Monday, May 17, 2010

The Motivation

I played football in high school.  Even though I was one of the skinniest guys out there, and my scant weight afforded me no advantages of speed, I managed to make it work.  As a freshman, I weighed in at a sickly 125 pounds, soaking wet.  I still remember one very normal sized girl at the time remarked, dejectedly, that I weighed less than her, and I can't remember if it was her or I who took greater offense.

Despite my scant proportions, I managed to get by just fine, and by the end, I was at a respectable 165 and could bench press almost 200.  I was proud of my transformation, at least in my strength.  Unfortunately other portions of my skill-set, like eliminating my social awkwardness, went undeveloped, probably due to the crippling insecurity and near 100% rejection rate.   Luckily my wife somehow became infatuated with my bumbling, befuddled self my freshman year of college.  Love you honey.

Over the 4 years since I stopped my training, I've actually lost weight, down to about 160.  Most would love to claim that they weigh less than they did as a senior in high school.  I'm constantly hearing commercials for supplements promising to get you "high school skinny".  I think to myself, if I were as skinny today as I was as a freshman in high school, then others might suggest, as my wife's grandfather did when I first met him, that it looks like I have TB. Not the most gracious of comments to hear as someone who is supposed to be in the prime of their physical lives.

27 is often marked, at least in fantasy baseball, as the age at which a batter will really hit his stride.  I am turning 27 this October, and am possibly in the worst shape of my entire life.  Sure, I'm still svelte by almost anyone's measurement, but when you don't work out with any consistency for almost 4 years, you can feel the things that once came easy become difficult.  I can't even make it through a volleyball game without feeling slightly winded, and I don't even want to guess how little I can bench press.

But this is not just about being able to lift heavy objects without strain and walking up the stairs without breaking a light sweat, it's about overall health as well.  Without a workout regimen, I am putting myself at risk of many diseases and maladies, including heart disease, and even though I'm not a smoker, according to the ACS, diet and lack of exercise can be equally as deadly.  I, like most other person I know, wants to live a long and fulfilling life, and that ain't going to happen by sitting on the couch eating taquitos, no matter how delicious they happen to be.

Which brings me to my last topic, diet.  I have been a vegetarian for about 2 years.  Though I have strayed from the path a few times (weddings, on vacation, and once at the famous Salt Lick), I have been rather consistent.  However, after reading through most of Eating Animals, my radical side has kicked back on, and I want to do this sans animal products.  It shouldn't be that radical of a change.  I gave up milk with my breakfast a while ago, and rarely eat eggs unless we happen upon a batch that I know my wife won't eat.  Other than that, most everything else is already vegan.

Just after making this decision, I looked at the diet prescribed by my workout plan.  For the first few weeks, it's mostly protein, and very little carbs or veggies.  Looking over their recipe guide, it's almost all meat steaks in sauce.  So, I will be posting what I eat with every meal, along with how to make them, hopefully as a guide to others who might be considering a high-protein diet but don't want the slaughtered animal part.  It will also stand as a case study for all those who worry about the lack of protein in vegan diets, and that it can be done.

Over the next 90 days, I'll be displaying my diet and exercise routine for all to see.  The routine that I'm following will be familiar to anyone who has watched their local ABC on a Saturday or Sunday morning during infomercial row, P90X.  Yes, the one that promises to get you ripped up in just 90 days.  I don't aspire to be the next Arnold, but with a daily routine and diet, I can at least make an improvement.   Hopefully, by the end, I will be transformed once again, as in high school, from being as weak as a bullet made out of tissue, to being in the best shape of my life.  We'll see.

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