By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training, Tucson, Arizona
December 31, 2015
Right now, just about every website in the world is beginning the annual tradition of either what the hell went wrong during the past year or what the heck they will attempt to do for the upcoming one. It is an arbitrary exercise really, for the next year will be littered with a lot of political garbage that will make me long for the day of a political dictatorship or a feudalistic monarchy just so I don’t have to see the millions of dollars worth of phoney baloney attack ads that are chalked with more lies than a soap factory. But that is what we are to expect I guess, for the changing of the year always brings about a summation to your life that is completely unexpected or unfulfilled. In truth, I believe I had pretty decent year. While the stomach fat is still taking its sweet time to reduce, at least I am seeing some results in the whole inch reduction department, which is nice to experience. Plus, my facial skin is getting better as I move along further, despite the back still getting some pimple break outs from time to time. I said goodbye to a large portion of my wardrobe this year, for now I have way too many hangars to deal with, and the bar in my closet is not dangerously bent due to the deluge of clothing that has not been worn in some three years. Seriously, I had a shirt that was a 4X and it felt like a tent on me. A small woman could have turned it into a hipster dress or something, for the green plaid pattern was quite nice. Heck, this one long sleeved 2X shirt that had some aliens on it would have been a great addition to any tiny woman’s wardrobe!
I’ve talked about a lot of subjects this year, some of them were rather poignant and some of them were pretty out there. My only real goal for this year was to try and make up for the lost time in 2014 when I gained some 30 pounds back, mainly because I thought eating a ton of Chipotle all the time would be good for me, never mind the fact I was consuming some 1,000+ calories per sitting and I was maybe back on a 4,000+ calorie a day diet. But I will look to do some things this upcoming year that will seek to speed along the progress of my weight loss. Truthfully, weight loss is not the only goal in my head, for I do want to actually get myself a little more sculpted and carve that useless fat which is making a permanent residence around my waist. It’s time to treat that fat like a bad AirBNB tenant, and kick it’s sorry butt to the curb! So here are some things I will be looking at this upcoming year and possibly screaming about!
USE YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP!!!
Or for that matter, just make it worth your while. I posted in a blog this past year how people will buy gym memberships to help them lose some of that unwanted poundage, only to actually stop using the membership. The numbers were pretty staggering to say the least, for nearly 2/3 of the money made in the public fitness spectrum was from the simple fact people didn’t utilize their money to the fullest. This is not something you should take lightly, merely to the effect that some gym memberships may be as low as eight bucks a month. But for me, there is a principle. I’ve mentioned it many times before. I am a man of humble means, so signing up for something and then flaking out on it later is something that would seriously tick me off. That was the most annoying aspect of helping run a Ragnar relay team this year, seeing people throw away a good 100 dollars for their entrance fee simply because they didn’t want to do the race or fell off the face of the planet. Fortunately, Jon had the great ultimatum of no refunds, which made it quite easy to fill the five spots that were vacated at multiple points during the race. Okay, it wasn’t easy per se, but having that part covered certainly made it easy to recruit and refill. To me, it doesn’t matter what the heck you are doing, whether it be underwater Crossfit Pilates or Hip Hop Dance Spin Classes (which is actually a thing!), don’t flake out on it. Let me tell you from personal experience. Quitting is far worse than actually putting that weight on in the first place. There were several points before I started this fitness journey of mine where I was doing a lot of good things, only to become content and then stopping. I ultimately would become worse than I ever was before, especially when I went on a heavy juicing regimen in 2010 and then started gaining weight like crazy when I got tired of it a couple months later. If you stop, you lose out on the things that helped make you who you were. It’s the main reason why I need to keep looking for a better job, for my current one continues to break my body down in different ways and inhibits my training. I mean, I injured my foot again this past weekend, and I had to take a day off and stop running for nearly three days to let the sucker heal properly. And this is with a giant race less than two months away! So keep with the good work. Start slow so you don’t overwhelm yourself at first, because your body will thank you later. Speaking of which…..
TIME TO FIX THE “BODY” DEBATE
This will always be a derisive subject, regardless of which side of the debate you are on. Personally, I really have no idea what the true conclusion should be to this argument, mainly because those that really stoke the fire have a lot to gain from their point of view. I pointed out earlier this year some guy that was yelling up a storm, going through the typical rhetoric a meathead would engage in when talking about the fat debate. He brought up some valid points of course, but his method was so in your face that I would be instantly turned off from his nonsense. Throw in the fact he is a “coach” most likely trying to find clientele or trying to establish some Youtube channel, and you will see why he has been putting out these videos. Let’s face it, too many people do these things to get likes and views, which is the new wave of internet fame and money making. I will admit, I’m thinking of doing my own video series of sorts, but to do it in this manner—to strictly stir up controversy and find death threats in my email everyday—is not something I am interested in. But here is the other side of the coin…you can’t be too nice about it. I think for two long we have relied on derision and anger, and how is that working out? Pretty awful, considering the country continues to get heavier as the obesity rate gets worse. But on the other hand, I also believe being too nice about the body movement isn’t really helping either. Remember that whole “dad bod” nonsense? Well, that was just one woman trying to get some clicks on her blog, and boy did that work! All the meatheads of the world gave her all the attention she desired. And in reality, that is what this real debate is all about. None of the people that really offer advice are doing it to help anyone. While we do have some studies to back up some assumptions about fat shaming and the fact it actually contributes to more obesity, something needs to be done.
Personally, I just think we need to continue reshaping the main problem with the obesity epidemic…it is an addiction and it is not something we should judge or deride people for. In fact, the very word “addiction” has such a negative connotation in our society that we often times forget it is a legitimate problem, especially when it comes to the chemically engineered “foods” we have in our aisles. Couple with the new research that floods in every day in regards sugar and dairy, the addiction aspect of obesity might be the key to fixing the problem. It’s not a big bone problem. It’s not a matter of being lazy or being too in love with what you look like. Many of us are just subconsciously addicted to food, and it is an angle to the argument that really hasn’t been addressed. Now I’m not saying that is the only angle, for there are a lot of lazy people out there that just don’t want to get healthy, but I think some of the current methods we keep engaging in are just not working. So the first step is always this…let’s stop acting like a bunch of stinking know it all children! Once people put there ego aside and start listening, maybe people will stick to the early year workout regimens they set up for themselves.
I NEED TO EAT BETTER!
Okay, I’m not going lie about this. My diet has been pretty awful the last couple weeks. Call it as a reaction to the pain I have been in or what, it has not been a good couple of weeks for me. Admittedly, I did not want to deal with the prospect of being stressed out about my eating, so instead, I just decided to be free and accept the consequences of whatever happened. I think I ate a little too much on Christmas, because I had two or three burritos, vegan Shepherd’s Pie, way too much chips and salsa and a lot of mashed potatoes. Hey, at least I didn’t eat any sweets or drank any alcohol! Since I already have a decent workout program under my belt, the main thing for me will to start getting back on the diet aspect. Since I want to lose some more of my body fat, I have thought about going on a clean diet exercise from January 2 until Ragnar Del Sol on February 19. It’s definitely going to be tough, because I really love food and I really love going out and such when I get the chance. So to make that sort of commitment for nearly seven weeks will be a tough one. But here is what happened at the end of 2014. I had gained weight back, and my body was extremely out of whack. So what I did was just increase the intensity of my workouts and get the ball rolling even harder than before. The results have been good, for I almost fit in six 34 jeans after starting last year in 38 jeans. If four inches isn’t something to be proud of, I don’t know what is! Now, much like last year, my problem is more in relation to the amount of food I eat, which is something I need to solve as the New Year arrives. Hopefully, I can stick to this diet. I’m going to take an actual photo of myself on January 2 and see what I look like on February 19. If I am brave enough, maybe I will post it!
CUT LOOSE AND HAVE MORE FUN
Stress. The ultimate killer of all things fitness related. I have been stressing a lot this past year, whether it be about food, money, women or fitness. I think I go through these moods because I want all of these things and I want them all at once. Patience is a virtue of mine. I’m good at waiting for things, but then there are those moments where I want it all. Call it the scatter brained portion of my head working overtime or what, but this is something that seriously needs to change in my life. I think the goal for the year will be to compete more often, for I really seem to be lacking in that respect. Jon posted a rather funny video on my Facebook timeline about gym stereotypes, and I kind realized I am that dude off in the corner getting loud and lifting eights with no discernible goal in site. As the video jokingly stated, I’m not “trying to attract the opposite sex” or even “compete with other males.” I’m just there, doing my thing and living my life daily. Right now, I have no discernible goals to look at in regards to my body weight and such, since I have sort of plateaued at the moment. But I think my mind will be in a better place if I actually look to compete in more events. We shall see what happens, because I want this year to be the year of body sculpting. This past year was for realignment of sorts, getting my effort back to snuff and even looking to improve. Think I need to do more half marathons, and it starts with the Arizona Distance classic. Hopefully I have enough time to get my but in shape by the time March 20 rolls around. Regardless of how I do at the event, I think getting myself to actually compete is the main goal, because I seem to respond to anything better when I have to put money and pride on the line. And isn’t that the real goal of life? To make all of your effort worth while? We shall see. I will see you all next year!
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
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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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