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Help Sponsor Me in my First 5k Run for Arthritis!

I’ve registered for my first official organized 5k run in December to help raise money to find a cure for arthritis! I’d be honored if you could sponsor me or donate just a little bit to help find a cure. Many in my family have had arthritis, and I fear that it’s in my future as well. It’d be nice if we could help find a cure for it before I get to the age where I have to worry about it!

Here is the link to follow to sponsor me.

When you finally hit that low point

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I was very close to my breaking point here at nearly 300 lbs.

I was there. I woke up one morning and rolled off the bed into a sitting position to put on my shoes. As I bent over to tie them, I found I couldn’t breathe. I had to hold my breath to tie my shoes. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and my weight. Something had to happen.

Of course, one strand of straw won’t break a camel’s back. There has to be a lot of other blades before that happens. For me, it was the discomfort of being heavy. The health issues were beginning to pop us; all of them weight related. The discomfort of sitting in an airline chair and being unable to open the tray table to put food onto. The discomfort of telling a hostess at a restaurant that I can’t sit in the booth because I don’t fit. The embarrassment of being unable to buy a t-shirt at a concert because they only go up to 2XL (and that was too small). The discomfort of being out of breath after going up the flight of stairs in our house to talk to my kids in their bedrooms. Being unable to take part in just about any physical activity without getting winded and my heart feeling like it was going to pump out of my chest. All these things and more added to the impetus for changing my life.

As they say, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. My problem was my weight and the behaviors I engaged in to get me to that dangerous position. I ate too much. I ate because I liked to eat. I ate because it was entertaining and it made me feel good, so there was probably an emotional element to it as well. I ate foods that were high in sugar. I ate if I was bored. If I was eating, there was a good chance that I was planning my next meal already. After a snack, of course.

I was fortunate in that I was able to recognize that I had a problem. Only after years of discomfort, embarrassment, and pain did I finally reach that point. Before then? There was no way I could give up my favorite foods. God forbid I exercise. There was no way I was going to do any of that. Until I broke.

When you break, you will recognize it. It marks a fundamental shift in your priorities and how you see your life and what you want out of it. Like they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I was told time and time again what I needed to do to change my situation, but I never thought any of it was tenable. Until Whole30 and Paleo.

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My wife and I in November, 2016.

I don’t care what you do as long as it’s healthy. So, I’ll forego the Paleo talk here. The important part is that when you get to that point where you want to make a serious change in your life, do it. Make that change. Do the research and then commit to it like you would to breathing after being underwater for 30 seconds.

Why Paleo?

file_001-9There are as many diets out there as there are names for people. What made Sherry and I pick Paleo? I think it came down to science. Not that we should eat like cavemen or be like cavemen. It came down to the fact that grains, dairy, legumes, and foods with added-sugar are filled with sugar which our bodies turn into fat with alarming efficiency. These carb-heavy foods are killing us and people mistakenly believe that whole grains, gluten-free, and low-fat are the answer.

They are not and they are worse for you than the alternative.

And that alternative is Paleo. Not because I’ve lost over 110 lbs in just over a year without doing a lick of exercise. Not because my health has improved and I am no longer diabetic. Least of all because I say so. It is because of all the people I know who have adopted the Paleo lifestyle and who have all begun to see the positive effects of eschewing grains, dairy, legumes, and food with added-sugars. It’s not just me; it’s everyone.

Do the research. Do the reading. I can’t ever convince you, and I don’t try to. I am trying to lead you to the answer, and that answer is evident once you do the research. I’m not telling you to agree with me; I’m telling you that you will agree with me once you see the information with an open mind. And yes, ignore the parts where they talk about cavemen being healthier. I don’t follow that. But the science about carbs is pretty solid and is being confirmed study after study.

Whatever you do, throw away the margarine and the whole grains. Get rid of the low-fat and diet soft drinks. You won’t believe how much better you feel after eating real food for a few weeks. It’s amazing.

Finally, if you do the reading and still don’t agree with me, that’s okay too. I implore you to continue looking until you find something that makes sense from a scientific standpoint and helps fuel your body in a way that is natural and not harmful. Ultimately, that’s the true goal here, and it’s why I adopted the Paleo lifestyle.

What I ate: Yesterday’s Paleo Meals

preppedThis is one of the most requested posts on my blog: what I eat in a day. Here is what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast

  • Egg and sausage casserole (prepared on Sunday by my wife)
  • Slice of Paleo banana bread
  • Coffee

Lunch

  • Paleo Beef and Chorizo Meat Loaf with Chipotle and bacon (prepared on Sunday)
  • Brussels sprouts

Dinner

  • Smoked ribs (prepared on Sunday)
  • One half of a baked sweet potato
  • Slice of Paleo banana bread
  • Iced Tea

Recipes for most of these are on my wife’s website.

You can’t succeed until you want to

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Me in 2014 vs 2016: the difference 120 lbs makes.

It seems simple enough, but this fact seems to elude so many people.You can’t succeed at weight loss until you really are willing to commit to it in a serious way. Like anything worth attaining in life, it takes dedication, sacrifice, and work.

I once read an article about motivation and there was a passage that resounded with me: you have to want success as much as you want air when you’re under water for more than 30 seconds. You have to make it not only your top priority, but it has to become your top 5 or more priorities.

Think about successful business people, athletes, or performers. Each of them have sacrificed and worked hard to get where they are. They didn’t just focus on one aspect of their career; they had to cover many aspects spanning different skills and areas. Weight loss is the same. You can’t just focus on one thing: you must focus on an area of things.

You need to learn about self-control, changing your relationship with food, the types of foods you can and can’t eat, how to buy them, how to cook them, how prepare meal plans, how to have a successful prep day, how much to eat, how often to eat, and how to avoid snacking and emotional eating. And then still, there’s even more to learn and dedicate yourself to. Then, within each of these areas are even more sub-skills and things to learn that you can see how it becomes all-encompassing.

The good news is that once you’ve learned a lot of the aforementioned areas, you can scale back your time spent learning those things and let your life get back to normal, but unless you are willing to take the time and do the work, you will not be as successful as you possibly can.

I’ve walked this walk. I know it’s not easy, but I can also say it’s not hard. It just takes a serious commitment. I wanted my weight loss journey to be successful. I accepted no failure, and I did not accept sabotage. I stuck to the plan completely, and the results I got were great. I can’t guarantee anyone results, but I can guarantee that if you commit fully, you will give yourself the best chance for success. Anything less is hampering your ability to fully succeed.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

160205I was able to get out and run tonight. After not running this morning and agonizing about it all day, I made the decision to hit the road and get my run in. I’m glad I did. It was a bit cold out, but the rain had ceased for a bit. I took advantage of it and ended up having a great run.

My first mile pace was really good and slowed with the second and third miles, but overall, I finished with a decent pace that I’m happy with. Since I was only able to run once last week and not at all the week before, it felt good all things considered.

Now, my legs feel pretty good. I was expecting them to feel like concrete again, yet it didn’t happen. They actually felt decent. Even my breathing was good. I just wasn’t as fast in the second and third miles, but I didn’t feel like dying, either. Just a good, comfortable run.

I plan on running again Wednesday morning (giving myself the every other day schedule for now) and I have the 5k coming up on Saturday morning, so I’ll likely not run on Friday morning to prepare for the 5k. I’m going to try to go fast on that one to see what I can do. I am sad that I lost two weeks of preparation, but at least I am feeling 100% so I can do the run on Saturday morning.

Categories PT

Not being able to run due to weather

file_000-52I had every intention of running this morning but the weather had other ideas. It was 49 and raining, and not just a sprinkle. The skies opened up and were dropping as much water on us as physically possible. There was no way I was going to go out into that.

I’m still getting over this bad cold and the last thing I wanted to do was to give my body another shock and prolong what is hopefully the end of this cold. So, I stayed in. It was hard to do, and there were moments I almost suited up and went out anyway, but I listened to my head and not my heart.

It’s hard when I was only able to run once last week and none the week before. Fortunately, I know I will be able to get back out there this week and run. I will surely be a little sore afterward, and my time may drop a bit, but I will be able to complete 3-3.5 miles and I’ll feel better afterward. I just have to wait.

If it’s not raining when I get home from work, I will run today. If it is, I will try again tomorrow morning. Either way, a run is happening soon. Just not this morning.

Categories PT

I’m not the Paleo Police; Don’t apologize for not eating Paleo if you don’t want to

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Yummy blueberry pancakes made by Sherry.

I get this all the time; “I’m sorry I’m eating cookies in front of you.” Don’t be sorry! Eat your food the way you want to! I won’t judge you!

I also get told by people who normally eat Paleo, “I don’t normally eat this, but I am going to just this once.” It’s okay. Eat what you want. It doesn’t offend me, and I won’t think any less of you for eating what you are eating.

I’ve heard, “I feel sorry for you because you can’t have any of this cake or ice cream.” Again, it’s okay for you to eat what you want, and by all means, don’t feel sorry for me. Enjoy your food! I enjoy mine!

One of my favorites: “Well, I’m going to eat this anyway even though you think it’s bad for you.” Don’t let my presence pressure you into not eating something you would otherwise eat. I make my food decisions just as you make your own. Just because I think it’s bad for me doesn’t make it bad for you. That’s a decision for you to make for yourself.

I’m not missing anything by not having regular cake and ice cream. I’m not missing out at all, in fact, because I do have cake and ice cream and cookies and many other goodies. Only, I have them very rarely, and even when I do, they’re Paleo. I will make the occasional exception for a birthday cake or holiday celebration, but normally I’ll just say, “No thanks.”

I am an advocate for Paleo and for Whole30, and it seems I’ve become an advocate for running as well. I am not, however, someone who will guilt or shame anyone else for not eating Paleo or running. Those are very personal decisions and it’s not my place to impose my decisions on anyone else. If I’m asked, however, I will give you my opinion and the best pitch I can for you to eat well and get some exercise. That, I can promise.