Happy New Year’s Eve!

Tonight is a holiday celebrated around the world. This holiday typically includes a lot of hors d’ouvres and alcohol, so it’s a night that people who are trying to eat well stress about.

Don’t.

Just eat, drink, and be merry! You can’t do any real damage to your health or weight loss in one night. Sure, you can stall it for a little while, but you won’t ruin everything. Enjoy the evening, have some fun, and hit the ground running on New Year’s Day. That’s what I’ll be doing.

I wish all my readers a Happy New Year, and I hope that 2017 is everything you hope it will be!

I’m not perfect; please don’t expect me to be (or yourself!)

I make mistakes just like anyone else. I take the occasional shortcut. I allow certain ingredients in my foods sometimes. I try to be as good as possible without allowing it to drive me crazy.

I’ve lost a lot of weight (100+ lbs in 12 months) and I am now running over 3.5 miles on every run, but that doesn’t make me perfect. Far from it. I don’t run daily, and I eat food every now and then that may have some dairy or other non-Paleo ingredient in it. I could probably do more, and better.

But I’m human. And you are too.

So don’t worry about being perfect. Nobody is, nor can they be at all times. Do your best. Give it your all. If you get off track, get right back on. Don’t wait for another arbitrary day or date: do it right now. Your very next meal. Your very next opportunity to exercise.

Don’t set a goal for perfection. Doing so is setting yourself up for disappointment and failure.

People Sometimes Get Jealous

renfest2015-2016As I thought more about yesterday’s article, I thought about some of the nastier experiences I’ve had since losing weight. While there are so many awesome things I’ve experienced as a person who is over 130 lbs lighter than I was at my heaviest, there have been some strange interactions with others that were confusing to me.

One was with a lady I know at work who said she flat-out didn’t trust skinny people. I told her that I wasn’t always skinny, and that I used to weigh quite a bit, and even showed her a picture. She said that she would have trusted me back when I was fat, but not now. “Skinny people are hiding something,” she said to me. What?

Another was a lady I had a conversation with at the doctor’s office earlier this year when I went in for a physical. She told me that “Skinny people like you don’t have the same pressure to stay healthy as us regular people.” At the time, I saw it as a little bit of a victory. It was the first time in over 20 years for someone to call me a skinny person (which I honestly wasn’t at the time; I’ve lost 30 lbs since then). I also took the opportunity to explain to her that I wasn’t always skinny (her words) and that I had to work at it. I told her how I did it, and she said that was too difficult.

There are some people who are just flat-out jealous of someone like me who can use some motivation to change their life. I can understand envying someone for accomplishing something, but jealousy is something different altogether. For some of the people in my life who are jealous of my weight loss and fitness, it stems from a change in the power dynamic. These people enjoyed poking fun at me for my weight and lack of physical fitness. They enjoyed being the ones who ate right, exercised, and looked good in clothing. Now that I’m right there with them, the power dynamic has changed, and sadly, they don’t like it. They had a need to feel superior.

That makes me profoundly sad, because I don’t look down on anyone for any reason. We all have different walks in life, from our jobs, our careers, our education, and even our health and fitness. It doesn’t make me better than anyone else that I lost a bunch of weight and because I run. My friends with advanced degrees aren’t better than me or anyone else because of them. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We are all just people.

As the younger folks say today, “Don’t let the haters get you down.” The people who are jealous are dealing with issues that relate more to themselves than to you. They project their own insecurities and disappointments onto those who they see threaten the way they feel about themselves. Don’t let them get to you. Better yet, don’t stoop to their level. Keep your chin up, do the work, and carry on. The people who really love you will be there, admire your determination and hard work, and they will be there for you.

Achievement Unlocked: 5+ Mile Run

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Tuesday’s 5+ mile run. Bonus: our home behind me.

I did it. I didn’t set out to do it yesterday, but it happened and I’m really happy about it. I ran 5+ miles on a run, and I didn’t die.

When I set out for my run in the late afternoon, I had 3+ miles in mind. My normal comfortable run is 3.5 miles, so that was probably what I was going to do. However, when I hit the 1.5 mile mark, I decided to go a little further. When I hit the 2 mile mark, I decided to go for the extra half mile. This is important because to get back home on the route I like to take, that would mean another 2.5 miles to get back home. When I got to the 2.5 mile mark, I was feeling great and headed back. I didn’t feel any discomfort until about 4.25 miles when (and this is no joke) my nipples started burning. My shirt was so drenched with sweat that it became heavy against my skin. My running made the shirt rub against my chest, which in turn rubbed against my nipples. When I got home, they were on fire.

More notable than my burning nipples, however, was the fact that I didn’t have any other discomfort. I felt good, my legs felt good, and upon looking at my heart rate during the run, it only went up to 147. That’s really good! That means I didn’t push nearly as hard as I could have.

All in all, it was a good run. I felt good during the run and didn’t have any muscle pain or difficulty with my breathing. As I joke on Facebook, I didn’t die, either. That’s always the best part.

I used to hate reading this stuff

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Me, writing this article in my backyard.

When I wasn’t ready to really buckle down and “Do the work,” as my cousin would say, I used to hate reading things written by people who were getting it done with weight loss or fitness. I didn’t want to read about how awesome their progress was, how great they were feeling, and their new personal bests. I don’t know if that was because of negativity I learned as a child, or if it was because I was jealous of these people. I think it was maybe a little of both.

I try to walk a very fine line on this blog between being proud of my accomplishments and bragging as well as between trying to motivate people and preaching. I never want to come off as preachy unless it’s about the evils of sugar. That stuff is seriously bad for us, and I’ll never stop preaching about how evil it is that it’s in everything processed! But I digress.

Some people take motivation from the examples of others. I am one of those people. Were it not for the subreddits of /r/progresspics, /r/paleo, and /r/whole30, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I know they’re not blogs, but these were subreddits full of real people (like me!) who were getting it doing, doing the work, and seeing the results I was after. I wanted to be like them, and I wanted to one day be in a position to help people whose shoes I walked.

As a guy who used to be really fat, I find myself in a position that can motivate others. I am not some skinny person who has been skinny their whole lives. They don’t know what it’s like to have been big and how hard it is to lose the weight. I know. I lived it. I’ve had people who didn’t know I used to weigh over 130 lbs more tell me that I’m lucky to not have to worry about my weight. I always chuckle and politely show them some pictures of me when I was heavy. Some don’t believe it. They flat out refuse to believe that the photos I show them were of me. I have to explain that I did struggle with my weight, and now I’ve taken back responsibility for my health and fitness and I’m very active in keeping it all in check.

Now, I write about these experiences. These conversations that take place, whether with other people or in my mind as I run and think about articles to write. I hope to inspire and motivate and to never turn anyone off from taking on a Whole30, Paleo, or running. I try to write in a way that would have inspired and motivated me. That’s why sometimes, I’m really very frank about things. That’s why I post pictures of myself in my underwear. These things would have (and did) motivate me. I hope it does the same for you.

 

Merry Christmas, Paleo Peeps!

Sherry’s holiday recipes are here! We had an amazing Paleo Christmas meal, and she has many of the recipes, or links to them, in this blog post. Enjoy!

Our Daily Bacon

Merry Christmas, to all of my blog followers, and everyone who is struggling like I am to maintain some kind of food impulse control amid the avalanche of decadent foods that are readily available this time of year.

I apologize for the long delays between posts.  During the holidays, E.J. and I have so many events and activities planned every weekend, so prep cooking is a quick and easy affair, full of easy go-to favorites from my Favorite Recipes page, and smoked & grilled meats.

For the big holiday weekend, I actually put together 2 big meals and mixed in some new winners I’m happy to share.

IMG_2268.JPGFor Christmas Eve, my brother came into town, and we feasted on a couple of stuffed chickens from Hebert’s specialty meats along with baked sweet potatoes and balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts.  But before that, I wanted to give E.J. a sweet breakfast indulgence…

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Post-Holiday Affirmations

I enjoyed the holiday. 

I ate a lot in volume, but I made good decisions otherwise. 

I will not let the scale dictate my mood over the next week of vacation. 

I will get right back up and continue to eat right. 

The scale may not be my friend today, but it is not my enemy. 

I will lose the extra few pounds I put on. I just need to stay the course and be patient. 

I feel great and I’m still 100+ lbs lighter this Christmas than in 2014 and 60 lbs lighter than last Christmas.

My clothes still fit right. I still look good in them.

I will run again tomorrow and it’ll feel great!

Keep your chins up, folks. We all ate a lot this weekend. It’s perfectly okay and normal. Just get back on track and instead of fixating on gains, remember the good times with friends and family. That is truly the most important part.