Monday, April 20, 2015

Ready. Set. Go!




Let's get this thing started! In my little introductory blog post, I mentioned that I would be laying out my plan, setting some goals, getting some starting measurements, so on and so forth... Well, here's my current state of wellness and a brief overview (for now) of how I plan to change it.
Weight is probably the easiest standard of measurement I can look at, but also the most useless in my opinion. I have never really concerned myself with weight in the past because between my USMC activities and the decade I spent working in the tree care industry, I have carried a lot of muscle mass making overall weight misleading as a general guideline. High muscle mass is not really a "problem" I have these days.

I remembered the Marine Corps height and weight chart used to have me, at 73" tall, having a max weight guideline of 203 lbs. A quick Google search tells me that the max number is now 208 lbs. for my height. Either my memory is failing me or the Marine Corps allows for more muscle these days. Since I am far from being at my peak for muscle mass, my intention is to get below 200 lbs. I have somehow managed to stay within five pounds of 235 for most of the last year. My goal, remembering that weight only means so much to me, is to shed 40 lbs. for starters.

Waist/belly measurement is what I am going to pay more attention to. The measurements I took today tell me I am 40" at my belt level and 44" at my belly button level. Don't ask me how my size 38 waist jeans are loose?!? I recently read an article that said a good rule of thumb for people striving to fight heart disease and diabetes should keep their waist measurement less than half their height in inches. Using that guideline, I should be less than 36.5" at my waist. Considering my gut instinct (pun completely intended) was to shoot for 34" waist, I am going to stick with that. Ten inches off my belly sounds challenging but doable - two qualities I like in a goal.

Diet has always been the hard one for me. I love food! The hard part is that I love lots of food....and I want it now! I am completely aware of where this part of my challenge originated. My mom was an amazing cook and she always cooked for a dozen people. The problem is that we only had five people at the dinner table. Add my love for eating with the "eat it now - taste it later" mentality I learned in the Marine Corps and you have a weight gaining formula that can't fail. In the end though, it's completely my own fault that I have horrible portion control. I can't remember the last time I said "my eyes were bigger than my stomach." ....mostly because my stomach has grown so much. My inhalation of food hasn't helped any since I have already stuffed myself way past what I should have eaten before my stomach has a chance to tell my brain that I'm full (or even content).

Exercise has never been one of my favorite ways to spend my time. I got away with it in the past because I have had a number of jobs that involved physical labor that provided plenty of natural exercise. Climb trees for ten hours a day in the middle of a Texas summer and you'll know what I'm talking about. As I've gotten older and changed careers, my physical activity has also dropped considerably. Yard work only does so much and it's not like I can mow the lawn or shovel snow every other day. I will get more natural activity as my daughters are more mobile with their bikes now, but I don't think that will be enough to make real progress. This part of my goal will be a work in progress as I develop a plan that I will actually stick to.

It Works products are a big part of the reason I am kicking this into gear. My wife has been selling their health products for over a year now and I think some of her ramblings are starting to rub off on me. I have been drinking their Greens (almost) every morning for the past couple of months and I have enjoyed being able to get eight servings of vegetables in a quick drink in the morning. I don't currently get the boost of energy that she gets from Greens, but I currently consume more caffeine in a day than she does. (Another change I intend to make.) I'm hoping that if I play my cards right, she might cut me a deal on some It Works Wraps to kick start my detox and waist line reduction. (I did a couple of wraps when she first started and was amazed to drop two inches on my waistline literally overnight.) The problem is that I went right back to eating like a sow and put them right back.

In summary, I intend to lose 40 pounds and drop 10 inches off my belly. I am going to take it a step at a time, starting with what I eat (healthier  choices) and how much I eat (portion control). I have also started eating breakfast again for the first time in....forever. Apparently, breakfast is the most important meal of the day?!? I am starting out with oatmeal and grapefruit because of their benefits for lowering cholesterol (a challenge I mentioned in my first post). My intention on the exercise front is to buy a bike. Not only will it make bike riding more enjoyable with my daughters, it is also an exercise that I can enjoy on my own. Enjoying the exercise is something I desperately need if I have a chance of sticking to it. (I never enjoyed running...in case you're wondering why I'm skipping the obvious.)

I have a handful of other things that I intend to change along the way, but I don't want to bore you too much in one post. I will continue to add "mini-goals" along the way. I'm excited to see how this plays out. Notice I have not given myself a timeline. I'm not sure if that's good or bad?? I really have no idea how fast or slow this process is going to be and I wanted to focus on sticking to my plans rather than feeling like I'm trying to beat a clock. Stay tuned for my updates and feel free to post any comments or suggestions you may have along the way. Until next time....