Life happened to me this past month. Let me set the table…
- A loss of a family member (not going into any of that here)
- Loss of my contract
- Starting a new job
- Coordinating 800 things to start new job
- Worrying about others on my previous job
- $1,000 in car repairs
- $1,000 in new clothing for my new job
- not getting a lot of sleep
Any of the above items used to send me into dangerous territory. I’d buy a pack of smokes, put on the coffee, get to a bar, order some pizzas – and these behaviors were crutches for tough emotions. I used to feel things pretty deeply….both highs and lows. For example, loss of a job would be met with a Friday at 2PM weekend bender starting. However, my body can’t really take that shit anymore. Then, the celebration of a new job would be met with a dinner to “treat” myself.
Life happens to everyone. I would say that my previous piss poor eating habits over years led to biochemical imbalances. I would really feel “deeply” about some things…
And the cycle would continue. As life would normalize weeks or mostly months later, I’d settle down, get back to eating somewhat better, DIETING, and trying to exercise. Then bam, another life event would take me out by the knees, hit me over the head with an oar, and kick me in the jimmies, all at once.
This time…it’s been different.
I can’t explain it. While my nerves have been on high end, I have mostly maintained a really good eating regimen and kept focus. I have reached for my wireless headphones to take the dog for a walk. I’ve reached for my chicken/rice/broccoli prepped meals. I’ve gone to the gym. And I occasionally had “bad” meals. But what I didn’t do was go over my calories (one day this month I was 400 over – don’t tell anyone!). OK – so occasionally, I’ve been off by 50 or 100. My macros occasionally have been out of whack – occasionally.
You have to understand perspective here. I probably can run faster and more distance than any person at my height weight around. I would take that pepsi challenge with my athleticism. But my diet has always been really…..messed up…to put it nicely. This time around, I was at least cognizant of what was going on. I feel like my preparation during the “tranquil” times has prepared me effectively for the more trying times.
That being said, my weight loss for the past month seems to be around 4 pounds. Maybe 3. While part of me is disappointed in this, part of me also realizes that at another time in my life, if all of this happened to me at once, it would be a 20+ pound weight gain in the month. Yes…I’ve had those months in my life. The wheels fall off, a meteor strikes, and lightning shoots bolts up my ass….and I’ve indulged with every known vice. My time has also been a little more restricted, having had to travel for work and do endless lists of things to prepare for my next job – which is a 90 minute commute each way. This has led to me not being able to get back to the pool, but I’ve tried to balance that with walking the dog here more and doing workouts in my home gym..
But this time it’s different.
It’s 75 here on February 24th. No, I don’t live in Florida or Arizona – I live in the northeast of the US. At this time of the year, we’re used to a foot of snow on the ground. Over lunch, I took my dog for a 1.2 mile walk. Gorgeous out. Cleaned the house this afternoon. Decided to take the dog for another .6 miles around 4PM. I had pre-programmed 2 slices of pizza into myfitnesspal for dinner. I’m stealing 2 slices from my wife’s “girls’s night” soiree.
But I didn’t eat half a pizza, 12 hot wings, chips, soda…that would have been a “normal” coping meal. Perhaps I would have hit McDonald’s and drowned my sorrows with a Quarter Pounder meal+ double cheeseburger. Some of the days I estimated my calories to be around 3,000-3,500. Upon further inspection this time around, I would say on my “bad” days, I might have hit 5,000 calories. I think some people eat far worse than me, and my only saving grace has been my athletics.
So keeping this one shorter than the rest. I want you all to know that yes, life happens to the best of us, and no one is perfect. Not me, not you, not your Facebook friends that always try to project that they have the perfect life. Don’t be so hard on yourself – intent matters. Try better today…not tomorrow.
Balance your food…to balance your life. Because life happens, whether you prepare for it or not. Maybe I self medicated with proper nutrition rather than pills? Just something to think about – how sugars, chemicals, additives, MSGs, and other hormones might be screwing with Americans’ mental health. I just feel so much better – all the time. And when you eat poorly, it seems to then kick off that endless bad cycle that is hard to break.
(Going to try and get more mileage out of my graphics)
On the positive side, I’ve kept up with the trainer and got my ass kicked there a few times. I did 180 on the leg press…100 reps. That led to walking funny for a few days! Then yesterday I did 230 on the leg press for 75 reps. Then 280 on a modified squat for 10 reps. I always had some strong legs, but it’s funny – with such a gorgeous day today, I envisioned trying to hit the rail trail close to me and bike for 20 miles. But – alas – my legs feel like jello again. Not nearly as bad as last week, and perhaps I might have been able to crank out another 25 reps on the 230!