And The Story Repeats
Returning home from Sunday night hockey, I pulled into my driveway. Playing in the beer leagues lends itself perfectly to its given name. Nothing’s quite as refreshing as cracking open a couple of cool barley pops after a game that requires so much effort physically. It’s as refreshing as downing that beer after being outside in the blazing heat of the sun after doing yard work while drenched in sweat. I got out of my car, grabbed my equipment, and placed it downstairs. My kids are typically in bed at this point, and my wife is watching the Walking Dead. Before the long week coming up and having just sweat profusely for the past hour, what’s another couple of beers going down the hatch or few handfuls of Goldfish crackers?
Monday morning, I hop into the shower with the thought I was going to act differently this week. I’d get up a little earlier, so I could get to work earlier and spend a little more time on cardio while I was at the gym. This surely would help melt the calories I put into my body the night before, and the day before that, oh and those Wednesday beers I justified because I ran a 5k on the treadmill after lifting. My diet doesn’t suck that bad, does it?
This story repeated week after week. I’ve tried a number of different workout routines from P90X, Max-OT training, and Men’s Health Huge in a Hurry. Getting to the gym on routinely was never a problem for me. It’s been programmed into me for the past ten years. At this point, like many other people, the feeling of frustration overwhelmed me. I started doubting my abilities and self-control. I started searching for answers.
Off To Amazon
We are genetic sequels of our parents. Whether we receive the good or the bad genetics, avoiding the bad could happen if I was proactive about it.
Arming myself with the knowledge would and will be key avoiding these genetic qualities that could manifest into life altering problems. Mostly, I wanted to drop the pounds that had me cringing when I took a picture of myself and seeing the love handles expanding. Being a desk jockey, something needed to change.
Shopping for a weight training guide on Amazon, I found a book of particular interest that had great reviews by everyone that practiced its teachings.
Locked and Loaded
I stopped my current training routines and pretty much just did cardio until I completed reading Bigger Leaner Stronger.
Michael Matthews laid out the information simply and backed by scientific studies. It’s provided in simple terms of here’s what you do, why, and here’s the science behind it.
Armed with the information provided in the book, I hit the ground running, or so I thought…
Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude and Ideas
With the workouts being executed, my goal attainment seems like it was half a year to years away. At this point, my diet was still shit. This seemed to be a common theme no matter which program I was working.
It wasn’t until I was on vacation with my family in September of 2016, I gave myself that Monday speech. Except this time I was armed with knowledge of what I needed to do. I’d had enough of failing.
After a week in beautiful OBX, I sat down did as Mike Matthews suggested and created a spreadsheet of everything I ate. My mistakes, I was eating too much or too little. My macros were all over the place. I had no idea if I was eating too much protein, carbs, or fat. So finally, I adjusted for all of my foods to fit the program. The switch had been flipped.
Seriously, Failing to Plan, IS Planning to Fail
Working in software development with an agile method; programmers, project managers, and product owners work collaboratively to plan which features, bugs, and tasks will be integrated within a two week period, or however long we decide the spring should be. Typically this is met with ranges of success, but there’s always a retrospective of what the team can do differently alleviate any blockers and work more efficiently to meet their goals.
Reassessing and being transparent in my dieting habits would be crucial if I wanted to attain my goals. It was lunacy if I were to follow the same pattern of hitting the gym, eating shit, and expecting somehow to expect my body to change. I couldn’t outrun or lift my shitty diet. After this vacation, changes were needed.
While this was the hardest part in the determined effort to make a change, figuring out the macro-nutrient and calorie consumption may have been the most difficult. Luckily, I have a supporting wife as she does all the grocery shopping help with these changes.
There’s another step. Have an awesome supporting cast.
The plan was set in motion.
Tested Often and Early
In October, a friend of mine asked if I wanted to watch the Wisconsin vs. University of Michigan. Accepting, a few things crossed my mind that pertained my goals. We were heading to a mutual friend’s house where tailgating ensued with large quantities or beer and shots.
- Am I going to be able to keep sober? Past experience has told me no.
- What am I going to do about the food that is there? I did bring 2lbs of burger to be cooked up
- If I do let go, what happens to the rest of my goals?
Luckily, my friends appeared supportive, in their own manner. Obviously, I received crap because who doesn’t drink at a tailgate? Old habits would suggest for me drinking three beers, a light day for me, would turn into eight to ten beers.
After Michigan won a defensive battle of a football game, my friend and I waited for traffic clear Ann Arbor at our friend’s house. Still, I remained strong and I was given even more a reason to stay sober letting my friend take those Anheuser Busch horses by the reins. I drove us home once traffic cleared.
Six Weeks In – Round 1
Six weeks completed and I was finally on a week of rest. My hockey buddy was turning thirty and a number of people were headed on a charter bus to Joe Louis Arena, which for many of us Wings fan the last time.
I invited my dad to come along with us. I packed a small cooler with Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Mind you, these beers are pretty high octane.
My old drinking habits caught up with me. I downed a few larger beers at the game. Six weeks of not drinking and changing my diet lowered my tolerance a bit. Normally this would be a Monday night snack of beers.
As we all piled back onto the bus in Detroit, around Lansing the heavy hopped beer beer started playing twisting knots in my stomach. My dad, next to me, had fallen asleep. I was holding a conversation with a couple of guys when the strong IPAs started making me nauseous.
Quickly, I reached down to my small cooler, unzipping it as fast as I could. I unleashed filling the cooler with a couple of extra beers floating around in it.
Saying yes to beer was saying no my goals.
When I got home, I threw away the cooler, walked up the stairs wobbly, and told my wife over and over how I was pathetic mostly because I can’t hold my liquor anymore.
I had my Sunday night talk with myself, and I felt not drinking for six weeks was easier than I initially thought. It was after those first six weeks of training, dieting, and rituals I felt I was finally headed in the right direction.