Jason Wilburn is a great father, friend, fitness and nutrition enthusiast who is guest blogging about exercise for Change This Week. He is also passionate about the health benefits of alkaline water which you can find out more about at the end of this post. Take it away JW.
I’ve been exercising since I could walk. My parents would say I skipped the walking and just started running around. But, I was not the skinny string bean you might think because of it. I struggled hard with excess fat, not because I didn’t exercise daily, but because I did so while having zero discipline around what I consumed. A milk shake is not the best way to reward an hour of hard core soccer, followed by two grilled cheese sandwiches. Sure, when we’re 8 years old, we can process that and not cause too much damage. But when I was about to become a father at 28 years old, the exercise was doing little to help my 245 pound 6 foot body mass reduce itself. So, I finally got fed up with being fat (and I called myself that all day long) and did something about the eating. I did my own diet, there’s a million out there, but the common denominator was to eat less. That’s it, eat less. And exercise.
Two years later, I was eating half the amount of food I was eating prior, for what I called “a meal”. I had naturally began to really limit the amount of excess sugar I was inhaling via desserts and such. It was a natural extension of feeling the power of my food control and regular exercise. I dropped the weight fast, and guess what? I was exercising less than ever. The point of this intro is to clear the slate on the confusing messages we’re bombarded with every minute of the day about how to get there: to the ideal body, to the size we want, etc. Exercise, health, weight loss, it’s all a symphony. That’s exciting (not like a symphony you had to sit through as a child), but exciting because you get to conduct it however works for you. I found that a customized food and exercise plan for me, was one that I designed, no one else. I know me best, so who else could design a better plan?
The symphony of improving health you’re going to create for yourself must have all components: Healthy thinking about yourself, healthy amounts of food/liquids, and healthy amounts of exercise. I know this works. In two years, I lost 85 lbs., have kept it off for over 13 years, and now have a body that I had always wanted, but seriously did not believe I was built to have. The common ingredient in all the components of the symphony you’re conducting is that they must be consistent. By nature, we humans like to abandon our commitments, it takes real effort to stick with things. So, give yourself a break first. If you don’t want to run the 4 miles you promised yourself, run 2. At least you ran, that’s the important thing. You can up the distance later. If you just don’t have the energy for 100 push ups, do 20. Then do 10 more, then 5 more, then… you get the idea. This is all a practice. So practice. Practice just doing it, whatever amount you do. I developed this habit as a young child and it’s never left me all my life, no matter how heavy I had become. Once you get the practice in your blood and make it happen every week, little by little, big things happen.
The real insight in the practicing was this: I could NOT fail if I’m practicing. The number one reason I do NOT follow through some days with doing the exercise I set out to do, is because I give into the idea of failure. Once you accept your excuses, you feel failure, in your belly, and it hurts. So feel that failure, then allow yourself to feel how UN-failing you really are. Relax, there is actually nothing to fail at. This is all for you, by you, with you. You are inherently unfailing. If you can accept that you can NOT fail, even if you do nothing when you committed to walking, running, swimming or riding your bike. If it’s your practice, and you can not fail at it, then you will relax a little and you just might find a few minutes to take a short walk. The next day, a longer one. And so on. It’s the consistency that you most deserve to give yourself. It’s the lack of consistency that sends people “off the rails” when they attempt to make not only a change this week, but a lifetime change all in a moment. You can’t do it all, right now, so do what you know you can do and feel how unfailing in that you are. Pretty soon, you’ll be exercising at a high level you never thought you were capable of, with ease.
Example: the symphony will change
–1998: when I was 245 pounds, I was lifting weights 3 days a week and walking about 10 miles a week, and not fast at all. I also did push ups and have always done various abdominal exercises every week.
–3 years later, my exercise plan had me doing 300 push ups broken up into 5 sets. 300 abdominal reps (various forms), then 3 rounds of some high rep, low weight dumbbell work. I did this 3 days a week. Sometimes 1 day a week, sometimes 4 days a week. But I did it every week, no matter what.
–13 years later, I do 130 pull ups, 200 push ups, 100 mountain climbers on each side (2 times/week), 6-8 hours of vinyasa yoga, and run between 10 and 30 miles.
Your body itself is a symphony, conducted mostly by water. If you’re going to exercise, eat well, and think well, don’t drink battery acid to refuel yourself. Alkaline, highly filtered water is the first and best liquid you should be drinking every day. The bonus is, you don’t have to buy any more cases of plastic bottled acid water sold at most stores. You can make unlimited quantities of highly filtered, Alkaline water in your own home, find out more about that “here”… Kangen Water website – www.i4realwater.com
The common denominator isn’t what I was doing, it’s THAT I was doing it. So get out there and just do what you can for now, it will grow, change, morph into something totally different down the road, but so will your body in the process. Enjoy it, it’s your plan, your body, your exercise and it’s all for you.
Find Jason Wilburn on Instagram @1111jazz