Last fall I started a modest running program, just trying to find my lungs. This spring, started fresh with it and realized how quickly you lose whatever shape you're in when idle. Being closer to 50 than 40 (FUCK), with my most continuous form of exercise this past quarter century involving lifting alcohol to the liver-funnel, it's been a slow go. Running a low impact style (sort of my own variation on chi/evolution) with minimal footwear (aqua shoes). This has helped me avoid shin splints, knee and ankle pain, and I have felt my foot and calf muscles adjust to the exteroreceptive requirements that heavily padded shoes take away: the springy muscles of foot and calf are responsible for absorbing impact, and releasing that energy back on push-off. I can crack walnuts between my toes now.
Three setbacks. First, about a month ago, was a ripped calf muscle. Felt the pop, could not go on. This on the run after my first 3 miler of the season, and all going well. Luckily, grade 1, healed up quickly, back running in a week, no pain or tightness at all after 2 weeks. Second, tried running completely barefoot, and a mile out found that while my soles are leathery, my toes (which really work on the push-off) are not. Bloody fuckin stumps, can't even tell you how many layers of dermis lost. Blackened bits of jerky flap just hanging off. Bandaged them up, and was running again in about 3 days, all healed in a week. Third, the weather. I can hardly breathe in 100F weather, much less think about running.
The good is that my distance has improved. Last year, if I could do a mile continuously I was happy. I didn't get much running in last year, but with more runs I do a mile and a half as a short "blow the dust off," and get to 3 miles on the weekends, with hopes to get to 5 or 6 by fall. Speed and form are slowly improving. Weeks of problematic calf tightness preceding the muscle tear seem to have eased up. Good leg muscle definition.
All this has had little effect on weight per se.
I do think that the calories in, calories out mathematics is flawed, as previously noted (Gary Taubes, "Good Calories, Bad Calories" states the case better than I can). I continue to tweak the diet, moving away from refined carbs, with my fondness for drink likely the constraint to loss.
Another birthday in a few weeks. All things considered, I feel pretty good.