Friday, January 23, 2015

Pushing 30

I'm pushing 30.  At least that's what my wife says to me when we're being sarcastic with each other.  Don't worry, I say it right back to her.

I'm 28.  30 doesn't really scare me, but I do know I'm getting to the point in my life where I need to take better care of my body if I want to keep it for the long haul.  My body won't just maintain itself like it did when I was a teenager or in my early twenties.

For the past 6 years I've been trying to exercise regularly and mostly failing.  I started running for fun and exercise about a year before my daughter was born but was never able to get on a regular running schedule.  Between our pregnancies, having kids, and a few job changes I just haven't had a steady schedule for any long period of time.

It's hard to make fitness a habit when your schedule changes a lot.  But I keep trying.

I try to do something physical every day.  Typically this is a run, but sometimes it's walking or getting on the stationary bike for awhile.  Now that our kids are old enough I have some flexibility in my schedule and I've gotten pretty good at making activity a regular occurrence.  It doesn't happen every day but it's rare for me to miss more than a few days in a row.

With exercise finally starting to feel like a lifestyle instead of a struggle I turned to my eating habits.

This has been much more difficult for me.  I was always the pickiest kid I knew when it came to food.  It wasn't until my patient wife slowly and carefully started to expand my palette in my twenties that I ate more than a handful of foods.

But learning to eat clean and healthy is a completely different hurdle.  Finding food that is healthy that I don't hate is hard.  I'm smart, I do my research, and I know about a lot of healthy food.  But my pickiness means that I can't realistically eat most of those.  If I try to I'm just setting myself up for disappointment because I won't stick to it.

I needed a new set of staple foods that I can eat every day and not get sick of.  My wife has been helping me for the past month or two and I've finally found a few that I can stomach.

For the past two weeks I've had a few sets meals to pick from.
  • Stir Fry with Chicken, Snow Peas, and Noodles
  • Pan fried Chicken Breast with a Starch (usually potatoes)
  • Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Toast, and Orange Juice
  • Turkey on Whole Wheat Bread with a small portion of Chips
This doesn't sound like a lot of variety, but it's enough for me.  I've been used to only having a few staple foods my entire life because of how picky I am.  The key for me was replacing my unhealthy staple foods with healthy ones.

My meals aren't packed full of healthy foods either.  None of those "super foods" or fads of the week would ever work for me.  Instead, I picked food that I enjoy and is generally high in protein.  This way a meal makes me feel full for longer and I have a bunch of slow-burning energy.

I wasn't overweight before starting this food plan, but I wasn't in the optimal weight range for my age either.  I'm already seeing progress toward hitting my weight goal.  From my starting weight I only need to lose about 15 pounds to be in the correct range for my height.  I'm already over a third of the way there.  If I hit that goal I'll probably try to lose more and get into the optimal weight range, but I'm not thinking about that yet.

The important thing for me is how I feel on a day to day basis.  And after only a couple weeks of eating better I'm feeling great!


  1. I'm about in your position, minus the wife & kids (and I'm 31). What I'm doing is mostly weight training, as I find that more efficient. Tough to beat a higher basal metabolic rate! The downside is that you lose all ability to use BMI or even a bathroom scale to judge progress. But, hey, it's really motivating when you start seeing muscle where none existed before.

    1. That's awesome! Keep it up!

      I find cardio really important for me because I have asthma and allergies. Also, everyone on my side of the family seems to have heart issues once they get into their 70s-80s so I want to get my heart in good condition now, while I can do something about it.

      For me, it's motivating to be able to run faster or farther as time goes on.

  2. I'm a fairly picky eater myself. And I generally make a few meals in bulk on the weekends and just eat on those throughout the week. I've been doing well with this but lately have started to slip back into some bad food habits so it's time to reel all that back in and get back on the ole healthy living horse!

    Best of luck to you!

    1. Good luck to you too!

      What meals have you found that can be made that far in advance and still be good later?