Friday, May 10, 2013

Pre-summer Dieting and Changing Your Life

Recognizing they will likely be more active and more visible in the coming months, many people undertake a certain level of pre-summer interest in their fitness. I'm not sure entirely what drives it--health, vanity, a little of both, but I feel like many people see the spring and summer as a time to get themselves in gear.

This is wonderful. Frankly, I am of the opinion that any time a person wants to upgrade his or her life by undertaking wellness and physical fitness is doing a good thing.

For those who don't know, I had my own health scare back in '08, when my cholesterol rose to 286 (healthy is below 200), and I hit 240 Pounds at just under 6 feet. Don't believe me, here's a pic:

The nurse working in my doctor's office at that time demanded I be put on Lipitor--a cholesterol med that my father, 40 years my senior, was assigned ... in his 60s. Despite trusting her medical opinion, I challenged the nurse and said I would do no such thing; rather, I would do whatever was needed to repair my cholesterol naturally. She said I had 90 days to do it, at which time, I'd need to return and have the labs re-run. If she was unsatisfied, I'd be on the meds.

So, long story short, I hit the ground running, literally. I put in the gym time, I cut the blended ices, I kissed potato chips goodbye, and I told beer to take a seat (although that was due to my being diagnosed with kidney and liver issues at the same time).  Fast Forward 90-days to my required testing: Weight 213, Cholesterol 155, and the rest of my lipid panel was on point--everything at the better end of normal ranges.

So, why I am telling you this?

Cause I'm boastful (just kidding). I'm telling you this to give everyone who is in the pre-summer diet and workout mode a boost, so please take what I am about to type not as internet-rage but a call to excellence: YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE IN 90-DAYS. Truth. I'm proof of it. See to your left, that pic was taken less than 3 months from the one above! Yes, I am standing on a couch ... and yes, I am playing guitar hero ... and yes, I am wearing a self-made shirt that says "Cereal" in sharpie (it was 2008, what can I say), but that's not the point.

The point is that it's for reals, this turning-your-life-around business, and I believe anyone with the will to do it, can do it. I have no doubt. That person just needs to purpose in his or her heart a la Daniel in the Babylonian captivity to get it done, and he or she can knock it out the box a la Luke Skywalker in that rap video from 2002 (did I just mix those two things?).

It'll hurt ... oh how it will hurt, but it's possible, and it's life-changing. You will need to alter your relationship to food, and you will have to treat every workout like the end fight in Rocky IV, giving it "All your strength! All your power! All your love! Everything you've got!" But you can do it.

2008 was along time ago, so where am I now? (Delaware, C'mon folks, we've been over this. Kidding). I am hovering around 190 (another 20 lbs shed over time), and my last cholesterol test hovered around 200, at which point my primary care physician told me that I had hereditary cholesterol that would require lifelong monitoring despite my fitness, but I could keep it in check if I continued to watch my eating habits. I've had no gym access for 9 months, and I have developed knee pain that acutely hits during any run over a mile-and-a-half. But I'm not gonna let that stop me from living the dream.

What's stopping you?


PS - Want some insight into the particulars of how I hit my marks back in '08 and continued on the path of fitness??  Then Buy my Book!  Just kidding, that has nothing to do with this. I will share more soon!

PPS - I realize that my text in conjunction with that third photo implies that "Living the Dream" is being 30 years-old and climbing trees. Well, yeah. I write with intentionality. Of course, that pic was taken right before I biffed out of said tree and got jacked up on the way down. That stuff was hilarious.

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