I need an intervention

I’ve been super stressed about a lot of things in my life over the past few months. Regular stuff, nothing serious (money, career, work, etc…). It’s become sort of overwhelming and my health has gone into this bad autopilot. I walk around mindlessly through work and have been finding myself shoveling non-paleo food into my mouth. I’ve had cookies, bread rolls, yogurt, ice cream, cereal. And it’s not just once. I think the past 2 weeks I’ve had at least one bad thing a DAY. And it’s starting to show. I’m back up to 223 and I don’t LOOK good. It looks like I’m bloated. Now, I’m not GORGING on these foods (that’s pretty much my only saving grace here), but I am falling off the plan. When I’m mindful of my trajectory, I’m good… but every so often I’ll just go through and be like “yeah, fuck it, it’s just this one thing…” and then it happens the next day and the next.

Again, I turn to the blog to out myself on this in the hopes that this will put me in check.  I’ve recently heard from one of my readers who has lost 30lbs in 3 months thanks to my blog (well, mainly thanks to themselves doing the plan AND exercising vigorously… actually entirely thanks to them doing that, but they do attribute my blog for giving them that kick in the ass to get going). And here I am, eating fucking cookies and ice cream. Seriously?

And that’s another thing. The working out thing. I don’t know what to do here. I can’t wrap my mind around a solid, CONSISTENT plan for working out. I’m in a rut when it comes to my energy and I think that’s one of the main reasons I’m having problems with my eating. I don’t really know what to do. I wish I could get my mind around ‘the run’ and go run. I’ve gone for ‘runs’ in terms of running a half mile or so to the train here and there, but that’s with my work bag and in my work clothes. What I really want to do is punch things. I wish I had a heavy bag, but there’s two problems with that idea.
1) There is NO place IN my house for that
2) I could put it outside, but it would look kinda trashy to my neighbors AND it wouldn’t be useful when weather is a problem.

I could go to a boxing place, but I don’t have the money to do it right now. So the thing I need to be doing right now is finding a solution to what I can do with what I have. I’m just going to have to start biting the bullet and working out at work during my lunch break. I was ready to do it at one point when work was slowing down, but then 2 of the people on my 6 person team left and the work immediately increased to match.

Bicycling is another thing I love to do, but I don’t have a proper bike. I have my old BMX bike from 1996. It’s great for scooting around, but you can’t really get proper exercise on it. I do keep an eye out for cheap bicycles here and there, but I never find anything that’s reasonably good for short money. I’m not looking for anything special. To be honest, I’m looking for a GOOD piece of shit. What does that mean? Basically I’m looking for a name brand bike (like a Giant or a Specialized or a Trek) with quality parts that won’t break. I don’t need it to be new at all. I would even prefer it to be older because I like CroMoly steel bikes. I like hardtails. I like solid front forks. I grew up riding these and I don’t need any fancy technology. Now, I HAVE a bike like this at my father’s house (my old Giant) but it is in need of serious repair (the wheels are bent badly and the tires are cooked. The gearset is rusted and seized. The seat is destroyed. The headset is rusted (and it’s a quill stem). At this point it’s just a frame. it would cost more to repair it then just buying another bike. I’ve looked at ‘cheap’ bikes too… like Walmart/Target bikes. But the problem with them is that most of them have front suspension… and shitty suspension at that. I’d rather have NO suspension at all then some shitty front shock, but it seems like the only solid bikes that are for sale these days are actually MORE expensive. Eh, that’s enough about that. I’ll keep looking for a bike. I think I could get an hour of bike riding a night done if I found one. I know all the routes I’d take.

I’m not looking for sympathy or anything, I’m a fan of the Bob Newhart method:

I just need someone to tell me to stop it. I need to be reminded that I want to get BETTER, not worse. I need to be reminded that this isn’t over. This isn’t where I want to be. I want to be in BETTER shape.

I don’t want to go through life continuing to be this. I want to be better.

I just turned 32. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in a long time, but I’m not in the best shape I could be. I want my 30s to be the healthiest I’ve ever been. It’s time for me to intervene.

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5 thoughts on “I need an intervention

  1. Hi Jared,

    Great use of the blog to get things out there. I’ve found in my own weight challenges that to verbalize it (beyond just letting it hide in my head) is a big step to conquering it. So I applaud the putting words to this.

    With the food issue, this is extremely hard–slippage. With some things, you can have one clear battle and it’s over. With food and food issues, it is extremely challenging because it is a 3+ times a day battle you face and your will-power does wear (will power works more like a muscle–which means it can be exhausted, especially when having to fight against cravings daily and especially when cravings are abundant).

    A few things I might recommend:

    1. Wear an elastic, a ring, or write on the hand that you dominantly eat with. This is a nice visual cue to remind you to stop and think or to exercise your will power.

    2. Get a small container (1/2 cup or even 1/4 cup size) and allow yourself to indulge but only to the size of that container. This is a compromise between your desires to be fit and your desires to indulge.

    3. Give yourself the 5 minute rule. From the moment you actually pick up what you are going to eat, time out 5 minutes before you can actually eat it, then do a self-check to see if you “really” want it.

    4. Keep a food log. Just a log of everything morsel you eat. You want to log the food and roughly the amount. Don’t worry about calories or anything like that. Just make a written acknowledgment that of how much you are eating. Every time you go to eat, simply ask “Do I really want to have to log this?”

    Exercise is more tricky.
    1. Finding momentum to run can be hard. One trick, particularly during the colder weather when it’s harder for me to go outside or for long distances, I run/walk in place. It sounds silly. I know. The silliness is the hardest part, but think about when you’re watching TV, what if youre walking/jogging in place while doing that. You can use this tool a lot and help to burn extra calories.

    2. The Bike Issue. So my high end bike is in the shop as of today, but it should be out by middle or end of next week. I have my high-end road bike and my clunker road bike. I’d be happy to go for road-rides with you (or you’re welcome to come borrow the clunker at times). I do a decent amount of cycling in the area and know some great routes as well (if interested, hit me up via email or FB message).

    3. A solid consistent plan can be hard to come up with. I know this from my own experiences. With running for me, part of what has gotten me running the distances has been signing up for races and signing up for a big one (this year, I’m doing a marathon in October). This creates a clear goal to which helps you figure out what a consistent plan should look like.

    All right, back to work for me–I hope some of these help! But as a fellow big person trying to fight off the weight, I appreciate the your post!

  2. justal313 says:

    Ok, well I have a few things for advice…

    Diets with Names don’t work long term, even Paleo, even South Beach, Ormish, Atkins… you name it. Any thing that causes you to limit yourself will not last for ever. It’s OK to eat Paleo, but you gotta start thinking “I don’t eat that” instead of “I can’t eat that”

    Weightloss at it’s purest form is burning more calories than you consume. Changing what you eat can help that but I’ve lost 100 pounds not by denying myself anything just eating less of it. For me eating 3 snacks and 3 meals helps but not because of some mystical metabolism “revving” but because I eat BEFORE I get hungy and I’m not tempted to overeat.

    I’ve been maintaining a calorie deficit and have been managing it with a food log (and a scale and some measuring spoon/cups).

    Since I want to keep my deficit, if I want something others consider “bad” I exercise to pad my calorie budget. I drink beer (just not by the keg), I have dessert and I will be able to do this for the long haul because the only change I’ve really made to my nutritional life is portion size.

    I previously lost 80 pounds on SouthBeach and after I stopped following the plan, I put it all back and then some.

    Yes I exercise 6 days a week. I primarily run and other than the cost of shoes and running socks and reflective gear it’s free if I’m not racing. My goal is 30 minutes exercise a day, that’s all, some days it’s longer but it’s always 30. 30 mintues isn’t a huge deal and the more I’ve exercised the easier it has gotten.

    As far as not eating bad food, EAT SOME just not ALL OF IT. Live a little, and go for a run/ride/swim whatever if you need to.

    Do you know what you at yesterday, the day before. The specific food? Once you know what you ate, work on how much of it you ate. You can do this.

  3. Hi!!!
    Maybe it’s time to consider that hard-core paleo-ing simply isn’t working anymore? That it was a GREAT jumpstart for your newfound healthy lifestyle and habits, but perhaps now it’s time to accept that it’s not the answer anymore?

    Maybe it’s time to throw out the scale, as it’s not actually indicative of true health?

    I invite you to check out this blog/website, Go Kaleo, if you aren’t already familiar with it. Here is an awesome post you might resonate with at this point in your journey:

    http://gokaleo.com/2012/09/19/body-composition-that-last-five-pounds-and-how-to-deal-with-problem-areas/

    Amber, the author of the website, has a really awesome Facebook group called “Eating the Food” that could potentially be a helpful resource for you as you move forward. You can check us out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/108315962672267/

    You can find a way to be vibrantly healthy without the struggle. I have been following your blog and it pains me to see you beating yourself up so hard! I too jumped on the paleo train and it worked wonders for me at first–and then I needed to ease up on the restriction and figure out a new way.

    Much love and respect,
    dani

  4. Debi says:

    Jared,
    I read all the previous comments before commenting myself. Currently, I’m in the midst of a move from Japan to Hawaii. Yes, moves are stressful, and yes, I’ve eaten a few things I’m not proud of (like all the Hawaiian treats in our Welcome Basket!!). However, with that being said and me noting my bitchiness lately (sorry, but that word accurately conveys how I’ve been acting… poor hubby), I realized that I, too, needed a swift kick in the rear!!

    Now, I’ve been reading your blog and following your progress and seem to be pretty much a similar person as you (or the you I’ve come to know through your writing). I’ve empathized with much of your trials and understood each goal as it came. Unlike you, I did not have as much to lose. I DID have huge health issues that have pretty much resolved.

    So… Needing someone to say “Wake the *F* up and get your ass in shape!!!”… I understand that, too. So, how about I say it to you and you say it right back at me!!

    1st: STOP eating that shit!! Moderation is OK for some people who can stop themselves from eating more!! Eating a ‘cup worth’ is awesome… for me? I just refill it!! So… Quit it!! If it makes you feel worse after eating it, STOP. OR>>> MAKE YOUR OWN. I know you know how to do it with DARK chocolate and coconut oil and stuff, so do THAT!! We both know that by the time we’ve made it and it’s ready to eat, we’re not AS hungry for it anymore (or have sampled the stuff so much our tummy aches already). But at least you know all the ingredients.

    If you DO pick up some crap at work to eat… stop and read the ingredient list. Then remind yourself how crappy that processed shit is!! That you don’t want those chemicals in your body anymore!! Like me, get a bag of goodies for your desk or work fridge and snack on those. I NEED crunchy stuff daily… if not celery or carrots, then homemade sesame crackers or something. (Still have yet to make those freakin’ kale chips!! but, if you have… perhaps some of those)

    2nd: Get a cheap app and get using it. I have SO many reasons NOT to exercise, it’s not even funny. However, when I first “went Paleo/Primal” I was doing the Couch to 5K running plan 3 times a week and saw my weight just drop off. Can’t say for sure it was ONLY eating Paleo or a combination… but I do know that I plateau’d when I stopped exercising (yeah, the past year). So… during this stressful time of moving from foreign country to another overseas assignment (yeah, we’re “in the states”… have you SEEN the prices out here??!!), I realized that I could and should get my butt out the door (sheesh, I’m in Hawaii…).

    So, I took my Japanese iPhone (nope, the phone doesn’t work here in America, but I’ve figured out the GPS does) and put on earbuds and stepped out the door around 9am Monday to my Week 1 Day 1 “Ease into 5K” program. It sucked and I sweated SO much. It also was god-forsaken HOT outside with the sun beating down on me… but, I persisted. Today I finished up with Week 1 Day 3. Still sucked, but I got out there at 7:30am instead and sweat probably half as much. I had my workout music (yeah, sucked it up and bought a playlist that keeps 100 – 120 beats a minute the entire time) and sunglasses.

    Next, the same app company (Bluefin) made another app called the 7 minute workout. So, I went ahead and bought that… plan to do that on my “off” days from running. It has 12 activities, and each one is for 30 seconds. I’m sure I can do that. I read some of the reviews and they say to add a second and third time as you get stronger. What appeals to me is that I don’t have to go anywhere or bring a gymbag to work!! Or have weights… or any other apparatus except my own body (and that’s heavy enough for these exercises!! lol)
    – jumping jacks
    – wall sit
    – push ups
    – ab crunches
    – step ups
    – squats
    – triceps dip
    – plank
    – high knees
    – lunges
    – push-up and rotation
    – side plank

    So… I’m game if you’re game!! (I actually might blog this myself!!)

    your friend and fan,
    Debi

  5. […] July of 2012 I’d mentioned that I was under a lot of stress and needed AN INTERVENTION. Work was causing me a lot of stress. There were tons of things going on around the house. I was […]

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