So today is the 6 months anniversary for my choice to make a lifestyle change!! I have been on this road to longer, healthier and more satisfying life for 6 months! And I have to tell you, I could not be happier than I was when I decided to look back at the progress I have made, the changes in mind and spirit, and the physical changes as well. I can honestly say that I am a significantly different person today than I was on July 18, 2010. Let’s take a look at some of the differences that I am most proud of.
1. I am pretty sure, without any kind of evidence to back this claim up, that I was regularly taking in probably in the neighborhood of 4,000 calories a day! Not only that, but these were some severely terrible calories too. McDonald’s breakfast crap, the breakfast crap from the little store I worked at, Burger King and McDonalds and Wendy’s combo “deals”, hot dogs, buns and sweet relish by the dozens a week, and the list just goes on and on. Notice I didn’t mention any fruits, vegetables or salads in there? Me too!
2. When I decided to get the exercise portion of my lifestyle change rolling, I was in way worse shape than I had imagined to be honest. I walked around my block twice, which equals just a little over a mile on that first day. I kid you not, I was winded, my legs were jelly, and my back was tight as a drum on the second lap. I had dreams of being a jogger even back then, but about a month in, I had relegated myself to being a really good walker as my goal. Today, well I shed that negative attitude, and now I am a jogger! I jogged the hills in Texas I talked about last week! Not only that, I jogged the 2 ½ miles of hils in 29 minutes!! I have concluded that while I have started my jogging on the treadmill, I am going to love it when the weather cooperates with me and I can get out for outside jogs. I also am fairly certain that I jog faster with no numbers in front of me or the treadmill “holding me back”. Hahaha!
3. I cannot even try to fit into my old clothes anymore. I am not a rich man and so my clothes buying has been slow and steady for the past few months. I am starting to get some guff at work for trying to keep wearing the bigger shirts for a few more weeks. They literally look that bad on me. I can’t tuck them in and arrange them so they don’t look too bad anymore. They are huge. I am not. This formula does not make for a professional look. To supplement this, I have now bought two “office shirts” in XL. Sadly, they both are starting to show signs of being too big too….. can’t frikkin win!
4. My body has changed drastically! I suppose this is the biggest of them all but not my most favorite to be honest. I will get to that one. I think I do have issues with my self body image and my real actual body appearance. I cannot for the life of me comprehend that my XL shirts are too big. I kind assumed under all that fat was still a “big boned guy”. I suppose I have exposed that as a myth! I now own on size Large shirt but apparently need more! I am also shocked at the fact my shoulders, they are square shaped now! I have always had round shoulders, I suspect due to the fact I couldn’t put my arms down to my side property because of my side boobs! I still have remnants of side boobs, but they are not as prominent as they used to be!
5. Finally, my favorite change. I am not a slave to food. I have come to grips with my love for food. I have not beat that out of me. Food is meant to be enjoyed. It helps us socialize. It has been proven you like the people you eat with more than those you don’t. Buuuuut, food had taken over my existence essentially, and that is how I got where I was. The thing in all this I am most proud of is the fact that food has no power over me anymore. I can give a very recent example. In the beginning, I had to be on guard at all times and I could not let myself indulge a little, I could not give an inch! I had this huge fear that one slip, one step off that path and I was screwed! I would go right back to combo deals and late night hot dog fests and it would be all over. I now know, a day of indulgence does not a failure make. Cue yesterday, January 17, 2011. I had gotten back late from Texas on Sunday evening. Didn’t get to bed till late, got up early, it was just not my routine at all. When I woke up, I felt crappy but I just figured it was because I had gotten less sleep than usual. I got myself extra coffeed up and made a go of it at the office, but it became apparent that it was not just tiredness, I felt crappy cause I was sick! I couldn’t ascertain whether the feeling in my face and chest were more uncomfortable or my stomach doing crazy things was the bigger problem, I just knew I was out for the day. One decision I did make was that I was not going to do the dry heaving thing! So I took off my usual constraints for the day and I let myself eat. I didn’t bother to be OCD and track. I just let myself eat when I felt like it and I didn’t make decisions based on quality of calories. Well actually on a side note here, this lifestyle has gotten to the household as well because I didn’t actually have any unhealthy food in the house so that is one of the other big deals in all this, but I digress to my point. So I had fiber bars, whole wheat bread peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Special K cereal, one of those Healthy Choice soups, etc. It was a day of just eat and not be accountable. The worst thing I did was say in for a penny, in for a pounds and had Kathy bring me five tacos from Taco Bell. The old me would have decided that that was the end of it all. But not this guy. I got up this morning, got right back on the treadmill, got the weight lifting routine back in action and am right back to food tracking and exercise planning. It was a conscious choice to not be on guard for one day, and it was another conscious choice to get right back on guard as it were. That is the biggest difference I could have ever expected to get from all of this. That is what I am hanging my hat on and heading towards maintenance phase with when I get there!