Last week, I kicked off a new workout series on the blog: Fit Focus. This week, I’m introducing yet another new series I hope you all will enjoy: Fit Feature.
Those of you that read this here blog know my background and what inspires me to stay fit, but what inspires all of you? I want to share your health and fitness journey! So, every now and then I’d like do a Fit Feature that will either be a guest post or a Q&A with someone I find inspiring in hopes that they’ll inspire you, as well. First up is Blake Daniels.
Blake is a stay at home dad living with his wife and two sons in upstate New York. Over the last year Blake has made it a point to focus on his diet and exercise, taking himself from 228 pounds and a 10 minute mile to 170 pounds and running 5ks in 23:45! When Blake isn’t blogging over at Dad On Duty or working out you can find him taking care of his lawn, spending time with his sons, or working on various projects around the house. Take it away, Blake!
January 6th, 2013: the day I made the decision to turn my personal health around. I was never really overweight and knew plenty of people with much worse diets than I had. By comparison, I was doing ok.
At the age 35, however, a lot of small things started to catch up to me. Years of bad habits had finally accumulated to the point where it was a problem. Each day, I would wake up tired out of mind with little energy to get anything done. My boys would ask me to play outside with them. I would have to sit down and take a break after five minutes.
One day, my wife sat me down and told me that I needed to make a change. That’s all it took. I completely immersed myself in proper diet and exercise and became determined to stick to a proper regiment.
Exercise has never been easy for me. Those first few months were extremely difficult and humbling. After working out I wanted so badly to lay on the couch with some comfort food, but I stuck to my guns and am so proud of myself for it.
Here I am, a little over a year later, and I cannot believe how much healthy living has impacted my life. I wake up everyday with so much more energy and vigor, I feel like I’m 25 again. We’re a quarter of the way through the year; a time when people start giving up on their healthy living resolutions from New Year’s. I’m hear to tell you: Don’t give up! See it through, and you will be glad you did. Not convinced? Here are a few tips to help you stick to your guns and see results:
- Commit Financially
Personally, if I spend money on something I am going to make sure that I am satisfied. I am not afraid to get vocal when something I order isn’t done to my satisfaction. My wife had a wonderful idea of how to translate this into my new hobby. Last year, when signing up for a gym, I opted for a yearlong membership instead of a month-to-month deal. That way, I had to put down a large sum of money up front. Any night when I didn’t go to the gym I would be reminded of all the money I had wasted. That alone motivated me to go the next day. I applied this principle to food, as well. My wife ordered us a monthly organic fruit basket from Shari’s Berries. This not only serves as a reminder of the promise I made to myself to eat clean but also of the money I spent to keep that promise.
- Recruit Some Partners
No matter how focused of an individual you are, everyone has off days. This is why I believe an accountability partner is great. Recruit a gym buddy and figure out a schedule that works for both of you. Then, you not only have someone to spot you, but you also have someone to drag you to the gym even when you aren’t feeling it. I applied this to eating clean as well. Every other week my wife and I would cook and host a clean meal dinner party. This allowed us try out new recipes while enjoying the company of our friends and family.
- Create Proper Habits
Changing your lifestyle drastically can be tough, but you can put building blocks in place to make the transition easier. One habit that goes hand and hand with clean living is consistent sleep patterns. I know getting to sleep at the same time each night can seem impossible, especially with children. However, if you really make an effort to be in bed every night by 10:30 with the lights and all electronics off, your body will eventually begin to notice. Our bodies are much smarter than we give them credit for. They will pick up on signals and start to adapt to your behavior. Along with consistent sleep times, consistent meal times are also key. Eating at the same time every day will get your body in a habit of when to expect food and what to do with it. You will notice drastic increases in your metabolism, and I find this also really helps to control my cravings.
Making drastic changes to your lifestyle is not quick and easy. Some days you may want to quit. Just be sure to take it a day at a time and revel in the small victories. If you workout and then eat clean afterwards, you’re on the right path. So get out there and take the plunge!
Thanks for the Fit Feature, Blake! I hope you all enjoyed these tips as well as the male perspective. We don’t get a lot of that around here… mainly because I do all the writing and *spoiler alert* I am not a dude! (GASP). haha.
What made you want to lead a healthier life? Any tips for someone that wants to get started on their healthy-living journey?
Would you like to be the next Fit Feature? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspired to get fit? Then don’t forget to enter to win entry into a Pretty Muddy Mud Run of your choice + peruse over 20 other fitness-related giveaways going on as part of the Spring Into Fitness Blog Hop!