A Journey to a Better Me #NewBDK
29 Nov 2013
I have always believed that once you grow up, and are ready for the world, there are 3 elements in life:
These are in no particular order.
I have a beautiful wife, and 2 adorable daughters. Our family is filled with lots of love.
My parents are very supportive, and have always been there for me. Now in their 70s, they still ballroom dance every week, as they have been doing for over 20 years.
My older brother Shane lives 500kms away in Ottawa with his wife and 2 girls, and I know he would be there for me at the drop of a dime. That’s how close we are.
This is my family, and I love them with all my heart.
I have had a long and successful career in marketing and communications. From getting a job as a graphic artist at a local newspaper while attending college; to managing a team of graphic designers at Canada’s largest community newspaper; to running my own marketing and design agency; to now leading a solid team of online community managers for Ford of Canada.
This is where I have fallen short.
You know when you have one of those ah-ha moments when you say to yourself, “I’m in bad shape, and need to start exercising and eating healthy.”
Well that is not what happened here. I always knew I was in bad shape, and that I wasn’t choosing wisely when it came to my food and drink choices. The problem is, I never did anything about it.
My 3 Vices
I love the taste of a cold Coca-Cola. In my late teens, I worked as a security guard on the night shift. I found it challenging to stay up all night, so I started drinking coffee. Lots of it. When the coffee didn’t do it, I switched to pop. It worked. It kept me awake, and I was able to function all night. Was it a poor choice? Of course. But I was only 18… what did I know about making good choices?
I was never a sweet tooth, so candy wasn’t the issue. It was salt. Stick a bag of chips in front of me, and I would eat it. When cooking, I rarely added salt to any dish I was preparing, but some of the spice combinations I used had it in them.
I am not someone who makes sandwiches every day. When I do eat bread, I only eat white bread. My main issue is freshly baked bread.
I would buy a freshly baked baguette on a Saturday, cut it in half (saving the other half for Sunday), and make a sub sandwich out of it. I would add smoked meat, salami, turkey, mayo and mustard, and then sit and watch TV.
I would do the same thing on the Sunday.
This wasn’t a weekly occurrence, but it did happen once or twice a month.
Sick and Tired
I was getting sick all the time. Every time the girls came home sick, I would get sick too. If someone was sniffling next to me in a meeting, I would be sniffling on the way home. During flu season, you can guarantee I was going to be down with that too.
To say I am tired all the time is an understatement. Just climbing a flight of stairs at home would wind me.
I found myself driving short distances, just so I wouldn’t have to walk there.
Was this lazy? Yes. There is no half-stepping this.
I was also tired of looking at a chair in a restaurant and thinking to myself, “will I fit in that chair? Will I break it?” I found myself too often looking for other seating options (chairs without arms, bench seats, or a couch) just to avoid this dilemma.
It was time for change.
Exercise and Food
These are the 2 things I needed to work on. I needed to start exercising, and eating properly.
Step One: Exercise
I joined the local Snap Fitness. It came highly recommended by a friend of mine, who is a member. Wendy joined as well. It is 2kms from our house, so there are no excuses for not going. The owner of Snap Fitness Burlington, Scott Hislop, is awesome, and very personable.
What I needed was accountability and guidance. Snap has 3 contracted personal trainers availble. After looking at what they had to offer, I chose Mike Rivait. He is a fitness professional with over 20 years of experience. Mike specializes in individual, group and sport specific training, along with nutrition counseling.
Boom… exactly what I need. Someone to keep me in line, and hold me accountable. However, I knew that working out in the gym only accounted for 15% of what was needed.
Step Two: Food
Eating healthy is important. This accounts for the other 85%.
Mike has helped me to re-evaluate what I was eating. He pointed out everything I was doing wrong, and has guided me on the path to eating healthier. He has given me a grocery list and a nutrition plan.
Wendy and the girls are being very supportive, and have joined this journey with me. We are now eating healthier meals. Making choices like brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice; fish, chicken or turkey instead of pork and beef. Snacking on vegetables or Mary’s Crackers and hummus instead of chips.
We also made the switch from cow’s milk to almond milk. Vegetables are now part of every meal we have.
As well as eating healthier, I needed to start eating breakfast. For the longest time, I would get up in the morning, and start my day. I wouldn’t eat until I was hungry. 90% of the time, this was lunch.
I have started making fresh smoothies at home. Ingredients include: Warrior Blend raw protein powder, ground chia seeds, hulled hemp hearts, banana (peeled then frozen), frozen blueberries, almond milk, spinach, wheatgrass, kale and celery.
Not all of these are in every smoothie I make. I like to switch them up a bit. I’m going to add carrot, ginger and beets to future smoothies. There are no shortage of recipes online.
Better health, and to lose weight. I am not looking to become a fitness or health pro, just looking to better myself and my lifestyle.
I don’t have a specific goal in mind when it comes to my weight. I am 6’3″ tall. I started this journey at the heaviest I have ever been… 409 lbs. Since starting, I am down 7 lbs. I would like to get down to 275 lbs, which is where I felt the most comfortable at. If I lose more, great. I want to do this slowly, so the weight stays off.
A New Me.
I am just over a month into my journey. This is the beginning of a series of blog posts I will be doing about my journey to a better me. I will be using the hashtag #NewBDK on Twitter and Facebook, and I invite you to follow along.