It’s not often that I get to take the things that I absolutely love the most in the world and combine them with things that I absolutely hate the most in the world. Usually when those two things happen it is related to Microsoft Windows in some form and it absolutely kills me for several days. Well not this time, this time it pertains to a very positive turning point in my life I believe. I have recently acquired a Wii Fit as well as a Nike+ iPod kit. These two small sets of hardware have enabled me to combine something I love with something I used to hate and hopefully improve my life and have fun while doing it.
I must admit that there are several factors involved in my decision to start getting more healthy. I decided to cut the majority of soda out of my life after my incident several months ago where I had 4 kidney stones and some major medical issues that were not very pleasant to go through. But in addition to cutting out soda there needs to be more. Something more substantial that will make it so I’m not having a heart attack before Paisley has even graduated high school. So here is the list of things that has helped change my motivation for working out and getting healthy:
- The Wii Fit called me Obese. This isn’t too surprising honestly. Even when I worked out 1-2 hours a day with the Army I was still between 178 - 185 pounds on average (+/- 3 or so pounds). Currently I’m at 185.0 which is a decrease from 186.7 earlier this week. My long-term goal is to get below 166 pounds and hit the “Normal” threshold for BMI.
- Paisley has a pretty consistent routine that I can start to work around. If she’s going to be consistent in her life and she plans on being around longer than me then I need to try and make sure I’m here as many years as I can be to be with her.
- Katie has started working out over the past several months, eating healthier, and expressed some concern about my long-term health. She loves my tummy and me as I am, but she doesn’t want me to have a heart attack before I’m 50.
- I want to prove that I can out-endure, out-perform, and out-live my ex-wife who used to make me eat all sorts of healthy crap and play nearly 2 hours of tennis a day just because she wasn’t confident in her self-image. I’ve never really cared about how I look, as long as I’m healthy. I still feel that way, but I want to make sure that I am always healthier than her. I know this is a very revenge oriented reason, but in my experience that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes anger is the best motivator for working out (it always worked when I was lifting weights or doing a physical training test in the Army).
- Lastly, I want to be ready for snowboarding season. I’ve only been snowboarding once in the past two seasons and I am suffering hardcore withdrawals. I have one of the nicest boards available and a tattoo on my foot and I want to make sure I can perform and endure as well as my board can in order to maximize my snow-induced high.
So what is my plan of attack? There are several factors involved in getting and staying healthy. Have I ever mastered any of them? No. I don’t really think I will ever be a “master” or “expert” when it comes to nutrition and health. My body is just too abnormal to fit into the normal process. I used to live on one meal a day in high school because I simply wasn’t hungry. I did it during the year after because I was too busy trying to keep up to Army standards to worry about eating. I pretty much tend to eat only one main meal and then small snacks throughout the day. Those snacks are often what will get me.
Diet: Over the past six or so months I have cut out almost all soda from my diet. It’s time to extend that to all soda. I have also slowly been decreasing the amount of red meat that I eat. Where I used to eat at least one steak a week (preferably two or three), I now eat a steak maybe once a month (if that). I eat a hamburger about once or twice a week, but I eat smaller amounts than I used to. Instead of getting a triple burger or double quarter-pounder I’ve cut back to single patty burgers and junior burger items when I eat hamburgers from fast-food joints. I’ve also found that I have a preference for chicken sandwiches over burgers more than half the time anyway so that is a huge help. I also used to be a huge Gatorade drinker. Recently Gatorade has come out with G2 which I find tastes pretty good and is definitely better than Propel or other flavored water options as far as taste. I’ve also come to enjoy just a simple glass of water more than I used to. Perhaps enough time has finally passed from all the forced piss-tests in the Army that I can finally enjoy water again. Tonight I just remembered that Crystal Light makes a Fruit Punch mix I love that only has 5 calories and no sugar per serving. Sure beats the heck over those two Coke Zeros I tried last week in taste.
Cardio: In addition to healthy eating, I am focusing on increasing my cardiovascular activity drastically. I have always been pretty good at getting in 3 to 6 hours a weekend on the slopes when I can afford to snowboard (time wise or money wise). However, with the past two seasons being a bust I have to find other ways to keep in shape. Enter the Nike+ and my iPod Nano. The perfect equation to fun cardio:
With the Nike+ I get free statistical analysis and tracking through http://www.nikeplus.com and I can actually visualize, monitor, and challenge myself through friends remotely, online, or just personal goals. It really appeals to my geeky side (in spite of its Flash only interface). At least I can get some numbers to go with all the hideous amounts of sweat it will cause. My goal is to run at least twice a week for a minimum of a mile. Preferably 2 or more miles and hopefully at least 3 days a week.
Strength, Breathing, and Balance: On the days I am not running (and possibly on the days that I am) I plan on utilizing the Wii Fit to complement my cardio workout by focusing on strength and balance training primarily (muscle building and muscle control through fun mini-games like pushups, ski slalom, snowboarding, and yoga). With the neat little child-like robot voice and the simple graphs it provides for BMI, weight, and activity log it makes it a sinch to really enjoy visualizing and computing how my health is progressing. I especially love the accuracy of the scale. It is impossible to get a scale that doesn’t fluctuate by .50 to 2 pounds every time I step on it. The Wii Fit is accurate to a tenth of a pound. Already within a week of use my posture has improved drastically and my center of balance has become much more conscientious to me (which will help a lot in improving for snowboarding I hope). Thusly, we can hope that the Wii will stand as a digital record of my overall progress between cardio and other efforts.
You may also notice on this image that there is a brown pouch on my right shoe. This is the make-shift Nike+ sensor pouch that Katie made for me so that I can begin my health efforts immediately rather than having to wait on either buying a pair of Nike+ shoes ($50-$100+) or a more proper Nike+ shoe pouch ($7 on Amazon and already ordered). Thanks for the temporary fix Katie!
Anyway, it’s getting late and I have to get up and run in less than 5.5 hours. I wish everyone the best and hope that I have the commitment to keep-up on the hard effort laying ahead of me for the rest of my life. Ah, laziness, I enjoyed you as an accomplice for as long as my geekiness could be justified. I’m afraid that my inner-geek simply could not stay with thee forever.