Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Getting in Shape: the Attitude Change!

BLOGGERS NOTE: Below are some things I have done to be healthier and get into shape. I am by no means an expert so always consult with a doctor before starting a workout regiment.

After some soul searching these last couple months, I finally got fed up with my weight and shape. For the last couple years, I had been losing weight, gaining it back, losing weight and gaining it back. Every season I would "plan" an event so I could work towards dropping a quick 10 pounds and feel good about myself. And the week after the event, I quickly began to gain it back.

I needed a mental attitude change, something not superficial like an upcoming reunion but more meaningful and long term. I did some hard thinking about my life and health and decided that I needed to just be healthier overall. My stamina was zapped and energy levels were at an all time low. I also noticed I wasn't waking up as easily as I thought I should. I was always tired and drained.

I began to develop some goals where I wasn't going nuts on working out (at first), just 15-30 minutes to get my heart pumping and blood flowing. I figured I would slowly start increasing the work out time to a steady 30 minutes but then found I was pushing myself to 45 and then 60 minutes or more.

And then there was the diet. Everyone who knows me, knows I like my drink! :)  I especially LOVE my wine and my craft beers. What to do, what to do!? Well, instead of the 2-3 drinks each evening I was enjoying, I dropped it to one for a couple weeks and now once every couple days.

I also gave up most chemical sweeteners. I will allow myself sugar for my coffee but that's about it. I gave up white bread and white rice. I now go for multigrain breads or brown rice. Pasta has been more difficult. I have moved onto whole grain or wheat varieties. I try and keep my pasta intake to once a week.

Salads and fruits are a must. Besides just being healthy, they help fill you up with minimal calories. It was difficult to incorporate them back into each meal but I have succeeded in having items always available for snacks or preparing a salad the night before for lunch.

I have stopped drinking sodas but still like the occasional diet ginger ale or Diet Coke. Water has become a staple again. Those little liquid flavor enhancers like Mio are really great too in adding flavor. I try and drink alot of water each day. Here is a link to a really good article on WebMD on the benefits of drinking water: http://www.webmd.com/diet/6-reasons-to-drink-water .

As an adult, I have never been a big sweet eater so luckily I have never had stashes of hidden cookies or candy around the house.

Beside weight loss, I have also benefited from better skin. I don't know if it's just eating healthier or sweating everything out of me but my skin is alot clearer and I'm having less breakouts. I also have noticed I have a better color. I don't seem to pasty, washed out. I just feel I look healthier overall.

I have much more energy. It's true! I am not as sluggish as I once was and have the energy to go home after work and accomplish things instead of watching another Seinfeld rerun which I have seen probably 5 times already. I'm also getting up easier in the morning. I don't find myself having to begrudgingly drag myself out of bed.

One last health benefit which sealed the 'workout' deal for me is that my neuralgia, a complication from shingles, has greatly improved. Unfortunately every year or two since college, I suffer from a shingles outbreak. Shingles is the dormant chickenpox virus which is reactivated due to stress or illness as an adult. It's no big deal and mostly annoying. I eventually wanted to write a blog about it but haven't gotten around to it yet. If I keep my stress levels in check and stay healthy, the shingles outbreaks, for the most part, are kept at bay.

I had an episode of shingles several years ago on my left thigh. It was probably the worst episode in a good long while. As a result, I have neuralgia in that spot which radiates from my left thigh down my leg.

The neuralgia affects the damaged nerves just under the skin. It can either be a burning sensation or severe "pins and needles." It can literally feel like my leg is on fire. I sometimes wake up in the middle of night from the pain. 

Since I have lost the weight and gotten back into shape, the episodes of pain from the neuralgia have greatly subsided. It is still there, but now much more manageable. I surmise that it has to do with less weight on my middle which press down on the nerve endings. Once the weight started to come off, the neualgia flare ups were not as severe and much less frequent.

There you have it friends. I am feeling better than I ever have. Working out reduces my stress levels and has given me more energy. Since I started getting into shape back in February, I have lost almost 20 pounds in a healthy combination of dieting and exercise. If you wanna lost weight and keep it off, I have come to realize (even though experts always have said it) it has to be a combo of the two.

I'm on my way to being in the best shape ever at age 45.





2 comments:

  1. I'm very happy your efforts were so rewarded. You deserve the best in life and you earned it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great job Marc. Keep up the good work.
    Morag

    ReplyDelete