What I’m Doing Now, And What’s Next – June 2013

It’s funny, I actually wrote “June 2003” as the title of this post, and realized, “Uh, ten years later!” Time flies. I mean, the crappy stuff drags, but overall it seems to fly.

Where I have been: Back in 2002 was when I first really tried to lose weight in my life. I counted calories for the first time. Lifted weights for strength for the first time (I had a conditioning class in high school, but never really tried that hard to get strong). Did workout videos regularly for the first time. Soon after, I ran my first mile.

Since then it’s been ups and downs. I’ve gained and re-lost and re-gained weight. I’ve gotten bored with workouts, learned new workouts, conquered stuff I never thought I’d do. I’ve run as far as four miles straight. I’ve biked 20 miles. I’ve completed a Warrior Dash. I’ve squatted 165 pounds five times. I’ve deadlifted over 200 pounds. But I’ve also been trapped at 200 pounds for three years, with no successful remedy in sight, short of starving, which I refuse to do.

But I’ve also learned new things about health and my body. I now eat meat, fruits, vegetables and good fats for the majority of my meals. I started having an autoimmune response to eggs and peppers, so I’ve cut them out. I’ve switched to natural shampoo, conditioner and hair products. I wash my face with honey and coconut oil and use a scrub of sugar and coconut oil. I brush my teeth with more natural toothpaste, and bought blackout curtains. I give sleep more credit than I ever have before. I have also discovered I have constant anxiety, for no apparent reason and have learned to meditate. I eat organ meats and make bone broth. I buy part of a grass-finished/pastured cow. I go to the farmer’s market just to get pastured chicken and fresh bacon. I eat coconut oil straight. I have turned my diet of mostly “heart healthy” carbs to a healthier amount of mostly fruit and vegetable carbs, better sources of protein and healthy fats. I believe probiotics and bacteria and the gut are the center of health. I’ve learned to make water kefir, and am working on my first batch of kombucha. And I believe there’s no such thing as a quick fix.

So, what am I doing now? I’m almost one month gluten free! The first four days sucked. Like major suckage. Who knew it would be so hard? Days five through present weren’t so bad. I only miss beer. And I miss the freedom of eating whatever the hell I want without being “that person” at a gathering. I’ve found some people more supportive than others. My goal was to get to six weeks, then cut dairy and see if I see more incremental improvements. The biggest improvement sans gluten is less endless cravings. I felt like I was always hungry. And not just craving hungry, but actually felt hungry. Of course, my cravings were worse then, too. Now I get by on two meals and one snack per day.

I had to cut back on heavy lifting because I tweaked my back, and in the process thought I’d try lower-intensity workouts for awhile to see if that helped my weight come off. It didn’t. So I’m trying to go back to more interval cardio work and heavier weights. I like the rest I get from volume work, so I’ll probably still do that some, but think there’s nothing like lifting heavy, especially squats, bench, overhead press, row, and deadlifts, to really shape your body like nothing else. I enjoy riding my bike and like doing occasional hill intervals. I don’t mind walking as long as I can pepper in some sprints or jogs to make me enjoy the walking part more. I enjoy walking/jogging intervals, especially through this park near my house. I like daily work, too, like lifting and moving stuff. That’s when I feel the strongest. I can move things most people don’t think is possible, and sometimes I surprise myself. The only thing I still have to push myself to do is core work. Ugh.

What’s next? Continue gluten free. I want to make it two months total, then I’ll decide whether to add back, allow occasionally, or keep it out completely. I suspect it will be one of the latter two. I’d like to get at least two weeks eliminating both dairy and gluten simultaneously. And I’d like to test my 1 rep max on squat.

What about you? What are you doing now? And what’s next? I don’t care what your diet is, what your exercise plan is, or what your goals are. I’m supportive of all attempts to get from where you are now to healthier. Or to maintain the level of health you’ve achieved. 

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