Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
January 4, 2017
This must be the most aggravating time of the year for all people. You still have the hangover of the holiday season resting on your mind, making you wish you had more vacation time after your sleep and rest patterns have been seriously altered. I remember when I was growing up and going to school and how I secretly loathed the holiday break from school. I got so used to the sleeping in, the extra television time, the extra video gaming time and the fact you could eat so much junk food whenever you wanted. Usually my parents never gave me any heck about this lifestyle change, as long as I was ready to go back to school and not have to have my butt dragged out of bed on the first day of school. Bad habits were ignited in such a short time. This year, I felt the same way even if I didn’t have any real vacation time. This year I managed to get both Christmas and New Year’s Day off, but it wasn’t because of work but because those were my normal days off. I didn’t get any additional time off or anything, so I kind of just lounged around on those days and treated them like typical days…mainly because I just didn’t have any additional time that would allow me to think otherwise. It is kind of strange when you grow up and start realizing how good you had it back in those days and often times wish you could have some of the same things you used to have back then. For me, the unrequited free time and the unlimited amount of sleep was the best part about growing up, for those are the two things I wish I could be better at these days. I mean, those were so easy back in those days. These days, life kind of takes you down some weird alleys and forces you to make compromises and changes that are not necessarily to your liking. I never thought I would want to get up at four in the morning every day to go to work, but on the other hand, I get to get out of work before the rush hour traffic gets really bad at the end of the day. There is always a trade off, and utilizing the good trade offs and offsetting the bad ones are the key to life. At least that is the way I see it, for rarely do things work out perfectly for you in terms of managing your life and your life’s expectations.
I didn’t expect that I would let my life derail into the disgusting 400-pound life that I had molded myself into. It was to be expected I guess, for I kind of deserved my situation since I never really worked out or even walked, ate whatever I wanted and lived just about the most sedentary life I could imagine. Making the decision to finally take some control of my life was not an easy one. It took a lot of badgering and pestering, not to mention some actual realization that the body and life I was leading was not the one I should have been leading. I still have a lot of hang-ups about everything in regards to my life. I still eat too much. I often times hit bouts where I don’t work out enough or hard enough, and I also hit these extreme lows when it comes to the way I view myself. I am once again in one of those lulls, and it has adversely affected the way I feel about myself. I lost so much time eating myself into oblivion that I lost those important years of youth, and I am paying for it dearly trying to traverse the current dating world at 39 and realizing that I should have been building a career and credit rather than hoping I would die of a coronary or something. So yes, the turn of the new year is not a good time for me, for it causes a lot of assessment on my part and makes me realize just how much I wasted because I loved food and drink so much. And I can never get that time back and never make myself younger. Those realizations really depress me, for I often times wonder what my life would be like if I had not spent the better part of a decade gaining weight, drinking and eating. I do feel angry at myself a lot due to these circumstances, and I rightfully should be. I mean, I might already be married or I might have a better job. People look at you differently when you are 30 as opposed to pushing 40 and trying to do a life reset. It is not a good feeling. In fact, it is a rather tough and sometimes humiliating endeavor, for even though you have a job you see many others that have been fortunate to choose the right profession and get on the right path. And here I am getting paid to be berated half the day by knuckleheads who don’t even know what cellular data is (but have no trouble using a ton of it!).
I will say this about life though, the good thing about the New Year is you do have a chance to move forward with the short term goals that can help you learn how to establish better goals down the line. Right now, I consider this to be a rather important year, and for once in my life I will actually be making a legitimate, honest to god New Year’s Resolution. I will not be one of those people that seek to make grandiose movements in body and health, the kind of things that would put me at risk in regards to my health. Of course, making a resolution comes at great risk, because the inherent overreaching of society in general has made the fitness industry rather rich. If you think not, just look at the massive collection of sports accessories for your phone and everyday life. Anyway, establishing long term goals are tricky, primarily because you expect to do this in a short amount of time. I have issues with the weight loss because it has become such an important part of my life that I cannot negate the idea of looking at the scale. Now I usually hate the scale in general, but I recently I gained 10 pounds back on my frame. I was typically sitting at 240 for the longest time, so now I see that I have once again regressed.
I should not be so angry because I have bounced back from this sort of setback before, but the overall problem I keep having in this situation is the fact it keeps happening. My desire to not look at the scale has made me a bit lazy I think, and this year will be the first time in a long time where I will be weighing myself weekly. Some people might think this sort of thinking is dangerous, but I have to start getting real now. The former fuzzy nonsense of loving your body and the way you look is utter bullshit and is not working. In fact, it never worked and that is the reason why so many people quit in the middle of their journey. “Loving” your flaws too much is almost as dangerous as setting up a New Year’s Resolution that may be out of reach. Yup, I said it. Now the key for moving forward is to not be content with the setbacks you have on your journey. While people complain that resolutions are not really important when establishing new health regimens, I often times beg to differ. The problem too many people have is they don’t have any frame of reference in terms of moving forward. Too many people go balls to the wall and have no idea how to sustain that path and then quit. I’m not perfect by any means, but on the other hand, I have managed to lead a relatively consistent schedule of working out and running (though I have been extremely lazy with my running as of late, almost to the point where my running shoes are looking like a bad investment). I have the tools, but the problem right now is getting my head on straight and figuring out a good plan moving forward.
In case you haven’t you haven’t noticed, the little moniker that starts off on the blog has been changed. Jon used to put me in certain phases of my fitness, indicating the level of knowledge and ability I have gained in the process, and the fact I was in “Phase VI” for such a long time indicates some changes need to be made. So I am doing the operative change and calling this “Phase VII,” mainly because I really need a clean break moving forward. Jon has been having me do snatching practice for my fitness workouts lately, and now I have to start making some other changes to accommodate the new mentality that I have to start partaking in. My obvious efforts are lacking—not working hard enough in the gym, not running at all and being too liberal with my diet—and these areas need some massive changes. I’m not getting younger or better looking or making any extra cash any time soon, for these are all things that are tied to my ego right now…and boy has my ego been hurting. The only thing I have complete control of right now is my fitness, and that means I will have to pull my head out of ass and start being tougher on myself. The thing that has been hurting me the most is the fact I have been too “touchy feely” with how I approach my fitness. I am too proud and content with what I can do that I have become too lazy to make myself better and work harder. This happened to me in 2014, so I have to really start harkening back on the reasons why I got my butt in gear and started working harder. The biggest problem I am running into is people telling me that I am too hard on myself and that I have been exceptional in what I have done so far. But that is the thing…the phrase “so far.” If anything, this indicates that I should be doing more and should be doing better in what I do every day.
Now let me put this out there, none of this is coming from Jon. The great thing about Parsons Training is the fact they give you the tools and the inspiration to push yourself at the pace you need to go. The support I have gotten from all the trainers and the people at the gym has been the best experience for me. But now it comes to this, as I almost complete my fifth year with Parsons. I have to start looking better. I have to start making more drastic changes in my life and my health. I have been too content with what I have done to this point, which is why I will need to make a legitimate decision to move forward. If anything, I have to take a more hard line approach with my health. I am tired of being fat and looking like a turd on the side of the road, so I really need to put more effort into changing my body and looking like the people in many of the photos I use for this blog. Becoming a stock photo fitness expert is not entirely the goal, but I need to start taking more initiative, and if that means being tougher on myself then so be it.
Now this may sound like a drastic change from what the general message of the blog is, but you have to remember I am tired of this stalemate. I am tired of looking like the man I am and if I ever truly want to look like the man that I want to become, some things are going to have to change. I will admit, it will be painful. I probably won’t start the regimen this week, maybe in a couple weeks when I get my next paycheck. I will be starting the ground work over the next couple weeks, trying to make some changes with my diet and my approach to life. I will probably start doing some juicing again, and will be eating a boatload of beans and spinach to help with my burgeoning issue of not getting enough protein in my diet. If anything, I want 2017 to be a year of huge change, for I have been lazy and haphazard when it comes to the way I look. I want to go on the shopping spree and get new clothes so I don’t look like such a sack of potatoes. I want to be able to take my shirt off in public some day. I want women to give me double takes. I want people to look at me and say that guy has his shit together with his health. The way I look and the trajectory I am on indicates none of those things with people. You might say why should I care about what other people think, but I have lived under that mantra for four years and I am still overweight and soft. Listen, all this touchy feely nonsense of loving yourself is great for some, but it is obvious this nonsense is doing very little for me these days. Contentment has been my greatest enemy and nothing will change in my life if I don’t make these disciplinary and life changes. Sorry if this sounds negative and self deprecating, but the time of softness and niceness is over. It is time step into the next phase of my fitness and start accepting the fact the previous approach was good for what it was but is now obsolete. It is time to start reading the scale, start decreasing my disgusting stomach and look like the man that I dream about being. Things will change and will be much better when I finally make the concerted effort to make this happen. This is the year to do it. It is time to stop living like I am on a Christmas vacation from school. I don’t want to enter my 40th year of life looking like this.
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.