A major life change is somewhat scary unless you have a plan to tackle it head on. I did, and am now taking life by the throat and laughing at fear’s face. Challenge accepted!
Just after participating in the Cupid’s Undie Run on Valentine’s weekend I decided that I needed a change. Not just giving up something for Lent (if you observe that) that we all go back to doing once it’s over. Not just something for a short while. Not just a New Year’s resolution kind of thing that fades. A real change. It’s never too late. A dramatic one that might just define my life moving forward.
Looking at the many pictures of myself at that event it was obviously clear that I had fallen into a rut. I was fat, bloated, and a bit tired looking. Stress at work, long hours, eating poorly, partying too much, and not getting enough sleep can wear down even the strongest of warriors. I have always thought of myself as indestructible, and my friends used to sometimes wonder how I kept it up. I was getting sick and tired of feeling like crap and knew the time had come. Especially as a guy who has recently hit a certain age I knew that I needed to treat my body better. The human body is a very resilient machine, but a machine needs to be taken care of, and maintained, or it breaks down like any other.
On February 15th the process of Phil 2.0 was initialized……
We can rebuild him……
We have the technology……
Here we are now six weeks later. It’s just an amazing feeling being back to my real self. Seeing the results in the mirror. Experiencing the results in the gym, and while out running the pavement. Dropping two pants sizes and now need to go clothes shopping – a love /hate thing there for us guys. Seeing the numbers change in the right direction on the scale. Feeling strong, fit, confident, and better than I have in a long time!
I started this journey six weeks ago determined to succeed, and so far I have been rewarded far beyond my expectations. Getting on the scale this morning I have now dropped 17 pounds! Most of it unwanted body fat, while still maintaining muscle mass and strength. I am right in the safe zone for weight loss by losing 2-3 pounds a week. I feel more energetic each day, eating right, and getting better sleep. I feel awake and alive!
There is no magic bullet, or diet fad, or simple trick to attain fitness results. It’s called hard word, dedication, and persistence. You must put in the time and effort to attain results. Each day, and week, calories out must exceed calories in. No skipping workouts. Cardio is a must. It’s called sweat equity. Even if you’re not in the mood find the motivation to get moving and do it. There really are no excuses. It’s just plain and simple hard work that garners results. You must sweat to make it happen. You must increase your metabolic rate so your body is burning calories while even at rest. Be consistent.
I run multiple nights a week at 3+ miles a clip. Ran a 5K race successfully a week ago, and entered for two more coming up. I hate running but still look forward to my run tonight! I’m kind of liking it more and more. It’s actually a good time to clear my head and rest my mind a bit. Gym time is sacred to me, and I schedule my weight training as if it’s a part of my everyday routine. No matter how late I get home from work I still make sure I train, whether it’s a run or banging the iron.
Six weeks ago I changed my whole nutritional intake. No more red meats, processed fatty and high caloric meals, fried foods, sugar laden foods, white flours, pastries, junk food, etc. In its place now is a diet that is lean protein based (fish/seafood), fruits, nuts, steamed vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, yams, low-cal/low-fat/low carb options, protein shakes, lots of water, etc. My body physically, and my mind mentally, feels so much better. Am I a Pescatarian now? Maybe for the time being.
I cut back drastically on the beer and booze intake and it’s made a world of difference. In these six weeks I have had just one beer and two glasses of wine. Yes, really. No red meats at all, and honestly I don’t miss it. Again, yes, really! No more red meat, or chicken or turkey. Unbelievable, right? Good thing I love fish! Cod, salmon, tilapia, etc.
I cook at home now a lot for dinner. I have taught myself how to prepare simple, tasty, and healthy meals. Chef Phil in the house! The kid has skills! We plan a date night and only go out to eat once a week. Even our weekly cheat meal is still not that bad. At the movies we just share a diet soda. It’s about doing all the little things that add up to make a difference. It’s a lifestyle change that we both needed, and what a better time to start than in winter so that when summer rolls around we are ahead of the game. Along with improving our overall health it’s a game plan we are sticking with for the long run.
I know that we have declined invites to go out with friends a lot lately, or even had to blow off some that we were thinking of joining, so I apologize and ask that you all be patient. We love our friends and miss everyone, but at this point in our lives we need to do this for ourselves, and for our health. I’ll be back in due time to hang out and have fun. Ripped and in killer shape for summer shenanigans!
If I can do this anyone can! Thanks for all your support!
Summer is just around the corner. So, what are you doing now to make a difference in your life for the better?