Adrienne jumping rope

My Health and Fitness Journey: Part IV

By this point in my health and fitness journey, you can see that my life has been through some ups and downs when it comes to my nutrition. Now, while I’ve never been considered obese, I have been overweight and out of shape. It took a toll on me mentally, being a former athlete that no longer looked that way.

Well finally a positive major life changing impact occurred on Valentine’s day, 2015. I met my wife. I was at a CrossFit competition to support a coach that I worked with when I noticed a beautiful woman working the event. To make a long story short, we went on our first date that night and it kinda worked out.

It’s amazing what having a person with similar interests and desires can do for you when it comes to nutrition.

Surround yourself with people who bring you up

We obviously both enjoyed CrossFit but more than that, we both had a desire to be healthy, perform well in the gym, and to look good naked. Who doesn’t want that?

My wife is active duty Army so she is required to meet a certain minimum when it comes to fitness, but let’s be honest, it’s a joke. She has always exceeded her minimums and usually scored maximum on her PT tests.

A huge change for me was that she wasn’t much of a drinker. Being removed from my previous environment, we moved to Tennessee, and being around someone that doesn’t have the desire to get drunk every weekend was amazing for me. Not only that, but she pushed me to seek more help through the VA and to stop denying my PTSD issues.

At this point, I am mentally and physically feeling better but as usual, life throws me a curveball.

Right before we got married, I thought I pulled a muscle in my neck. That was until I woke up the next morning and only had a 10 degree range of motion in my left arm. Crap. After getting an MRI, it was revealed that a disk in my neck had slipped and was pressing against my spinal cord. Yay. Another surgery and another roadblock to my health and nutrition goals.

Six weeks after my surgery, I was allowed to start doing body weight movements. During this time, I continued to eat healthy but I was still eating for my normal activity level. Because of that I gained weight and lost muscle.

Back in the game

I worked my way back into shape through CrossFit and strongman training. I even came in second place at my first, and only, strongman competition.

Yes! I was back.

However, life can be cruel sometimes.

Not even a year after my surgery, I was training for my second strongman competition when I felt some tingling on the left side of my face down to my left shoulder while squatting.

Now obviously I did what any guy would do, I ignored it. That is until it happened again the next week. Come on! Give me a break!!! I got another MRI and I had the opportunity to see it before I went back to my Neurosurgeon. I’m not a Dr. but when I saw my MRI, I knew how bad it was. My wife is a veterinarian and when she saw how bad it was, she was unable to hide her concern.

Oh BTW, she was pregnant with our son at the time too.

More set backs

So between having a major surgery, C3-C7 were fused, not being able to workout for quite some time, gaining sympathy weight with my wife, and working a stressful job and going to college, I was up to my highest confirmed body weight and bodyfat. My body fat was at least 6% higher than normal and I was up 215lbs. To some that might sound fine. But I was currently working as a strength and conditioning coach and I didn’t feel like I looked like one. So after graduation and moving to Texas, we started a Keto diet.

Trial And Error

Depending on the philosophy of Keto that you follow, you either keep your carbohydrate intake to 20g a day if strict or up to 50g of net carbs if you’re being a little less restrictive.

While the diet did help me achieve my goal in a relatively short period of time, I lost over 20lbs in just a few months, I knew it wasn’t a diet I wouldn’t be able to follow long term. I was crashing in workouts, not performing to my full potential and it was frustrating.

Then we started to buy pre-made meals from the grocery store. This was not only time saving but it also helped us keep track of our calories and macros. I even went back to tracking my food by using My Fitnesspal.

What works for some, does not work for everyone

I highly recommend that if you are just getting started with your nutrition journey or have no clue where to start, to contact me or Jennifer Dawson at Northglenn Health and fitness.

We can sit down together to go over your goals, your roadblocks, who’s there to support you and who might be a negative influence on you. We will help you change your habits that will allow you to have the freedom to decide what you should eat and how to have a healthy relationship with food.

Your health and fitness journey doesn’t have to be about weighing and measuring everything you put in your mouth or not going out with friends and family because it would be too hard to stick to your diet. We believe that you should be able to live your life and enjoy what you’re eating and not be on some super restrictive diet that just drives you into binge eating or having to eat the same thing day in and day out.

No matter your goal, whether you want to lose 15lbs, 100lbs or gain muscle, we can help you achieve your goals.

There will be a couple of weeks break before I publish the last, bonus portion of this series. I will post about what I do on a near daily basis at this time, since it is a common question that I receive. The next couple of weeks, I will be talking about my strength training class and the results we had after a dedicated six week program.

I just finished up myself and based on the number I achieved, I am expecting big things from my clients!

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