It’s over. I finished my 12-week Body for Life challenge. Feels pretty damn good. All in all, I dropped 41 lbs., gained some good inches, lost some bad ones. Some clothes are just too big now. Clothes that were snug are loose, and I’ve found some old favorites I can fit into again (Colorado Avalanche jersey!)
Here’s the rest of what I summised from my experience.
- I am looking more like the guy I feel like inside. The guy I used to be before I got so fat. And it’s good. I’m much happier with my appearence than I was 12 weeks ago. MUCH happier.
- My energy level has doubled, trippled even for the most parts. The weekends are not spent couching feeling guilty about all the things I want to be doing, or the chores I’m not getting to. I have been making plans, happily attending, having energy, having fun, getting things done, trying new things. It’s all been a great feeling turnaround. I’ve maybe taken 3 naps in the last 12 weeks total. Before I’d take 3 naps a day.
- I am just a week or two away from donning my scuba gear and getting back into the water. Just have to test it all and make sure everything’s still in good working order, and I’m going back. Can’t wait.
- Going to bed early and rising early has been great for me. I pretty much close my eyes at 8pm and get up at 4am daily. Only exception would be if I’ve been out late the night before. I think the lesson here is ample, proper sleep. Fortunately, I sleep very soundly and rarely have a problem going to sleep, but I was definately NOT getting enough before. 5 hours a night at best. Where did I find the 3 hours? TV? Yup…I just had to let a lot of “my shows” go. It didn’t kill me. I’m still here.
- Spinich is delicious. I eat it about every single day.
- I’ve made some positive changes to work habits due to feeling better and increased energy. I don’t know many people who are passionate about their jobs and careers. I know some, but honestly, most aren’t. I used to be, but haven’t been in some time. That passion for the work is coming back and it feels good. My company and myself are benefiting from my lifestyle changes.
- My family & friends tell me regularly how proud they are of me and how good I look. It makes me happy.
- Anyone can do what I do. I spend about 4 hours a week at the gym over 6 days. I train upper body and lower body over 3 days, and do 3 days of cardio. I make getting to the gym a high priority every single day. Before I get there, I have a plan on paper, with me. I know what exercises or machines I’m going to use, how many sets and how many reps, and the amount of weight. I don’t walk around lost doing this-or-that like I see so many people doing. At the end of the workout, I evaluate it. Could I have done more? I make notes on that workout sheet and use them to plan the next workout always shooting for improvement, but never perfection. The hardest part is simply getting on your workout clothes and going. Honestly, it is. And when you’re in regular routine, and form….it’s not even hard. I even look forward to it.
- Eating right was tough for me. I’ve always been a picky eater my entire life and never ever consumed fruits & vegetables other than occasionally. I eat fruit and vegetables every single day and enjoy them. I eat a lot of chicken and lean beef. I eat alot of healthy complex carbohydrates. I don’t count any calories or anything. I look at the size of my palm or my fist and that’s a portion. One protein, one carb, and one serving of fruit or vegetable with most meals, 6 times a day. It is hard to eat that often. Honestly. Before, I was always STARVING in the afternoons right about the time I’d leave work. I’d come home snack on junk food and then have an unhealthy large dinner a couple few hours later. That doesn’t work too well for me. I cook a lot of food at once and put it in tupperware, and just heat it for lunches in the day. I make my hotbreakfast every morning, and take a 2nd portion with me to work. Again, not hard. Just discipline and good habits. I can’t remember the last time I “snacked”. I haven’t felt hungry ever so I guess I just don’t think about it. I used to be a HUGE snacker.
- Here’s the best part. If you screw up? So what? Nothing happens. For whatever reason, you missed a workout. You broke down and ate a cookie, etc. Big deal. Deal with it. The best thing I’ve found is EVERY SINGLE TIME you open yours eyes each morning you get to begin again. Do it better. Learn from your mistakes. The whole slate is wiped clean. It truly is a new day. As long as you’re fully committed to changing, it’s perfectly fine to fall down. If you go into it half-assed, you’ll fail. As long as you’re committed, just get up and charge forward. Who cares?
- On “cheat” day….don’t stuff it in to get as much bad delicious food into you as possible. You’ll feel really shitty, your stomach has shrunk, and it will set you back a bit. This is a day to enjoy the tastes you can’t have regularly anymore, but you still have to be reasonable about it. Took me the first 4 weeks to learn this. I’m a little slow.
- I had one terrible week in Boise, ID working where it was high stress, long hours, and nothing was going right. I missed a whole week of workouts. But I was able to eat healthy. I did the best that I could under the situation. I took a week vacation and went on a long road-trip with my daughter. Again, I missed a whole week of workouts. Fortunately because it was vacation we were out-and-about being active everyday. The places we were at also didn’t offer a bunch of healthy eating opportunities. So I used portion control when I ate. A hamburger and small order of fries fills my belly just fine. There’s simply no need for bacon doublecheeseburger, large fry, and a milkshake. In both those situations, I did “fall off the bike”. But the good news was I was still right there on the path. It was a little hard getting up and dusting my self off, but I got back on the bike and pedaled on. When I was home, it was back to business as usual. Those first few days in the gym were tough, but you fall right back into your groove. If I would’ve fallen off the bike, and let myself roll down the hill…..that’s when it takes me 5 years to get back to a gym. I simply can’t and won’t let that happen again. Vacation and travel can KILL good habits. Know it, accept it, and plan for it. Don’t let it derail you.
- DId I follow the Body for Life program word-for-word? Nope. But it was a great framework and reference tool. I used most of it and adapted it for me.
So now, the 12-week program is over. What do I do? Nothing.
There is no more program….
Tonight, I’m going to go to bed at 8pm. I’m going to get up at 4. I’m going to get ready for work, make a couple breakfasts, pack a couple lunches, watch a little news and be out the door. I’m going to go to work. Kick ass. Come home. Go to the gym. I’m going to eat healthy food. And then do whatever I have going on in the evening. I have two busy kids so it’s usually something with them. Taking them, watching them, picking them up, whatever. I have a lot of chores and To Dos on my list that shrinks and grows constantly. Our family is always on the go and there’s somehting always going on it seems. I volunteer with a few groups and have meetings or events here and there each month. And on the weekends, I try to have as much fun as I possibly can. That’s it. I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve already been doing the last 12-weeks. As far as I’m concerned, these are all just good new habits and I’ll continue to ingrain them into myself so it would feel unnatural to not do these things.
And it’s now time for some new goals! And new plans!
- Be down to 275lbs. by the 4th of July. That’s 18 lbs as of yesterday. Just under 11 weeks. This should not be any problem provided I continue to eat properly and exercise. I just have to continue what I’m already doing.
- Get at least 2 dives in before the end of May. All that’s stopping me is testing my gear and calling my dive buddy who’s been dying for me to go. He just got a new GoPro camera with a waterproof housing so we’ll get some videos and post em here of the cool critters we find. And videos of us picking up sea cucumbers and waving them around like wieners. Juvinelle and idiotic. Still funny.
- Be down to 260lbs. by New Years Eve on my way to 220lbs.
- Have a picture of me in a bathing suit on my Carribean vacation in October and not feel completely humiliated. Normal humiliation level is just fine.
- Fit on the rides at Universal Stuidos Orlando (Dec trip) that I was too fat to ride a few years ago. Nothing sucks more than watching your kids wave goodbye and meeting them at the exit with the other fat people. That really, really sucks.
- Earn my ITIL 2011 Foundation Certification (work thing) by the end of the year.