Sorry for the wall of text here. I've never noticed this thread before, so I thought I'd share a bit of my story.
I've lost 25 lbs over the last few months after my wife and I decided to finally get back into shape. I like running. I use a few time benchmarks to track how I'm improving. My mile time went from 8:14 in March to 6:40 yesterday. I'd like to see that go down to 5:30 or so, and at that point maybe I'll start focusing on 400m and 800m times as well, since those were two races I loved in high school. I'm 28, 5'10" and currently 180 lbs. I want to get down to about 170 lbs and see if I want to lose more at that point.
Getting back into running was really hard for me, which surprised me since I used to LOVE it. I've had several "I'm getting back into shape" false starts over the past 5 or so years, which was a bit demoralizing to me. When I used to easily run 2 miles in under 12 minutes, it was very hard for me to get used to taking it very slow just so I could finish 15 minutes of jogging without stopping, never mind how far I actually ran in that time. But short term goals coupled with rewards helped me get over the initial, "I suck, what's the point of this," feeling at first.
What I've discovered about myself now that I'm sticking with it is that I don't really care about the running itself. What I really love, and what motivates me to run, is The Race. I don't care about getting in shape for the sake of health, I love getting in shape so I can look at others after a race and think, "I'm faster than you. Eat me." Which is weird because I don't think I'm better than other people. I love cheering others on and watching others work hard just like I am. But during the race and for about 60 seconds afterwards you and I are enemies, and for some reason I love that.
I also love the motivation of losing. I hate seeing some guy just barely beat me when I've given my all during a race. I look forward to burying those people next time I see them, which helps me stay motivated during training.
I've run several 5ks and a 10k, and I'm thinking about starting triathlons next year. I'm thinking about doing a half marathon next year as well. As a longer term goal, I might consider a full marathon just to do it once in my life. I prefer shorter, faster races over distance. The fees for races certainly costs me a good chunk of change, but this is what motivates me to stick with exercising.
My biggest struggle is nutrition. I've been doing a lot better, but that only means I've gone from eating like shit to not eating like shit as much. Now I need to start eating healthy.
I also need to start lifting weights regularly. I never liked it in the first place, but I also sweat probably 3x more than the average person, so it takes a while to make sure I get my station wiped down at the gym, so I usually just skip that. I'm looking into getting some weights at home so I don't have that as an excuse anymore. I don't have much room, so I'm thinking of getting this bench
with some dumbbells, and possibly adding this to it
after a bit to help work on my legs more.
If anyone has actually finished reading this and has any suggestions for any other compact weight lifting systems I could look into, I'd appreciate it.