Posts Tagged ‘gyms’

High blood pressure, P90x and my path to a better me

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

pillsQ: What time is it when your doctor says you have high blood pressure?

A: My guess was “it’s P90x time!”

As every regular guy knows, age tends to make us less of a man in some places and more of a man in others. Unless you have worked out your whole life up to this point, then your body has become somewhat less desirable and fit. Reaching your forties has a way of reminding you of that every day.

Being somewhat of an A- type personality ( used to be an A+ but figured I needed to slow it down some), I tend to carry too much stress, along with an extra 20-30 pounds I picked up over the years.But unlike most regular guys I hang out with, I thought I kept myself looking pretty good. Although I did have those pounds attached to me at my mid point, I still got around really well as compared to my friends and most other men I encountered that were in my age group.

Now I was faced with an older mans disease . Hell, all I ever hear from older guys is something to do with the high blood pressure or the cholesterol medicine that they are taking. There is something that makes us refuse to believe that this will happen to us. But the truth is we create this mess when we are in our teens. Our metabolism is set on high and we eat everything we can get our hands on. Then in college we start drinking and staying out late and eating bacon cheeseburgers at 2 am. That is really not a good start on the long road of life we have ahead of us. So after years of abusing our bodies, we all wait for the news that its time to adjust our lifestyles and eating habits. Unfortunately at this stage, our insides are probably too far gone to correct the plaque and mess we have made of our arteries. Our blood pressure though, we still may control.

At this point in my life, I know that I have to take better care of myself. Lets face it we all know what is good for us and what isn’t. It’s just a matter of putting in the time to make better choices for our body. So when my doctor told me he was giving me a month to try to get my pressure down, but believed that I would be on meds anyway, it pissed me off enough to make me face up to the fact that it was time to make better choices.

I hate gyms! Other than looking at girls in tight workout clothing, I hate going to a gym. Muscles are cool, but I can’t get that motivated to sign away a year of my money in hopes that I will stay focused enough to continue going to a gym 3-4 days a week. So I was faced with the dilemma of how to get a workout and not sign a contract.

Although I have never been an athlete on any level, I have stayed in pretty good condition by not overeating my way into sweat pants oblivion. I have always refused to own a pair of sweat pants because once you start wearing them, it becomes easier to overeat. Hey those things stretch out four waist sizes before you need a bigger pair. So armed with my trusty Wrangler jeans, I have never been more than a 36 inch waist size. Not good, but definitely not that bad either.

In my younger days I became a fan of the Martial Arts. I tried the traditional Karate classes and reached a certain level of success through colored belts but I found that the spiritual and way of life part of the Martial Artist was what attracted me to it. I found that the balance a true Martial Artist had in his life was really what I was seeking. Nothing in extreme, but everything in moderation. Simplicity. Calmness. Things that were not so easy to find in my upbringing and in life itself, but things I could use at this point of my life.

I needed a plan and I knew what I had to do but wasn’t quite sure how to do it. I needed a workout, something that was cardio and also weight resistance training. I needed to eat better. Make better choices but not a diet. And most important, I needed relief from the stress in my life.

Enter P90x. p90xThis program is designed to help you reach every goal that you need to get your  life to a better place. This program gives you cardio and weight training workouts, along with some Martial Arts and Yoga. You can also follow along with its nutrition plan to help you make better choices with the things you put in your body. And best of all you do it at home with no monthly gym fees and contracts.

My goals were simple. Eat better. Exercise. Calm my mind and body. Ninety days to a better me. After one month, my weight was down ten pounds and my blood pressure was normal again. My doctor wanted to see me again in six months to make sure this wasn’t  a fluke. His disbelief in me from the start was the fuel I needed to get my ass going in the right direction so the fact that he still didn’t believe only made me more hungry for success.

It has been fourteen weeks since I began my program. I now eat smaller meals and snacks, five or six times a day. I eat carbohydrates in moderation and no sweets or heavy meals during the week. A glass of red wine every night with dinner. Weekends I have dessert or maybe a dinner out with friends. Never two bad days in a row. The most important change is that I pay attention to everything I put in my body now as opposed to before, when I knew what I was putting in but didn’t care. I worked out six days a week for fourteen weeks (one extra week than the program because of missed days, holidays, illness etc..) but now I work out every other day unless I am motivated I will do extra cardio on an off day. This is the hard part of my new lifestyle. Trying to fit an hour workout in everyday can be difficult. Things get in the way all the time but now I make it a priority to take care of myself first.

In the last fourteen weeks, I have lost more than twenty pounds without dieting, recovered lost strength and found the sense of calmness in my life that was missing.

This is in no way an endorsement for P90x but just a means to a way I found to get me back to a better place in my life. P90x alone won’t do this for you. This has to come from inside. This was from an angry person inside me who just had enough with the way my life was going. Funny thing is, we all have this person inside that knows right from wrong but something keeps it hidden, buried away from us until the time is right. You just have to look at yourself in the mirror and be honest. Stop making excuses for who and what you are and get busy. One day at a time. Always just one day at a time. Never look past the next day. Start with just one day at a time. It makes it easier to accomplish your goal if you stay focused on just the present day.

In life we are given opportunities to make changes. Sometimes those changes are very clear to us and are easy to accomplish. Sometimes they are clear to us but for some reason we can’t get ourselves on track to make those changes. Maybe for me, being an A type personality, it was a little easier because I always look for a challenge to keep me going. When I have nothing to challenge me, I get bored or disinterested. I guess my high blood pressure was the challenge I needed to put me on a path to a better me……

The Regular Guy…