5.28.2011

The Quest for Fire, Food, & Fitness Part 1


Since my new year's resolution which started at the beginning of the year (and really not until I joined Crossfit in February), I've had an incredible change in lifestyle.  At first, I endeavored to do all sorts of things, from learning Spanish, to improving at Jiu Jitsu.  "Getting in shape" is as cliche a New Year's resolution as one can have, but I believed.  I mean, if Jared can do it, why can't I?  

Now, to preface this post, I was under no illusions that I was morbidly obese, but I was certainly far from the trim figure I wanted to be.  At a 35" waist, 5'9" frame I was leaning chubby. (my fiance insists that I wasn't.)  However, a 35" waist, along with a hiatal hernia, poor blood labs, and labored breathing were NOT okay.  SO...my search for fitness (and more importantly health) began.  

I started by doing some research and came across "Crossfit", "P90X", "Insanity", as well as the many other hundreds of over-priced fitness programs on the market today.  I looked more closely at the philosophy behind the differing programs, and realized that Crossfit was going to be the best fit for my lifestyle and needs.  Because I didn't JUST want to look good naked.  I also wanted to perform and feel better.  I wanted "HEALTH" and not just "aesthetics", 2 very different goals.  

I googled a Crossfit gym near my house, attended the intro and 2 classes, and I was hooked.  I was well on my way!  Or was I?  Results didn't seem to come very quickly, especially in terms of aesthetics.  I was and am still a bit hampered by the hiatal hernia, but that wasn't the entire story.  My body was not "right".  I just knew it and had a feeling.  In hindsight, I now realize that I was metabolically deranged, and on my way to living a much shorter life than I ever imagined.  

I remember very distinctly having a conversation with one of my trainers, and mentioned to him that I was really wanting to get leaner (and not just bulk up).  I told him I felt I had to work harder, lift more, attend more, to which he interjected: "Don't forget about diet."  I remembered thinking how poignant, yet profound that statement seemed to be at the time.  It was obvious, but elusive.  Just the epiphany for which I was looking!  And then suddenly the search for the ideal diet was on.

Another very important comment I remember hearing was "Well, in order for a diet to truly work, you'd have to be on it for the rest of your life right?"  That little gem came from doctor I know.  While he and I differ in nutritional philosophy (he's fully ingrained in the standard food pyramid myth of high grains, low fat), the point is still a good one.  Dieting typically is a temporary endeavor.  One gets on it, gets lean, and falls off the wagon.  I was looking for the ever cliche "Lifestyle Change". (Cue dramatic music).  This is why I cringe at the words "Paleo Diet."  The term adds a certain hokey factor to the whole thing.  And the word "diet" conjures images of the Atkins, Liquid, and Garth Brooks Juice Diets.

In my past, diet was rarely an adjustment I made.  Even when I was in pretty decent shape, I was always of the opinion that a poor diet could be managed with longer hours in the gym, and more minutes on the treadmill.  I recall saying to folks, "I work out, so that I may enjoy eating anything I want."  Wow, how wrong I was.

C'mon donks, we can all say it together:  "Fitness is 10% exercise, and 90% diet."  I'm telling you, spending 4 hours per day in the gym and eating lots of carbs is like...well...eating candy and taking insulin.  Stupid, and doesn't get you anywhere.  I might even add that diet is more than 90%.  So why is this way of eating any different?   More about this in my next post.

To Be Continued....


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