I was talking with one of my buddies this weekend and he was telling me how he was surprised to hear that I was picky about my veggies since I am “Mr. Healthy Guy” as he so eloquently put it. He had been talking to my wife and she spilled the beans on some of my food quirks. For example, I will eat tomatoes but only if they are sliced thinly, diced, or cooked. Another biggie is how much I dislike salads and raw veggies! Celery is the worst!!!! But I digress…
After that chat I realized that I need to make one thing clear to my H4L fam. For ya boy JP, “the struggle is real!!”. Eating healthier (emphasis on the “ier”) is a challenge for me and always has been! I love sweets and carbs. I grew up chasing honey buns with 20 ounce Dr. Peppers. Matter fact, that was the brown bag special CA (wife now and girlfriend at the time) would bring me when she would stop by at the hoop court. I would hoop for hours, smash a honey bun and DP or two, hoop some more, then slide to places like my place of employment (McDonalds) and eat more garbage!! All day every day!!!
Eventually it all caught up to me. CA and I started our family and soon after I had my first achilles tear, plus a few other procedures that were most likely related to spending most of my days dehydrated. I gained a bunch of weight and I realized I needed to make some changes. I didn’t follow any strict plan. That’s not my style. I slowed down on the sweet tea and fried foods, worked in more vegetables, and went as hard as I could in the gym. The gym part was easy, because that’s just what I like to do but the eating was a challenge. I was, and still am, far from perfect or clean with my grub.
Eight years after my first achilles tear, I find myself going through rehab for an achilles tear on the other leg and you know what… I have been able to maintain my weight this time! I still eat sweets, drink sweet tea, and eat some fried foods (can you say french fries!!) but I have found I am much better at…. are you ready for it….
After years of being committed to better choices, I have a good feel for what works for ME. In a nutshell I like healthy proteins, cooked veggies, and I love potatoes and sweets! If I have a sweet tea, that is usually enough to settle down my sweet tooth. If I skip the sweet tea, then these days I might have a cupcake or two… depending on the day and the size of the cake. Some days I don’t have either. Some days I have both. I have figured out that things can get real ugly if my first meal and/or snack is not proper! I also need to get moving ASAP each day. Those are now points of emphasis for me. Many days I eat about 2.5 meals because I don’t eat a lot for breakfast. I am not usually very hungry early. I may or may not have snack (s). I eat much less bread than I used to. Many meals are just meat and veggies and I drink much more water than I used to. I struggle with late night snacks, sweets, and keeping my grub proper on the weekends! I don’t expect to fix these things overnight. I just try to win more battles each day. Every win is a good win!
So H4L fam… please remember this. You can’t control how fast your body changes, you can only control the choices you make. FOCUS on those choices. Challenge yourself to find the balance that works for you and challenge yourself to avoid excuses to give up. Don’t get consumed with everyone else’s details. Instead use them to help you find your own way. Be creative to make it work for you! If I can, you can too!