This is a prequel to my previous post “Fitness 3.0”. I wanted to document my previous forays into fitness, nutrition & loosing a bunch of weight over the last 10 or so years.
It all started well, exactly 10 years ago in ’04. I found myself about as overweight as I’d ever been. My spouse at the time had been pretty focused on making ends meet and being frugal. Also, for the previous 5 years I’d started a job and commute that was very sedentary. The job also had entailed a lot of long hours and being fed by the company (and me finding it very hard to refuse free food so I ate a lot of it). So we started using the Weight Watchers point system though we didn’t actually sign up for WW. We had been more focused on cheap, plentiful food from the grocery store and not counting calories at all. Safeway brand soda, Top Raman, Mac n Cheese (Our kids were in the 12-15 year age range). So we found ourselves eating lots of veggie soup, it was cheap and low WW points. And started cutting out the soda and replacing with water. Further, I’d had started to have back problems and at one point had to stay home from work one day with a lower back pain so bad I could not move!
Phase two began when my company moved to brand new facilities with a sparkling new gym. Up until that point I had not set foot in a gym. My previous experience with a gym was when I was about 15 or so and paid for a 3 month membership and went like 2 times maybe. I was very reluctant but made myself a commitment that if I were to join this clean, new gym at work I would go every day! Not waste the $30 a month I was spending and actually use it. And I acquired a book called “The Worlds Fittest you”. (http://www.amazon.com/The-Worlds-Fittest-You-Decker/dp/0451214013). It taught me about not just basic fitness and nutrition but about a few very important points about the challenge of getting your self fit. Balance and variety. To find the right balance of weight training and cardio and variety and the concept of something called muscle confusion as well as keeping yourself from getting bored. I always had a hard time keeping my attention on something, I get bored easily. So that really stuck with me. Also, your muscles get bored easily. I would see people at the gym doing the exact same thing every single time they were there. That would bore me to tears. Also, your muscles get bored too! If you keep doing the same repetitive motion every single day, your muscles don’t ever change. I won’t keep on about this, there’s plenty of info on this out there, seek it out, it’s good stuff! Once I’d started working out though my back problems went away and I’d started to feel really great. The weight started to really come off due to the nutrition and exercises I was getting and I began seeing results.
So the next phase began when we learned about clean, whole, unprocessed food and organic, natural nutrition and the role of processed food and even chemicals around us. We really started to get healthy and not get sick, and to really care about what we were putting into and onto our bodies. If we couldn’t pronounce it we wouldn’t put it anywhere near us! Well, we tried as much as we could anyway. It’s not always easy.
At this point I was really doing well, getting more fit and healthier than I’d ever been before. But I’d seemed to hit a wall and was not really changing much past a certain point. So I made two more changes right around the same time: I quit drinking alcohol and we had also decided to try going veterinarian and then vegan. It wasn’t as difficult as I’d imagined. It took a little bit of creativity in the kitchen and a bit of willpower to hang out with friends and not drink. I began to really feel pretty amazing and had a clear head and heart. And at this point I don’t necessarily believe veganism is the end all and be all and I am no longer practicing that but I do believe that it was more about the fact that I was eating a lot of veggies and fruit than that I wasn’t eating meat. And as for alcohol, well I just like it too much! haha. But everything in moderation of course. But at the end of that one year period of no booze and no meat, I had a someone life-changing event. My send marriage ended. Needless to say that sorta threw me off the no-booze/meat wagon. But at one point during the roughest part of the ending of the marriage, I weighed 152lbs. the minimum safe weight for my height is 149. Though I was happy to have lost that much weight (I started my journey back up there at the top at 182lbs) it was time to balance things out.
But then came a period of my life post-marriage where i found myself partying maybe a bit too much and in that 5-6 year period I’d slacked off a fair amount on the working out and the eating right. There were times I’d jump back on the bandwagon, I did BB Insanity and The Asylum (Vol1), I ran the Bay to Breakers 4 times and so I didn’t completely loose my way but I’m not about 3-4 weeks in to phase 3.0 and counting calories and journaling my food and working out 6 days a week. My goal is to get as close to 160lbs but not go much farther than that. I’m feeling great and it’s a good time in my life right now. It’s all about balance and variety! Fitness and moving every day is very important but it’s really all about what you put in your body!
Here are my personal fitness/nutrition guides I tell anyone who wants to get healthy:
DRINK WATER! I try to drink a big glass of water before every meal. I also drink lots of water when I sing or workout.
FRUIT/VEG IN EVERY MEAL! I really try to have a least one fruit or veggie at every meal.
5-6 SMALL MEALS THROUGH THE DAY! I try to break it up so I have like 2 small breakfasts (one is maybe a smoothie or cereal bar), 2 small lunch dishes and a rather smallish dinner.
MOVE EVERY DAY! Well, always take one rest day but do some kind of physical exercise every day. Walking is one of the most perfect exercises!
BOOZE IN MODERATION! You could get really crazy and not drink booze at all but let’s not talk crazy now, shall we?! Just like your food, just watch the booze intake. Stick with the clearest booze you can (vodka n soda water), beer (hey, it’s better than sugary soda!). No more than 3 drinks in a day, certainly not every day (though right now that’s a tough one for me ha). Maybe even get to the point where you only drink on the weekends.