“Losing weight is HARD. Keeping the weight off is HARDER.”
Was my original mentality when it came to getting healthy. In our society, we are told by every angle what we SHOULD be doing. What we should be eating, how we should look, how we should be working out, how much we should weigh according to our height! It seems like it never stops. We miss the fact that when you are moving and eating healthy, the muscles we want or the magic number we are looking for on that dreaded bathroom scale, start to appear. I’m here to share my story.
“Get healthy and you will lose weight/gain muscle…not the other way around. “
The moment I started to really understand this FACT, my life and body have been changing for the better. I’m sleeping easier, am less anxious, less irritated, less STRESSED, eating less (No, not because im starving myself), shedding fat, and gaining muscles I wasn’t even aware I knew I had! Ok the last one’s a lie, I knew those muscles were there, I just never FELT them.
There were some main components I can attribute this to: Exercise, Nutrition, and Wellness care. Yea yea we’ve seen those things before but not like this. I will emphasize the exercise in a minute but to give a little background on my experience with “Health”.
My weight has always fluctuated for as long as I remember. I typically blamed my body for it saying “that’s just how I am!” From 1999-2004(my HS years) I went from 155lbs to 255lbs by my senior year. I started exercising regularly again my junior year of college (2006) and went from 280lbs to 230lbs. In 2008 I moved to the Bay Area and by that time I ballooned up to 265lbs. Thanks to the help and motivation of some roommates(who were previously personal trainers) I took up long distance running again. By 2010 I was down to 208lbs!! I felt great!
But running 30+ miles a week was hard to keep up with once I started seeing patients. My stress levels always had a large influence on my body’s composition. I can remember eating and working out with the same consistency but always gaining at least 5-10lbs when finals came around then dropping that weight literally weeks after. From 2010-2012 I had gone through the largest transition of my life. I went from being a fulltime student to opening my own practice. As you can imagine, starting any business and keeping that business open is a very tough thing to accomplish. It comes with a lot of stress!
This brings us to present day, where now, I weigh approx. 250 lbs. I say approx. because I don’t weigh myself anymore, I refuse to use that as my measure of health success.
Rather I measure my health with how good I feel during a workout, how much energy I have when I wake up in the morning, and what my poop looks like( Yep i said it, one of the great indicators of how your digestive system is functioning).
Through networking for my office I had the ultimate gift in being able to work with CrossFit Adventure (CFA) in Concord, CA. I liked the concept of crossfit because it provided a full body workout that incorporated multi-joint movements -meaning- there are no bicep curls, no benching,(none of that stuff you see those huge guys doing at the local gym) but using multiple parts of the body during movements. This is crucial to the human body because it not only relies on the major muscle groups that we can work out with the simple bench or curl, but, it also builds strength and endurance in the intrinsic muscles of the body that help stabilize us during particular movements. This is one of the main reasons i find, as a practicing doctor of chiropractic and movement specialist, people who do those single movement workouts get hurt when they play a recreational sport and sometimes even just by getting out of bed!
Long story short-you work out ALL the muscles of the body, increasing your stamina and giving you a truly balanced workout that increases your body’s proprioception( receptors found all over your body that tell your brain where your body is in space, ie- how your brain knows where your hand is when you move it). CFA breaks the crossfit mold because they emphasize PERFECT MOVEMENTS; not how much weight is on the bar or how fast you did it. Yes those things are used to help track your progress but you only progress when you have PERFECT FORM. Plus, the atmosphere is one in which I stepped into knowing no other members and was treated by family not only by the coaches but by the members as well. I do Crossfit 2 days a week and run 3 miles 2 days a week. That’s it. Total time out of my life to exercise typically 60-120 minutes a WEEK. I used to spend as much time watching “Criminal Minds” in a day!
A huge benefit i had was the convenience of having chiropractic care for the last 5 years. This kept me moving comfortably!! It started with Dr. Noel Romo who now works in San Francisco. He helped keep me moving properly to be able to get down to 208lbs and run my first Half Marathon where i blew my own expectations out of the water. I averaged 7:50 mile and finished the second half of the SF marathon in an hour and 53 minutes!! Yes chiropractic is WAY more than back pain. But we’ll talk about that another time.
The other benefit i had early on in life were the coaches i had in high school. Due to financial reasons, i never had the opportunity to play organized sports until i was in high school. I tried doing Cross Country but gravitated towards football. I went to South Hills High School in the Los Angeles county area and struck gold with the coaching staff there. They knew proper workout techniques and gave me the foundation in my movements, so when i go to work out now, those movement patterns are engrained in me!
Another major advantage is my knowledge of the human body. When something wasn’t feeling right i could trace to where the issue was being caused. For instance i used to have Adrenal gland issues(the adrenal glands are largely responsible for your energy levels!) It wasn’t until i cleaned up my diet and learned how to WALK properly that i found relief with my adrenal glands! “Crazy” you may think. When we say everything in our body is connected, its true. It’s the reason why a sprained ankle can lead to shoulder pain!!
So instead of working out tirelessly just to keep weight off, i am now building lean muscle without feeling like i am “killing” myself. I have the support group around me to keep me motivated as well as MY own chiropractors Dr. Laura Wilson and Dr. Noah Kaplan to keep me functioning properly.
The problem for me was that i had already experienced success working out in a different way: Running long distance. Although i knew all the research that showed running for long periods of time isn’t the most effective use of your time and energy, i found results in it! This is what i had grown to know, what i trusted. It was hard to “buy in” to the short spurts of exercise at Crossfit known as the WOD(workout of the day). Then it got to the point where my body was beginning to breakdown from outside stresses and ,unfortunately, my mentality really took a dump. I had a lot to be down about, a LOT of room for excuses. The office, my relationships with family and friends, losing my niece 2 weeks before her scheduled birth, losing my uncle a few months later – I had a lot of reasons to stop doing anything and i used those reasons as deterrents as opposed to motivation.
So being in this “hole” i had very minimal income. Down to the point where driving somewhere was a financial issue because of gas. Buying groceries was a second thought and when i did buy them, it was bare essentials-meats and veggies. It opened my eyes to how we can get so caught up in the superlatives of life and totally neglect the essence of life (eating, breathing, moving, and feeling). It really allowed me to reflect on what was truly important to me: helping others. You can only help others after you help yourself. Its not selfish thinking, but more so the idea that you can’t be a pillar for others to lean on in hard times if you do not have a solid foundation. So, i bought in to the system, and i have NEVER felt better!
Sometimes, unfortunately, it takes a situation of us being in a dark or low place to spur (what we think is a) radical change. The thing is, these changes dont have to be radical, you just have to get the information!! Instead of just doing something because someone told you it’s “what you should be doing” you do it because you’ve learned that is what your body was made to do!!
Whatever your story or situation, there is a way YOU can accomplish your goals of being healthy. You just need the right team to help you because its not something that is meant to be done alone and you shouldn’t have to!
We are always here to help! 925-289-8011, http://www.functionalhealthspecialists.com
“Most people don’t know how good their body is designed to feel”-Kevin Trudeau