There have been a number of things that have led to my decision to take the 90-Day Challenge at Blitz Conditioning, but mostly it stems from a choice I have made to deal with the challenges of aging head on.
Wake Up Calls
In the past 2 years, a number of my friends and colleagues have had their hearts deliberately stopped and restarted because of a condition known as Atrial fibrillation. All of these friends are men in the 35-45 year age range, and each attributed this condition (at least in part) to inactivity and stress. Personally, my doctor has told me that I am in good health: my heart is strong, I have good mechanisms in place for coping with stress, I eat healthy, etc. Despite this endorsement, I have known for a while that I was not in very good shape. I have been carrying 20 – 30 pounds of extra body weight for several years now, and my sedentary job and lifestyle were slowly catching up with me. Something needed to be done.
Step One: Lose Weight & Get Moving
Last May, a friend of mine told me about an app he was using on his smart phone to track his caloric intake and daily exercise. By being more deliberate about keeping his intake under control, and continuing to keep active in his daily work as a home-builder, he had lost nearly 70 lbs! His success inspired me. I downloaded the app, and I began tracking my calories and being very intentional about what I was putting in my mouth. I also began to make walking a daily routine, and during the summer months, it was not uncommon for me to walk 2-3 hours a day in the river valley. I began to shed some weight and was feeling a lot better about myself; I experienced improvements to both my mental and physical health. However, near the end of the summer I felt like my progress had hit a plateau, and I wasn’t sure how to take things to “the next level”. I had hit a roadblock.
Step Two: Try Something New
I came across a tweet about someone who was just wrapping up the 90-Day Challenge, and I decided to check it out for myself. After meeting with Blitz trainer Paul O’Brien, I felt like I was “up for the challenge” and signed up. That was 35 days ago. I have been attending the Sunrise HIIT class most weekday mornings, and Paul and I meet weekly for a one-on-one session. Paul has also shown me how I can work out when my travel demands at work keep me from coming to Blitz. It has been awesome!
The Challenge(s) Ahead
The support and community I have experienced at Blitz have kept me motivated and on track – even when it would be much easier just to fall back into old habits and stay in bed! I feel great, I am getting stronger each week, and I have begun to realize that I am capable of much more that I previously thought I was. The main challenges I foresee for the next 55 days are staying motivated and avoiding injuries. I have noticed that my weight loss has slowed to a crawl, but I am convinced that is because I am replacing fat with muscle (which, I am told, is heavier than fat). I have started to worry less about the number on the scale however, and I’ve begun to use other indicators of success: my ability to do the exercises in our morning class; the noticeable improvement in my appearance and ability to fit into my clothes; and above all, how great I am feeling.
~ Sid de Haan
September 22, 2012
October 22, 2012