Fitness for diving is something we can often read about in dive magazines, blogs, or popular dive web-sites and advice columns. In hand with proper training, and experience, fitness should be considered just as important, and maintaining yourself for diving should be as much of a priority as maintaining your regulators.
I, however, have to admit while recognizing the importance of health and fitness in diving, I am guilty of not giving it the level of importance that I should. I am over weight, and not a couple of pounds, I could lose 100lbs to get into what would be my medically approved weight range. I have let my cardio slide, as well as my strength. I feel it, in my knees, in my back, on those warm days lugging gear around, especially my steel 130’s, there is that voice in my head going, ” hey buddy, you’re outta shape”. Then there is that other voice ” you’re in your 40’s, now or never, don’t wait for a heart attack to send you the message”. Both are true and I need to listen to them, and so I am.
I am taking a bit of a self imposed hiatus from diving this winter. I will still jump in the river, assuming there is no ice, for a dive on a nice winter day, but as for travelling to Florida for caves, or anywhere else, that is on hold until the spring. There are various reasons for this self imposed hiatus, I need to put some focus on some things closer to home and family right now, but as part of that my plan is also to get in better shape.
I will be working with a personal trainer and nutrition advisor, as well with a couple of close friends who are very into fitness, and will kick my ass when required to make sure I keep at it. Also I have made this big proclamation on my Facebook page about losing weight and being in much better shape by the time I head on a my planned trip to cave country at the end of April. Kind of a word to my friends in Florida that they will see a whole new me and having not seen me in over a year they will be blown away. I guess now I have to live up to that, I mean once its on Facebook, you own it now.
I have already started out, getting a fitness plan from my trainor, got my starting weight, did a fitness test with friend. So I have my baseline to improve from so I am off to the races.
Initially I am starting out being pretty strict about my diet, not a doing a fad diet or anything of that nature, but measuring amounts, and looking at calories. I am doing this for two reasons, first I would like to shed about 20lbs quickly, but smartly, and second, it will really help in getting a better idea of how much I should be consuming. Portion control is my biggest failing. I am not a drive thru, fast food person, I generally eat healthier stuff, I just eat way to much of it.
I have not set massive goals, this is the other side of success, be realistic. As I said I could lose 100lbs and that would put me in a healthy weight according to the BMI standard. Starting out with a goal of 100lbs however, can be daunting, so for now I am going to try and lose that initial 20lbs. After that, by end of April when I head to cave country, I would like to be in the 280’s. That will be a challenge, but it is certainly doable. Also of great importance in my goal is how I feel. My goal includes having more strength and endurance. Less back and knee pain, and an easier job of lugging my gear to the water and suiting up. Your goals in weight loss and better fitness should be more than fixating on a number, it is also about how you feel, blood pressure and hearts rates. Improvements in those areas even if the number on the scale does not drop as fast as you might like are still improvements.
I will update my progress here, as well as on my Facebook page. Not so much because I think everyone really wants to read about it, but because it keeps me honest.
So here I go, and by end of April we will see how far I have come.