We All Deserve A Second Chance
Photo Credit: Mike Dravis
Only recently have I started to take time to “smell the roses”. My life had been extremely fast paced. I was always focused on the next place I had to be, the job and task at hand. Never once did I think about putting myself first, let alone my health. That all changed when I wrecked my motorcycle when travelling across the country from New York City – Orange County California.
In that one split second, I was forced to look inwards and evaluate my entire life directly. Had I accomplished everything I had wanted in life? Was I happy? Prior to that moment I had never thought much about my health or the future as a whole. With years of working in the music industry and traveling, I became accustomed to smoking a pack + a day, indulging in too many drinks, always eating on the go at drive thru’s or whatever the bar/major chain restaurant around the corner had to offer.
I knew I was given a second chance and that I had to make a change. I needed to better myself both inside and out, as it was not my time, and there was something I was left on earth to accomplish. With the support of my parents, brother, and girlfriend I had quit smoking cold turkey and drinking all together. The following weeks I would run every other day, while using kettle bells in the back yard to weight train. A month or two later I was upset with my weight loss results as it was NOT matching the effort I was putting in. My girlfriend asked me to take part in a 30 day challenge she was doing, and being desperate, I joined her and now am thankful I did. In the 30 days with the same workout regimen I had seen a 15 LB weight loss!
Difference was the food I was eating. I thought I was eating healthy all along: I would choose boxes advertising lite alternatives, zero fat, no added sugar. Never did I think to further educate myself on these ingredients until I saw results from the 30 day challenge. The food I was eating was just not REAL food.
I continued training for the following year, hitting the gym 6 times a week, alternating different programs, routines, and beliefs. I love the gym and training because fitness is everywhere. You can never be done, because you can always get stronger. After a year on my customized nutrition/training program my girlfriend posted a photo of us on vacation with my parents and the followers/friends I had at the time lost it. Everyone was blown away with my weight loss and wanted to know what I had been doing.
From this the All Natural Athlete movement was born. Two weeks later I launched a free 30 day challenge that replicated everything I had done over the last year from the weight training programs with demonstration videos, to advanced nutrition explanations and education. All of this was free, and my goals and hopes to this day are to educate as many people as possible. I want to make a change, and help others who may or may not know that they deserve more. I always tell people that this is NOT a diet it is a lifestyle.
At the end of the day, weight loss is science and a problem of calories in vs calories out. To assist in this I purchased my first activity tracker, a Garmin vívoactive, to assist in tracking all of activities and estimated daily active calories. I had no idea how much this would help on my personal journey as it continued to challenge me in training modes, and always held me accountable with the move reminder. I would find myself taking all of my work phone calls while on a walk through the neighborhood. It really is the little things that add up, and next thing you know you have beaten your daily step goal and have burned 500 active calories that day allowing you the extra piece of chicken you are craving.
At this point I spend a couple hours a week analyzing the content on Garmin Connect.com and customizing the following weeks’ workout programming. I love building custom workouts in which I can track my Rounds For Time workouts in CrossFit, or pace my mile time to continue to get faster on my 5K. By using my fēnix 3 HR I am able to enhance my performance all around not only when training but in the kitchen as well. I can cut more effectively now that I know how many calories my workouts and conditioning have burned, and I can eat more at maintenance as I know I can trust what my Garmin Application says. I love the simplicity and ease it took to connect my Garmin profile to my My Fitness Pal profile (calorie & intake tracker). I love competing, and everyday I strive to get stronger, run faster, and #BeatYesterday.
My lifestyle at this point is second nature, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Sometimes you don’t know the life you are missing, but at this point I can only hope to inspire/educate others as YOU DESERVE MORE.
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