As an overweight person, I've struggled to find an exercise routine that I like. Swimming at the West Boise Y has swung through like the super trainer I've been waiting for all my life!

Call it a side effect of the quarantine, call it extra holiday weight, call it what you want... In truth, I've struggled with my weight my entire adult life and it's kind of a bummer. I'm in a weird zone where I'm definitely heavy, but not heavy enough for a surgery or a show on TLC. I'm heavy enough to be uncomfortable in my clothes, heavy enough to pull on my shirt, you know the type... When I was 19, I lost 30 pounds and got down to about 175 and was LIVING LIFE! At 5'8", I somehow looked like an NBA player in the photos from back then. I got myself up to about a hundred pounds more than that, and lucky for me, I sort of wear it well. But it gets to a point where you can't really hide being that much over weight and as many times as I've started and failed and started and failed, it seemed like there was no hope.

One of the major problems for me is that I would get out and run and unfortunately, when you have this much extra weight, it hurts to run for any length of time or distance. So, from a cardio perspective, I could do a lot more than I was doing but it physically hurt so I'd give up. My wife was a swimmer growing up and she encouraged me to join her at the pool so we've been swimming at the beautiful West Boise YMCA and Aquatic center and now I've figured it out. I can actually swim pretty well! I wear my fit bit in the pool and track my laps; a month ago I couldn't make it across one time without stopping, and now I can do 34 laps in the hour that I'm there and the best part about swimming is that it's non-abusive to your body, there's no pain, you're in water! The second best part is that it works out every muscle in your body when you swim and it stretches you out. At my highest I was 281, I got down to 275 and since I have been swimming consistently, I'm down to 264. I have a long way to go to hit my goal weight of 165 obviously but I'm excited about this start. It's hard and I hope to god I can keep my frame of mind where it's at and not lose steam, though it can be pretty challenging.

I've always thought the relationship we, as people, have with food is interesting. It's something we HAVE to have to survive, ya know? If you're addicted to drugs or alcohol, you can draw a line in the sand and make a rule for yourself that you will absolutely not indulge in these vices, but the lines with food are a bit more blurred. This is not to imply that fighting those types of addictions is easy by any means.

Lastly, I had to get past the hurdle of being uncomfortable taking my shirt off to swim in front of ACTUAL SWIMMERS who are intense athletes, but I thought... 1. Who cares? And 2., it's the pool! Everyone is just there minding their own business and it's a pretty polite community of people. At this point I'm hopeful that I'll provide you with an update in some time that shows some significant progress and that I won't just disappear and go back to my normal habits. DM me on the app or on Facebook if you're going through something similar and we can hype each other up! -Moug

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