Backslides

Has this ever been a typical you? You are flying through an awesome stretch of life. You have done so well. You are down 35 lbs and flying high.

Walking around, head up, chest puffed out. Look at me, I got this!

And then RUH ROH (scooby doo voice), Houston we have a problem. Life happens. You go away for a wedding, there is a death in the family, you drank to much and indulged for a weekend.

Just like your Goal Planning to lose the weight or start the fitness. You need to put measures in place, a safety net so to speak. Someone or something that will answer the call.

Here are some suggestions. Have a friend or a spouse be a regular check in partner for how you are doing. Someone that will push you, not say it’s ok and pass you more chocolate. On your weekly weigh in, put a limit on how much you can put on before you start fasting or whatever you do. This is more for people that have hit their goal weight. Concentrate on #1goodthingaday to motivate you.

I know it gets dark sometimes, it is all mental. Learn your switches so that you are prepared for backslide!

Overcoming Covid or any other stumbling block.

Life throws you many curve balls along the way. A lot of the time you have no idea what is going to happen next. It could be covid, an injury, a late work night or your girlfriend breaks up with you.

How you face these situations depends on what goals you have put in place and if you have included a positive mindset in your goals. Don’t worry if you don’t have those in there yet, you need to also be flexible so that you can break through anything.

Life before goals was a struggle. I would look for any excuse to get out of exercising or stop all together. For example I hurt my knee several years back, blooming to an impressive 280 lbs by the time I pulled out of my slump and finally started to move again.

If I had the same injury now, things would be different. But let’s start at Covid. If you stopped working out or eating right because of Covid, chances are you were not really all that focused on your goal and you had not bought into your program before it happened.

You may have used words like try or maybe in front of the words exercise or eating healthy or you may have just sat down on the couch watching tv and the depressing news while eating chips and whatever else you could find.

One of the best lessons I ever learned was to find the positives in the negatives. Notice I did not say try to find the positives, I said find the positives. To me Covid was an opportunity to improve myself.

Almost everyone and I mean everyone found themselves with an abundance of time on their hands (not including health professionals etc). I used that time to make new programs for myself with the equipment I had. Don’t laugh, but that was one 20 lb dumbell and a TRX.

I watched YouTube videos and IG feeds on different exercises and I made some super intense workouts. I also continued with my marathon training and completed my first half marathon.

Why did I do this? Because I had written down goals telling myself what I was going to do. I live by the #1goodthingaday philosophy. You can find a bunch of my stuff on IG if you search the tag. By making sure I do one good thing a day for my health it keeps me focused on the positives.

When negatives arise, I simply keep focusing on my positives. My other goals were to weight train 3-4x a week for 30 minutes and to run 30 km over the course of the week.

I surrounded myself with fitness, reading about it, watching it, talking to other fitness buddies and writing about my one good thing a day on IG.

You see, once you set your goals in motion and make them real, there is not much that you cannot do. Right now I am suffering from an inguinal hernia. So I quit right? Threw in the towel? Went back to obese?

No way! I sat down, spoke to my doctor and found out what I was allowed to do and I moved forward on my goals. Bumps in the road are just that, bumps. Don’t let those bumps define you. Just keep moving forward and smashing them.

The Real almost 50 YEAR old DAD BOD

Chasing the ever popular Dad Bod

I hope that most of you realize that the bodies in magazines are touched up, using perfect lighting and make up to hide flaws and imperfections.  

Flaws and Imperfections that we all have.  The photos are usually of stunningly beautiful people in equally stunning backgrounds by amazing photographers who take 1000s of shots.

Chasing these types of things are generally not healthy, reachable goals for us mere mortals that hold full time jobs and can only exercise 5 times a week.  Sometimes squeezing in 30 minutes a day.

For the past two years I have worked really hard.   And I mean really hard on finding a fitter me.  I always liked looking at these individuals in my age bracket that are cut and have muscles for miles.

But let’s be realistic and not set ourselves up for failure either.  In those years I ran 3x minimum a week up to 25 to 30 kms.  I worked out 5x a week on top of that for usually an hour at a time.

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but they are crazy workouts.  Burpees, squats, pull ups, mountain climbers, v sits, weights,  you name it it’s in there.  Usually with no breaks between sets or reps, from one exercise to the next.

This is where I am, and I love it.  I am extremely happy with where I am.  I don’t have the time to workout with a personal trainer daily or sacrifice like body builders do.  There life revolves around these things.  They are awesome and unique individuals.

Also we are all vastly different. So set your expectations on the fitness goals you can reasonably accomplish.  This is what my almost 50 year old dad bod looks like.  You won’t look exactly like me, not that you want to lol, but to some, my body type will be exactly where you end up.  Love it, push it and enjoy it!  It’s all the wonderful you.

Check me out @1_goodthingaday

This is a first thing in the morning pic with zero pump.

Feelings are more important than looks.

Words matter.  When I was obese and I was trying to lose weight I would love when someone tells me you look good or asked if I had lost weight.

Those were very kind words that people would say to me almost daily when I went out in public. It becomes almost like an addiction where you are hoping someone notices the difference.

I have done a lot of thinking about this and please don’t take me wrong, people are just trying to be kind.  It is a social flaw.

The question people should ask is “How are you feeling?”. Looks simply are a side benefit of how your mental state is.

Think about it for a moment.  Once you flip the switch on your motivation to lose weight, where does that drive come from? Your mind.  When you start running, or exercising?  Again your mind.

I think your mental state drives your actions and that your actions lead to results.  If you focus only on the looks you will be constantly chasing the scale addiction and looking for other people’s approval.

Your goals that come from within are your goals.  Make them about achievements 10 pushups.  Run 1 minute straight etc.

The right question to ask someone that you notice has lost weight is, How are you feeling or doing.  If we take the time to ask others how they are we can lift the pressure of chasing the wrong things.

Asking how I am feeling shows people that you care about more than looks.  You care about them.

In the beginning?

I was your typical Canadian kid. A bit overweight from grade 3 and up. A bit awkward, never really knew the right things to say kinda guy. Not much of an athlete. Likable by almost everyone but loved by none.

I kind of floated through public school, my head always in the clouds. To avoid getting teased I developed a quick wit, a sharp tongue and I planted myself behind a block wall and refused to let people in.

By the time I went to high school my confidence rating was a solid zero. Oh, I was smart enough when I chose to apply myself, but I rarely did. It was easier to be a wallflower, to stand back and not get noticed. To just keep thinking.

My nickname in high school was Piggy, from that horrible book the Lord of the flies. Of course I didn’t like it, I hated it, it just shoved me down deeper inside myself.

I guess I was luckier than a lot of people, I had a solid group of friends and they liked me and made me feel like I fit in. We were a group that never really cared what anyone else thought. We just did our own thing.

At that point in my life I did not like anyone outside of my circle. Oh, you would never know it, but I would have rather you kept quiet and just walked on by. Some that knew me back then would have never guessed, but I never really let it out.

So let’s see, as a young man I was smart, fat, had some friends and even my first real girlfriend. But I wasn’t happy. I needed a change. So I did what a lot of people do. I ran away from the life I knew, put a cap on that bottle and moved across the country to redefine myself. Armed with my wits and less than $1,000 I headed west.

West was good. It was amazing. No one knew me, not one detail, other than I was overweight and confident. That was the first thing I changed about myself. I was not going to be a wallflower any more. Not the healthiest decision to bottle up the past as if tends to blow up later (but that’s what I did). I also learned that I was not a quitter.

I will skip through this part a bit quick. I met a girl, turned into a vegan and lost a ton of weight. I drank like a fish and never really dealt with any issues. I just created a separate personality. One that I absolutely loved. I was fun, I was a leader and I felt like I ruled the world. The only problem was is that it was all a show.

That was until it was time to grow up. I moved back east, I found a job I hated, working as a Supervisor in a manufacturing facility for the largest pop manufacturer in the world. I became angry again, I let my emotions fuel me and I started to put on all of my weight. I fell back into my old self.

I embraced my walls and my moodiness like a comfortable jacket and started up old friendships again. The western me was still in there but I did not know how to bring him out.

So there I sat until my mid-thirties working in miserable jobs, never feeling like I belonged anywhere. My strengths included, stubbornness, intelligence, integrity, kindness to some, humour, great fake smile and I was really very miserable. I had also learned how to gain and lose weight over and over and over again. Gaining and losing over a thousand pounds in a ten year period.

My lovely wife, who deserves an award through all this suggested I go see a Doctor. I was having a tonne of stomach issues which did not seem to improve my mood at all. Finally after my fifth colon invasion the doctor suggested to me that I get a dietitian and look into the foods I eat.

My dietitian put me on FODMAP diet which kind of sent me in the right direction for my stomach issues. Not about being overweight. But what had caused the inflammation. I discovered that I cannot eat gluten of any kind, dairy, popcorn or raw onions. Quite the list. I will write more about the allergies later in another blog.

My dietitian is a really smart young lady. We talked about so many things. She told me about how certain foods can cause inflammation in your brain and most of our unhealthy eating comes from depression and anxiety issues from both our past and what we put in our mouth.

At this point I was very interested on learning more about this as I had decided never to diet again, at least not until I had learned how to never put it on again.

She introduced me to a mental health councilor. One that could help work me through some of my issues with myself (sounds weird) and help me understand how to make better choices for myself.

So here I was at 46 and a half years young, learning how to be the best version of myself. It took me a lot of work to start moving forward. To start understanding that the key to weight loss was not to try and lose weight but that you needed to do a whole number of things that will take you where you need to be.

So here I sit, just shy of 49. Fit, thin, mentally sharp and healthy. Living the best version of myself that I have ever known. I did not spend any extra money to get here or have any costly surgeries. What I did learn was how to keep it off together. I learned how to flip my mental switches on and off I learned how to love me, even the old me. Hopefully through my blog posts I can help you too. Help you be the best version of you. Help you with the tools you need to never back slide again. I learned that through the power of one good thing a day, that I can do anything.

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