RE: Out of shape beginner....need help :-)
Thanks for your input here.
Getting input and feedback from a sailor who is currently working to get beyond precisely the same issues and problems as the sailor who's asked the question is really the most relavent advice possible.
I only see one item in your post that I would take issue with.
Are you still "sheeting in" by pulling in with your back hand?
Want to make the "sheeting in" process even easier and more precise, as well as getting you ready for the next level (hooking in to a harness)?
Once you get your rig to the balance position (I'm not quite certain that you are really getting to a fully balanced position as big guys have alot of muscle so they have difficulty finding the tiny nuances of a truly "balanced on the mast foot" rig.
So, when you have moved your feet back and are in your comfortable stance (this will be very stable, so there's no hurry here) try this.
Tip the rig until the mast is vertical (front to back) but the mast extends well to the upwind side of the board (side to side). Take your hands off the boom and see what the rig does. If you "get it correctly balanced" the rig will simply stand there balanced like a top on the mastfoot. You can even clap your hands together and the rig will still be standing.
Now it's truly balanced, and you are ready to sheet in and go.
But, instead of "pulling in" with your back hand, try to rotate your upper body so your shoulders stay parallel with the center line (center of the mast to the centerline of the boom tailpiece at the clew) of the rig.
Only rotate about 5-10 degree, NOT MORE!
Your rig will power up and your board will sail away across the wind.
There is no need to sheet in more, unless you head your board upwind.
Use only 1 or 2 fingers on your back hand so you remain sensitive to when the rig is powered (sheeted in to the correct degree to make the maximum forward drive and the minimum sideways (downwind) force.
You will move alot faster, with alot less effort as you are now sheeting in so that you are always getting the best forward drive and the least sideways "pull". The sideways pull may seem like it's making your go faster, but until you are planing in the footstraps and sailing faster than the windspeed (on the apparent wind) sheeting in further than the max. forward drive angle just slows you down and uses up your energy fighting the sideways pull.
Hope this helps,