#Chasing25 – getting started
I don’t know the exact date but sometime in mid-November I found myself starting to step on a scale and in my mind, I was expecting the read out to be 218 or maybe 220. Nurse looks up and says “235, that’s the heaviest we’ve ever weighed you at”. I was in slight shock thinking there was no way but honestly, I knew I was heavier…just not that much heavier. So as I waited for the Doc to come in, I just knew I had to make a change. Not a “go on a diet” change but a lifestyle change. I was tired of my weight going up and down, starting back to regular exercise only to stall out after three or four weeks. Sitting in that office is when I decided to make the change.
I would love for the narrative to be something like – and from that day till now I have maintained a healthy eating and workout routine. That however, is not the case. November and December are not the optimum times for introducing yourself to a healthy way of living. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years coming up I wasn’t about to pretend I could suddenly be successful in creating a healthier lifestyle. I was more mindful of my food intake and I was trying to get on my bike more but I hate riding in cold weather. Honestly, I just hate cold weather and anything below 50 is cold to me!
I shared this in an earlier post but it wasn’t until March that I really started to get serious about making the change. I spent a lot of time researching nutritional information and workout routines focusing on those articles or stories that were centered around sustainable long-term changes. For weight training I found this guide called The Ultimate Full Body Training Guide by Merujan Gevorgian (which I have a pdf if your interested). I love this workout schedule and it has been something I have been able to maintain since April. I have not missed more than one session in any week since I started.
As far as eating healthier I didn’t want another diet I wanted something that Lisa and I could implement as a new way of eating. Something that would just simply become our eating lifestyle. Thankfully, our Chiropractors (and friends), Dr. Joe and Dr. Deb own Sugar Hill Spine and Wellness and are simply two amazing people that genuinely care about their people. They are the ones who introduced Lisa and me to Meta Life System. For me (us) it was exactly what I was looking for. A way to change my eating habits and create a healthier eating lifestyle.
The introductory meeting to Meta Life System was to help us understand how foods work together and/or against each other and how that, in turn affects our body. It was the first time I really started to understand and look at food as a tool. And depending on how I use that tool, will determine how I look and feel physically. Having the new knowledge base helped me view my daily diet in a whole a new way.
I share this because for me it was the first time I understood how my body is utilizing the food I put it in and not just blindly assuming that whatever diet I was on was good for me. Now I know how to adjust my eating depending on how my body is responding. I still have a lot to learn but I now understand which foods I need to eat, how much and how often to maximize a healthy diet for my body.
So when I kicked of this new way of life my start weight was 230 lbs. and my physical makeup overall was less than stellar. This was mid to late April. Over the next twelve weeks I saw dramatic improvement in not only weight loss but in my overall physical makeup. Combined with my physical workouts (I average 4 to 5 workouts per week) and new eating lifestyle, my current weight fluctuates between 208 and 215. I wish that I had had the courage to take a full body picture before I started this journey so that I could take a current pic now to compare. Some of the changes are subtle while others are quite noticeable. The biggest change for me however, is in my mental well being as I simply feel better, have more energy and totally enjoy this process.
I hope this post encourages you where ever you happen to be on your journey to keep striving for your goals. In the past it was easy for me to get discouraged because I kept wanting the end result now. Since April I have taken this day by day. Yes, I have long-term goals but I’ve realized that I can only achieve today’s goals – today. I’ll share more about what my physical activities look like in my next post. In the meantime you can follow my progress on Instagram.
Peace and thanks for reading,
The picture above was taken, I believe in 2012, while I was on a mission trip in Haiti. It was after seeing this picture when I returned home that I knew I had to make a change in my diet and lifestyle. Although I have always been active it was obvious by this pic that some changes needed to happen in my life soon or I was going to be a facing a myriad of health issues in my very near future.
Obviously I am slow learner as it has taken me six years to finally reach a point where I know I have a pretty healthy lifestyle and don’t have to start sucking my gut in whenever a camera suddenly appears. I would say from 2012 to 2015 my weight was a constant yo-yo ranging from 210 – 235. During these early days of wanting to make a change, sugar was and still is my biggest struggle to control. I slowly weened myself off adding sugar to my coffee until I was finally able to drink my coffee black. Nowadays I will occasionally add a teaspoon or so and other times I’ll add a dash or 2 of Caramel creamer of some sort.
Coffee was one of four things that I knew I needed to eliminate from my daily intake. The other four are Sweet Tea, Cereal, Milk and Bread. I’m a pretty typical southern redneck gentlemen. My momma raised me on all four of these staples along with a heavy dose of southern fried everything else! My mom was truly a great cook and it was rare for our family of four to have leftovers growing up.
My special love toward sweet tea was instilled in me at a very young age and was something that I had never really considered not enjoying. But I can honestly say, finally, in 2018 sweet tea is now something I have on the rare occasion when I am out somewhere and just want a change of pace. For the most part, I’ll drink water, wine or the occasional beer. I’m fortunate but I’m not really into soft drinks.
This will be strange to some but one of my biggest food weaknesses is cereal and milk. Along with Oreo’s, it wasn’t until they started putting Servings Per Container on packaging that I realized these weren’t just one offs for eating. I wish I was kidding but as Frosted Flakes, Oreo’s and Keebler Danish Wedding Cookies can attest, I would routinely finish off a box of or carton of these items in one or two sittings at most. I will from time to time still enjoy some Oreo’s but I can’t remember the last time I had a bowl of cereal. Yea me.
I used to drink a ton of milk. Milk with eggs, cereal, cookies, PB&J, or to just quench my thirst. For me nowadays, its mostly Almond Milk. As a treat I will sometimes partake of a PB&J with a tall glass of milk. So it is, that the hardest of these things for me to not ingest as ended up being bread. I LOVE BREAD. Croissant. Sure. Oh, you have bagels, cool. Would you like a roll with your dinner? Just one? – Toast with jelly? you betcha! And growing up we had sandwiches of all kinds. If you name any combination that can be put between two slices of bread chances are I’ve had it!
As I said earlier, it’s taken me six years to get to where I feel really good about the things I eat and drink. At first glance, I know that seems like a long time but consider it this way – it ONLY took me six years to change the habits I had been working on for forty-six. My point in all this is this – in the last three years especially, I have been able to change my attitude about food, and truly purposed to eat better. I have taken the time to learn about nutrition and how foods work together or against each other.
The journey is not easy but I hope this will encourage you to start now, wherever you are, change can begin today. I’ll share a little more in the next post about specific steps my wife and I took beginning this past April to improve our daily eating habits even more. Till then, take care.
Peace and thanks for reading,