Our dear friend Jim is super awesome to write his before and after story and allow me the honor of posting it on my blog!!! He has been strict paleo for 6 months and I think you will see that the proof is in the coconut pudding. He is a great example of how a combination of paleo and CrossFit work so well at any age in life. (That was not meant to be an old joke.) :) He definitely practices what he preaches and I have seen proof of his true determination. (The icing he is referring to was my Jack's birthday cake...which was sooooo yummy by the way but Jim totally turned it down even though we were making oooh and ahhh noises while eating it in front of him.)
A little over six months ago I had a life changing event take place that gave me an opportunity to reflect on how I was taking care of myself. Or rather, how I was not taking care of myself.
I was overweight, I thought I knew about proper nutrition and I didn’t really care about my health. That can be a lethal combination for a 44 year old man. Fortunately, I found out that I really didn’t know what I thought I knew and I took a hard look at the way I was living my life. I was mixing unhealthy quantities of the wrong foods with insufficient quantities of the right foods and my physical activity was at an all-time low.
Because of my chosen profession I never thought I’d live to be 34, much less 44, but I decided that since I’ve made it this far I may as well try to go all the way. That meant I would have to make a significant change in my life. Notice I didn’t type ‘changes’. I typed ‘change’.
First of all, life is change. No matter who you are you will experience change throughout the course of your time on this planet. There’s no way around it. Some change you have no control over. Some change you make yourself. It’s the change you have control over that I’m talking about.
That said, when it comes to health, people in the know will generally tell you to change two things in order to become healthier.
1: Change your nutrition
2: Change your level of physical activity
I know this because I’ve been on the receiving end of this message. It’s absolutely true that if you’re interested in becoming a healthier you then these two items will have to be taken very seriously. You will have to change the way you eat and exercise to meet your health goals. But this isn’t the change I’m referring to.
The singular most important thing you have to change to get to that true healthy is your mind. It’s all about mindset. It’s all about determination. It’s all about you.
Below on the left you’ll find a picture of me 5 months ago. I was 207 pounds and I was pushing 23% body fat. That’s not good.
The picture on the right is me this morning. I have no idea what my body fat percentage is and I don’t care how much I weigh. I feel like a completely different person. Not because I look different. But because I think differently than I did before.
That’s the difference. I changed my mind. I made the conscious decision to become something else.
There are a lot of health and fitness professionals that will tell you that your daily focus should be on 30% fitness and 70% diet. From experience that is flat out incorrect. Your daily focus should be 100% on your daily focus. I don’t care what diet plan you start. I don’t care what fitness program you start. The difference will be your determination. The difference will be how bad you want it.
There’s going to be icing. There’s going to be injuries. But through it all you will be able to become what you want if you stick to your goals. I don’t cheat on my diet and I don’t miss an opportunity to work out. Even if that means no sugar. Even if that means doing burpees at midnight in my bedroom.
Once you’ve made up your mind then you can worry about the details of your diets and your exercise programs. That’s when you need to talk to a nutritionist. That’s when you need to step into a CrossFit box. And not a moment before. Because if you’re not prepared to change your mind then none of the rest of it will matter.