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
April 6, 2017
So I went to a great concert last night, and as a result, I am really stinking tired. Social Distortion has been round for quite a while, and they have an indelible sound that has made them a unique fixture in the music industry. They are well known enough for casual fans like myself to buy a ticket and go to the show, and they are well known enough for the hardcore fans to start talking about the random house party they did before they became well known where the story starts off “Back in 1977 they did this show at this crappy club.” Either way, it is pretty cool to get my butt out of the house and actually do something, for like always, I feel really stuck inside all the time. My job stresses and mentally fatigues me so much that I often times lounge around too much. The first thing I want to do when Iget home is eat or lay down on the couch. It kind of leads to one of Social Distortions best songs “Story of my Life.” While people focus on the lost opportunities lead singer Mike Ness speaks about in the song (especially with some high school girl back in the day), one verse in general always struck me.
Good times come and good times go,
I only wish the good times would last a little longer.
I think about the good times we had
And why they had to end.
Some might say that is the pain of growing old or realizing you may never reach your dreams or the lost love he eluded to earlier in the song, but for me it means something different. I really don’t want to paint my eating habits in a negative light, for this is the slippery slope that can lead to some eating disorders. Eating myself into oblivion was a good time for me. It was fun. It was exhilarating. Eating spicy, familiar food always got me going, and when I think about the old days, I do miss that “freedom” from time to time. I mean, I see so many people intros world eating whatever they want with no questions of anything. They can eat without an addictive sense climbing into their skull and making them hurt for some food. It has been tough for me but I had to finally make a stand last week. I had to finally put my money where my mouth is and do the unthinkable….establish an actual plan. Right now, the issue I am having is the mental side of it, for I am looking at this approach as a forced measure, but it is something I cannot turn my back on or deny. I need to get serious control of my eating. I have done analysis of some of my worst days…days where I eat Gardein meat balls and a whole tins of Pik Nik sticks along with some bagels or scones. Maybe I will eat a couple pieces of fruit. Beyond that, those kind of days were becoming too frequent. I knew this had to stop, especially when I accidentally ripped a pair of jeans and another pair that I fit into was uncomfortably tight. Now it could be all of the leg work I have been doing, but I know the real truth. The sitting down is getting to my body, and the bad eating is not helping.
So how does a guy really get around this? Well, fortunately for me, I have some sense of fortitude with my eating, and that comes in the form of my dedication. Jenny my trainer actually asked me about all the little incidents where I messed up with my veganism, and I really only had a hand full of incidents in the last few years. So why is it so hard to make this translate to other areas? I can tell you the main reason why…I let myself think my dietary requirements alone were saving me. Sure. I was making a much better effort to eat better food of higher quality, but I was not eating enough of it. And the stuff that was technically vegan and not that great for me…well I was eating too much of it. I will blame this on the local stores in my area having had better deals in regards to the vegan friendly products. Either way, I have firmly committed myself to make some changes, and the first step was certainly the most important…admitting you have a problem.
Back in 2014, I admitted this problem as well, and I really did do something about it. I was better in the gym, making some strides with my weights and such. The benefits of being lightly employed helped, but that is no longer the case. These days, work takes up a lot of time, and trying to get other things into my life is also making this tough. So this is the conundrum…I can keep doing my current patterns of saying “screw it” and constantly eat at Chipotle, or I can get serious. One good thing about my sister’s most recent visit was the fact she inspired me to actually start taking control of the portions. While she is doing something a little more extreme with that whole Beach Body method, I opted to start with the basics on my journey. Just portioning out one set amount of food was going to be the initial challenge in itself. I’m not ready for the extremity that was Beach Body, but it ultimately gave me the desire to take back control of my eating and by proxy, control of my body.
Last week’s article that was posted was all about the adventure of going actual food shopping, making the most of a real trip and getting some real food. The second half of this trick is to actually take the time and put together something that is good for you, will be filling and actually cover a wide range of nutritional balance. You can’t just eat one thing and expect it to be easy. I could do an all potato thing in a pinch, but I felt it would be much better to simply add it is a small portion of the food. Red potatoes were on the docket, mainly because I could get just a few and not worry about having to get a whole bag of the standard Russett to get my money’s worth. So here is the question, how does one really get the ball rolling in this respect? Well, let me tell you about my fun filled day.
Okay, it didn’t take me a day to get all of this food made, but it was a challenge to get this thing working. I have a limited space to work with and of course, I don’t have much experience in making this much food…except when it comes to chill beans and pasta. Those two staples, I have no issue with bringing a massive amount of food to the table. But this was different. I had to be much more judicious in my approach. So I started off with one cup of quinoa, one cup of lentils and one cup of rice. When I making these items, it didn’t really seem like that much to me. But let me tell you one thing, it turned out to be quite a bit of food. It fills up my large pot and left me just enough room for all of the vegetables involved. Now, let me tell you one thing, I probably could have used some more veggies. Turns out two onions, two stalks of green onions, lupini beans, a full head of broccoli and two bell peppers is really not enough. At least I learned this the hard way, for I will be able to power pack the veggies in a little better next time. Maybe next time I put in some more broccoli and even get some turnips if they are on special. Hmmm…turnips. And did I mention I really like the raw broccoli? I hope my mom is reading this, for all those years she struggled to make me eat that stuff, and now I have no problem with it. I even ate it with tons of cheese and I didn’t like it back then. I guess time changes when you really change stuff around.
Okay, so back to the adventure. One of the issues you will definitely run into with my precarious situation is the idea of changing from a full on no hold bar eating lifestyle to a preset amount of food. That’s like going to the unlimited gigabyte plan to a preset gigabyte package all over again. I’ve been set in my ways for so long that I was really worried about the idea of whether I would get enough sustenance. So I went a little crazy on my protein sources, getting a full block of tofu and adding two bags of Gardein “chicken” strips. I also chopped up five red potatoes, killing them as well to get them precooked so they would be softer to eat and easier to digest. This was when I added the garlic. Putting this stuff together was a huge task, for it felt like mixing cement. Now this sounds like a lot, but when you distribute it pretty evenly, it is not all that much per bowl. And boy, did I really get a lot of out of this. With just the amount of food I told you I was able to get roughly eight full meals out of it. I can already tell you that next time I might be able to get 10 meals out of this same amount of food, for the preset amounts I am using are hearty and actually made me full. This might be the idea of getting my head wrapped around the fact this is all the food I am eating today. Two days in and it seemed to be going good for me, but of course the real test will be when it hits the weekend and my free time is suddenly available. We shall see what all of the excessive boredom will do to me.
Now I fully understand that I am capable of weakness and such, which is why I did get some snacks to help me out incase I got a huge craving or something. But this is just the fallback, for the key is to try and get my body used to less food while also getting it familiarized with nothing but good food. I think this is why I went kind of nuts with the snacks, getting pumpkin seeds, pistachios and mixed nuts to help feed any potential snacking urges. I also got some coconut shavings for the heck of it in addition to dried cranberries. Trust me, you have to add a little sweet into the salty. I have a small container at my disposal that gives me an idea of how much I should eat per day, so that will definitely help me since I am the type of person that goes crazy on the nuts, especially the pistachios (dare I say I am nuts for nuts? hehe).
Now in the upcoming weeks, I will definitely have to make changes to the plan, for I can’t just go balls to the wall on everything I eat. Eventually I will have to come up with a plan if I want to have some good weight loss coming into my future. Right now, this is merely the beginning. Much like the days where I started with my dietary changes some four years ago, I had some hiccups along the way. Right now, I am hoping for none of that down the line, for the only real question will be whether or not I should try to squeeze in cheat meals or not. I can’t really figure out whether I should have a cheat meal or a cheat day (controlled of course) where I take advantage of some of the little things I like to do, like go to Chipotle or Pionic Pizza. Right now, I am leaning toward a cheat day, mainly because I just want a day where I don’t have to worry about watching what I eat and eating out of a container. I think that will be the biggest relief coming down the line.
Right now, I don’t have too many worries about this new system of mine. The morning stuff has been a little tough, having to get up a little earlier to make some oatmeal, but I am sure I will start getting used to that as well. I mean, I have plenty of oatmeal to begin with, now it is just a matter of keeping the dishes to clean. which by the way, really sucks!
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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.
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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.
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