Oct 2013 vs March 2014
Oct 2013 vs March 2014

The picture in the bottom frame is the one I took today when I got home from my run. That hideous paunch has been reduced to a far more manageable pooch. My scale is still reading out in the 196-198 lb range, but I suspect that’s due to some muscle growth somewhere under all that. I’ve been doing some flexibility-focused stretching before my runs, and doing some light barbell and bodyweight lifting exercises as running warmups. Nothing so intense that it would result in soreness and require recovery, simply enough to put the muscles to use and tone them. Seeing that form starting to carve itself out of that old mess I used to be is quite the morale booster. The pants I’m wearing in the bottom photo, when first purchased, fit me extremely tight — I used to muffin top out of them in all directions in a manner similar to the photo at top. Now, they hang off me loosely, and will to my ankles if I’m walking in them without the assistance of a belt.

So, I’m giving myself this coming week as the final cardio-focused week before I start really cracking down on my dumbbell and bodyweight training. I’ve been noticing that the workout summary for my usual route has gradually started to decline in the amount of calories burned. I’ve been purposely putting off the muscle building training in order to keep myself able to complete my running and not miss out due to muscle soreness & recovery. Now comes the part where I have to start going through that process so that there’s something to show as I keep burning off the fat. That, and I’m not really looking to end up as one of those people that sheds a bunch of weight and then has an excess of loose skin. Barbells, pushups, pullups, planks, and squats are going to start to become just as constant a part of my life as running has become. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to absolutely hate it at the start in the same fashion.

So the battle continues…

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