My first post in 2014 is one that’s going to be a little different than all of my other posts. Many of my real-life friends read this blog, as do most of my family, and this is an easy way to communicate out important ideas. And if you happen to be a random internet viewer, please read on, not only this post, but my actual food-related posts because that is my passion. Not to mention the reason for this blog in the first place. Another warning that this will probably be a long post (I know I could just add this line in after I write the darn thing, but that’s not how I work.) There is also no real food talk in this post, so keep that in mind too. And now, onto the good stuff.
I’ve struggled with my weight for several years now and I never really cared until semi-recently. In high school, I had crazy high metabolism and could eat anything and have no effect. As it usually does, that changed as I started to get a little older, and I would only really recognize my disgust in photos. I don’t know exactly when it happened, or when I noticed it. I *do* remember a certain mini vacation that I took to Atlanta and took some pics at the Georgia Aquarium. Even to this day, I refer to those photos as “the worst of it.” Again, I don’t know exactly, but my best estimate is that I had somehow managed to reach about 210 pounds. I know this is all relative, but for a guy my size, that is quite a bit of extra padding, if you catch my meaning.
I tried numerous times to get in shape…though I was never really “in shape.” I was just skinny. I did a round of P90X, and though I gave it my all at the time, the results were lacking. I had to use resistance bands for the weight training, since I couldn’t afford the dumbbells, so keeping track of my weights was a little tricky. I didn’t finish P90X, despite my best effort. I probably completed about 75ish days of it, and then culinary school happened. Working full-time and going to the school full-time left me wrecked with no energy, not to mention no real time to do anything. And, since it’s culinary school, I gained back all the weight I lost, of course. I knew it had gotten bad when, towards the end of my time there, I saw…someone… and that person commented “Wow, you’ve gained some weight!” I knew I had, but it hurt to hear that. And of course, I’m keeping that person anonymous to protect them.
Since that time, I tried taking matters into my own hands. After I graduated, I had free time again so I was able to go to the gym again. I would try to go often and tried to watch what I was eating and I was seeing some results. It was enough to keep my going but it never really clicked with me. Something was missing.
I started a new job in September that’s located right behind gym where I workout. At that point, I knew that the time would never be better for me to finally get my ass moving and in shape. I started texting my good friend, Matt Doman, and he pointed me in the direction of the Body-for-Life system. I immediately bought the book, read it, and was committed. I started the 12-week plan on 10/14/2013. I weighed around 194#. I was ready to make a change in my life. Matt has been an amazing resource and mentor for me through this process and I can’t thank him enough. He gives me motivation when I need it, support when I don’t expect it, and advice selflessly. I would find it to be very difficult for to have had any level of success without his help.
Admittedly, it wasn’t easy. I had a few more cheat meals than the plan allowed. But I’m just human, and I love food. I still tried the best I could and the results have been pretty amazing.
For example, the plan had you doing cardio 3x per week for 20 minutes. Those 20 minutes are broken into intervals based on personal intensity level. So, minutes 0-1 are at whatever a level 5 intensity is, minute 2 is 6 intensity, minute 3 is 7 intensity, minute 4 is 8 intensity, minute 5 is 9 intensity. Then it drops back down to 6 intensity and repeats the intervals. It does it again. Then, on the fourth round of intervals, a level 10 intensity is added for one minute, and the final minute is a cool-down minute to bring the heart back down. Then you’re done. I detailed all that because I want to share where I started and where I was this morning on my run. I do all of my cardio on the treadmill I have in my garage, so I get a nice controlled environment for my run.
10/15 was my very first cardio day on the plan. My intensities were: (5) 3.8 mph; (6) 4.3 mph; (7) 5 mph; (8) 5.5 mph; (9) 6 mph; (10) 7.5 mph. I hit my first mile at 11:10, and I covered 1.7 miles, running a pace of 11:45.
I ran this morning: (5) 5.3 mph; (6) 6 mph; (7) 6.7 mph; (8) 7.3 mph; (9) 7.8 mph; (10) 8.6 mph. I hit the first mile in 9:09, and I covered 2.28 miles. I ran a pace of about 8:45.
The numbers don’t lie. I’m running my first 5k this month, too. I’ve had great gains in my weight training too, but those are a little less dramatic than that cardio info. The lowest I saw my weight drop was down to 176#. I almost fainted because that’s the lowest number I’ve seen since at least 2004. Then it jumped back up and is hovering around 183# right now. Something I’m not too terribly worried about. I *did* hit some rough patches during this time, causing me to re-do 2 weeks of the challenge since I got sick. Twice. It was miserable. Not to mention, it was Christmas and I was all hopped up on meds and such.
Why am I putting all this out in the world? It’s because I’m proud of what I’m doing right now. I recognized where I needed to improve and I feel really great about where I am right now. Having a great support system has also been priceless. Also: you don’t need to wait for the new year to make changes in your life. Sure, everyone has that goal, or that resolution to make a change, but if you want it so bad, just go out there and do it. I’m going to keep pushing harder and harder until I reach my goal. And then I’m gonna keep pushing. I know where I’d like to end up by the end of the year, and I have a whole year to work on it. I’m excited to see when I get there.
I’m going to try to keep the blog going as much as I can this year since it’s easier than filming and editing the videos on YouTube. Ultimately, I would prefer to do those, but time being what it is, I don’t know how often that will happen. So, if you happen to see a new video post to my TastyTechniques channel on YouTube, cherish it, because I won’t know when the next one will come out.
I’m also going to be purchasing an exciting food cookery tool at the end of month that I think is going to change my life, no kidding. I look forward to sharing the recipes and techniques with you in 2014!
Thanks for reading, subscribing, or whatever it is you do to read this. I know this post was a little different, and a little exposing, but I just like to keep things honest.