MAINTAIN AND GAIN
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
October 6, 2016
The toughest thing one has to admit is when their body is showing some signs of breaking down. For me, this has gotten a lot easier over time, for I understand the reasoning in regards to knowing your mortality. If other people are ignorant of your situation and your well being, the shock of realization will always be gut wrenching to say the least. Recently I decided to expand on my 22-day push-up challenge, the one that has swept the nation is actually a challenge worthy of being labeled as one. Every day I go into this challenge, I add one more to the total and try my best to be a beast about it. It has not always been easy on me, for I once again am trying to increase my abilities in the weight lifting department after taking some time to go more functional in order for some injuries to heal and rest. In fact, I look forward to trying some heavy deadlifts today as I continue to move forward. My reasoning for continuing this challenge is not to gain attention, even though I use my social media to help me stay on course and be active. I do it because I know the mind of infinitely stubborn people, that saying nothing os preferable because it is the easiest way to protect yourself from judgement, derision or sympathy. Being the center of attention for a negative reason is not a good thing to be a part of. I used to be embarrassed about writing of my life’s struggles and what not, mainly because I potentially open myself up to a lot of finger pointing and laughter. I don’t really fear that anymore in my writing, for some of the things I have mentioned, including my fears and non-working bodily functions, were deep gulps I felt needed to be let out. So yeah, admitting to the world you have some misgivings about life is the first and hardest step when suicidal tendencies start flooding your mind. I can only imagine it is a never ending battle, for I really have no cross reference into this mind set. I will say this in relation, maintaining a habit that could lead to early death can be a similar proposition. When I ate and drank whatever I wanted in massive quantities, it was derived from a deep fear of rejection, dysfunction and ultimately, the world. I still have my misgivings of course, for I find a bit of safety in Tucson even though I have grown to despise the state of my city and the lack of respectable job opportunities. But on the other hand, staying on a more rugged track of life is not an easy proposition, much like doing push-ups and constantly adding to the pile. I don’t know how long I will be able to do this little personal challenge, but in the mean time, I have found a little joy in the exercise. It is a bit of an escape for me to do it, a reminder that no matter what I do, there will always be days where you just don’t want to get up and deal with life’s problems. It reminds me that four years ago I could maybe do 10 push-ups. It reminds me that four years ago I wanted to eat myself to death because I was ultimately fed up with life. So in a lot of ways, I understand what some people might feel when life has taken such a turn that ending it is a viable option.
So that is why I try my best to deal with the frustrations, like the fact I struggle with losing weight again or the fact my stomach just doesn’t want to reduce. I do my best in front of the mirror of course, altering my brain chemistry to see the fat in a different way. Fortunately, all of the new work I am able to do in regards to my fitness is allowing me to see myself differently. It was kind of funny when I posted a photo in a Vegan Selfies group on Facebook and someone said I looked like Robert De Niro, who just happens to be my favorite actor. I kinda scoffed and then looked up some photos of his acting days in the 80s, like in films such as “The King of Comedy,” “Once Upon a Time in America” and so forth. I did find a good photo of him from “Midnight Run” that kind of saw some similarities, but then again, he was 45 when that movie came out. But hey, a compliment is a compliment! It kind of made me laugh a little because my grandmother used to say my dad looked like Robert De Niro, especially since my dad has kind of the same facial shape. Anyway, doing these push-ups has made for some good results for me, for I am doing them faster than I have ever done push-ups throughout my life. They have done some good for me, making me a little stronger in my arms and stretching my shoulders a little due to the fact I have to dip a little when I have to go down. I can always hear my back crack when I do this, which means I am doing them right! Right now, I have not seen too many results in terms of my chest tightening up or my bench press, but ultimately it should provide some results. Because you see, with each passing day that comes along you continue to live for something new. You clamor for that improvement and that success, which is something I need right now due to all of the uncertainty in my life. So for the time being, I just need to keep going and be patient…as usual.
So how does one keep on the course? You can’t really ask me because my method is something that most people don’t want to hear. Stay on a schedule and keep to it. Resist a lot of things and possibly skip out on a lot of fun and such. Okay, that sounds rather morbid and boring, but that is what I need to do for the moment. I am still susceptible to binge eating on some days, eating way too much food for my own good simply because it just tastes so darn good! I was able to do some good things while in Denver—my last real vacation—but I was still kinda lazy in spite of my running and walking. So yes, having a home base helps for me, and eventually I will get back into the whole Chuze Fitness thing again in a couple weeks when I can start figuring out how much money I will be getting from my job. Anyway, maintaining these good habits comes at a price of course, and this is why I am glad I am working again. Ultimately, I need to start seeing a chiropractor and a massage therapist again. If anything, this will allow me to reset my body every week, giving me the opportunity to stay on top of my game and be better at what I want to do. I look at it this way, I was looking really good and strong when I had my life somewhat together and was maintaining some form of a workout and maintenance schedule (that’s what I call chiro and massage work, hehe). Since then, little knickey knack problems have come left and right, and that is mostly because I have managed to get away from all of this. So what did I go and do yesterday? Went to the chiropractor!
Okay, you should have seen that one coming, but if you didn’t I feel sorry for you. Either way, it was kind of nice to be able to get my body realigned a little and fix some kinks in the interim. We all know chiropractic care is kind of the oddball of the medical profession, kind of like how the Coast Guard stacks up against the four other main branches. But much like the Coast Guard, it serves a rather legitimate purpose even if people don’t regard it as such. While we need oncologists and practitioners and doctors to help maintain our health and dentists and oral surgeons to maintain our teeth (which can also alter out health as well), chiropractic and massage therapy serve their own set of useful applications that can help the body to heal and rebuild. First and foremost, chiropractic care is a massive benefit for my balance and my lower back. Since I am sitting a lot in some of the most uncomfortable chairs you can imagine, I will need a good push to help out with my lower regions. And then of course, there is the whole running thing. My biggest problem since day one of my running has been the fact I am constantly imbalanced. It is most likely related to my pronation on my right foot, which is always the problem for me whether it be in regards to squats or deadlifts and especially running. I have always been a pretty heavy stepper on my right leg, for not only does my body tend to lean that way through use, my right leg is a tiny bit longer than the left. This sort of thing is common with a lot of people, so I know it is not a horrible thing for me when I see one of my legs out of balance and then watch my chiropractor work to realign my legs. It’s a weird situation to behold, but hey, I managed get what I wanted when I went the other day. Fortunately the line was short and the doctor was able to put a little more work than usual, probably out of boredom more than anything. Which I guess is lucky for me! But I have to tell you one thing, yesterday really brought me back to the first time I started caring about my body in regards to adjustments and such. I had a horrible pain in my shoulder that was literally burning. My body was so out of whack and so imbalanced that I was 30 pounds heavier on one side due to the fact I was leaning in that direction far too much. Of course, this was right when I started working at Target and began the eventual setback of all setbacks in my physical life. I kind of see the same thing happening a little with my current job, which is why I am seeking to get the jump on the situation and do some preventative things to stop the onslaught. I mean, after yesterday’s session, my body felt quite numb for the first few hours. This kind of told me how out of whack I truly was in relation to what I have been doing with my body. It was a much needed move on my part, especially when it came to my head and my jaw. Both have been hurting white a bit, mainly because my jaw needs constant adjustment and the strain I put on my neck due to my weight lifting typically creates some pressure and other issues.
So yes, today, I feel pretty good, knowing that I can start getting back to what I want to do with my fitness. Money of course is the key to all of this, which is why I look at this sort of life as an investment more than anything else. I try to be the best man I want to be, mainly because I really don’t want to fall back into the alternative….that infinite black hole that I somewhat called a life. So just remember this thing my friends, just because you can do some new things on your weight loss or fitness journey, doesn’t mean those things cannot hurt you. What I have been writing about the last couple weeks has been a simple formula for you to start on your own fitness journey. You have to work on your fitness technique and develop a schedule, because someone pointed out to me once that living this life is a part time job, only the bank account is your body and your health. You also have to have the right diet, the one that will allow you to work smoothly and allow you to recover as quickly as possible. I also noted you have to see the small changes and appreciate them before you start gunning for bigger things, because you have to take steps in your change rather than leaps…at least in my opinion. You also have to have a good attitude about the situation, whether it be scaling back when you need to or increasing when you need to. Cutting yourself down will do you no good or pushing harder when your body is not ready could lead to some injuries. That’s what the maintenance is so important, the summation so to speak. Make the Time. Develop the Process. Eat the Right Fuel. Appreciate the Change. Keep Your Body Fine Tuned. Every Day You Continue, You Succeed. Sounds like a meme if I ever saw one.
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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.
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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.