The Secret of My Healthsess -or- That Text From Greg Started It
A friend of mine texted me the other day asking about my fitness regimen. I don’t talk much about my weight loss on social media. Plus, the first rule of Fit Club is shut the hell up about Fit Club! I’m not out to gain attention with my tale of cut calories and worn out running shoes. My journey is a bit selfish really. It’s all about me! It’s a personal journey. And yet… it’s nice when someone you haven’t seen in a while says, “Wow! You’ve really lost weight!” Of course, it leaves me thinking, “was I that much of a fat ass when I weighted 225?” Sigh. I’ve NEVER been good at taking a compliment. It’s just awkward.
Anyhoo, it got me thinking that if a couch-surfing troglodyte like myself can lose thirty plus pounds in a few months, why not share the secret of my success with others.
Now for the DISCLAIMER: I’m NO fitness guru. I’m NO kinesiologist. And the last time I checked I had no Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. What I do have is a thirst for knowledge and a keen eye for the philosophy of what works for me.
First of all, I think it’s important to know that I’m not one for trends, fads and/or gimmicks. I’ve never tried PX90, I did Cross Fit for an hour one day then quit, I don’t own a FitBit and I’ve never used Bowflex. I don’t even check my heart rate on the elliptical. Here’s the skinny on what I DO do to keep fit:
I run 5 to 10K a maximum of 3 times a week. I say “maximum” because if I run more than that I’ll lose more weight than I’d like to. I’m built for running but too much of it and my achilles end up a killing me. I need time to heal my heels in between runs.
I hit up the gym two to three times a week. I’m trying to get away from the dumbbells – and I don’t mean the meatheads in my gym. I’m doing research on workouts using my own bodyweight. I won’t go into detail but this way I can work out virtually anywhere and I find it a LOT more interesting than pushing plates on a bar. It consists of mainly of chin ups, pull ups, dips, a variety of pushup styles, multi-positioned planks, burpees (God, I hate these), mountain climbers, flutter kicks, deep squats (with medicine ball), etc, etc, etc. My bodyweight routine is always changing/expanding. Oh, and I beat the snot out of the heavy bag in my basement. I HIGHLY recommend adding a heavy bag to your workout but be careful. If you don’t punch it properly you could injure yourself in the form of a broken wrist. Start slow, work on your form then go all Eye of the Tiger on it. And invest in hand wraps and heavy bag gloves.
Most of my friends know that I’m a man who loves a good burger. In fact, I love all kinds of unhealthy foods. Having said that, I still partake in the odd beef patty here and there but it’s NOT like it used to be. These days I may eat a burger once or twice over a thirty day period. I have cheat days which are usually Friday nights or Saturday nights.
I eat only one meal a day – dinner. Everything prior to dinner consists of snacking several times a day on mainly ONE ingredient foods. It’s comparable in some ways to the Caveman or Paleo diet – foods that existed pre-agriculture days. I eat lots of fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts, hardboiled eggs, beans and non-processed meats. I try to eat NOTHING processed but it’s tough. I’ll have a bowl of multi-grain Cheerios in almond milk (I know it’s processed but for the most part it’s healthy). I eat a banana and 0% MF Greek yogurt (with NO fruit) mixed into muesli when I get to work. I snack through the morning on raw snap peas or green beans, an apple here and there. Around 11:00am I have a bean or quinoa salad or kale and edamame bean salad. I’ll pick away at a chicken breast throughout the day. Another banana and a yogurt in the afternoon and maybe some seeds and walnuts as well. Then dinner (usually whatever my wife has ready when I come home). I don’t eat ANYTHING after dinner. This is key!! It’s ridiculously easy to snack in the evening while couching it.
I’ve cut out beer… for the most part. I’ll have a scotch maybe once a week or bi-weekly. I’m starting to make my own bean salads to save a bit of money. I cook some chicken on the weekends to eat through the week or I buy a cooked chicken from the grocery store which will usually last me two days. If I eat out during the day – as I sometimes do – I have a place I go that makes healthy stuff like fish, chicken and bean/quinoa/pasta salads. I’ve cut out virtually all refined sugar and bread. This in itself is HUGE! I recently cut out dairy as I sometimes suffer from acne issues and my research has pointed to milk as one culprit. Again, I’m no scholar but I’ll cut it out a while and see if it works for me. Lots of other good foods to get calcium from.
It’s important to know that I AM STILL HUMAN!! I have moments of weakness where I’ll indulge in all things bad for me. But the next day I’m back on the wagon and my workouts are that much more intense. It’s true when they say, “you get out of it what you put into it.” But again, all the above is simply just what works for me.
And then there’s will power… But I can’t help you with that. That’s all about YOU.