On my 44th birthday I signed up for a Sprint Triathlon race (750 yd swim, 13 mile bike ride and 5K run) as motivation to workout consistently. Like a lot of men, I had a busy career working extra hours, a family and sporadic exercise, often pushed to the weekends.
At 5-11 and 175lbs, I wasn’t that overweight, but I felt like the Pillsbury Doughboy, soft and pudgy. All the tricks I used when I was in my 30’s to drop the weight no longer worked. I just couldn’t lose those last 10 pounds. I avoided sugary treats, had several servings of fruits and vegetables each day, tried to boost my exercise, but nothing worked.
I remember attending a triathlon workshop for first timers and thought, “I can do this.” Instead of driving to work everyday, I started riding my bicycle the 10 miles each way 2 days a week. The other days, I would go for a walk/run or swim. I lost about 5 pounds during the 2 1/2 months of training.
I’ll never forget that first race. I finished in 1 hour, 45 minutes and was hooked! The event was so much fun, but after the high wore off, I was exhausted for the rest of day. And sore for the next 3 days.
I’m now 51 and have competed in more than a dozen triathlons since that first race. My weight fluctuated between 170-175 lbs, no matter how much I exercised or how well I ate, until 2 years ago when I made the decision to go vegetarian.
Like many of us, I thought I needed animal protein to maintain muscle, but after watching the movie Forks Over Knives, I was convinced that wasn’t true. I went on our 14 Day Detox Program after reading John Keefe’s story, figuring I could use a good “clean out” and dropped 5 pounds without even trying.
More significantly, I noticed I wasn’t as tired as I used to be. I could exercise harder and recover faster.