Focus on Fitness

11 January 2013 · 31 comments

My head is full of things to share with you, but my time is scarce. I shouldn’t even be writing this now. I have an Entrepreneur article that is two days past due! But, as I say, there are so many things to tell: I’ve had an offer accepted on a condo, I’m getting braces next Tuesday, and I’m learning all sorts of little lifehacks from my friends lately.

Today, though, I want to take a few moments to talk about the strange world of weight loss. As you may recall, I lost fifty pounds from January 2010 to June 2011. I did this through a combination of smart eating and dedicated exercise. (To be honest, though, the exercise accounted for 80% of the success; my diet has never been stellar.)

I’ve managed to maintain a healthy weight and fitness level for eighteen months. Sure, my weight fluctuates over time, depending on how much I’m moving and what sorts of crap I’m eating. But mostly, I’ve kept the weight off.

During December, however, I went off track for the first time in three years. Because of a shoulder injury, I wasn’t able to exercise as much as I’d like. And because of the holidays (and because Kim and I spent a week vacationing), I ate like crap. More to the point, I drank like crap. I had a lot of alcohol last month. Bottom line? I entered the new year feeling and looking awful.

No worries. I had a plan.

After I returned from Houston last weekend, I stepped on the scale to get a frame of reference. On Sunday night, I weighed in at 181 pounds, the first time I’ve been over 180 in…well, almost two years. After seeing that shocking number, I implemented emergency measures.

  • I fasted for 24 hours, from Sunday evening ’til Monday evening. (Kris and I met for Hawaiian food on Monday night. I ate chicken and salad and rice.)
  • From Tuesday to Wednesday, I did Dr. Oz’s three-day cleanse, during which I drank fruit/vegetable smoothies for my meals.

The results were impressive. This morning, I weighed in at 169 pounds, a drop of twelve pounds in four-and-a-half days. Admittedly, these pounds were mostly bloat from too much salt, sugar, water, and alcohol. But that was exactly the point of the fast and cleanse, right?

Moving forward, there are a few more things I plan to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  • Tomorrow (or tonight), after about a month of no regular exercise, I’m heading back to the gym. Bring on the Crossfit! Plus, Kim and I will shift some of our food-oriented dates to exercise-oriented dates.
  • Kim has shifted from a paleo diet to one that’s far more plant-based. While I’m not willing to go that far, there’s no doubt that I need more fruits and vegetables in my meals. That’s a focus for the next few weeks. (And, I hope, beyond.)
  • I had a glass of wine with my brunch on Sunday morning. From that point until Valentine’s Day, I intend to drink only water. No alcohol. No coffee. No soda. No juice. No nothing. (Well, except for green tea. I’m allowing myself green tea.)
  • Actually, I’m eliminating all mind- and body-altering substances until Valentine’s Day, including ibuprofen and melatonin and caffeine. I want to see what it feels like to have no chemicals in my system.
  • I’m going to re-focus on running and biking. These two activities fit my body type, and I really enjoy them. For the past few years, though, I’ve mostly done strength training. That’s great (and I’ll continue to lift weights), but aerobic activity is more my thing, so I’m going to return to it.

My focus on fitness was a key component of the life changes I’ve made over the past few years. I grew a little complacent this summer and fall, though, because I’d reached a sort of fitness peak. But the truth is, that peak cannot be maintained without effort. Injuries and busy-ness and dating are no excuse.

I’m excited to be back on track. Healthy eating and exercise can actually be a lot of fun. They make me feel great.

Right now, though, it’s back to work. I still have that Entrepreneur article to write. Soon, though, I’ll tell you more about my condo, about my braces, and about all of the little lifehacks I’ve learned lately! Life is fun, isn’t it?

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