In All Honesty (It’s A Long Post)

I have to admit, when discussing all this stuff about being healthy, attempting to be healthy, and actually trying to be healthy, it had become a hit or miss deal. Sure, it sounds good in writing. Anyone can write a good speech, but when it comes to walking the walk, well … Getting hyped up about something is one thing, but I suppose many of us (because I know I definitely fall in this category) don’t take into account the backsliding, the trips, the stumbles, and just the unwelcome realities of everyday life.

For several years I have been on a mental journey, if I can claim any thing, of self improvement. I’ve detailed here on the blog my thoughts and experiences with coming to terms on personal growth, mentally and emotionally. At one point, I thought I’d be better reverting back to the person I use to be in my 20’s. At one point, I thought I had to change everyone around me because I was fine. At many points … I just didn’t get it. We are who we are. That may sound stupid, but it’s true. You grow, evolve, are shaped by the life you live and the things we experience. You can’t – and honestly, shouldn’t want to – go back to a person you were 20 years ago. It isn’t your job to change those around you. What is your responsibility is to be true to yourself, to make sure you are alert, aware, and being true to yourself.

So up until about the middle of January, this year, I’d written a good talk, but failed repeatedly to walk the straight walk. I’m not sure what snapped in middle January, but something did. I decided to try tackling one thing at a time. First thing I did was decide to drop my Coke habit. Coca Cola, to be specific. The first week failed miserably. I couldn’t do it, or so I told myself. But that just pissed me off more than anything. So I just said, that’s it. No more. I quit cold turkey. Had a refrigerator full of 20 ounce Cokes because my wife had just been to the grocery store. But I said I was going to quit, cold turkey, with all those drinks just sitting there, tempting me every second we were in the same house together.

In an attempt to be transparent, and tackle another item on my list of “things to do,” I started posting a weekly short video blog on Youtube. I just recently started blogging it here a week or so ago. The first week of ditching the colas was … weird? It was mostly a battle of will because I wanted nothing more than to walk to the ‘fridge and grab a bottle. About the third day, I did. I drank about 10 ounces of the 20 oz. bottle. The second week, I didn’t care much about getting a bottle and chugging it back, but man, the headaches started. I am surprised I didn’t overdose on extra strength Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Between home and work, I felt miserable because of the headaches, neck aches, just muscles aching all over.

For those that haven’t looked it up, there is a wicked list of side effects, should you ever quit caffeine long enough and get to the withdrawal stage. Headaches, nausea, muscle aches, etc. Just like detoxing off any drug, I guess, but the next stage I went through was probably the worst for everyone around me. That would be the irritable stage. Everything and everyone around me just needed to shut up and leave me alone. It was horrible, but I didn’t care at the time. The headaches were still coming, but by gosh, I wanted to just choke the living crap out of anyone that even stood beside me. Thankfully, this stage only seemed to last about a week.

As a side note, during the 2nd week, I decided to move another pawn into the game. I started walking. Don’t really remember my thinking this through, I just decided that I needed to do this, and I prayed daily for the strength to do it, work it into my hectic schedule and keep steady at it without missing a beat. My goal was to form a habit that I’d grow to just expect to do each day, like waking up, breathing, working … So I began walking. Some days a mile, some days 2 miles. Again, to keep myself honest, I track each walking session with Map My Walk and post my results on Facebook. So if I don’t walk, there isn’t a status update. For transparency, due to weather, I haven’t walked at all this past week. I plan on heading out to get 2 miles in today, though.

Mid-way through the 4th week, on a Wednesday, I woke up that morning and … I felt great! My muscles and joints didn’t hurt. My head didn’t hurt. I wasn’t grumpy. The world seemed brighter! I’m serious! Four weeks into kicking caffeine, I felt I’d come through the worst part. Three weeks into a regular walking routine, and I felt awesome. I hadn’t weighed in or anything, but I felt better all over. So I decided I was going to work in a weekly weigh-in.

The Friday of my 4th week, I stepped on the scale for the first time in some time. I weighed in at 359 lbs. Not sure if I’d lost any the last 4 weeks, but it’s possible that I’d weighed a bit more than that before the walking and kicking Coke’s to the curb. But this was what I was faced with right at that moment, and that’s what I was going with. I put my scale up for another week, kept chugging water, kept walking, and kept praying.

My 2nd week of stepping on the scale, I was happy, but also disappointed. I had only lost 2 pounds since the previous week. I’d honestly expected more because on the 2nd week, I began cutting back on my calories. Something I always talked about and tried in all my previous attempts, but always backslid on. But I had come to far in over a month, I felt. So I kept on.

I drank water like it was going out of style. 10 16 oz. bottles a day, at a minimum. I was bound and determined to flush my system out completely. I tried to keep my calorie intake down and under 1500 a day, but I didn’t stress or beat myself up if I went to 2000, which was still less than My Fitness Pal recommended. I walked, either at home in the mornings, or at night on my lunch break. I got a mile in if nothing else 5 days a week.

This brings us to this week. Well, this passed week. I was dreading my weigh in because due to weather, I hadn’t walked a single day. Tornados, rain, hail, cold temperatures … it’s been a sucky week as far as that goes. But, I’d kept off the colas, maintained my calorie goals, except for one day, and added another layer in my plan. This last week, I decided to work in 1 or 2 days of fasting. I’ll let my body decide what I need to do, I suppose, but I’m hoping to work at least one solid day of fasting in each week, and perhaps the 2nd day, just restrict my calories drastically, just enough to keep the hunger at bay. Nothing that’ll make me sick, don’t worry, I’m just trying it out.

But back to my weigh in. Due to not getting any exercise in, except for the walking I get at work, I was scared to see what numbers would pop up on the scale. Turns out, I was pleasantly surprised! 3 more pounds had been shed. I am now, as of yesterday, down 5 pounds since I started recording my weight.

I’m happy with my results, so far. In nearly a 2 month period, I’ve been able to work in the following:

  • Kicked the caffeine habit
  • Started a walking regimen and made it a regular part of my day
  • Restricted my calorie intake and have maintained it on a daily basis
  • Trying a one day a week fast
  • Started tracking my weight each Friday
  • Using My Fitness Pal and Map My Walk to track my results regularly, and to keep myself honest and accountable to my Facebook friends, at the least.
  • Started a weekly Youtube blog where I discuss my goals, and whatever else comes up.
  • Still treat myself once in awhile with food that is actually good/fun to eat (pizza, for example)

These may not be important looking bullet points, but they’re goals that a year ago I would have wrote about, then ignored as I continued to stuff my face and make excuses. I have a very good feeling that I can stick to these. I may not shed the weight as fast as I’d like, but they say “slow and steady” is the way to go to keep it off. I hope they’re right!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to make up for the last 5 days and get my butt out and walk. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you on the other side!

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