Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Only Solution

For years (around seven) of struggling to get back to my 200 pound self from early ‘04, I’ve talked about “how I did it back then.” I briefly succeeded then, so stubbornness implies that that’s the only way I can do it again. There’s truth and fallacy in this assumption.

Working out, eating right, research, research, research. Welcome to the modern day warrior, those who choose to take care of themselves, and those who at least try. The one thread that winds through any research about what activities to do and what to eat revolves around rejection. Take in what you are reading, reject what doesn’t make sense. Everyone thinks they have the answer, myself included, and everyone is wrong. And everyone is right. So how do you know what to listen to? I suppose you have to rely on common sense.

Fads is a four letter word for a reason, much like cash. Since my mind works in numbers, I’ll break it down this way: fads + cash = bullshit. Just about everyone selling something with regard to health isn’t selling a product, they’re selling fear. Purchasing means success, keeping your money means failure. We tend to view this as all negative, when in reality there is truth in every product, and true value in simplicity. Thus the only real fact is that we all need help, but true success comes from doing the work, and doing it naturally.

Dr. Atkins took a grain of truth and turned it into a suffocating beach of hot sand. Limiting carbs is good. Limiting simple carbs is better. But a nation swept up in “Meat fest ‘01” (I wouldn’t google that if I were you) is terrible. Remember when fat was the worst thing in the world? Turns out that is simply not true. The reality is that much like carbs, we need fat. Yes, in moderation, but we still need both.

So the truth always lies somewhere in the middle. Everything in moderation. I found reputable sites back in ‘04 and still had to wade through a lot of protein junkies (I fear for their livers) to create my 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat diet that helped me lose 67 pounds. And ever since, I’ve been telling myself that I just have to get back to all of my old ways to be successful. I couldn’t be more wrong.

We have spent the last two days going to the gym before work. My wife has requested this as our plan for as long as I remember, and I’ve always rejected it. Morning is not my friend. I used to get off work at 7pm “back then” and still had time to eat relatively well and make it to the gym. But in a moment of clarity, after our first morning workout, I realized that I was younger then. And single. And frankly my food intake wasn’t actually as healthy as I would like it to be now. We need to focus on fresh, real foods. Good tasting, actual food. Most of what I find easy to eat these days is packaged garbage, and that has to stop.

The morning routine has won out over telling myself over and over that I’ll go to the gym in the evening. No matter what happens, even if I fall off the wagon, I’ll know for a fact that working out before going to work is the best and only way for me to succeed. I’m not gonna be one of those protein junkies I mentioned earlier and say “if you work out at night it’s not really helping.” Work out whenever and wherever you can. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong if you’re at least doing it. Morning works for me, and may not work for you. So take in what I’m saying, reject what doesn’t make sense, and learn for yourself what finally rings that butt-moving bell in your head. At some point the excuses and questions fall away, and all you’re left with is giving up or finding out what actually moves you.


  1. Good luck with the morning workouts. I'm a morning worker-outer, too. It's the only way I can make my workouts happen consistantly. Props to you both! Love the blog!