It’s Time

I’ve been slacking for months. I’ve been allowing myself to be dissuaded from running by apathy. The problem with having lost 150 lbs is that I know I can do it. I know how easy it actually can be. So now, as I struggle to get back down to the 170’s, I allow myself to be lazy. I allow myself to think, “It’s not that hard. I can do it anytime I want.” Well, that time is now.

Starting this afternoon, I will exercise a minimum of 3 times a week. When I did that, I was in the 160’s. Easily. Now, I struggle to stay in the 180’s and have to skip breakfasts and do IF. I miss my bacon and eggs! So, when I get home today, I will run. It will be slow, and likely not very comfortable, but when I’m done, I will take comfort in the fact that I’m back in charge of my exercise, back in charge of my fitness, and being actively involved in getting back to a more comfortable weight.

Nobody can do this for me. No amount of reading or planning will get it done. Only putting one food in front of the other will do it. My time to put words into action begins today.

Where Were the Gyms?

When I look back at photos of my great-grandparents or even great-great-grandparents, I’m struck by something amazing: they all appear fit. None of them were overweight or struggling with obesity. Only when a few of my ancestors reached past the age of 70 did any of them gain appreciable weight, notably my great-great-grandmother, but outside of her, everyone appeared trim and fit. As for longevity, each of them lived well past 70 years old with very few exceptions. How is that possible when there were no 24 hour fitness gyms available?

Some people mistakenly believe that our ancestors were thin because life was harder then. They posit that everyone was in a day-to-day struggle to survive, eking out an existence through manual labor. However, this is patently wrong in the case of my own family. The vast majority of them were teachers, engineers, officers, chauffeurs, and even a royal guard. None of these people did what could be considered heavy labor. My great-grandfather was a forest ranger, and sure, that entailed a lot of walking, but that’s not enough to keep a man thin. There has to be another reason.

Oh, that’s right. There is another reason: the diet. What did my ancestors eat that is so different than the diet of people today? If my grandmother’s memories serve as any indication as to the makeup of my ancestor’s diet, and if she is to be trusted (and why not?), then meals consisted of 100% home-cooked meals made with 1/4 meat, 3/4 vegetables, and a side serving of bread. There were no desserts, as these were reserved solely for holidays and very special occasions. The occasional snack only took place when doing something that required a lot more energy than normal; cutting some wood, for example, would warrant eating a peach or a plum (or two).

Aside from athletes, most people before the World Wars didn’t exercise for the sake of fitness. The only exercise they got was from walking (which, admittedly, they did likely do a lot more of than we do today) and any tasks requiring physical labor, but to think that everyone was a subsistence farmer or working incredibly hard to merely survive is completely wrong and misses the most important lesson: it’s the diet, dummy.

Unintentional Break

It’s been a few weeks since I posted here, and it has turned out to be the longest break I’ve had since I began this blog over three years ago. What brought this break about has nothing to do with my resolve and my work toward staying healthy and fit and more about a hectic turn of events which, while good, left me with little time or energy to post here.

My new job is great. I have, for the first time in a very long time, found a job that I not only enjoy, but look forward to. This makes me far more productive than I have been at any job I’ve held in a very long time, but this also makes me expend a lot of mental energy during the day which results in me not able to post during the day, and it keeps me from my computers, laptops, iPads, and any available means for posting to this blog in the evenings. I used to write a bunch of posts on Saturdays and Sundays and have the queue up for the week, but my position in the National Guard coupled with weekend plans with my wife have kept me from being able to write my posts. That lead me to the position I find myself in this morning: explaining my absence.

Can I promise that I will be here more often? Not really, because I never know what my jobs and wife have planned for me or what will come up, but I can promise that I fully intend to resume my daily postings.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had a business trip for a week in Las Vegas (and didn’t gain any weight), a weekend at Fort Hood (didn’t gain any weight), and Easter (didn’t gain any weight). I didn’t really lose any weight either, but honestly, based on my lack of consistent hard exercise, I fully expect that my weight will hold where it’s at right now as long as I eat well: 185 lbs. I have about 12-15 lbs of excess skin on me, so that’s about right. When I run 3x a week, I can drop my weight by 15-20 lbs, but I haven’t been willing or able to put in the work. My knee is only recently healed up, and I’ve been taking it very slowly and deliberately to get back into the swing of exercise. My plan was to run three times this week, but a little pain kept me from running on Monday, and I gave blood yesterday, so that took me out of running yesterday. I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll run today or not. I may ride my bike instead, but it will depend on how I feel when I get home.

I did have a few thoughts and revelations about health and fitness over the past few weeks, and I will be posting about those in the coming days. Some are a bit controversial, and I know some people may get salty about them. But, I’m the PaleoMarine, not the PaleoKindergartenTeacher. I can be blunt sometimes with my statements, ideas, and people don’t necessarily like that. It is what it is. It comes from a good place, though, and I promise that I’m careful to not judge anyone for their decisions. But don’t be surprised if I call someone out over making bad ones.

With that said, I offer my apologies if you are someone who regularly follows and reads this blog. I know my absence was long and there were no warnings beforehand. Normally, I know when I’ll be out and I say something about it. I’ve punished myself with push-ups and I promise to be better in the future.

Good Times and Not-So-Good Eating

I’ll keep this one short today; I had a fun weekend going to a theater production and a classical symphony performance of Carmina Burana, but that also meant I had alcohol on more occasions in a weekend than I typically have in a few weeks. So, that means I’m a bit puffy (inflamed) and over last week’s weight. BUT, I will be running today after work, and I will continue to eat well again this week, so I will be back down to my new normal weight by Friday.

It’s annoying, but I don’t regret it at all. Life is for living. I am at a healthy weight/size, and although I want to weigh less, I’m still doing the right things: eat well, make our own food, and exercise (getting back to that more consistently).

Someone mentioned to me on Saturday that the reason they gain weight after losing it is because they allow themselves just a little bit here and a little bit there, and eventually, it all adds up to a lot here and a lot there and the next thing they know, they’ve gained all the weight back. It’s a slippery slope, and he said that the best thing to do is to never allow even a little bit of slip. I kind of agree with this, but as someone who has lost a large amount of weight and has managed to keep it off for three years, I can say that allowing yourself to have a good time here and there, even with foods and/or drinks that are not Paleo, is completely acceptable. It’s not something to do all the time, but as long as you get right back on that horse and keep eating well and staying away from alcohol, foods with added sugars, and grains (and all the other Paleo rules, of course), then you will be okay.

I’m still in decent territory. I want to get back in good territory, but for now, I’m okay. I continue to stick with it and move forward. It’s the best I can do, and it’s all I can expect from myself. Anything more would be unreasonable and setting myself up for failure.