§1 – Introduction

(Part 1 of 9 in Changes and Results)

I’ve lost a lot of weight and gotten a lot stronger in the last few years. But how, exactly, did I get to where I am now?

In 2011, I didn’t like where I was, and I don’t mean, “I was embarrassed about being fat.” I mean I was physically uncomfortable being sweaty, physically unable to get comfortable sitting, grumpy all the time, tired all the time, and more. I really wanted to change and I knew I needed to change before the Doctor started one of those, “Let’s talk about these numbers,” conversations.

Around that same time I’d discovered a few blogs…

I’d read a lot over at Nerd Fitness. I read all of Steve Kamb’s inspirational and motivational stuff.

The big take-away from NF was the loud-and-clear message about what does NOT work: Simply getting a gym membership does not work, declaring a New Year’s resolution does not work, and generally trying to “turn over a new leaf” does not work. Fortunately, rather than come away hopeless, I took it as a big comforting confirmation that I am not alone in sucking at changes.

Whatever it is that I’d been doing, that is EXACTLY what was NOT working.

I also read everything from Leo Babauta over at Zen Habits. For example, When Willpower is Trumped By Bad Habits is a great example of Leo-zen. Eventually, I finally teased a few more threads out of the Gordian knot that was my problem:

I am weak in willpower.

I need to stop beating myself up about failures and shortcomings.

I began by slowly making progress on some “health” projects, improving my sleep and more. (I’ll go into all of that in detail in subsequent parts.) As soon as I began taking Parkour classes, it became clear that I needed to ease into actual running. I also concluded that “regular” footwear was going to act as a crutch and slow down my progress in Parkour. (Long story. Just go with it for this discussion.) So I also switched to minimalist shoes for Parkour, for running and daily wear.

The result of running and Parkour? I was stiff, achy and sore literally all the time. It became glaringly obvious that I needed to start doing “recovery work” — stretching, massage, and basic range-of-motion movement if I was to have any hope of keeping up my hard work.

…and on and on.

I built upon each small success, one small step at a time.

Which brings me to today, and this series of posts. Here I’m going to document my journey by spelling out all the things I did. Hopefully, this roadmap will inspire others.

Next up, some Philosophy!

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