37

Well I have managed to successfully make another trip around the sun and I’m now facing down my 37th birthday. 36 was a great year for me personally and professionally but upon reflection I think that I need to make some lifestyle changes to better enjoy life.

As I welcome 37 with open arms, I am also faced with an epiphany. The need for some lifestyle changes was driven home last year with the birth of my daughter. I think that it’s normal for a major change like this to cause one to reflect on their life and strive for improvement.

My Epiphany:

I’m 37 years old, married (twice) and have a 6 month old daughter. I have an office job that keeps at or near a desk for the better part of 40 hours a week. I have always been active and continue to play basketball and curl (you can laugh at this) a couple of nights a week. My diet is not the best and I drink way too much (a downfall of my chosen vocation, or at least that’s an easy excuse). I used to be religious about working out and keeping myself in shape, but over the past year I have let myself ‘go’. I’m overweight (a good 15lbs) and more often than not I find myself waking up sore and stiff. For the last few years I have also struggled with ongoing back issues that seems to flare up at the most inopportune times.

I have chalked all of these things to the fact that “I’m just getting older” but I'm finally beginning to realize that this sentiment is bullshit. I need to take control and stop making excuses. What I want more than anything is to be able to enjoy time with my family and sharing the activities that I love with my daughter when she is old enough.

Here’s what I plan to do about it.

My Goals:

A few weeks back we ran an article by health and fitness coach Therese Lean aptly titled “Here’s Why You Suck at Goal Setting and What to do About it” (HERE). I will try to apply some of these principles as I outline my goals. I won’t bore everyone with all the details and I’ll try to make my comments below a bit more general. I will keep the specific plans for reaching my goals to myself (for the time being at least).

Many of my goals are interconnected and directly related. I also have a number of family related goals and professional goals, but for the sake of not oversharing, I’ll stick with my own personal lifestyle goals.

Weight Loss – As I have already stated I am overweight. For the first time in my life I have crossed the 200lbs mark. Others may not view me as overweight, but I am. I’m not nearly as nimble as I used to be, my fitness levels have suffered because of this and my clothes are fitting just a little too snug. My goal is to lose 15lbs which will bring me to approximately 190lbs. Ultimately this goal should be / will be the end result of some of my other goals as discussed below.

Healthier Lifestyle –This goal could come of seeming vague, but I will try to put some specifics around it. My diet for years has been suspect; I was just fortunate that my naturally high metabolism kept things in check. As one gets older however, your metabolism has a tendency to slow down. Here are my goals to lead a healthier lifestyle:

  1. Control my portions
  2. Smaller, more frequent meals
  3. Healthier food options
  4. Reduce alcohol intake
  5. Reduce my caffeine intake

Get Back Into Shape – This will likely be the toughest of my goals. The challenge I see is making the time for exercising. This is always a very easy excuse to make, but as a new father it's a reality for me right now. I am also a fair ways removed from working out and knocking the rust off will be hard work. I will have to start slow and be patient. I’m not 20 anymore and I won’t be able to just jump back into things. Here’s the starting plan:

  1. Strengthen my lower back
  2. Core strengthening
  3. Base Cardio
  4. Flexibility

Once the dust is knocked off I can get myself into a more normal routine. I have wanted to explore a variety of different workout methods such as kettlebells, HIIT and Tabata. Baby steps first.

Conclusion:

I see a lot of work ahead of me and I will need to remain disciplined and focused but I see my goals as being obtainable. I have friends and family that I can lean on for support and sharing this article with the world (the 7 people who will read it) will go a long way in keeping me honest and on track.

Good-bye 36 and hello 37.