Monday, February 1, 2021

Revisiting beer, food and health

Originally I was merely going to reshare this post from 2015 on my Facebook page along with a quick update. As I was writing the post on Facebook my commentary was starting to get a little long. Instead of reposting, this is a topic that needed to be revisited in full. 

Plenty has changed for me since I wrote that post in 2015. I never did achieve much consistency with diet and exercise. At one point in 2016 I was starting to get back into a nice groove with exercise. The company I worked for at the time would have fitness activities all the time. I was making it to the gym at least somewhat regularly. Then in fall of 2016 I slipped chasing a train and tore my left rotator cuff. I didn't need surgery, but I needed months of physical therapy to regain rage of motion and try to build strength. 

By the time my shoulder started to feel better, I took my current position with Muntons. I went from 8-5 at an office to a job that required lots of travel and visiting breweries. By 2019 I was as heavy as I ever have been. Early that year I knew I needed to do something. I needed to get the food under control, and find an exercise program I could do anywhere. I started DDP Yoga when Chris Jericho mentioned on his podcast that he could do the workouts in a hotel room. I was doing really well for about three months until I tweaked my shoulder again. After a month back in physical therapy my shoulder was fine, but I had lost my focus.

By the time the pandemic hit I had given back all of my progress from 2019. For awhile I was going on long walks and shorter run/walk intervals just to get out of the house. The consistency still wasn't there. By the time the weather was starting to cool, I didn't want to go outside. 

By December I realized I had wasted all of this time I had at home. Instead of waiting for the New Year, I decided I needed to exercise and I needed to start right away. I have been doing DDP Yoga workouts 3-4 times per week. The key has been to play it extra safe with my shoulder. I stared over-modifying a lot of the movements. There were a few times I cut workouts short when my shoulder started to feel sore. I feel like I am slowly starting to rebuild strength and flexibility. 

One goal I have is to try playing golf again. I was invited to play in a tournament by a customer a couple of years ago. When I tried one practice swing without holding a club, my shoulder was immediately sore. If I can get through a bucket of balls at the range or even a round I'll know I'm doing well. If I can play without pain I can worry about not sucking. 

As much as DDPY helps burn fat, improve flexibility, and build strength, I've always missed higher intensity workouts. I missed the feeling I had after a CrossFit WOD: completely exhausted after giving maximum effort. When I work out I like to feel like I pushed myself. I have been working in 1-2 HIIT, Tabata, or home WOD workouts per week to replicate that feeling the best I can at home. I purchased an ab mat so for sit ups and a pull-up bar with plenty of bands to try and get my pull-up back. 

The deal I made with myself is that I would start exercising immediately in December and start attacking the food after the holidays. I have been journaling my food as a way to keep myself accountable and to stay on track. 

One of the things Diamond Dallas Page talks about in the DDP Yoga program is goal setting. I didn't necessarily start with a goal in December, but after a week or so eating better I wrote down what my goal was. 

I want to fit into a men's large size t-shirt again by Memorial Day

That is a very aggressive goal. The last time I fit into a large was probably 2012, or maybe a brief period in 2014. What is the point of setting goals if they are not ambitious?  I will probably need to lose 15 pounds per month between now and then depending on how much muscle I build. Looking at my belly that's probably a fair estimate.

From the time I wrote my last post on this topic in 2015 until now, there probably hasn't been a day I didn't regret getting healthy only to give it all back. I am trying to imagine myself looking my best, but most importantly feeling my best as the summer rolls around. Maybe I can get a new headshot for work with one less chin!

The only way to aggressively burn the fat that I want to burn in the timeframe I want to do it in is to run aggressive calorie deficits. That does not leave a lot of room for a 16-ounce NEIPA coming in at 300 calories. In January I drank five beers all month. Coincidentally or not I went two months without brewing a batch. My last batch was Pa's Lager weighing in at 5.3% ABV, and 170 calories for 12 ounces. 

There are plenty of people who drank more than five beers this month that are not overweight. I am sure there are people who are able to enjoy the occasional pizza, or burger and fries that are generally healthy. Once I achieve my goals, I want to be one of those people. I want to be a healthy person that can also enjoy life. This video by YouTuber Adam Ragusea really captures what I am going for here. To do that I need to catch myself if the occasional indulgence becomes more frequent.

The key is going to be to not lose focus. When I do reach my goal, I need to continue monitoring my weight and how my clothes fit. If I start slipping, I need to tighten up sooner and not continue to slip for months and years. Developing a routine I can do at home, or do anywhere at any time will help me stay on course and eliminate excuses. 

I have 18 weeks from now until Memorial Day to get after it. 

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