A week ago I decided to go back to basics in another aspect of my life… fitness and nutrition.
Over the last 5 years or so, I have really enjoyed myself by trying all sorts of interesting programs. The first, which was actually 10 years ago or more, was South Beach Diet. And it worked fine, but just wasn’t the right thing at the right time for me.
Then, about 5 years ago, I made a New Year’s resolution. I joined Planet Fitness and started working out. No other real changes, just that. And I started losing weight. But I was BORED to tears. Nothing against them, I just needed more.
I saw a commercial where a guy was sprinting, hitting a tire with a sledgehammer, climbing a rope, and jumping on a box. I started looking and found CrossFit. I walked into CrossFit at about 300 pounds. I had just really let myself go. It was really disappointing. I walked in and asked the coach (who I am still buddies with) “Hey, is this for big guys, or just little fellas?” He laughed and assured me I was good to go. I went Paleo and worked out 5 to 6 days a week for anywhere from 20 mins to an hour each day.
6 months after starting, I dropped to 254 pounds. And plateaued.
The problem with that is I didn’t understand why. I felt like I didn’t have the energy I did and I wanted to get stronger. So I decided to complicate things.
Since then, I have played with all sorts of eating styles and workout programs. I got strong as heck and then injured. Had setbacks here and there. Marginal results. But never duplicated that 1st time.
The thing is though that…you know…how could I? When I first started I was eating like a fast food critic and basically sedentary. My body was primed for crazy change! The problem for me came when the results weren’t happening fast enough. And then when I went from “I want to be healthy and run with my kids” to “I want to be the most powerful CrossFitter in the world!”. And injured and 280 I went. Frustrated.
So, since I am going back to basics with so much, I have designed a workout program for myself that is simple and easy to follow and went back to eating whole, good foods from good sources. In the first week, I have lost 7 pounds, and that was with a very southern Easter feast mixed in.
There are no post-workout shakes. In fact, I am not starting the workouts yet. Just walking. Next week I will begin the full program I designed.
So, here’s what we are going to do with this. I have taken before pictures. Uncomfortable, horrible, real pictures that I am not posting quite yet. However, I will track the progress through photos and show the before and after at the 30-day mark.
I can tell you that my diet is basically meat and veggies with some fruit sometimes. Black coffee. And healthy fats. And it is DELICIOUS.
I think that is the one thing I really want people to keep in mind here. This is not about counting macros or anything else right now. It is about getting lean protein, healthy fats, and LOTS of veggies. Eat until you are almost full, which feels a LOT different without processed food. To understand that, eat ssslllooowwwwllllyyyyy. Eat mindfully. Eat with purpose while thinking of how these things are fueling your body, visualizing them helping your body and turning it into a leaner machine.
Here is the main goal in this:
Get and keep a healthy relationship with food and its role in your life!
Look, this isn’t about never again eating fast food or cheesecake. It’s about understanding why you aren’t eating like that every day. It’s about treating your food like what it is. It is fuel for your body (machine). Here’s what I mean.
When your car runs out of oil or fuel, you know it. All the signals are there. It is time to get more fuel.
If you put the wrong or dirty fuel in, your car runs awful. It is sluggish and sputters. No oil? The engine seizes up and is done. But put in the right fuel and oil? Your car gets better gas mileage. It runs better. It even lasts longer! Perfect! Let’s do that.
Now think of overfilling the gas tank. When the tank gets full, it triggers you to stop adding fuel. Well, what if that trigger is broken or, worse, ignored? Well, you overfill the tank and gas runs everywhere. All of that gas on the ground around you is what turns to fat in your body. You just need to fill your tank and move on.
Because of processed foods, many of us have broken full triggers. We are used to “Thanksgiving full”. That full where you loosen your belt and can’t eat another bite. I just did that at Easter! But that is not the feeling we are striving for every meal. All we want is to feel satiated. To know we are not hungry anymore. And that’s where eating mindfully will help. You will begin to notice your body has its own trigger, even with these nutrient-dense, non-bloating foods. It will take time, but it will happen.
I encourage all of you to take your time. Eat your meal slowly, a bite at a time. As a former Marine, I am TERRIBLE at this part. But I am improving. And so is my machine. And yours will as well. You will feel the food begin to nourish, picture it filling your tank, noticing how much better it feels when it is well-chewed. And that is where the magic will start to happen!
Then start walking. Sleep longer. Turn off the tv and read or play with your family. Go climb a tree with them or just play tag. Or go for a walk.
More on my program later and progress coming down the road. But I want to leave you with a single goal for now.
Change just one thing this week. Just one. A goal that you can meet quickly. Unsure what to change? Try one of these:
- Drink one less soda or sweet drink
- Eat a veggie instead of fries
- Eat an extra veggie
- Drink an extra water every day
- Get up and walk once per hour (this is mine!)
We all have to start somewhere. Start with a small goal, crush that, then add another.
I know you can do this. I believe in you. Huge change always starts with the smallest detail.
Let me know what the one thing you are changing will be. And give a yell if you need help choosing.
Now…START YOUR ENGINES!