Closing Out the Year – Continual Progress

Near the end of every year, I always start thinking about what I want to focus on the following year. This year was for de-cluttering and getting my house and life in better order. I definitely accomplished that to a large extent with the remodeling of the house, and really focusing on my health and fitness. I worked on a lot this year relating to health/fitness… by trying different things with my diet, plant-based supplements to help heal my gut, learning more about nutrition by taking the Precision Nutrition course and reading a ton, and even changing gyms and the type of workouts I’m doing.

I often feel like whenever I have things “under control” and working perfectly with my health and fitness that something changes and I have to start all over. Back at the end of 2014 and through most of 2015 I had things “perfect”… I was working out great and had all kinds of PRs and my weight was exactly where I love it and it was easy to maintain while eating around 2,000 calories a day and without feeling deprived! It was the BEST!! Then at the end of 2015 things went wonky again and I began gaining weight and started having problems with different injuries and issues – shoulder, elbow, plantar fasciitis, breathing problems, etc. It’s been a somewhat frustrating two years.

I’ve spent most of 2017 working on my health and injuries by taking some plant/animal based supplements to help heal my gut and strengthen my liver and other organs. I’ve learned to do more prehab and rehab for my shoulder and FINALLY resolved a nagging shoulder issue that I’ve had on and off for a couple of years. I changed gyms so that I could swap all the running for cardio kickboxing, as well as swapping the crazy CrossFit workouts for more heavy lifting and less intense/crazy Metcons. I spent almost four months following custom programming designed specifically for me and my goals, and that was a HUGE contributing factor to healing my shoulder. Since changing gyms I am also able to workout five days a week without feeling like I’m always sore/tired/injured. These things have been so good for me physically and mentally.

Even with all the changes, my weight still has refused to budge from the 15-20 pound gain that began at the end of 2015. Part of that was certainly WHAT I was eating… as I still continued to eat some fast/fried/sugary foods. So, in 2018, my major health & fitness goals will be to eliminate the foods that are my worst weaknesses and triggers (those things that make me crave all the bad stuff). I began this five weeks ago by slowly eliminating things. First, it was fried foods (chicken fingers and french fries mostly). Second, it was candy and sodas. Third, it was dairy and cheese. Fourth, all the other refined foods (bagels, bread, rice, pasta, and other snacky foods like cheeze-its, pretzels and cereal). I’ll basically be doing a Whole30 for a minimum of four months to hopefully heal my body even more, and to hopefully heal some inflammation issues that cause me pain in my hands, knees, and hips.

What is interesting to me so far is that even with eliminating fried foods, candy, sodas and dairy, I did not lose a SINGLE pound! Nada. Nothing. Zip. I find that absolutely crazy. Most people would lose five pounds in the first week or two of eliminating just sodas and candy or just the fried foods. NOTHING for me. Prior to Thanksgiving and prior to eliminating the final refined starches, I did a 5 day Potato Hack to help feed the healthy bacteria in my gut (potatoes have Resistant Starches that feed healthy gut bacteria). I dropped almost 6 pounds, taking me down to a weight (135) that I have not seen in over a year. I gained all of that back over the Thanksgiving weekend – of course, because I was eating a lot but I had also stayed away from the things I had eliminated in the previous weeks. But, now with eliminating the refined starches that re-gain is dropping like crazy and I am back down to 136 after just 3 full days.

I do not know if the influx of all the resistant starches has helped heal my gut more, or if it was mainly the refined starchy foods that were really my biggest problem (I freaking LOVE bagels, pretzels and cheez-it type snacks). I may never know which has helped me the most. But, I am going forward with maintaining the elimination of foods for a minimum of four months because I feel like I really need that time to break my bad habits an heal my body even more. Plus, I have a Hawaii trip in April that I want to be ready, and feel my best, for!

My hope is that 2018 will be my best and healthiest year YET!!

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