Back on April 2nd of this year, I embarked on a journey to be healthier. I weighed 265 pounds, and experienced more aches and pains than a fellow my age has a right to. I made a series of dietary and behavioral changes outlined in Four Hour Body, from Timothy Ferriss. These changes are common attributes to “slow carb” eating – and included cutting out all starch/carbs (from rice to bread), not partaking in fruit or natural sugars, and boosting the amount of protein and vegetables eaten throughout the day (especially lean meats and leafy, dark green vegetables). To compliment the restrictions, you’re granted a once-a-week “cheat day” on which you can eat almost anything you like. Adding more muscle through weight and resistance training was also part of my regimen. Through the course of nearly thirteen weeks, I lost 25 pounds, and well over ten inches in chest/waist/hip measurements. I was also feeling fantastic. My aches and pains were virtually disappearing.
Until I injured my shoulder.
Naturally, I was doing something stupid at the time. I was trying to see how much I could arm press (a modified bench press, using a weight machine), you know, so I could say, “Hey, I increased my maximum arm press by ___ pounds! Aren’t I awesome?!”. Well, on my record-setting lift, I felt a sharp pain in my right shoulder. Thankfully, it wasn’t serious. It turned out to be an isolated muscle injury, but one that was destined to nag me for months and require physical therapy. That was my first setback on this journey, but I was not yet derailed.
Until I traveled a bit.
In August, I had two short work trips (I work from home as a voice actor, but occasionally I’m fortunate enough to leave home to do work-related things). One was a long weekend trip to Jacksonville, FL, to record my parts for a radio drama – and the other, a longer weekend trip to Seattle, WA, for a video game convention (PAX Prime 2015). I assure you, the latter was absolutely work-related. I did work things there. I have proof.
In addition to working on those trips, I also lost focus on what I was eating. I guess you could call it “I’m not giving a damn right now”. Although, I’ll again reiterate that I was not on vacation, I was working. Especially at the video game convention, where I appeared on a couple of podcasts – like this one. Warning, it’s probably not safe for work, there’s swearing and potentially offensive content. Like I said; work, work, work.
As it turns out, returning from a few days away from home made me even less motivated to get back on track. I knew I had to re-commit, but I wasn’t weighing or measuring myself. I was also still feeling pretty decent, so I just phoned in the ol’ lifestyle changes for the entire month of August. I just continued playing around with the notion of slow carb through the next month. I’d make suitable choices sometimes, and every day was becoming “cheat day”. I was falling back in love with ice cream. And we know what ice cream lovin’ is all about. It’s the sort of love that spirals into co-signing on a timeshare, getting his & hers matching neck tattoos, and signing up for that manned mission to Mars (from which there is no return).
So, that’s my admission of guilt. I took the “Flip This Body” train off the rails for a spell.
But here’s where the story gets better again. I had my yearly physical last week, and my labs were fantastic! Bad cholesterol was lower than it was last year, good cholesterol was higher. My other numbers were where they need to be. And even after three months of wanton disregard for my lifestyle changes, I had regained only eight pounds (so I was still seventeen pounds south of where I started in April). In the grand scheme of things, not the end of the world. In fact, the worst result of the derailment was that the aches and pains came creeping back.
That’s where I found myself on Sunday afternoon. At an impasse between knowing what I should do and being bored with doing it. Just then, Chris came into my office and said she had just signed up for Weight Watchers – and that I should look at the “online” program, in which I could use the app and not have to attend meetings. I would even get a good deal on the first few months (provided I hit key goals). I looked over the plan, thought about what I wanted (forward progress, something different than what I was doing) and what I wanted less of (food prep, restrictions, beans) and jumped right in.
Onward, through setbacks!