Here Is What Has Worked For Me by Cannon G.

Hey, everyone.  I had the pleasure and honor to “meet” this new Half Fanatic today on-line.  His story was incredible I knew I had to share.  Once you read it you will agree.  So I introduce to you Cannon…

I am a 39 year old stay at home dad. I have been a stay at home dad for roughly 6 years. During this time I have seen my overall health decline. I gained weight and became less active. After this last New Year I started to have real dread about my upcoming 40th birthday in September and what the inevitable doctor check up would show. I haven’t been to the doctor in years but it became pretty obvious to me that I most likely had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, back problems, and potentially diabetes or pre-diabetes. My normal daily intake of 4-6 sodas combined with 4-6 beers had really taken a toll. Nightly I would have such bad heartburn that I would have to take 1-2 medicines just to sleep thru the night. Additionally just climbing one flight of stairs would leave me weazing and out of breath. So in April I decided now was the time I needed to make a change in my life. My size 46 pants were getting tight and the thought of going up to a 48 was really upsetting to me. My goal was to lose 40lbs by my 40th birthday. I weighed in the night of April 29th before I started my exercise and diet transformation the next day. I weighed 306lbs and my BMI was 36.3 which put me at stage 2 obese. It would be a lofty goal but I felt 40lbs in 5 months was possible.

I decided for exercise I would use the Jeff Galloway Easy 5k walk/run iPhone Application. My wife had started using it a few months earlier and felt it was the best option to go from years of a sedentary lifestyle to up and moving. For my diet I decided to use my own plan that would be loosely based on Weight Watchers point system. For breakfast, I eat pineapple, some banana and an Activia yogurt. Lunch is usually a ham or turkey sandwich. Lots of mustard, gone are the days of extra mayo. Dinner is a salad, veggies, and a chicken breast. However every night is not chicken. It can really vary. I even will do a hot dog dinner once a week or so. Most importantly though I dropped all the sodas and beer. I only drank water and lots of it. So the first couple of weeks the running/walking app was tough but it was never too much. From the first day I made sure every time I worked out I would take a picture of me when I came home. I would text the photo to my wife partially to ease her concerns that I might not have made it thru the exercise but also to give me a visual of how I looked. These workout completion photos have become an important tool for me. I encourage anyone starting out to take a picture of yourself after every workout. You will not believe the transformation that will take place over time. So after finishing the 8 week 5k app I moved up to the Galloway easy 10k program. I am currently on week 11 of it and every day I get in better and better shape. After about 4 weeks of the 5k program I added riding a stationary recumbent bike on my off days. At first it was for 30 minutes a day and has increased to 42 minutes. I try to use interval training with the bike going for 3 minutes at a comfortable rate that I can keep at 90 rpms, then switch to higher resistance for two minutes than back to the comfortable rate for 3 minutes and alternate between. So between the run/walk program and bike I workout 6 days a week roughly 40 minutes each day with one long run being around an hour or more. Yeah, it’s a lot of work but for me it’s not overwhelming. As for the change in my diet, well it’s also not overwhelming. Yeah, I would love to be eating care free like I did in the past but in reality I am not missing the junk food as much as I expected before I started.

So you might be asking where am I on my goal of losing 40lbs? Well I am doing really well. 🙂 Today is day 128 and I am down 92 pounds. As of this morning I weigh 214 down from 306 and my BMI is 25.4. I am five pounds away from being in my “normal” BMI range. I was able to drop 75lbs in the first 90 days. This was 24.5% of my body weight. I have been able to go down to a size 38. I no longer snore. I no longer have high blood pressure. I no longer have any heartburn. I am in the best health that I have been in 20 years. Overall I feel terrific. So I guess my advice is don’t accept defeat before you even start. If you make the long term lifestyle changes of adding exercise and making better food choices it’s only a matter of time before the weight will come off. At times it can be frustrating but it’s definitely worth it in the end.

Here is a before and after picture of me at the 4 month mark.
4-month-sidebyside

 

 

 

 

 

6 month update- Still going strong, down 112 pounds from the start. Today I weigh 194 pounds. Here is a picture with me and the size 46 pants that I could barely squeeze into when I started. Just this past weekend I bought my first pair of size 34 pants.

Don’t give up folks! Eating healthy and exercising are the keys to a new life.

30-pic

9 month update- Still feeling terrific and continuing my new lifestyle. Earlier this month I finished my first half-marathon. When I started I could barely walk a mile let alone run one. I pushed thru the tough days though and never gave up. From the day I started on 4/30/12 thru today I have exercised 211 days. Eating healthy and this exercise has changed my life. Don’t ever think that it’s too late to make a change with your health. You can lose the weight by creating a calorie deficit with exercise and eating healthy.

Here is a photo from the finish of my first half-marathon.
WDW-half-finish_zpsa4c312a4

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past weekend was the Father Daughter dance. I decided to take a comparison pose to compare how I look for this years dance vs. last years.

father-daughter-dance-comparison_zps8dc87f24

1 year update- Well today is the one year mark from when I started my diet and exercise transformation. In the last year I have lost 110 pounds. Back before the half-marathon I was actually down 115 pounds but I have spent the last 3 months working on building muscle and losing body fat. So my weight has crept up a little but I am losing body fat. I have only in the last month started running again. Over the last year I have exercised a total of 300 days. Even today I have taken a photo every day I return from a run or from the gym. Here is a photo that I took today. The next challenge on my calendar is the Dumbo Double Dare race over Labor Day. This is a RunDisney race at Disneyland where you run a 10k on Saturday and then a half marathon on Sunday. It’s going to be a challenge but I can’t wait. I highly recommend the RunDisney races in Florida or California. They offer tremendous motivation in these off months and are so much fun.

43013-photoHere is a comparison photo…
911-comparison

16 Month Update- Well it’s been an eventful end of summer. Over Labor Day my wife and I flew to Disneyland and ran the Dumbo Double Dare race. The race consists of a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. We had been training for it for the last couple of months and we thought we were going to be ready for everything. Unfortunately we didn’t plan for record breaking heat. It was miserably hot but we still had an awesome time. This was our second Disney Half this year so we were going for our Coast to Coast award as well. The week before we left my hamstring started giving me problems and I was convinced my goal of a sub 2 hour Half was long gone. I pushed myself the day of the half and ran my fastest half ever at 1:53:06. I was able to knock almost 4 minutes off my time. I was so happy that I set a new PR and had such an awesome time. The race took us all thru both parks but also had us run thru the Angels MLB stadium. The day before I ran the 10K with my wife as we were celebrating our 17th Anniversary. She talked me into running in a costume with her so she ran as Wonder Woman and I was Superman. It was the first race we ever ran together and it was awesome.

As for my weight, I am doing great. I am still hovering around 200 and I am still dropping fat and adding muscle. It’s funny a year ago I weighed the same almost to the pound that I weigh today but in pictures you can see a big difference even though the scale is the same.

Here is a picture from right before the start of the Disneyland Half.
Disney-1

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a picture of us running thru the Angels stadium.
disney-2Here is a picture after I crossed the finish line. I look like I am about to die but I promise I was very happy.
disney-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally a photo of my wife and I running the Disneyland 10k the day before the half.
disney-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

I almost forget the one year comparison photo. In both photos I weigh the same but you can see what a year of exercise has done.
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