Please be kind in this post. While not one to normally post shirtless pictures of myself, it’s been just over a year since I started this weightloss/ strength journey. I worked my butt off. I lost 40 lbs. Had to buy an all new wardrobe. I feel healthy and amazing.
This is My Progress
After a workout with my aunt in Chicago, she snapped this photo of me and said, I would want this at some point for records. Since then, I have been taking semi regular milestone photos (which I ultimately decided not to post).
This post is a really just a recap for myself (and anyone else interested) of the journey I took to claim control of my body and my life. This is how I got to where I am today.
What Made Me do It?
Honestly, I am not sure if it was any one thing. A lot happened at the same time. It likely had something to do with my father having a major health scare, which frightened me. I vividly remember turning to my wife and saying “I can’t let that happen to me”. I was in my early 30’s and I didn’t feel great. I wasn’t “fat” but I certainly wasn’t the epitome of health.
I guess, in some ways, I just felt I needed to see if I could push myself to do it. January 7th, 2016, just over a year ago, I decided it was time to take control of my life. No better time than a new years resolution, right?
I posted on the work refrigerator the insanity schedule, and wrote on it that we were starting on Sunday. I had one person join me. (He would later go on to become one of the big motivators for me.) We did that workout consistently for the first month and then switched over to Max30. He also pushed me to start running, and even later we started doing a bit more body weight strength training.
Separately, I also challenged myself for 30 days to see if I could go without eating junk food. No cake. No cookies. No candy. Try to be a little healthier. Do you know how hard this is! It was like crap food was appearing out of thin air. It was everywhere!
This was the beginning of creating some new habits.
Motivation that Kept me Going
As I said, having a buddy around that could keep me going was immensely beneficial, but it was also the #max30 program (thank you Shaun T.). I travel for work all the time, and knowing that we had a schedule, I had to keep up with it, or he wouldn’t let me live it down.
Then there was also the ego baiting. I was getting so many compliments! A few people stopped me to make sure I was intentionally trying to lose weight. Took me a second to realize what they were getting at.
I recall a number of moments that made a tremendous impact on me during this process:
- I was in the lounge in JFK, and the guy behind the desk looked at my passport and said to me “wow, you lost some weight”. This was like 3 months in, which is obviously motivating, and he said “I could never lose weight like that, I like food too much”. I said back to him, “I love food too, but eating a tub of ice cream tastes good for 20 minutes. Looking in the mirror and feeling comfortable in my body always feels good“. It was a profound moment.
- While out for drinks with my friend Chris and we were talking about this idea when he said to me “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels“. He was right.
- I also posted this photo off me running through NYC, and the comments on the photo about how I lost so much weight, I look trim and great, etc. I think that was the first time that I said to myself “holy s#*t, I did lose a ton of weight“. That motivated me for sure and helped keep me going!
- But the ultimate turning point for me was when I got my wife on board with our fitness journey. She started running, and then running with me. And then eating healthier, which was crucial because if I was going at the whole healthy thing for dinner by myself, when shes eating oily greasy food, and I am eating a carrot, that would have been tough. Instead, we started to think about ways to eat filling, healthy, and fun meals. Meal prepped food. Found fun recipes. etc.
Daily Workout Routine
Yes, I exercise a lot. I work out 5-6 days a week. I am addicted to it and its becomes a priority for me. Like a major priority in my life. I don’t travel without workout clothes. If I have all day meetings, I will be up at 4:30 in the morning to get it in.
By the way, my typical workout is somewhere between 30-45 minutes so its not a huge time suck.
- 3 days a week I do an Insanity workout (#max30)
- 2 days a week I run
- Depending on how things work out, I do some aggressive mountain biking on Fridays, which could last 3-4 hours.
What I Eat
The only significant thing that changed is that I am much more conscious about what I put into my body. I still eat well and I eat a lot. But I eat a lot of the right food.
- Breakfast: I make this delicious parfait type thing (shout out to my friend Mananya for the idea… measurements are what fit me). If not that, I have 3 egg whites, cottage cheese, and vegetables. Sometimes I have a bowl of oatmeal or cereal, but not often.
- Lunch: We have a lunch plan at work 3 days a week. So I take 1 plate of whatever we get that day. The other days, I have some pita with cottage cheese, avocado, tomato, cucumber. Its delicious. Or tuna with some vegetables and cottage cheese.
- Dinner: My wife and I usually make this monstrous salad with a bean based dressing or balsamic one. It has some sort of protein in it (grilled chicken, tofu, or veggie patties), and I pretty much eat that until I am full.
- I also usually have a small brick of chocolate every night… guilty pleasure.
- I snack, but mostly on fruits an vegetables. Sometimes, if I feel I need it, I grab some pretzels, or a small handful of nuts.
This is really just what worked for me. I was fortunate to find a groove of good tasty food I enjoyed that I didn’t get bored of. That is a really important piece I think as dieting was one of the biggest parts of this.
What’s Next in this Fitness Journey?
A year in, I feel incredible. I am stronger, thinner, and super psyched about it. I still prefer body weight workouts and have been working on pull-ups, which is helping me zone in on other muscles. I am still eating healthy, but allow myself a bit more slack than I have over the past year. But eating healthy for me isn’t as much of a challenge these days because I love the healthy food. But I also love ice cream, so I need to remind myself that too.