How to Obtain Health and Fitness; Steve’s Story

This is my husband’s Steve story told in his words. He has worked hard and been very determined and persistent to obtain health and fitness. I hope you enjoy reading about his journey. 

In my 40s it became increasingly difficult to manage my weight. It seemed like no matter what I did I couldn’t shed pounds. About 3-years ago at an all-time high of 234-lbs, I told Gail that wanted to be the weight I was the day I married her (180-lbs). After years of making this bold type of statement to her, she looked at me and said with a smile, “that would be nice”.

For some reason, I felt like I could actually do it.

Beginning Changes

After some research, I started my process with intermittent fasting. I began skipping breakfast and would generally not eat anything for 18-hours. I still have a 6-hour eating window each day.

Walking and/or hiking has always been a part of my routine. For years, I walked 3-miles every day before going to work. When I started my fasting routine, I also increased my daily distance to 5-miles and tried to do 10-15,000 steps per day.

Making these two changes worked for the first 6-months or so. I lost 35-lbs, but I didn’t change WHAT I ate and I gained 20 lbs. back the following 6-months.

More Changes

Somehow, I didn’t get discouraged this time. I felt like my body just wanted to be fat but I was determined to be in charge of my body. Each time I plateaued or went backward I took it as an indicator that I was doing something wrong. So, I looked for the next thing to layer on top of what I was already doing.

The next step for me was to cut sugar and processed food out of my diet. No crackers, chips, or pasta. No pop, sweets, or alcohol. Eat only natural, whole foods. At this point of my story, I have to say, I cheat a bit in this area today but believe I’ve lowered my sugar intake overall from when I started by 80-90%.

By eliminating these foods, I got back down to around 205-lbs and it seemed that was the weight my body wanted to stay at. I was 202-207 lbs. for months. It seemed crossing below 200 was not going to happen.

So I decided to add another component to my regiment. Gail and I eliminated seed oils from our foods. We started reading labels on everything we bought at the store and today only consume healthy, natural and fats. For me, this has made an impact to obtain health and fitness.

When I stopped consuming bad oils and fats, (Dr Cate) I slowly dropped below 200-lbs. I was happy but I was stuck again at about 197-lbs.

I was still focused at getting to my wedding weight, but it was coming off so slowly.

This is when I made another mental shift. I stopped caring about what the scale said and started paying attention to how my clothes fit, how I looked in the mirror and being healthy.

Build Muscle

I decided to join a gym in November of last year. My new goal was not to lose weight. It was to burn body fat and build muscle.

This is the decision that has really changed things for me. Although I’ll never get my 25-year body back, I am slowly getting my athleticism back. My balance, strength, and ability to play games like basketball are in my wheelhouse again.

So, the good news (even though I don’t worry about the scale) is I’ve reached my goal of weighing what I did the day I married Gail. Better yet, I feel strong again and am healthier now than when I was 50-years old.

The point of posting this story isn’t to brag. It’s to encourage how to obtain health and fitness. I don’t think my layered routine is right for everyone, but it works for me. It’s a routine that feels normal to me now. I know I can maintain what I’m doing for years to come without feeling like I’m missing out or sacrificing. If anyone reading this wants to make similar changes, this is my advice.

Steve’s Advice

  • Know it’s going to take time to reach your goal (months and maybe years).
  • Focus on the right things; health first, replace body fat with muscle – don’t worry about what the scale says.
  • Learn what works and maintain it – then add to the routine (layer the changes).
  • Move: it almost doesn’t matter what the movement is as long as your body is moving more than resting. Working in the yard, washing the car by hand, parking in the furthest parking spot and walking in the store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It all helps.
  • Be kind to yourself, be patient and give yourself grace as you implement the routine that works best for you and your health.

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