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 15, 2017
You feel that pain in your stomach….the one at the bottom that is tapping the empty linings of your gut and loudly compelling you to break the seal. I mean this by going down to the local donut shop, getting yourself a whole bunch of pumpkin empanadas and bismarcks, and quelling the demon. That’s right, if you really took that whole New Year’s Resolution thing literally, you are probably seeing some early fruits of your endeavor. You probably lost a few pounds to start off, mainly because you gave up your soda habit and replaced the chicken with cauliflower and the french fries with actual organic potatoes. You quickly learn how to manage the arm moving “thingy” at the brand new gym you signed up, the friendly one that doesn’t call itself a gym and occasionally hands out pizza to you as a sign of getting the job done. But now you have hit that strange moment, the moment where your body starts resisting. It starts telling you to make that one cheat meal, and you are battling inside your head about doing so because you have told yourself this would be the year, this would be the year where you can get that bonus from work due to that crazy health challenge and get a break on your health insurance because you actually got your weight down. This is the year to turn back the clock because you remember this is when things started going downhill for that relative you knew who died young, a stunning realization after hearing the dreadful truth from your family now that health is replacing the typical topics of gossip and sports. You wanna get back your mojo and your libido and feel better again. You want those women you see every day at work or wherever to actually notice you for your physique rather than the massive zits on you face and neck (such is life for me). But you have hit that wall, that proverbial Cliff of Insanity that only Andre the Giant is strong enough to climb up (or the Dread Pirate Roberts for that matter). So you take that trip to the donut shop and munch on a couple cinnamon rolls, and this is where the self hate begins. You overcompensate, try to eat less to make up for the deluge only to find yourself doing it again and again. And then you give up….it’s just that simple. You figure you can try it again later in the year, but then stuff happens and you get a promotion and you go on a nice anniversary vacation with your wife and eat at every fine restaurant you run into. And thus you put the change back one more year, because you are still young and you still have a lot of years ahead of you. This was my former life.
Now, I always felt the change would be a flip of the switch, but I can always tell you that this is wrong from every standpoint. I’m not the expert on this orator thing, but being a guy that was big enough to have his own gravitational pull and probably made the floor rattle when he walked past, I have some idea about the difficulties of this time foyer. So let me give you some advice, starting with the most obvious.
5. DON’T GET PISSY ABOUT THE CHEAT MEALS
I used to be wholly against the cheat meal, but these days I actually support it. My problem right now, much like a lot of other people in the United States, is when do you use the particular meal to your advantage. This where the so-called experts really make their change, figuring out ways to get you to buy their program and tell you how to eat. Here is the problem though, if you have a bad eating regimen, then you will maintain that bad eating regimen through your transformation. Trust me, I still eat like a pig, the only difference is I am eating too many beans and lentils as opposed to Skittles and pizza. The old habit of gorging is still there in a lot of ways, and this is something I really need to find out how to conquer. This past year, I have had no issues with taking a cheat meal from time to time, usually reserving one bad meal on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Trouble is, I would also take another one during the week, often times losing control when I do. So if you were like me and ate everything you saw, how do you think that switch will be flipped? So yes, not indulging in the cheat meal is bad, but doing it too often is worse. So what does that mean…get a stinking calendar as Frank T.J. Mackey. Start off slow, doing one cheat meal every three days and then add a day for every month. When you get to one cheat meal a week, that means you are doing one heck of a job! For me, I will try to keep the number of cheat meals down during the week, restricting it to lunch on Saturday, dinner on Monday and one more meal between those days. Right now, I am adopting the three cheat meals a week plan and see how that goes. Of course, the main problem is whether I will use them all in one day or not (I certainly hope not!)
4. STAY AWAY FROM THE GYM
Okay, not this term literally, but you kind of have an idea of what I mean. I walked past the new Chuze next to my house, and while the place is nice and all, it must be a hot miserable cesspool in there. The Chase parking lot next to the place is nearly full every day after 5 p.m. with the spillover traffic, and too many people are running across 16th from the Fry’s parking lot, royally pissing me off when they do so and leading an angry honk from me. How the hell are you going to get anything done when the machines are full and the wannabes are hogging the Smith presses and dumbbells? You will not get anything done. Trust me. Half the time you will be waiting and then you can boast that you were at the gym for two hours, but 90 minutes of that was waiting around for the supplement chugging gym douches to stop hogging the damn benches and leg presses. And of course, people are using the cardio machines because they do not want to expose their outer weakness to the supposed gym bros, because they secretly think everyone is judging them (though some of them do). The great thing about being 6-3 and 238 pounds is most men know it is in their right frame of mind to not judge me, especially considering the typical gym is more of a maintenance vibe than improvement. Parsons Training gives me the love I truly need with the gains, but that is not to say I can’t get it from the regular corporate gym either. That is why I will always say to put your money into a private trainer, even if it does hurt the pocket book a little. Even if you do it for a few months or you barter services or whatever, you can at least establish some kind of regimen under some supervision. Plus, getting yourself into a good consistent vibe will be more helpful to you on your own time or with a personal trainer due to the fact the gyms are packed this time of year. Which leads to the next step…
3. GO TO THE GYM!!!
Okay, you read that right, go to the freaking gym. What I mean by this particular moment is don’t necessarily go right away. Wait a month or two, because trust me, if you are the normal person that is a slow starter, you will run into that problem as well and find yourself roped into a gym membership that takes a full corps of lawyers to get out of. Now these days, most gyms have made it quite easy to get out of the contract, many people are creatures of habit and are too embarrassed or too ambivalent to make the major changes. Take for example one customer that I disconnected three lines for a couple months back. They had the lines active for nearly three years, but the three daughters that previously owned the phones now had their own lives and phones. How does one let this oversight happen? Well, the lines maybe cost 30 bucks between them, and much like these super cheap gym memberships now, you can forget about these little additions to your check book. If you do get the gym membership at the start of the year, stay patient. Trust me, like I always say, the people that burn themselves out will eventually stop going and you will have better access. Or you can do some stuff on your own time and get your body prepared for the long haul that is the rest of your fitness life. And I truly mean the rest of your life. So if you are not ready to make that commitment, then start inking the contract to yourself because that is what it is going to take in regards to getting better and healthier.
2. AVOID SUPER BOWL PARTIES
Okay, this just fits into my theory. Trust me on this, because look at this page. http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g703/super-bowl-recipes-0209/ And then take a look at this page http://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/super-bowl-party-appetizers. Need some more! http://www.foodandwine.com/super-bowl-recipes I mean, right there on the darn page, some idiot says who eats veggies at a Super Bowl party? And then you have Pinterest, which is the king of this movement. https://www.pinterest.com/explore/super-bowl-recipes/ Even the supposed “guilt free” snack ideas can pack the poundage! http://greatist.com/health/super-bowl-recipes-snacks Trust me, this is considered the tamer fare, for I have seen people thrown out stuff like meat sushi and triple layer bacon crust pizza…combining things that have no humanly possible way of even existing. I used to think the fried bacon cheeseburger was just a fantasy, but there is someone out there that actually putts thing together and made it a reality! http://dudefoods.com/the-deep-fried-bacon-cheeseburger/ One of these days Carl’s Jr. is gonna perfect this thing…I know they will considering the other disgusting burgers they have come up with in the recent years. So, you don’t believe my theory that the Super Bowl is the day where New Year’s Resolutions go to die? Trust me, it is a reality! I rest my case on this subject, for if you don’t believe me, don’t blame me for your sour tummy the day after the big game.
1. JUST FREAKING DO IT…DON’T WAIT TILL THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR!
Now the most legitimate argument in favor of the New Year’s Resolutions is the fact you should need the flip of the calendar year to make it a reality. I should know, for this is the first year in a very long time that I actually attempted to make this thing happen. But right now, I have also set myself up for success. I have a weight goal set now (220 pounds) and a basic goal to get better at running again, possibly getting 600-700 miles this year provided I don’t get injured again. The key will be to eat a lot better so I can lose the weight. Getting some of the extra poundage off my frame will make it much simpler for me to achieve this goal. So the goal has to be layered in a way, making it possible for me to make these particular resolutions come true. I made the general plan to try and lose some of the body fat by the end of the year, and but taking this tiered approach, I should make a pretty big push to removing the excess that flaps all over the place when I go out and run. Hopefully, by taking some of my own advice and being serious about it, I can make the kind of strides toward the body goals that I have desired for a great many years. Right now, I have already shown a good a good penchant for losing weight, for I got back down to 238 without really trying. The only thing that changed is I controlled some of my portions and stopped indulging so damn much. Of course, I have had a couple cheat meals in the process, but that doesn’t mean I have been engaging in them far too much. My protein (you know, the most important thing in the world in accordance to non-vegans and gym bros all over the world) has been good for the most part and I have actually taken a little advice from Jon and Christa about doing some protein loading on Sundays, which si the most important day for me considering I have such a small window between my two plasma donations. Either way, just get your but going, for even if you start slow, it will do you some good!
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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.