30 Mar March 30, 2010

Having a Heart to Heart – With your Heart

By Steven Shirley DC CCSP

The facts were in and it wasn’t pretty.  I decided to weigh myself shortly after the holidays and the scale told me what my increasingly snug Dockers had told me months earlier.  I was becoming a fat boy again.  As a strapping Irish-Scot lad with the physique of a caber-tosser, I knew years ago that svelte was out of the question.  My body was suitable for being a linebacker or perhaps leading the charge at Normandy.  Looking like a marathoner was always out of the question.  But I’m sure my heart was pissed at me.

Regular cardio sessions and sensible eating keep things pretty well in check until last year when a terrible thing happened – I blew out my knee.   Nothing seemed to work and finally after hearing enough corny jokes from my physical therapist I relented and got surgery.  Unfortunately for me, the one to two month recovery stretched to six months before I could get back on my work out routine. By then the pounds had come back by the dozen.

In reflection, a number of things happened worth considering.  While I continued to stand all day working as a chiropractor, the pain could be quite debilitating; thus wine consumption skyrocketed.  Comfort food became my good friend to assuage my bruised “superman” male ego.  Yummy but high in fat.  Oh boy, what a bad combination.  And since I had less energy from less exercise, caffeine consumption went up.  Now getting a good nights rest was diminished, which increased cravings in the afternoon.

So two months ago I stood looking in the mirror at the now sad state of affairs known as my body.   Yeah, I was a “big guy” but this was out of hand.   Maybe I should change the name of the clinic from Spinal and Sports Care to Fat Boy Chiropractic.  I know there is certainly a market for that!

Excuses aside, standing looking in the mirror was my day of reckoning and things were going to change. Step one was to cut out the crap in my diet that I knew was terrible for me.  So long Meat Lover’s pizza and Cougar Gold on Triscuits, hello fruits and vegetables.  I then started back at the gym three days a week and I had one guiding principal – steady as she goes Scotty!  The last thing I needed was a new injury and as a somewhat fading 51 year old I increased my workouts incrementally. No problems.

After one month my weight was down 5 pounds and my energy level was coming back.  I could also do 20-30 minutes of cardio at a moderately brisk pace and feel good when I finished – Cool!  But I knew I still needed to drop another 20 pounds and I wanted faster results.   Time to change strategies.  It was time for a jumpstart.

A jumpstart is a common strategy in weight loss where you start with a fairly strict dietary routine for 2-4 weeks.  It really does work as it forces you to carefully consider what you eat and also gives you some immediate weight loss.  When you can actually tell that the pounds are coming off, you really get motivated to push harder to whip your body into shape.

So a month ago I started the Purification & Weight Loss Jumpstart program our nutritional therapist Kathi (and my wife) was doing in the clinic.   The big advantage I knew with this program was that it was not only good for weight loss but was good at flushing toxins and rejuvenating the liver (poor guy).  How could I go wrong with that?    It was tough at first but it truly is easier if you have support from your spouse or partner.   A bunch of us in the office did it together and the social support was crucial when a kind patient would drop off a plate of homemade cookies at the office. (Ok, so I did eat one!). But the other key was moderation and not being a food nazi about it.  I cut my coffee consumption from 4-5 cups a day to two small cups so that I could still think straight.  I also started eating a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, which helped level my blood sugar and reduce my big meals at lunch and dinner because I was no longer famished.  Wine consumption was reduced 90% for 3 weeks as we celebrated at the two week mark with a nice bottle of wine.

So here I am today, down another 15 pounds with only 5 to go.  Cardio is now up to a minimum of 45 minutes and I have returned to moderate coffee and wine consumption.  My energy level is remarkable.  I have found I am sleeping sounder.  I also require about an hour a night less sleep.

I can still wrestle a bear if needed, but at least now I have a chance of outrunning him!  I am convinced that anyone can do what I am doing and I am challenging all of my patients to do the same.  If you can beat my 3 week weight loss as a percentage of body weight through our cleanse program or any other means, I will buy you a half hour massage!  If you are interested, call Kathi at 922-0303 to arrange your initial weigh in.

Join me and have a heart to heart with your heart!

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