It's a little ironic that on my 35th birthday, I find something so little that it makes me think back to being a kid and some of the things I picked up from my mom while growing up. This morning when I was getting into my car to drive to work, I happened to look down and see a dirty, ugly penny looking at me. Good 'ol Abe was staring up... big cheesy grin and all. I figured, "hey, it's the Year of the Dragon and I'm a Dragon... might as well pick it up." So I did... and I cleaned it off and put it in my pocket. The funny thing is, I immediately started chanting in my head, something that I had learned from my mom as a kid... "Find a penny, pick it up. All the day, you'll have good luck!" It makes sense right? A Dragon, in the Year of the Dragon, on his birthday... finding a penny, heads up... oh, and it happens to be Wednesday... the day to play the lottery and powerball. Of course, it's all a dream and I know the odds of winning the jackpot, but hey... it's my birthday, and I'll dream however I want to.
This may be a bit similar to a blog I posted around the same time last year, but hey... I'm not very creative. lol...
A little over 15 months ago I started an awesome journey. I had to make a change, according to my pulmonologist, in order to live a longer, happier, HEALTHIER life. The journey started off wonderfully. I shed weight rather quickly in the beginning... I was preparing for an amateur fight, so I had a little extra focus. But the fact is, I had focus... whatever the reason was. I made sure to exercise at least 5 times a week and for no less than 30 mins at a time, with most times being between 45 and 60 mins. I would do the treadmill for 3 days and train on 2 days. Our training days consisted of 30 mins of cardio (our choice, typically the stationary bike to give me a little bit of a rest from the treadmill), and then 90 mins of kickboxing drills and sparring. When I weighed in for my fight, I weighed in at 301 lbs. The lightest I had weighed in for the same fight, years before, was 323 lbs. I felt better than ever and I was down 62 lbs from when I started my journey on October 4th, 2010. I was almost at the weight I had left school at (295).
However, since July I have only lost a few lbs. I herniated a disc and lost strength in my left arm and grip. It's slowly coming back and since January 1st I have added resistance training in to my routine, while still being cautious of the weakened side. I know that my eating is not as clean as it should be. I do have some REALLY good days, but I also have some REALLY bad days... for instance, today. But like many out here, I don't care. It's my birthday and I'll do as I choose today. But I am also logging everything I can... even if it's just a close approximation. I know that this is a big part of the process and I will not allow myself to NOT be held accountable for any aspect of this journey... good and bad.
In previous years, I would've quit after my fight... or would have quit after 3 or 4 months of good work. But I was a lot more strict with my eating back then and it was really tough to not go back to old habits. Even now, I find myself nibbling on a piece of chocolate here or there and not logging it, making the assumption I've burned calories to cover it. But that's only lying to myself and letting myself down. In turn, breaking a promise I made to myself. And I absolute abhor breaking promises (which is why I tend not to make them). That being said... I also know that this is not an overnight process. I cannot walk from Tampa, FL to Nome, AK overnight. It's going to take a long time of good, hard walking to get there... there will be many obstacles along the way... mountains to climb... but those mountains are there to make my legs stronger, more solid, and able to take a beating. And when I finally reach that destination... guess what happens... I don't get to sit down and relax. I get to take a short break... and then turn around and make my way back home. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. That is my life. And that is the life for all of us on this journey.
No matter what happens... no matter how bad we do on any given day... the most important thing is to continue to hold ourselves accountable for our actions, but also allowing ourselves forgiveness in order to not be drawn into a deep, dark hole that we do not have the ability to make it out of again. Head up. Eyes forward. One foot in front of the other. We'll get there... even if we stumble a few times and catch a few scrapes and bruises... we WILL get there! *I* WILL GET THERE!