Sunday, March 03, 2013

90 Days Later

Every journey starts somewhere.  And this photo captures a moment that I look back and go, "Really?"  I was on my West Coast Tour 2.0 with the family and my father-in-law caught this shot of me with the kids and dogs near a little stream.  It doesn't look pretty.  By this point, I had gone through a lot of different struggles with health.  I had been in pain when on the treadmill.  I had sore ankles when I walked.  My eating was sporadic and fluctuated with what I was focused on at the time.  So, when I saw this photo for the first time, it was one of those wake up calls.

Losing weight is easy.  Really.  But the hard thing about extreme body changes are the extreme rebounds as your body tries to find its homeostasis or internal equilibrium.  Let's use a quick example.  I will be celebrating my 5th wedding anniversary this month.  I had my ring finger sized before the wedding.  Because of it being a 'lifetime event' it is usually photographed like crazy, so I wanted to look as good as possible.  I went on a low carb diet.  They had always worked for me and it is wonderful for those that have seen similar results.  But, I never thought that once the ring went on my finger... it would be too big for it.  During the honeymoon cruise, I stopped the diet and found a ring guard on the ship to keep it from falling off.  The problem is that it only took a few weeks for the ring to become uncomfortable and I'd have to remove that guard.  Because the weight was coming right back.

Extreme changes are roller coasters and your body gets sick of the movement too.  But what if you don't have to "diet."  I really dislike the way the word has been used or used in different ways.  An animals diet of nuts and berries or smaller animals isn't something that it just decided on to lose a little weight.  A diet is your every day lifestyle.  So we should really strike the usage of the word in lieu of "weight-loss program."  Because, everyone is on a "diet."  But what we need is a long-term lifestyle change.  What, how and when we eat should stay consistent.  Why?  Stress.

Your body doesn't like the roller coaster, right?  So, if it knows that the road isn't going to swerve (or you aren't going to miss a meal), it isn't worried about what comes next.  Stress hormones like DHEA and cortisol are shock absorbers for the body.  Heck, they even have weight loss drugs to suppress cortisol to help keep your body from storing extra energy as adipose fat tissue.  Why not cut out the stress instead?

Sure, there are lots of ways to stress out the body.  Just skip breakfast and you are already on your way.  The way we handle external stress can also be a factor but that can be alleviated with exercise -- and having an outlet to unleash it.  But I find it most shocking how easily we stress ourselves out by just the infrequency of our meals.  In fact, I'm just about an hour from my next one.  If you have children, watch what happens when they next ask you, "What are we having for dinner?" and you say, "I don't know when we are going to eat."  Your body reacts the same way.  It will ask you again and again... that's what really feeling hunger is about.  Take two of your days off and try eating small meals every 3 hours.  If you get up at 6am and eat, your last meal will be at 6pm.  Just see what happens if you go 30 minutes over for dinner.  You will hear that message clearer than normal.

Enough babbling.  After 90 days working on my program which included a minimal yet effective workout, having a special shake for breakfast and eating every 3 hours, I am down 21 pounds and 6 belt sizes.  I'm wearing a ring guard again and feeling healthier than I have in years.  The journey will still continue but I wanted to have a good moment to sit down and assess how things are going.  I know that I could be doing more workouts and can see that in the next 90 days.  I've moved on to the Accelerated Results schedule to test myself further.  But, I'm amazed at where I am already.  Life is looking pretty darn good and I can't wait to take my next blood test to see where my cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure are at.  Then again, this is the way I'm spending the rest of my life.  I'd say that I'm going to become the man my wife deserves.

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