Friday, December 29, 2017

My Health & Fitness Tips - Tip #4

DISCLAIMER: I'm imparting information that I learned in my own health journey. Consult with a nutritionist, dietitian, and licensed physical trainer for proper information tailored to your needs.


Alright. Let’s bring it all in.

How do you turn all the previous tips into habit and routine?

One strong reason for staying in the habit is your results. When you see your transformation, you’ll be in awe of what you used to let pass as appropriate eating.

The whole purpose in training and reconditioning yourself into healthy eating is to make the routine second nature. You won’t call it “dieting” anymore. You’ll just “be”. It’s your lifestyle. Your healthy transformation will benefit you, and it will impact those around you, without a doubt!

My Story

When you reach 30 years of age, they say “it all goes downhill from there” health wise. Not sure who coined the phrase, but they’re wrong. At 32 years of age, 248 pounds, suffering from chronic back pain and double pinched nerves, I decided enough was enough, I was going to transform before the birth of my third child. Thing was I only had less than 8 months to get anything going in terms of diet and exercise.

Let’s backup a bit.

I tried diets in the past only during phases of my life such as graduations and weddings. (I been married 3 times – to the same woman! That’s a story for another time.) I never kept the weight off. Over time I got busier and busier. I worked 18-hour days running a construction company. Later I would end up splitting time with my brokerage as I earned my brokers real estate license. Shortly thereafter, I had to assume management responsibilities at a property management firm. That’s the total of 3 simultaneous jobs. If you’re a typical reader of my website, you’d know I kept creating content here. In the past year, I’ve expanded The NewsReel to include entertainment podcasts and tech videos. All this while running three companies, being a father of two growing children, and husband to my wife. The stress that came with my duties loosened any diet restrictions I tried placing on myself.

Chronic back pain is something I’ve battled with for 14 years stemming from a sports injury I didn’t treat earlier. I invested in Sleep Number beds, custom pillows, chiropractic treatment, and massage therapy. That was all expensive. My doctors have all told me I was on the fast lane to back surgery. With new pains in 2017, including a second pinched nerve that mimicked a burning sensation on my outer right thigh, I knew my time was short. The day finally came when I couldn’t play with my 1-year old son. The pain was overwhelming. Then I got news that we were expecting another child. Was I going to be a crippled, old man by age 33?


March 2017, I started my weight loss journey on my own. In a month, I dropped 5 pounds. It was progress, but I wasn’t satisfied. Time was against me. I had gained 10 pounds in each of the previous pregnancies. I never dropped the weight, but I gained during the festivities in the years in between. With the third pregnancy, I feared gaining yet another 10 pounds that I wouldn’t put off. A dear childhood friend (basically my sister), had been coaching a weight loss program for two years. I finally signed up with the support of my wife. Without the wife, I had no shot. I officially started April 5th looking like this:

I did a stricter low-calorie diet than my health coach was suggesting. That led me to dropping an average of 4 pounds a week over the Spring and early Summer. That’s a risky weight loss rate. I don’t recommend you do it the strict way I did it! It alarmed my coach and all my loved ones. I went against all wisdom suggesting I don’t drop at that rate, but I knew what I was doing. I was aware of the risks. I felt good. I had energy. I closely monitored my progress as the pounds shed off. I had no time to lose. I was determined to hit my BMI of 184 pounds by July 4th. I missed it by almost a week.

This is me at 182.6 pounds on July 12th:

One of the biggest risks to a low-calorie diet is rapid weight gain. I was suggested to enter in to a transition diet that slowly reintroduced types of food I had neglected my body during the weight loss. The purpose was to begin the weight management process while continuing to cultivate healthy eating habits. I took advantage of the transition to prepare for my next goal: fitness training. That required a different form of diet to transition to. It was higher in protein, but low enough in carbs to allow for continued weight loss. I was no longer aiming to lose weight though I still had body fat for me to lose. I was aiming to get athletically fit. I still had to slowly introduce foods I hadn’t had before too.

When I started to workout with my private fitness trainers in August, I was at 19% body fat. I made it my new goal to reach 10% body fat by the end of 2017 before I start to do moderate body building. Fat burning is the hardest thing anyway. My coaches said that was a very ambitious goal. Some even said it was unrealistic. I understood their doubts. They didn’t know me and my level of dedication.

I hit 12.3% body fat by December 5th!

This is me on Christmas 2017:

How did I get to this point? I checked my mind. I was accountable. Ultimately, I devoted my weight loss to God to better myself for my little family. I knew I needed the biggest accountability of my life! And I had the support of my loving wife regardless of how much her pregnancy cravings tried to derail my mission! With my new baby’s schedule not permitting time to hit the gym as I used to, I turned my driveway, patio, and living room into my workout areas. Months of workout training prepared me to fly solo. The time finally came to rely on myself.

I don’t workout at the times I prefer, but I sure increase intensity to anything I do. When I have multiple stops to make at a big plaza, I speed-walk from stop to stop. Given the option to get to the next floor of a building, I take the stairs. I carry my baby in a carrier and take long walks every chance I get power-walking my son to sleep.

Those changes are things I do naturally because I find it fun. When it comes down to actual workout, I aim for an average of 50-minute workout sessions a day, 5-6 times a week. I always mix it up. There are times I can’t do my entire workout in one go because of timing so I split it in two. I do the cardio first and strength later. I squeeze in warm ups and cool downs each time to get my heart rate going. (This helps prep the body with energy and for fat burning.)

I’ve remained true to my disciplines and nutrition – with an occasional reward for my efforts.

With my body fat goal in reach, I look to prepare for my next fitness goal: muscle building. I had every excuse and reason under the sun to justify my unhealthy lifestyle from no time to poor health. Seeing as how I achieved a healthy me, still do my three jobs – more effectively too – still spend time with my family, write my novels, work on my website content, workout often, and sleep 6 hours a day, I know anyone can do it! Best part of all: my chronic back pain is gone! My immune system is stronger. Overall, I’m full of energy!

The reactions to my transformation have been humbling. Many people compliment me on the new look and get motivated to start their own journey. The biggest compliments I’ve received are from friends and family that actual started their own weight loss journey citing me as their inspiration! Awesome!

Like I said, the changes you make and influence to those around will in turn help you make your health and fitness a lifestyle.

I saw The Incredibles in the theatre when it debuted in 2004. The workout scene was hilarious and inspiring. I told myself that would be me some day! Who knew it would take me 13 years to finally do it? Guess I needed the wife, the daughter, son, and Jack-Jack first – in that order too!

I learned to do this. You can do it to!

Thank you for reading my tips. I hope these are taken to heart. They came from the heart.

Click On Tip To Read Posts In This Series:

Happy, healthy, joyous, blessed New Year to you all!
-Andres Segovia
Twitter: @TheNewsReel
YouTube: The NewsReel

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