The New and Improved Ninja Dad
Alright here’s the deal. Yesterday I started my journey to the new and improved me. I’m on a quest to get back into the shape I was in before I became a dad.
For the past four years I’ve been very focused on my kids and trying to survive each day without any thought to my personal health or well-being. Well, no more!
After a number of not so valiant attempts to workout and eat right I’m finally fired up and fed up enough to make a full throttle attempt at reclaiming my old body.
My Past Failures
Like just about everyone else on the planet, earlier this year I made a resolution to get in better shape. And like all vague goals and resolutions, I failed before I really got started. I had joined a big flashy gym, gave myself a big pep talk and tried to fit in some workouts into my crazy schedule. The only time I thought I could fit something in was Saturday and Sunday morning at 8am, which worked for a few weekends but I still had some trouble getting there consistently.
What I also realized is that I would try to fit in a total body workout in those two days and found myself getting injured because I was working out back to back days without resting my body. Not good and it began to frustrate me.
The Past of Ninja Dad
The reason my lack of physical exercise and the atrophy of my body bothers me so much goes beyond just wanting to be healthy and live up to my Ninja Dad name. I used to be a personal trainer and nutritionist, and worked for three and a half years in a gym. I know what do to and how to do it.
Also, I used to be a (very) amateur body builder. I’m not talking freakishly huge, with rippling veiny muscles piled all over my body, but I was in pretty damn good shape at one time. For the one competition I entered I got down to 6.5% body fat.
Oh yeah, I was pretty hard core.
My Current State
Today, my muscle tone has diminished a bit and my cardiovascular ability has gone from being able to bike up steep hills with ease to getting winded going up my driveway incline. My problems are very different than most people trying to get in better shape. Instead of having to lose weight, I just need to change the my body from fat tissue to muscle mass. Even though for the last four years my diet has been fairly crappy and I haven’t exercised all that much, my actual weight has not really changed.
I know I’ll be getting lots of hate mail saying how lucky I am, but for me gaining weight has always been difficult. I’m genetically a skinny guy with a high metabolism. Combine that with my always on the go, never sit still personality and it if I’m not careful I end up looking like a string bean.
Yes, I know that most people wish they had this problem, but for me it’s also about the choices I make. Even though my diet has been by my definition poor, it’s probably much better than most peoples. Even though I don’t get to the gym as much as I would like to I walk my dog daily and am far from sedentary.
Although, I don’t have 50 lbs. to lose and I’m not training for a marathon, I have personal goals that are important to me and my own set of challenges and obstacles to overcome. This is all about taking control of my life and getting in better physical and mental shape to live a better, happier life for me and my family.
Back when I was a personal trainer I wouldn’t let my clients watch the scale, but instead concentrate on how the visual look and feel. The numbers are not important, it’s how your clothes fit, how you look in the mirror and how you feel that matters most. I don’t care what the scale says – that’s just the way I roll.
So my goal is to gain some muscle mass, lose a little body fat, have my clothes fit a little snugger around my chest and arms, and be able to climb my driveway without feeling like I’m 80 years old. I’m not looking to get into my body building competition shape – that was far from healthy – but I want to be fit and energized.
More than anything I want to feel healthy and have more energy. As far as a timeline is, I would like to be in the shape I was in before I had kids by my 43rd birthday on Dec. 5th.
- Drink more water – in my body building days I used to carry a gallon jug around with me and would drink until it was done each day. Now, I’m going to shoot for 1/2 to 2/3 gallon of water a day, which means I have to get thirsty!
- I quit the big, flashy gym that was 15 min from my house and joined the tiny one down my street. Instead of going twice on the weekend for over an hour, I’m going to get there 4 times a week as soon as I drop my kids off to daycare and do 25 min workout at high intensity. I’m only taking 20 seconds rest between sets and only working 2-3 muscle groups per workout. Hit hard and hit em’ fast. I would like to do 3 days of weight training and 1 day on cardio.
- I’m going to cut out the crap and make sure I’m eating every 3 hours. Currently, I don’t eat that often and sometime put off eating in the craziness of the day. I need to prepare more meals ahead of time and make eating healthy convenient.
- On the days that I don’t make it to the gym I plan on walking my dog for 25 – 40 min. depending on weather. I want to start every morning with some sort of exercise.
I’ll be posting my progress or regress here in hopes that you can help keep me accountable. I need your help! If you read that I’ve been slacking, feel free to call me names and yell at me to get my ass back on track. I’m counting on you.
I also invite you to make today the start of the new, healthier you. Set some goals and a deadline, then outline your plan of attack and go to it. Here’s my advice for your program:
- Up the H20 – whatever the amount you currently drink, drink more. This simple habit can make you keep you from getting sick and have a huge impact on your internal health.
- Workout in the morning – if you put it off to later in the day, it will never get done.
- No matter what your goals include some strength training and cardio. Everyone’s balance of those two will be different but should include some of both.
- Schedule in your exercise – actually write it down like any other appointment that you can’t miss or reschedule
Ok that’s it. I’ve stated my intentions and I challenge you to do the same. I’ll be posting my progress here and I would like you do post your as well in the comments of each post. Lets keep each other on track and get into the best shape of our lives.
Good luck . . . now get your ass moving.