How did I get here? Part 3…

After realizing where I’d taken a wrong turn in assuming that just riding my bike a lot would magically transform me back into my mid-20’s self, and beginning to understand how important resistance training really is to overall fitness, weight loss and body composition after reading and following some of the programming in Buff Dad, I made some good progress. I built on that by getting a gym membership, and setting myself a goal to complete a sprint triathlon in the summer of 2008.

At the gym I did a combination of the Couch to 5K running program, lap swimming and more resistance training. On the weekends I would hop on the bike and ride, either doing long rides with hills or sprint intervals. What I didn’t have though was a clear focus or plan for nutrition. I was still trying pretty much anything that I tripped over in order to try to get a handle on what and how much I should be eating. Slim-Fast, Atkins, South Beach Diet and a few others bounced around along the way, but nothing stuck.

Slim-Fast was just unbearable to drink. It tasted like a can of chemicals (which, it pretty much is). Atkins and South Beach were just absurd. Both dropped weight quickly in the first month, but it cam creeping back as soon as eating returned to anything resembling a normal human diet. I was also beginning to do plenty of reading regarding nutrition and it was becoming clear that all diets had one thing in common – they caused temporary changes and tended to make participants miserable.

Two books made a huge impact on me in 2009. Dr. David Kessler’s The End of Overeating and Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint.

Dr. Kessler’s book made me realize that changing your eating habits is as much a matter of emotional and psychological change as it is anything else, perhaps more. It also made me realize that my major problem was that my relationship with food was distorted. Instead of eating food for fuel and for the sake of enjoying the food, I ate often to provide myself with comfort and rewards. If I felt bad, I ate. If I felt good, I ate. And I was addicted to sweets and junk. I needed to treat it in much the same way an alcoholic or drug addict treats the source of their addiction.

The Primal Blueprint opened my eyes to the damage modern life was doing to me. Simply sitting as much as I did each day as a part of work was devastating to the human body. Mark Sisson’s book inspired me to try to incorporate more movement (more than just doing a workout a few days a week) into my life and to eliminate as much premade and processed food as possible from my diet.

I’d made myself much fitter and stronger via exercise, and by the middle of 2010, via a focus on nutrition I was finally managing to see the physical changes to my body that I wanted.

Then I found P90X…

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