Changing You

We have all woken up one morning and realized our body and our life is no longer what it was.  We have rings under our eyes, skinny legs, a pouch in the middle where a 6 pack once resided, a stoop to our shoulders and a glazed look in our eyes.  Sometimes we actually wake up and decide to change it, change our life.  Other times, we see through rose colored lenses and ignore what we have become, rationalizing that everybody goes through the same process.

For those of the second opinion, all that can be said is to wake up.  Time is short, and leading a destructive lifestyle is going to shorten it even more.

For those of the first opinion, strap in, it will not be easy, nor will it be pleasant what we are about to do, but the end result will eventually be worth it.

For us men especially, our face is usually a disaster.  From years of shaving and exposure our faces age far faster then we do.  We also don't take care of it like women do.  We may have a bit of a receding hairline, sunken eyes, dry cheeks, and forehead wrinkles from concentration.  For us the first step we need to do is find some lotion and use it.  I am by far not an expert in this but any person at the store can show you what to use.  Personally I use something that moisturizes and is scentless.  Also if you have really bad skin, look for something that repairs as well.  Another step is to invest in some really nice sunglasses.  Not the $5 walmart brands, but some that are coated with UV protection.  Personally I use Oakley sunglass.  I bought my first pair 10 years ago, and just replaced them last year.  During that time I have driven 3 convertibles, and they are by far the best to reduce the squinting from the sun that helps cause those wrinkles.

The next thing we need to look at is our posture.  Strip down to your undies, and have a picture taken of your standing sideways.  Don't suck in the gut, don't stand erect, stand normal.  This is very important as you need to look as normal as you can so you can be dissected.

Once the picture has been taken, look at it in a software viewer that allows zooming in.  The first part is your neck/shoulders.  Are you stooped forward?  Is there a hump developing?  This is quite common especially in people who work at a desk all day.  Look at your chest next.  Men, do you have saggy man boobs?  Pecs that have went south?  Is your stomach protruding?  Is your forearm the same width as your bicep?  Do you have a butt?  Are your calves toothpicks?  By all probability you answered yes to at least a few of these.

Before beginning any diet or exercise, consult your physician to determine what you can or cannot do.  If perchance you have developed lifestlye diabetes, you will need to have that diagnosed and treated.

For one week keep track of everything you eat, when you eat it.  You will be surprised at all the junk and comfort food that sneaks in.  Track any exercise you do.

Now, when trying to lose weight or get in shape, depending on your current weight or shape, you may actually gain some weight during your training.  Go instead by your appearance, and how your clothes fit.  We are going to stimulate the economy by buying new clothes.

A side note about supplements, or fads, or weight loss pills.  Consult your dr on any of these.  90% are scams. 

First lets talk exercise.  Currently, odds are you are not doing any exercise.  So start off with some simple ones.  Walking.  Park as far away from your office as you can so you have the furthest to walk to and from your car.  Find an area you can walk in safely.  Start out doing 15 minutes in the morning, 15 in the evening.  Work your way up based on your own pace and how you are feeling.

Whether or not you have access to a gym, you can still work out.  Begin with pushups.  No, don't do the full out ones, get on your knees and work your way up.  Injuring yourself during a lifestyle change will hamper or even kill your motivation.  So everything is done slow and constant.  The goal is not to get in shape for a beach trip.  The goal is to change your outlook on life, change how you face the day, change how you eat.  For a small sample light work out we have"

  • Pushups:  On your knees, arms shoulder length.  Start off doing 3 sets with 6 reps for the first week.  This is just awakening those sleepy dead muscles.  After the first week, work up to what you can do.
  • Situps.  Lay flat on your back, knees in the air, legs crossed.  By contracting your stomach muscles, pull your upper body off the ground.  Make sure your arms are crossed across your chest and not behind your head.  Do 4 sets of 10 each.
  • Arm Curls.  Standing up, legs shoulder width apart, hold a soup can in each hand.  Slowly curl the arm up using your biceps to make a controlled up and down motion.  Take 3 seconds to reach the top, and three to reach the bottom.  Do 4 sets of 10 each.
  • Arm raises.  With those same soup cans, raise your arms parallel to your shoulders then relax them to your side.  Do 3 sets of 6 each.  These will burn.  Even if you chose not to use soup cans.
  • Calf raises.  Stand flat footed(beside a rail if you need support) and using your calf muscles, flex your leg up and hold it.  Calfs need a large amount of excercise o grow.  Do 4 sets of 15 each of these.
  • Lunges.  For the first week, perform these with no weights.  Alternate lunging forward for 6 sets of 10 lunges per leg.

Once again I want to emphasize these are just wake up exercises.  They are designed to get your muscles used to working again, to get the blood flowing again.  Once you get past 2 weeks of doing these, move onto more exercises that have been approved by your doctor.

Take a side picture every week to see your improvements.  Make sure to monitor your diet carefully to eliminate "empty calories".  Remember, you are changing you, not getting in shape for a quickie.

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