This is a small essay I have been meaning to write so I am finally sitting down to get this off my chest. As you know I am sort of a health enthusiast. It took me a long way to get where I am today and just wanted to share some points and discuss my new found health and vitality. I went from 240 lbs. to 180lbs in about a year.
Going to start from 1999 when I joined the US ARMY. When I signed up back then I was 145. As you know basic training is mentally and physically demanding. Most of it is mental but we will discuss that later. So time went on and by 2001 I was a chunky 180. The Army Physical Training program isn’t bad but only designed to maintain not really anything else. You have to work out on your own for your results.
My weight gain “downfall” started around 2003 when I went to Germany. By the time I returned to Fort Drum I had stress fractures in both legs. I was on crutches sitting around just eating pizza and wings. I got to about 225 lbs. back then. By Army standards I was overweight. Fast forward through two tours in Iraq and by the time I got out I was about 230 lbs.
Me circa 2007
By then it’s now 2006 out of the Army and just sitting at home. Like most Veterans when you get out you don’t do much just kind of “decompress”. Then I found out I had high blood pressure in 2007. Which was weight and Army induced. So they put me on medication. But my weight still rose. By May 2008 I was about 240 lbs. One day I looked in the mirror and said “time to change”. There was a Gym about a mile away from my house so I joined up. At first went there went through the motions but not really doing much. I was losing weight but not really. My habit was workout then go home and pig out which doesn’t make any sense when you think about it.
I went to Antigua in January of 2009 and came back different. So started to read and research about not just weight loss but the human body and what health is. Everything I read and applied to see what the results would be. This way I knew what worked for me. Also I began to do Yoga. Yoga is like the ultimate mind body connection. Once you start you will begin to notice and feel more in tune with yourself.
Then I changed my eating habits. I know you’ve heard of “eating clean”. I make sure I eat food that is mostly natural. Also most of the meals I cook myself. Don’t get me wrong I still love cookies, cakes and a juicy hamburger when I want to indulge myself. But if you cook make stuff you know you going to enjoy and want to cook all the time.
Remember what I said before about it’s all mental. Before I got my car I took the bus to the Gym after work. I would also ride my bike there also. I’m saying this to show that if want it you it you will succeed as with everything else…
Below are some questions and tips which you have probably heard before but will reiterate here to help you.
1. How serious are you about your health/fitness and what are you willing to do about it?
2. Consistency is the key. Set aside time where you know you can do what needs to be done to improve your weight loss/fitness goals. Make it a good habit!
3. Pace yourself and coach yourself. Personal Trainers are great but only you can motivate yourself.
4. Listen to your body. Get feedback from it you will be amazed at what it will tell you.
5. Do your own research and ask questions which leads back to Number 4.
6. Eat to fill satisfied not to feel bloated, full and sleepy. When this happens blood and energy is being drawn from other parts of the body to your digestive system.
7. Drink water and natural juices. Sodas and other drinks have dyes and preservatives that aren’t natural. If the ingredients have more than two things that are not natural put it back!
8. Exercise doesn’t have to be a task or chore. It’s important, but make it fun so that you look forward to it instead of dreading it.
9. When exercising concentrate on the full range of motion. And breath normally, don’t hold it. Breath control is the absorption and release of energy.
10. Try Yoga! You don’t have to be flexible like a pretzel. It’s all about the mind and body connection.
11. it’s all mental, it starts with your mind then after that. If you hungry enough you will succeed.
Some links and Books to check out:
Health and Fitness by Sharkey and Gaskill
You Are What You Eat by DR. Gillian McKeith
The Fitness Model Program by Jennifer Nicole Lee
Athletic Body In Balance by Gray Cook
Jump Rope Training by Buddy Lee
Anatomy of Hatha Yoga by David Coulter