Note: Below you’ll read Mike’s journey to become physically fit. This will be a 3 part series. This is part 1.
About a year and a half ago on HVFH’s Facebook page – I got into a discussion about spouse expectations and basically self-pride. The discussion centered on looks and taking care of one’s self, cutting your hair short to make it easy to live with, not worrying about dressing up, etc. Of course there are many opinions on a topic like that.
As we grow older it’s easy to let go and get comfortable. It’s easy to take on the motto “my spouse should love me no matter how I look.” I basically called this way of thinking “giving up.” Not wanting to put in the effort to take care of you, for the sake of comfort and sheer laziness. Is that what you want your spouse to do? There’s always an excuse; work, kids, too tired, it’s too hard, I’m sore, etc…
As I made my case on something I believe in, I asked myself; am I following my own vision? Am I being a hypocrite right now? The hardest thing about getting into shape is finding the motivation, finding the driving force to push you through all the ups and downs. Karma just hit me in the face. Don’t I owe it to my wife to be fit and healthy? Don’t I owe it to myself? To my kids? I can make a valid point, but am I living it?
There I was, 245lbs. My wife – a couple months from giving birth to our second child and I wearing her baby weight! How can I want her to take care of her health when I am not doing the same? It was time for me to make a change. Not a diet change, this needed to be a long term change; a lifestyle change. One that would challenge me to be the person I know I am and hopefully in the process set a good example for my wife and children.
If that wasn’t enough motivation, I decided since this realization started with Facebook that I would end it with Facebook. I made the promise to myself to post the one year before and after picture on the social network site for all to see. That seemingly far-fetched motivational stunt would pay off big….later.
In order to make this work I knew I needed a good foundation. I had to set realistic goals. The easiest place to being was the scale. What for me was realistic? I had to think back over a decade ago, in the middle of college following the ending of my athletic endeavors, I was in the 220lb range. I also got married at that weight so naturally that should a good spot for me.
I had the goal, but had to get there. As I alluded, I was an athlete in high school and toyed a bit in college, so I knew how to work out. I needed something I could do in 30 minutes. I needed something I could do always. My job has irregular hours and eating balanced was tough. The easiest thing I could do to get going was to start doing body weight exercises, things I could do in the house or even at work.
I started, I just had to.
First thing, I had to put a limit on my calories. Not a cold turkey stop, but something realistic. One soda a day and limit my portions of foods. I could do that. This was something that would fit my life style and also something that didn’t take too much time to figure out. I flirted with counting calories and that gave me a good visual, but that was a lot of effort to sit there and always be counting so I knew that wasn’t my long term solution. However, once you do it for a couple weeks you are always aware of the values and being aware of your intake is the most important part. Whether you keep counting or not, it really does show you some not so nice things about what you eat.
Now I had to get around my all over the place work hours. The workouts had to be quick, but it’s better than nothing. It was also winter, mid-October; no way am I running outside. I ran track into college; I no longer have the desire to run for fun! I decided to work out three times a week and that I would try to do a 100 workout as I called it…100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 jumping jacks, 100 squats.
“This shouldn’t be that hard.”
I was wrong.
I started with four sets of 25. It took me weeks to build up the strength to do a full workout straight through the four sets. It was a huge rush once I was able to finish all of them back to back. The pounds began to slide off slowly, one pound a week. 240, another month 235. It was slow by some diet standards, but this was a long term plan. Something I needed to make last. Another month went by, 230..and then my first plateau.
I needed to change something up, I needed to add something. Lucky for me we had reached spring. I plotted a mile course around the neighborhood as I was not about to run any further! I began to add that to my routine. One mile a couple times a week…as long as it was nice out. Laziness got me to this point where I needed to get back into shape; it wasn’t going to leave now! I also happened to work in a large building with enough space to run, so I occasionally did that on colder days.
Nike’s motto is “Just Do It.” As much as I don’t like running it’s true! There were times I would run two miles and some when I did three miles. It’s also said just wearing workout clothes increases your chances of working out. Constant motivation was huge. Plenty of times I had to get myself mentally up to work out. The great thing about the times we live in is that the internet is endless when you Google workout motivation. I found quotes, I found new things to drive me and I kept at it, running or doing my body weight workouts three or four times a week.
Plateau one was successfully destroyed. My goal was in site….
Check back next week to see Mike’s results! Please leave him a note of encouragement on this post!
More weight-loss stories on HVFH: