If you’re reading this, I have to assume that the answer to the preceding question is yes and you’re looking to get in the best possible shape that you can. Why else would you bother reading the health and fitness musings of a complete stranger, right? Well, if my assumption is correct, then you’ve come to the right place. And if you stick with me, then pretty soon I’ll no longer be just a stranger to you. I’ll be the person that helped you finally get where you’ve always wanted to go. And hopefully, when you get there, you’ll be the person that you always wanted to be. Let me be clear. I am by no means a health and fitness expert. I do not currently possess any fitness-related credentials and I haven’t had any specialized training in the field. I’m just a guy who didn’t look and feel his best, so I finally decided to do something about it. I’ve spent more than 4 years trying to learn everything that I possibly can about creating and, more importantly, adhering to a sustainable diet and exercise regimen. My hope is that by spending countless hours conducting research on the topic and making my share of mistakes, you won’t have to. Instead, I will provide you with all of the foundational knowledge that you will need to be successful without the added fluff (no pun intended).
And, to demonstrate that I’ve put all of that foundational knowledge to good use, consider this:
The photo on the left was taken on March 22, 2014, a year after my sons were born. At the time, I was 38 years old and in the worst shape of my life. I weighed a 148 lbs. and my body fat was somewhere in the 15-18% range. In contrast, the photo on the right was taken this year, on September 29, when I weighed 161 lbs. and had a body fat percentage of 12%. So, in about 4 and a half years I added roughly 13 lbs. of lean muscle and reduced my overall body fat. At age 42!
Trust me when I say, if I can do this, you can do it too. It won’t be easy, of course. And at times, it won’t be much fun either. Heck, you’ll probably get frustrated and feel like giving up at least once or twice along the way. I certainly did. And guess what? That’s OK. Because you’re in it for the long haul. And if you’re willing to be patient and persistent, the results will come.
My son has a book containing a collection of Aesop’s Tales that he often asks me to read to him at bedtime. One of those tales is The Tortoise and the Hare. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but in short, a slow-moving tortoise challenges a fast-paced hare to a race. Ultimately, the tortoise wins. At the end of the tale you’re presented with the moral of the story, which is “slow and steady wins the race.” You’ve probably heard this expression before and, while it can be easily applied to many of life’s events, it aligns perfectly with my philosophy on health and fitness. You may recall that in my initial blog I mentioned that I believe health and fitness should be a life-long commitment. And I truly believe that. It’s far easier to accomplish your health and fitness goals when they are not confined to a set period of time and you’re allowed to progress at a comfortable and steady pace. I’m not suggesting that programs offering to get you in the best shape of your life in 90, 60, or even 30 days have little to no value. They do. In fact, when you follow these programs exactly as designed, they work. The problem is these programs are often extreme. And they need to be for you to attain the expected results in the allotted timeframe. But when a program is extreme, there’s a much higher chance that you’ll quit long before you ever complete it (sometimes because of injury). Or maybe you’ll stick to it, but modify it in such a way that you don’t get the results you were expecting and become discouraged. Then again, there’s also a chance that you’ll actually complete the program and get the results, but are left wondering, “Now what?” That’s why developing a mindset that health and fitness is a lifestyle and simply not a trend is critical to your success. Why? Because it’s sustainable. You’re not bound by a set period of time, which in turn allows for a fairly reasonable margin of error. In other words, if you suffer a setback or two along the way (which inevitably you will), it won’t completely derail your goal.
If you’re still reading, my guess is you’re ready to get started on your lifelong journey. Or at the very least, you’re a bit intrigued by what I’ve had to say so far. Either way, I’m committed to helping you by sharing what I know and have learned. So, keep checking this site for regular updates. Remember, the goal here is to establish a sustainable approach to your health and fitness. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And you are the tortoise.