Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Adjusting My Weight & Balance - Month 1

In stark contrast to my recent infrequency at updating this blog, I've actually been working my tail off on the ground. Somewhat literally! That is, I've worked some of me off... though I've always been tail-less.

Going back about 5 1/2 years, I was interning and living in Texas for the summer. That's pretty much the only time in my life I worked out regularly and I was in great shape by the end of those 3 months. I weighed around 145 lbs when I moved back to Michigan to start my Junior year at Western Michigan University.

Fast-forward to a month ago and, after close to 4 years of employment and semi-frequent business travel, I was up to about 190 lbs. I've said for years that I should start working out again but always pushed it off - until I finally decided enough was enough. I can't deny that having a wedding in November to look good at was extra motivation but I truly want to get back into shape for the health reasons.

So about a month ago I started a schedule of working out regularly and attempted to better monitor and moderate my diet. I'm fortunate that we have a gym at the office, so it's helpful that I can tell myself I'm not going home until I've worked out. The first couple weeks took some extra mental motivation to get into the groove but I'm now operating in a routine.

What do I do? It's pretty simple, actually. Every day I warm up with 5 minutes on the elliptical and then I stretch for 5-10 minutes. Then I hop back on the elliptical for 45 minutes of cardio on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I only do 30 minutes of cardio on Tuesday and Thursday, but I follow that with about 45 minutes of weights. At some point every day I get in a bunch of reps focusing on my abs - incline situps, Captain's Chair lifts, etc. I've also tried to pack a healthy lunch every day with a turkey or ham sandwich, carrots, apple or oranges, yogurt and a granola bar.

The results have been pretty good to date. I weigh myself daily and measure my waist weekly to track my progress. In the past four weeks, I've already lost about 6-7 lbs and 1 inch. My goal is to end up around 150 lbs but I'll be happy if the weight is slightly higher from increased muscle mass. However, I absolutely want to get down below 160 lbs in the next 6 months.

You may be wondering why I'm posting this on the blog. I suppose there are three main reasons. One is that sharing progress in public with these kinds of things helps keep you on track - and I fully want and expect to hear crap from people if I start slacking off! There's also the fact that I occasionally share random thoughts on here even if they're not aviation-related. Finally, as any pilot who regularly flies a 150 can attest, shedding a few pounds can significant help aircraft performance!


  1. I think you should lose 42 lbs, then you could put 7 more gallons of 100LL in the plane you are flying. For a 172 that's almost another hour!

    Anyway, good luck with your program. I'm losing a few pounds due to the narcotics sapping my appetite...

  2. Good point. I love how us pilots think. Let's just say I've done the 30 lbs = 1 hour of fuel in the Cub calculation more than once already! :)

  3. Everything is converted to aviation for me now. Sure, I'd love a new iPad, but that's 5 hours of flying in the 172.

  4. Ever so true, Brad. They seem to be useful devices but that's a lot of money for something I don't need as well. At this point, I just need to get in the air again!

  5. Gr8 u have a gym at the office... But stick with it when u r on the road! (I travel a lot also and try to pick hotels with decent gyms)

    Good Luck!

  6. Steve,
    Your family and your 150 will thank you. Of course good health is a great reward. You should, if not already there, reach a point where you miss working out if you cannot for some reason. Keep up the good work, I'll be checking back for flying and reduction reports!

  7. Thanks guys!

    TJ - I have been doing the same. If the hotel gym doesn't look decent, I find someplace else!

  8. GREAT JOB Steve!!!

    I sure would like to get back to my pre-accident days (155lbs). Two nights a week roller hockey and baseball on the weekends along with light work outs for the legs sure kept me trim and fit, back then. sadly all that activity came to a halt. I need to get motivated!!!

    With new metal parts in place I sure wouldn't mind leaving a bunch of me behind....I could fit another person in the sundowner. I may have to explore the gym at work....

  9. Love the aviation twist to your personal "weight and balance" goals -- keep up the motivation. I "was" working on mine a bit prior to eating a little too good this week while taking a week off with my son. Hopefully when I get home I won't see my 4 months of hard work -- 12 pounds -- ruined.