About 5 years ago (was in my mid 40’s) I had gotten into both a physical and mental funk. I had experienced a number of personal challenges that had deflated my outlook on life and my body was also in the midst of a potential crisis. I had gotten very lazy with my diet over the previous decade and my gall bladder had started to pay the price from high cholesterol levels, among other things. It was to the point where I would be up all night doubled over in pain and trying to function the next day, several days in a row. Untenable to say the least. It was either change things up or go under the knife.
So I did a few things.
- I started running.
Initially this didn’t go to well. I really didn’t know how to run and previous running stints in my life had been short lived since I needed up just being in pain as a result. I started researching running techniques and stumbled upon (ha) the book “Born to Run.” Although not for everyone, this technique was my savior and I changed my technique of each step and suddenly I was running with no physical pain.I was also just damn clumsy and was all intent on running with a headset and my iPod and went through a number of tripping over myself events but persevered.Beyond being a great thing to combat / burn off what I had done to my body over the past years running also served as a fantastic piece of mental health and stress relief. Soon my sleeping patterns became regular and my gall bladder situation improved slightly.
- I changed my diet and acquired an appliance
This came along more slowly. I cut back hard on dairy (I was a cheese oholic before) and fatty foods and started eating more leafy greens. Eventually a friend turned me on to the very poorly named Nutri-Bullet simple smoothie, blender appliance. I purchased one for about $100.00 and it has been a godsend. Every morning I had a kale, banana, apple smoothie and it changed me completely. More energy, clearer thinking and, with help from my new running regime, increased metabolism.
- I started lifting – a Kettle Ball and myself with a Pull Up Bar
Lifting weight did for my upper body what running was doing for my legs. Initially I just focused on push ups and sit ups (started doing 50 of each every day) but then I purchased a single 18 kilo kettle ball and a pull up bar and added some simple exercises with each. I’ve varied my schedule over the last few years with all of these processes and usually have the pull ups and lifting broken out to two different days so that my body can actually recover and build muscle. I was full on “I’ve got to do this every day” initially and at some point that rest and recovery are a great part of any workout program. Now I do each process at least once a week, if not twice and it seems to be a good schedule.
Bottom line is that it wasn’t overly complicated to do any of this. I’m almost 50 years old and I’m in the best shape of my life. Discipline, not being too hard on yourself and adapting the processes to your own individual body and goals is the most important.