Originally Posted by BradMM
I mostly wanted to create public accountability for myself! :-)
Great idea. I've made that choice often myself, with the most risky occasion being early in 2006, just before my 55th birthday, when I posted that my goal for the year was to win one or more USMS Open Water championships, break one or more national age records and win a medal in Masters World
Championships--pretty audacious stuff for a guy with a long history of not much distinction as an athlete. Six months later I'd accomplished all.
You've received much good advice here. I'll offer up a bit from experience. For weight loss, I'd advocate you emphasize dietary changes - Andy's advice on minimizing sugars, simple carbs and starches is right on. But for your swimming, rather than thinking of burning calories, focus solely on:
1) Continuously improving your form, feel and self-awareness.
2) Doing what makes you happiest. For me that has been creating the transcendent moments known as Flow States.
When I achieved my performance goals in 2006, it was by pursuing those two goals. Going faster was a natural outcome of doing that.