that it’s time to lose that weight and turn that flab into muscle. The message is perfect. Get fit. Get muscled. Get Sophia Vergara. Now some of my women friends were thinking Sophia is the lucky one in this made for Hollywood union, but I beg to differ. C’mon! Sophia has been a Latin goddess in the industry for more than a decade and has barely changed in the looks department while Joe just showed up because women like silly vampire shows! Let's just agree to disagree.
Before this blog turns into some Perez Hilton knock-off, let’s get down to the nitty gritty in regards to the New Year. For some reason, we always try to make one valid statement about ourselves in hopes that we follow it. Of all the things to hope and ask for, the majority of people always look to become more healthy and eat less. Of course, this is rarely the case, if ever. Those promises are often fleeting, and as I have explored in many other blog posts, this is pretty much the case. A third of the country is overweight, with the majority of those people considered obese. The fitness industry (mainly gyms) are making a killing as people pay for expensive memberships and then don’t use them! While healthy options are being made more available at just about every restaurant, you still have to find the island of health in the sea of grease and fat. There are many weight loss programs and diets that can be utilized, but new studies are indicating they are merely cash grabs created as side-arm business ventures by the food industry (which needs you to keep buying their junk food). Throw in the fact the government is continuing a trend of giving less money to small farmers and more to large corporate farmers (who mostly farm corn or soy), getting healthy and becoming fit is more than just getting yourself some gym equipment at Play It Again Sports or Bookman’s Sports Exchange. Achieving that goal of health and fitness requires a massive change.
When I first started my journey in early 2012, I ended up buying an elliptical for 180 bucks, thinking this was going to be the key for me in regards to shedding some weight. I used it for a month, and I actually came out fatter if you can believe. With my body being used more often and being forced to do things it wasn’t meant to do, my appetite became monstrous and my lack of portion control became even more elevated. In early December of 2011, I was listed at 362 and rising (I had been 333 a few months before). I was pretty close to 400 pounds when I joined Parsons, and the elliptical went unused for quite a while. It was kind of funny when I started reusing the machine, for I went so hard and so often that I actually broke the darn thing! Now I could have gotten a new one, but at that point, I decided against it. I was already starting a decent little running regimen, and my body was not quite as sore after workouts when I went vegan (my body responded much better when I started eating better, for I would need to use the elliptical every day just work out the kinks and the soreness!). It was kind of a sad day when I finally cut the darn thing up and put it on the side of the road for the brush and bulky pick-up the city does twice a year. It was even funnier to see the out of shape “scrappers” trying to load the pieces on their beat up truck, for they seem to love my neighborhood considering their never seems to be a shortage of junk in each person’s pile (if they had been smarter and asked me first, I would have given them my old iron tub sitting in the back yard that literally needed a couple people to lift).
I don’t even need fancy workout equipment anymore, especially in respect to my cardiovascular work.
So here I am, trying my best to live as a plant based eater in a world that continuously believes meat is power and that milk is good for the body. If anything, I intend to become more precise with my convictions, telling anyone who will listen my life story. I don’t have a problem with admitting that I was a giant behemoth worthy of public derision, but I don’t want to hide from it. I want people to know that change is possible and that the promises you make for yourself can come true as long as you set yourself on the right path. I wrote a couple years ago that I was actually making use of my New Year’s resolution by making my resolution two months early or finally acting on the previous year’s resolution 10 months late (just depends on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist). I can honestly state this past year was definitely a transition one, for I kind of lost control a few times when I forgot about my mantra of good health. No, I’m not admitting I ate meat or something, but I did eat way too much for my own good. And then I just didn't hit the gym hard enough or the running paths often enough. I have some basic goals that I legitimately want to pursue, and I might as well admit them to the world.
GOAL 1: Buy new clothes. First and foremost, clothing has been a bit of an issue for me. When I got some new clothes in the summer of 2012, I was still a pretty big guy. I remember when I got my first pair of size 40 jeans and they were tight! Now those jeans are like clown pants and I’m considering the idea of giving them to the clothing bank (if you see a homeless person in Tucson wearing a nice pair of charcoal DKNY jeans, you’ll know it was from me!). Then I bought some tight size 38 straight cut jeans and now they are starting to get a little loose. With the recent excess of running I have been doing this month, my size 36 jeans are starting to fit a little better, merely due to the fact I have been shaving a lot of excess fat around the legs, buttocks and groin. So it will be pretty easy to figure out what is next. I want to fit into size 34 jeans, and I mean comfortably. It won’t matter if it is straight cut (which would be preferable since I like showing off my thick, all muscled legs! hehe), but any type but loose will be just fine. Secretly I want to see if I can get down to size 32, but that might be asking quite a bit.
GOAL 2: Get a bike. Now I know what you are thinking, that I’m looking to do this for the ultimate fat burning appeal of being on a bicycle. Nope, I’m doing it because I love that song from Queen! Wrong again. hehe. I mainly want to do it for the fact that within this upcoming year, the bike path between Ajo and Silverlake will be complete and it will open up my world to a huge bike riding path I have never really seen before. I think it would be pretty cool to explore this path, mainly because trying to run the whole thing would be costly and rather difficult. And on the other hand, it might be due to the fact I am trying to retire my old 1993 Mercury Tracer. I don’t know if it is even worth trying to fix up anymore, and having an alternate form of transport may relieve some of the stress my poor car goes under on a regular basis due to the poorly maintained streets of the Southside of Tucson (who says income inequality doesn’t exist!) I’m hoping I can do something to get rid of that ride and maybe get a car from this century, but on the other hand, I miss miss the idea that I can fix maybe 50% of the problems on my old pre-computer era ride. Jeesh, I’m already having separation anxiety, but let’s put it this way…many good bikes are probably worth more than my car with a tank full of gas. Maybe I should move to Colorado?
GOAL 3: Just get better in the gym. I know, this is a rather nondescript goal that just about every schlub can whip out, but this is something I want to be serious about. Already, I have pretty much made the 50-pound dumbbells at Parsons Training my go-to weight for just about everything, from squat-push-presses to chest presses to the recent revelation that I can even curl them! But as I get better and more accustomed to the weights, I’m going to have to up the ante, and if I want some guns that are gonna turn some heads, I’m gonna have to start working on it. It’s a shame that Jon doesn’t have his 70 and 80-pound dumbbells anymore, for I might be putting them to good use! I guess this means I will have to start dead lifting and push pressing with the barbell soon enough. If anything, I’m looking forward to the New Year, because I have gotten a bit more comfortable with weights.
GOAL 4: Run more races! I already have two more on my radar, with a half marathon being held in Tucson in March and the Ragnar McDowell Mountain Trail Run--which I want to run an ultra version for--in November. The trail run will especially be hard since I will be slated to run roughly 30 miles in the span of 25 hours. But I think I will be ready by then. I just finished my first 100-mile month, which is something else I want to try and accomplish at one point this year (not during the summer of course). I made the comment that I want to earn some decent medals and such to add to my case, and this is the time to do it!
While these are all goal related to my fitness, I also want to try and get out in the world more often. If anything, try to at least meet some of the people I constantly see on my Facebook feed. I figure at this point in my life, what is the need for introversion? I’m looking forward to a good start to the year even though I will still be a bit broke. But once things settle down and the resolution fitness crowds thin down, I will be ready!
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.
Meet the Author
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.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.