Eating properly isn’t rocket science. It really isn’t. We know what we should be using to fuel our bodies, but we often take the easy route. The morning drive-thru breakfast wrap, the high calorie lunch at the cafe, the easy pick up and go after work. I know that was often the case for me. Convenience always won, but when it boiled down to it, I was losing. I was sluggish and cranky. I didn’t sleep well and I was always breaking out. Oh, and then there’s the obvious fact that I became such a chunky monkey it started to affect my day to day activity. Hold. The. Fucking. Phone. At my heaviest, roughly 4 years ago, I was 28 years old. Hardly an age to be limited because of my health, but I found myself uncomfortable tying my shoes, running out of breath going up the stairs, unable to stay on my feet for various activities. That’s when I knew something had to change. You’d think that would have happened a decade ago when I lost my father to a heart attack at the young age of 43? Nope. At the time my weight wasn’t really an issues, so I really wasn’t mindful of it. But years later, when things were spiraling out of control and I finally and stopped eating like an asshole, a few things happened.
I had more energy.
I get that this seems like an obvious change, but I think people underestimate how much more productive and engaged you can be in your life if you take it on with a little more enthusiasm. And I’m not talking about the kind of energy you need to press a max log lift. I’m talking about the kind of energy you need just to get out of bed at a reasonable hour in the morning, or the kind of energy you need to get your ass off the couch to make dinner. While these seem like simple enough tasks, they are often quite difficult for someone who is fueling regularly with crap. This doesn’t just apply to folks who are carrying extra weight, even the smallest frame can suffer from a lack of energy without the proper diet. Once I began to replace old habits with better, more healthy choices, I started to get all kinds of energy. So what did I do with it? I started to move.
I became more active.
I had just started working for my sister and brother-in-law. They had just started working with a personal trainer. Weeks went by, and they decided to extend an invitation to the staff to do the same. At the time I was reluctant to take part. I had already started making adjustments to the way I was eating, but going back to the gym didn’t seem like an option yet. After some contemplation, I took them up on their offer. After a few bootcamp sessions, I moved on to some training with my co-worker Mark, and did private sessions with the gym owner, Tom. I remember a workout where Tom wanted us to do some pressing. Still new to all of these movements, I was to train with and empty bar. Mark got to play with the log. When I asked why I couldn’t use the log, they giggled and told me to settle down. I’d need to work my way up to that. Nothing fuels my fire more than telling me I can’t do something. I made it my mission to press that empty log. It’s what got me to the gym 4-5 days a week. It’s what inspired me to keep training and to begin competing in Strongman. Finally, I was eating better, shedding weight and training regularly. Suddenly something strange happened.
I was much happier.
I’ve always been relatively pleasant, but there was a period of time in my life when I was miserable. You know the kind. When someone is always disagreeable, negative, basically a jerk? There’s always a reason behind someone’s anger. In my case, that was my unhealthy weight. When I started to replace unhealthy habits, gaining energy, moving regularly, this all changed. I became generally more pleasant to be around. I became more social and planned to do more activities. I started to become the best version of me. (OMG. I almost just puked in my mouth writing that.) But it’s true. I started to reclaim my life one day at a time.
I get that I’m still far from being done, but the truth is it’s never really over. I’ve never been one to jump on the bandwagon of the latest eating trend. I firmly believed that education was key to better understanding what my body needed to live a fuller, healthier life. Google has always been my friend, but as of late, my commitment to my Nutrition Coaching Certification has really kicked things up a notch. I’ve always hated being told to do something without really understanding the why. PN has done a really great job of making sure all of the details are explained in such good detail, so when I need to apply it, I understand it. I managed to power through much of the course content so quickly, because I just found everything so fascinating. I think what I loved most about the whole thing is that it is completely in line with everything I believe. I’m weeks away from completing the course, and receiving my certification. I’m anxious to apply the extended knowledge I’ve acquired, and eventually help others be better too. Until then, if you’re already rockin’ a good diet, keep at it! It’s not always easy, and you’re a rockstar for making it happen! If you’re reading this struggling to get your shit together, try changing one little habit. If you’re serious about taking care of yourself, it’s something you’ll need to do for the long haul. Now is as good of a time as any to start.
Coffee count: If you made it through all of this, you deserve far more than the standard 10pts. Here’s a little bonus +20 for sticking around.
PS- I totally had a photoshoot today and vainly allowed Van Veit Creative to capture my quirky side! Pics from this hilarious adventure to come soon!