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My Fitness Journey – One Year Later…

So exactly one year ago I started on a journey that has changed my life (and my waist size!) forever.  Last November 1st, I started the Hallelujah Acres 60 Day challenge program with a couple other friends.  I blogged the entire journey so if you are interested.  Now that it has been a full year since I started the program I wanted to give you guys an update on where I’m at on the diet, how I feel, and where all my numbers are.

Up to now I’ve done other programs to “lose weight” and get back in shape and although most programs have worked for me on some level or another, like most of you might have experienced, I would drop the weight, feel good and then gain it all back within a couple months or so.  Not so at all with this program and I’ll explain why I think it is different as we go.  So some of you are reading this for the first time and are like, “What the heck is the 60 Day Challenge??”  The 60 Day Challenge from Hallelujah Acres is a 60 day raw vegan program.  Go here to see the specifics but it is a free program the company has online that you can follow to radically change your eating habits and drive your body back to better health.

Where I was a year ago….

So last fall, on October 31st, I was having breakfast with two good friends of mine (like we try to do at least once a month) and somewhere in the course of the meal we got on the subject of health and weight.  Phillip stated that he was disappointed in himself because he was up to 225 lbs and hadn’t been that heavy ever in his life.  When he said this I almost choked on my eggs because I was also at 225 lbs….only difference?  Phillip is about 6’2″, while I am only 5’6″!!!  NOT GOOD!!  Jim, my other friend says to me after I confessed I weighed in at the same as my much taller friend Phillip….”Jim Bob, buddy…..that’s not good man!!  You need to fix that, your kids need you!”  LOL  Jim knows me well and knows that a little fire under my rear end goes a long way.  Up to this point in the year I had been eating a LOT of animal fats and meat, lots of dairy, and too much of all of it.  None of it was bad quality at all, really good foods, just too much of them.  So after Jim had told me about the H Acres diet and the benefits he had seen in the vegan path, I said, “Ok, then let’s all do it, on Monday!” (this was on a Friday).  They both agreed and we all started the raw vegan diet together on November 1st.  Over the next 60 days of the program, between four of us (we added a fourth to the group), we lost a total of almost 130 pounds!  When I started the program I weighed in at 225 lbs and was at 28% body fat.  Not good for someone who is pushing it to get to 5’6″.  Now, one year later I’m weighing in at 177 lbs and 16 % body fat. BIG DIFFERENCE!  I have lost a total of 48 pounds and 12% body fat along my journey.

I stuck really strictly with the H Acres program diet for about 90 days.  After I had gone through that long I still stayed and have stayed really strict on the wheat, gluten, and sugar products (I try to have none of any of those ever) but added in more protein to make sure and maintain my muscle mass as I continue to lose weight.  I eat tuna a couple days a week (no more than one meal a day), and some free range beef (maybe one to two meals a week).  To keep my protein up during the day and around workouts I use a vegan protein shake made by Vega.  I carry this protein in the office now I like it so much and use it in 2-3 green drinks per day.

So with my meals I am still eating primarily vegetarian, but have a light amount of goat cheese in some foods.  I still don’t do regular dairy because I’ve found that my system is too sensitive to it and it gives me digestive problems.  I don’t do as many raw foods as I did, but am going to be changing that and going back to more raw really quick.  One other thing I have changed and adding into my diet more over the past few months is fermented foods.  I eat a ton of sauerkraut, fermented pickles, and kombucha.  I truly believe that the addition of the fermented foods was the key to helping me finally harness my blood sugar issues and break through the barrier with my weight loss.

Aside from the diet changes I have kept to a consistent workout schedule.  But I have tried not to be so perfectionistic about it at the same time.  Used to, if I couldn’t go and spend 2-3 hours at the gym I thought I was wasting my time and wouldn’t even workout at all.  Now, if I can get anything in during the week (3-5 days a week) then I’m happy with myself.  So right now I try to run at least 2 days a week and then do weight training another 2-3 days a week.  That puts me at 5 days a week on my good weeks and maybe 1-2 days a week on the weeks I don’t have time to get into the gym.  But I’m not beating myself up over it if I can’t get into the gym either.  The easiest way I have found to workout during all of this and having 2 kids and a business is to do circuit training either at the gym or at the house.  Circuit training (quick sets stacked on top of each other) is much faster when you don’t have the time to spend and you’re able to get good cardio in with the weights!

So there you go.  The update is in.  I have a whole new respect for people who have lost a ton of weight because it’s not easy.  Your body doesn’t like to change that much and will fight you, you just have to stick in there and fight back!

So what have YOU done that has been successful to lose weight and get in shape in 2011?? (and I don’t want to hear about HCG!)


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