I Learned About Something From That

On July 9, 2012, in Fitness, by scott

Disclaimer: I am no expert in the medical field nor the physical fitness field. What follows is simply an experience that happened to me.

Life. Mergers. Kids. Money. Holidays. Stress!

Everything happens to everyone. Sometimes all at the same time. Sometimes only one thing at a time. Life happens… and it happened to me.

When winter came, I took notice that my uniform pants weren’t quite the same color they were when I originally purchased them… in fact, they were a bit on the green side.  As a responsible employee, I stopped in the uniform shop and ordered some new pants.

It was then I asked if I should be measured, and I was notified that they had my measurements in their computer system and they would ship me pants according to those sizes.

Four weeks later I get a box with some brand new pants that match the rest of my uniform in color. Problem was, I could not fasten the waist.

My initial reaction was one of shock! Are these the correct size? Didn’t they have my measurements? What could be wrong with these pants?!?

Enter reality. Life happened.

I had been running regularly. I had been hitting the gym a couple times per week. What could have happened? It was time to take a look at myself and the lifestyle I had chosen to lead.

Long story short, I was consuming too much food for my own good (and good food it was!)

It was a new low. As you may know, if you have known me for years, there was a point in my life where I was a rather large guy… and that’s putting it kindly. I graduated high school weighing a low low 287 pounds. Last winter, I was nowhere near that weight, but I was above that 200 mark…by more than a few pounds, and slowly creeping the wrong direction.

Then, the reality moment. It was time to change. I had changed in the past, adapted, and succeeded. It was time again to do the things I knew worked for me and make a positive change.

The first change in my life was a simple change. I started counting the calories of that good stuff I put in my mouth. There are a large amount of applications for your smart phones that can help with this, but I chose to use a calorie counter made by mynetdiary.com for iOS. Wow. Nothing short of an eye opener.

Setting up a reasonable weight loss goal of 1-2 pounds per week, I was shown the amount of calories that would help me reach the goal. System in place, I then proceeded to the physical side… the exercise.

At this point, I was in the gym three days per week, running three days per week, and resting one day per week…or at least that was the goal. I had been using the Body-For-Life method in my workouts as they had worked for me in the past with great success (as they still do.) The problem with the method was the intensity. What once worked in the past, does not work for my now older body.

A month in and the weight started dropping. An added benefit was the waist line rapidly shrinking. To increase the effectiveness of my workouts, I started turning to supplementation. In addition to supplementation, I also started slowing down my reps and increasing intensity. Long story short, I was lifting heavy, hard, and resting about 4 days before I hit that body part again.

Then, another memorable moment happened. Pre-workout supplement consumed, I was working out my legs via a squat rack. On my last two reps of my working set, I suddenly had a sharp pain in my head. Sharp may be an understatement. I dumped the bar, laid on the floor, and curled to the fetal position for about 30 seconds. After that time, the pain subsided to a dull ache. Within two hours, thank God, the pain was gone.

This was enough for me to be a bit concerned.  I noted what had happened in the corner of my mind and moved on with the workout…and my life. Five days later, it happened again.

Doctor’s visit scheduled. MRI taken. Brain’s fine. No Aneurism!

Long story short, pre-workout supplements worked great for me, BUT, the stimulants that they contained really weren’t great for my physical makeup.  The doctor also reminded me that I’m 34, NOT 24. Time to lift a bit more intelligently and give my body a bit more rest time.

That was March.

Since that time, I have been tracking my calories. Not only the caloric intake, but also the macro nutrients of food. The weight training routine has been virtually the same with the difference being how I perform each rep and my new definition of failure per exercise.  No longer will I push through bad form. If I can’t complete a rep with proper form, I either call that set done or drop the weight and go until I once again can’t perform the rep with proper form. Form>weight.

The weight loss has plateaued for the moment. With that, I am okay as long as the waist line keeps decreasing and the strength level keeps increasing.

Overall, I personally feel better than I have felt in a long time. My endurance has increased. I can run a 5k without even thinking about it. My bench and squat weights have increased. And lastly, that pair of uniform pants that were too small…well.. they are the uniform pants I currently wear!

Lift smartly. Eat well. Take care of yourself. Enjoy life! After all, we have only been blessed with one life to spend on this beautiful Earth. We may as well enjoy it!



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