Enough is Enough

Six months ago I wrote a blog about rebooting my fitness journey. That reboot lasted three weeks. Roughly six months before that I banged out a blog that proclaimed something similar (I think I wrote one a year before that). Well, I can tell you this, I have been unsuccessful in these efforts. I have flipped the reasons over in my head numerous times and I have come to a few conclusions. I also stepped on the scale eight days ago and realized that I have officially undone just about everything I accomplished in eight and a half years. It only took a year and a half.

On January 2, 2013, I weighed 236.6 pounds. By Christmas 2014, I was down to 180. It took a year to lose 46 pounds, and another year to lose the last 10, as 180 was my goal weight. I used a combination of things to achieve this goal – walking, running, strength training with resistance bands, free weights, nautilus machines, and iPhone apps – along with better nutrition. I suffered a catastrophic back injury that required surgery, a calf injury that required medical attention and rehab, and numerous other minor injuries and ailments. But through it all, I stayed on track with exercise, but proper nutrition became inconsistent. By the Summer of 2017, I was back up to 200 pounds.

Thanks to a fantastic program my then-trainer designed for me, I dropped back down to 177 in a few short months. But, we changed the meal plan and I started to gain again. Exercise was never the problem (I learned to adore it), it was all about what I put in my face.

I have this tendency to run right up to things and then back away for whatever reason. I have done that several times with my fitness goals, and for some reason, I fell out of love with exercise. First, it was running. I accomplished a pretty ambitious (by my standards) running goal and basically quit that form of exercise. That also seems to be when I stopped tracking things. I never did quite get to where I wanted with my physique and came to the conclusion that I never would. So, as much as I liked to and continued to exercise, I went back to eating and drinking whatever I wanted.

It may seem weird to you, but one of my biggest motivators was this huge bathroom mirror I used to have to walk past to get to the master closet in my old house. Catching my reflection in this mirror 10 years ago is one of the things that led to the commencement of this journey in the first place. Now, I don’t have to dress for work anymore, I don’t travel for work anymore, and things here in the Pacific Northwest are a bit more, shall we say, casual. I live in comfy clothes. But recently, I have been taking longer looks at myself in the mirror and I really don’t like what I see.

My MyFitnessPal weight chart tells a better story than the graph I created above. This is June 2012 – December 5, 2022.

I got on the scale in early July of 2021 after moving to the PNW and it read 205 pounds. Before long I was up to 225. I have tried to reboot my efforts in earnest twice since the Summer of 2021. I had it on the brain and was considering giving it another go a few months ago. That is until I took a tumble down some stairs and severely sprained my left ankle.

One of my excuses has revolved around the lack of equipment. So much of my home gym wouldn’t fit in the moving truck so I had to give up quite a bit. I have enough here to get in a decent workout but for some reason, I haven’t been able to stick with it. If you buy a house in certain parts of the city in which I live, you are required to join the Community Club. The annual family membership is reasonable, yet it took a year and a half for us to finally join. My son and I have been playing basketball in recent weeks as I force my body to move. My ankle is still a bit sore and I get winded easily. After shooting some hoops last night, we took a gander at the fitness center and I was pleasantly surprised at the equipment on hand.

I have thought long and hard about this, and some may wonder why I don’t just jump in now, but I have chosen Monday, January 2, 2023, as the start date of the official reboot. I need time to prepare properly and grocery shop, plus I know I can’t trust myself through the rest of the holidays. January 2 also marks the 10-year anniversary of the day when I started this journey in the first place. When I tried to restart the past couple of times I didn’t have the self-discipline I once had, I didn’t track or measure my progress. I managed to count calories for a few days at a time, but that was about it. I used to have a rock-solid routine and schedule. All that changed after relocating.

Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.

LL Cool J

So, it’s back to the basics, and it’s back to accountability and obsession. It’s back to a set, regimented schedule. I had forgotten the effort and dedication I put into this from 2013-2018. The only way I can do this is to jump in with both feet, measure my food and my body, pose for comparison pictures (don’t worry, I’ll share them with you), and chronicle my experiences with this blog and my social media accounts. It’ll look like a New Year’s resolution, which I don’t make, because of the date I’ve chosen. And some of you will unfollow me because you’ll get sick of the workout updates and emotional roller coaster I’ll be on. I have a few indictments of the fitness industry I’ll share along the way as well. I put it all out there before, and I’ll do it again if only to keep myself on track.

So, after exercising 4-6 days per week for eight and a half years, from January 2013 – June 2021, I have learned exactly how long it takes to undo all of that hard work. A year and a half, a paltry 18 months. That’s it, folks, 18 months. Had I at least been consistent with nutrition over that time, maybe I wouldn’t weigh what I do right now. Maybe I wouldn’t be on the edge of having to buy bigger sizes, which I swore I’d never do.

As of December 5, 2022, I weigh 235 pounds (and not in a good way). Hopefully, I don’t creep up any. My BMI is 34.7, and my body fat is somewhere north of 36%. This technically makes me obese.

I’m right back where I started 10 years ago, more or less. The good news is that this time I am armed with 10 years of experience, knowledge, and hopefully, wisdom. I know that the calorie counts for food are inaccurate, and the calories burned meters on cardio exercise equipment are inaccurate, I know the importance of drinking water, I know that my body weight and body fat are directly proportional, and I know I lost my way somewhere between 2018-2022. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. It’s strange, I went through a three-year period of not keeping track of my weight in a meaningful way after doing so for five years straight. It’s as if I felt like I had arrived or thought I was done. I forgot so much of what I had learned, especially all of what it took to live a healthy lifestyle. It takes work and dedication and sticktoitiveness, especially since most of the chips are stacked against us in this regard as human beings in today’s world.

This time, I have a better plan. And this time, I plan to stick to it.

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