Revolution! Day one of my plan for a healthy second half, of my life.

June 30, 2013 § 11 Comments

Grant @165

Me as a teenager.

As a teenager, I was so pretty.  I mean seriously handsome and I didn’t really know it.  I played football, lifted weights, ran track, boxed, bicycled for transportation, was on a break-dance team, worked hard, played hard and ate well.  All of these activities gave me an athletic build that I took for granted.  I was just doing stuff I liked doing.  No big deal, right?

Three decades and nearly 100 pounds later, after regularly working 12-16 hour days, shortchanging my sleep, eating on the run, and rarely making time to go for a walk (much less working out with any intensity), my body is a mess. I suffer from sleep apnea, hypertension, GERD, high cholesterol, and asthma.

I know what to do and I know how to do it.  I just haven’t done it.  I decided to track one days activities and intake as a basis.

  • Woke up after hitting the snooze 5 times at 6:50.

  • Took medicine.

  • Ate McDonald’s #4 for breakfast.

  • Sat at my desk for 4 hours.

  • Drank 6 cups of coffee by noon, with sugar and creamer.

  • Ate Arby’s #1 for lunch.

  • Sat at my desk for 3 hours.

  • Drank 24 oz Mountain Dew on the way home.

  • Ate 3/4 of a medium Pizza Hut pizza, thick crust.

  • Sat and watched a 2 hour movie..

  • Ate two cups of ice cream.

  • Sat and watched a 1 1/2 hour movie.

  • Drank 4 beers during movies.

  • Took medicine.

  • Went to bed at 11:30.  Asleep around midnight.

  • Smoked 18 cigarettes throughout the day.

It’s embarrassing to say that this isn’t too far from a typical day.  It’s no wonder I feel like crap and don’t feel like doing anything most of the time.  Painfully embarrassing.  This is not how I want to live.  This is not how I want to die!

The quest begins…

A few weeks ago, an old high school acquaintance and distant relative, Darin Steen, self-published a Kindle book called, Getting Old SUCKS! How to Increase Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Levels Naturally and Live Long and Strong To 100 Plus!   

Product DetailsIn his book, Darin referenced a segment from The Dr. Oz Show about boosting HGH naturally.  Part one.     Part two.     Part three.  (Watch all three videos, it’s worth the nine minutes total.)

The summary is, to boost naturally occurring HGH, you need three things.

  1. Resistance training.

  2. Deep sleep.

  3. Four specific amino acids: Glycine, Ornithine, Arginine, Lysine

With this advice, I decided to set a micro-goal and take my first step toward good health.  Get deep sleep.  I have a sleep disorder already.  I figured if I changed this one thing it would be easier to make more changes.  The goal was to be in bed at 9PM and get up at 5AM.  No alarm on Sunday.  After a few days I started feeling better with more energy and better focus.

I felt better enough to start working on The 5 Pillars that Darin references in his book. I set some more micro-goals for the rest of the month.

1.  Resistance training–  It’s been a while.  I kept it simple so I would actually do it.  2 sets of pushups, situps, and squats.  25 each for the 1st set.  To failure for the 2nd set.  2 times a week.

My Terratrike Path

2.  Cardio–  I love bicycling but at this weight it’s painful.  I bought a recumbent trike a couple of years ago that I love!  No pain!

I set the bar low here too.  20 minutes of riding with at least one 60 second sprint 2 times a week and a 10 minute walk every day.  (I figured that even if I blew off everything else, at least I could say I went for a walk every day.)

3.  Nutrition–  This is a problem for me.  I’m an emotional eater.  It’s not that I eat to cover negative emotions, eating is an emotional experience for me!  Growing up, we ate to celebrate and we celebrated eating!  I enjoy rich flavorful foods and generous portions!  My goal here was to eat food that will rot and visibly less of it.  I started fasting for 20 hours one day a week.

4.  Goal Setting/Positive Mindset–  I set the small goals above to see if I could create a habit.  In the few weeks since I started I have been able to meet these minimal requirements.  I do feel stronger and more focused already.  It’s time for the next step, The Fat Loss Lifestyle System also by Darin Steen.

 I bought this eBook from Darrin around 2007.  I know it works because I went from 285 pounds to 255 pounds in about 2 months.  I didn’t finish the 12 week program because of an unrelated injury and never got back to it.

My goal for this 12 weeks is to get to 15% bodyfat.  I haven’t done any measuring yet but I will before my next blog post.  On the positive mindset side, I’ve been reading, journaling, and (as of now) blogging about the subjects of bodybuilding and health.

5.  Social Support–  Frankly, I need some new friends.  I figure if I just tell my family what I’m doing, and slack off, they will let it slide because they don’t want to hurt my feelings.  But, by exposing myself on the internet, I probably won’t get that kind of mercy.  It’s go time!

Grant @255

Me today.

Today I am 46 years old, 5’10”, 255lbs and I declare my independence!  I declare my freedom from pharmaceuticals required to treat the results of past choices!  I reject the lure of subsisting on convenience and prepared foods!  My body is no longer a burden to carry, but a vessel of positive energy, unlimited learning, and boundless love!

I will be attending the INBA Natural Universe, as a spectator of course, on August 31st, 2013.  Darin Steen is a contender this year and I don’t want to miss it when he wins!  If you will be there, I would love to meet you and discuss bodybuilding.  Find me on Facebook at  or you can send eMail to my Facebook at grant.l.jackson@facebook.com or just leave a comment on this post.

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