A Healthy Life is a Happy Life

A Healthy Life is a Happy Life…

That sounds like the title of the latest Joel Osteen, book doesn’t it?

Well it’s not.  It is the title of my first recorded public speech based on a note my doctor gave me when I was depressed. The speech was for the oral communications class at UFV which I am taking. I decided to take the easy road and discuss my depression and mu former unhealthy lifestyle, and  how my doctor got me started me on this healthy lifestyle. I had to follow the rules, which included no speaking of religion – which I found exceedingly difficult – but I managed to get through it regardless.  I do not like watching, or listening to myself, but I had to watch it and evaluate myself…so here it is.

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6 Month Check In

Happy Canada Day!

Nearing the end of December 2014, I was in the pit of depression.  I had been depressed for quite some time.  Mentally, I was fatigued.  I was unable to concentrate. Physically, I was so out of shape I had no energy, and I did not fit in any of my clothes – I had a 42″ waist and I am only 5’7″ tall!

I knew I needed to do something, so I swallowed what was left of my pride, let my pastor and elder in on what was going on, found a Christian counselour, and went to see my doctor. I was the last patient my doctor saw in 2014 and he imposed new year’s resolutions on me. He told me I was obese, to start being more active, lose 15lbs immediately, and to start taking supplements and eating healthy.

My initial reaction: “That seems like a lot of work.”

But I did it.

I entered into this lifestyle with no goal, other than getting healthy.

My first day in the gym was painful. I could not do any of the exercises I used to be able to do.  Running was out of the question since impact on my knee was so painful from the torn LCL.  I was too heavy and so weak that I could barely do a pushup.  Squats were not an option yet…So I hopped on the elliptical, put on my headphones and huffed and wheezed my way through 25 minutes of wavering between “God please give me the strength to do this,” and, “I should give up now.”

I made it through that first work out…barely.

6 months and 130 workouts later, I have lost 10″ off my waist, and am stronger than I have been in years.  My knee that had a torn ligament? It makes a lot of noise, but it’s not bothering me at all.  In fact, last week, I played soccer for the first time in quite a while. Granted, I could not keep up with the 18 year olds – I still have a ways to go gain that stamina back, but I felt good none-the-less. When I started this journey, I could hardly complete a single push up…now I can perform fifty with my feet suspended in the TRX.

Ok…Mine are not so pretty lol…

Mentally I am doing great. My depression? Gone.  In fact I am quite positive now – for me anyway.  I have a new job that I enjoy, and this September I hope to return to university to continue my studies. So I feel good.

Despite how I feel, I know that the Lord has been with me through it all.  Through the discipline it has taken to remain active, I have also grown spiritually.  I have been learning to apply the same discipline to my spiritual health, having daily devotions both personal and family.

For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

The Lord has been good to me.

3 Month Check In

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In December I was in the pit of depression, and my doctor told me I was obese and to lose 15lbs immediately and to start taking vitamins and eating healthy. So I did.  I went into this lifestyle with no goals but to simply get healthy. I have actually increased the amount of food I am eating, but it is all healthy now. I take 1 free day, where I eat whatever and how much I want. I have been working out 5 or 6 days per week for 25 minutes per day. It does not take much.

3 months later, I have lost a total of 26lbs. Approximately 35lbs of fat and put on about 8lbs of muscle. (195lbs to 169lbs)

I have lost 9″ off my waist.

My knee that had a torn ligament? Not bothering me at all.

My depression? Gone.

My BMI has gone from “obese” to the low overweight (26.5)

I cannot wait to see my doctors face.

I ate healthy even when we went to Disneyworld for a family vacation! (Ok I cheated just a little bit I was on vacation afterall!  And Corona can hardly be considered beer. Right?)

SO I feel good.

The Lord has designed our bodies and minds to function together.  It is amazing to me how being healthy can have such a dramatic impact on our brains.  I am even thinking clearer now.

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SDG

I Am Not Obese Anymore (and the depression is much better)

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In December I was in the pit of depression.  I was fat. I was stuck in a gloomy, dark tunnel of seeming hopelessness. My counsellor told me to de-clutter, and focus on Christ and the blessings in my life. My doctor gave me an ultimatum on December 31st….you are obese. Lose weight. Lose at least 15 pounds right now, avoid alcohol, eat healthy, take vitamins, get to a gym, get outside…

So I took the doc’s orders to heart…well…Teresa also pushed me. I took basic measurements on January 5th.

Weight: 195lbs
Chest 42.25
Waist 42
Hips 43

I am 5’7″ which means my ideal weight is around 155-160lbs and my waist should be around 31-32″.  I was totally out of shape. Which did nothing to help my depression.   I had a bum knee, how could I do this?  Walking hurt…

Just give me chips and pop…

So with Teresa standing beside me and supporting me, and joining in on the healthy eating and working out, we have started a new era of our lives.

No diets, no fads, just a lifestyle change.

First I de-cluttered my life.  Dropped some committees, and volunteer positions. I stopped working two jobs, and I put school on hold for now.

I start each day with personal devotions, and I focus on the blessings in my life to start the day.

wpid-20150111_201722.jpgI began eating 6 healthy meals per day, 7 days per week, with some leeway of course…a tall beer or two on Friday evening, a free evening on Saturday (which usually included at least 2/3 of a large bag of Miss Vickies Chips) and an extra large dinner on Sundays (cuz those are the best dinners).  I have cut out sugar, refined foods, and processed foods or what I like to call, “frankenfoods” except for my 3 free snacks/meals.

I started supplementing vitamins and some amino acids to help with my mood.

Using Bill Phillip’s Back to Fit Program  for my exercise plan, I began working out 6 days per week, for 25-35 minutes per day.  That may sound like a lot, but I simply incorporate it into my commute. The program is 12 weeks long and aimed at the 40+ crowd and is easy on the joints.  Yes, I know I am not in my 40’s…it works for anyone. It uses High Intensity Interval Training for both cardio and strength training and really kicks your butt without stressing the joints. I have not missed a single workout. I hated it at first, but now it is something I look forward to everyday.

So we come to the stats.

February 3 measurements:

Weight 178 Down 17 lbs
Chest 39.75 Down 2.5″
Waist 35.75 Down 6.25″
Hips 41 Down 2″

I am still about 20 lbs over weight, but I am not obese any more.  My energy has sky rocketed.  My outlook is improved. But he best thing. The depression is much better.  Not cured, but much, much better.  I still have low days, but the constant haze of darkness has lifted.  In fact, I feel like this Hank Williams song:

 

The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and I let it get run down. I let my devotions slip.  I let the clutter and busyness of life take it’s toll on me. I had my focus in the wrong place. Now the temple is undergoing a renovation. I am decluttering. I am focusing on Christ and family.

It is a complete reboot.

2015 Fitness Challenge: Day 1

Day-1-CalendarToday is technically the first day of the challenge, although I have been exercising and eating healthy for a week already. The week’s food is planned and prepped. The exercise routine is planned.  The measurements are taken.
 
Let’s do this…
 
Starting Measurements
Weight: 195lbs
Chest 42.25
Waist 42
Hips 43
 
Meals and Moves:
5:00am – Smoothie, with strawberry, banana, Greek yogurt, 25gr protien. Coffee.  8 oz water.
9:00am – Apple. 1 boiled egg. handful of almonds. Coffee. 8 oz water.
12:00pm – Chicken and brown Rice. Carrots and celery sticks. 16oz water.
3:00pm – Smoothie with strawberry, banana, carrots, 1 TBsp flax seed, 25gr protien.
4:00pm – Workout 5:25 HIIT.
5:30pm – Baked pollock and baked potato with salsa. Green salad with lo-cal Ranch
8:30pm – Veggie sticks and
9:15pm – Bed

25 Minutes Per Day? Yes Please!

They say you need to set a specific, realistic, and attainable goal in order to maintain motivation for exercising until it becomes a habitual part of your lifestyle.  I guess, “getting healthy” is not specific enough?  And who are “they,” anyway?

All right, fine. I will just use my doctor’s goal for me…

My goal is to lose 15 pounds in 12 weeks.

So my goal is set…but… they also say this…

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Agoal without a plan is a wish. And in Proverbs 21:5 it says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”

I can’t just wish away 15 pounds…I need an exercise plan and I need to be diligent. 

While perusing the endless number of fitness plans on line, suddenly, an email popped into my inbox inviting me to take part in a 12 week transformation fitness challenge.  Normally those types of emails go directly to my junk folder, but this one got through…and I am glad it did. It is a new-years-get-in-shape type thing from fitness guru Bill Phillips of “Body for Life” fame.  I used his Body for Life method about 5 or 6 years ago; it worked really well for me. So, I took a look at this new challenge and decided to use it as my new plan to reboot a healthy lifestyle.

Teresa has even agreed to do it with me to help me stick with it. 🙂

The 5:25 Method
The “5-25” is a modified “body for life” workout method that is perfect for beginners and those who are pressed for time, since it is super high intensity but only takes 25 minutes per day.

My week would look like this: Days 1, 3, 5 would be weights and Days 2, 4, 6 would be cardio and day 7 would be rest.

Cardio Day:
Walk for 2 minutes; Jog for 2 minutes; Sprint for 1 minute (repeat 5 times) This may sound easy…but
Lower Body Day:
Squats; Lunges; Stiff Leg Deadlift; Step ups; Calf Raises
Upper Body Day:
Bench Press; Shoulder Press; Lat Pull Downs; Biceps Curls; Triceps Kickbacks

Weights 
1 complete circuit before resting.
10 reps per exercise and 1 exercise per body part
5 sets with a 2 minute rest between sets.

That is my plan, to acheive my goal of dropping 15 pounds in 12 weeks.

5-25-training

Forced New Year’s Resolutions

Have you ever been forced to make New Year’s Resolutions?

I told myself I was not going to do the whole, “I am gonna get in shape this year resolution blog post…”

But it is not my fault.

Yesterday I went to visit my family doctor.  I have the distinction of being his last patient in 2014.  Kinda neat I guess. 🙂 Anyway, the reason for my visit is that I have been struggling with depression lately, and I am suffering from all the symptoms that go along with it – weight gain, fatigue, lethargy etc.   He has scheduled me for a full physical in a couple weeks to rule out any diseases like cancer, or thyroid problems, etc.  But since I am gaining weight, he is doubtful it is somthing like that. So that put me at ease, but when your doctor follows that with, “Your BMI puts you in the obese category…,” you sit up and pay attention.  His prescription sounds, for the most part, like a forced new year’s resolution:

1. Avoid alcohol.  Eat Healthy. Exercise daily.

2. Drop at least 15-20 pounds (This should be simple if I do #1 lol)

3. Take a Multivitamin for men and an extra 1000Iu of vitamin D daily.

4. Purchase a Natural Full Spectrum light and use it 30 minutes daily.

And since this is starting today, I guess my doctor forced me to break my no-more-new-years-resolutions-resolution.  I used to really enjoy exercising and eating healthy. To be honest, I want to do this, but I have very little motivation to exercise or avoid all the delicious carbs. You would think that my health would be motivation enough.  At least my wife loves me enough to try to make me do it until I begin to like it again lol.

I guess that is all.

Oh.  One more thing. Have a happy and blessed new year.

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A New Beginning

I am back!

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September 1 I am stating a new program of exercise and nutrition.  I will be doing what is known as the Allpro Beginner Workout Routine.  It is simple as there are only 7 exercises to do.  

It will go something like this:
I will do 3 work outs per week on non consecutive days – Monday Wednesday and Friday.  The first work out is my heavy work out. The second work out is my medium work out, I will use 10% less weight for my work sets. The final work out for the week is my light work out, and I will use 20% less weight.
First I will do a light warm up with 1/4 of my work sets weight. Then I will do a medium warm up with 1/2 of my work sets weight.

These are the seven exercises I will be starting with.

Squats
Bench Presses
Bent-Over Rows
Overhead Barbell Presses
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
Barbell Curls
Calf Raises

I will be running this program on a five week cycle as follows:
The first week do all 4 sets for 8 reps.
The second week do all 4 sets for 9 reps.
The third week do all 4 sets for 10 reps.
The fourth week do all 4 sets for 11 reps.
The fifth week do all 4 sets for 12 reps.
If I completed all of the required reps on the fifth week then I will increase the weight by 10% and repeat the cycle. If I didn’t get all of the reps on the fifth week I will repeat the cycle with the same weight. Ishouldn’t need more than one minute rest between the warm up sets and you shouldn’t need more than one minute thirty seconds between the work sets.
I will do some cardio and abs work on the off days.

For my meals I will still eat like a hobbit:  My Meal Plan

Care to join me?

A Month of Nothing

The past month has been one of little exercise or eating right.  When Teresa went on the cruise, I was the one who went on vacation…steak, chips, beer…  🙂 Today I made the decision to get back at it.  I am still down 5 pounds…but that also means I have gained back more than half  of what I lost.  My day looks like this:

7am Meal 1 – Fruit smoothie

10am Meal 2 – Skipped

12pm Meal 3 – Green Smoothie

3pm Meal 4 – Egg & Apple

6pm Meal 5 – Pork Roast with potatoes and corn

9pm Meal 6 – Veggies and dip

Exercise – Run 4km