I've definitely been finding it tricky to get going on this blog. At this point, I figured the best way to get going is to just get going. So this first post will be me trying to describe some sort of mission statement (I like things that sound epic) and reason for creating this blog. As I've said in my 'About me' section, I'd like to share my experiences in attaining a better, sustainable lifestyle that just flows! Topics I will be discussing, in any order on any given day, will be things like the following:
- Agricultural practices
- Sustainable Energy (I find this is mostly engineering related stuff)
- General Science (Most disciplines)
- Metascience (haha, sometimes...)
For my first post, I've decided to lay out my thoughts on health and nutrition/fitness. I've always found myself interested in attaining the best health possible. I think this stems from watching family members suffer through health problems, and also hearing from my mother about how my grandfather dropped dead at age 50 (long before I was born) of a heart attack despite being a doctor, and never smoking a day in his life (in Brantford, he was one of the first doctors to openly oppose tobacco smoking). My uncles on my mother's side also have struggled with their health, and in different ways. One of them is quite obese, and has been in and out of the hospital for various problems my entire existence (granted, this uncle is adopted, but still). The other, of whom I bear a striking resemblance, has been on blood pressure/cholesterol medication since his mid-2o's. He has always smirked that its only a matter of time until I'd be in his shoes. I'm here to prove him wrong.
As a kid, I ate what pretty much all north american kids ate. Breakfast cereals, granola bars, bread, pasta, bagels, cookies, donuts...along with meat, eggs, and fruits and vegetables, but these were rarely the centrepiece of my diet. I did eat a ton of fruit whenever I got the chance, but generally candy/pop was a much easier way to get my sugar fix, so I went with that. I was never a super-athletic kid, but never the last picked either. Just sort of physically mediocre, but nothing embarrassing. I was thin, but with a nice layer around the midsection and butt that I never managed to get rid off until I was quite a bit older.
In my mid-teens, I quit gym class (I think after grade 10), and became quite sedentary after that. By 16, I was completely out-of-shape. Again, not hugely fat exactly, but soft and weak. I looked fine with my shirt on (for a skinny, malnourished 16 year old), but was pretty tentative to take it off. I was eating cereal/toast/granola bars for breakfast most days, followed up by pizza at lunch, chips and pop in the afternoon, and usually a fairly decent meal prepared at home for dinner (probably my saving grace). I remember being tired a LOT, being sore for days after exercising, always being famished at meals, and quite often constipated! (Caring is sharing friends!).
I began to work out, and saw an improvement in energy levels and body composition. It was mostly running, but also some resistance training (pushups and bicep curls getting most of my attention). I didn't change my diet at all (why would I? haha) and plateaued fairly quickly while still not being happy with the situation. I began researching nutrition as a hobby, and as I had moved to Victoria, BC by then, became involved with some hippies that lead me to believe that going vegetarian would vault me into the upper echelon of health, fitness, and longevity.
I did that for 2 years! Until I was 19. Did some more resistance training (added chinups to the mix, as I was then actually capable of completing one!), and kept up with the running of about an hour 3x a week. I became super light (at 6'2", I was about 140 lbs), but still had that soft stuff around the midsection, and still was tired a lot! I took a look at my diet and compared it to how I used to eat. I was eating: Breakfast cereals, bread, bagels, soy milk, fruits and vegetables, occasionally eggs, but NO MEAT. I was eating nuts and beans quite often for protein, but found I could never eat enough to be satisfied. Also lots of the usual stuff like pasta, granola bars, muffins, cookies, pizza, etc...BEER!
It wasn't that different from eating a junk-food diet, except with no meat, and more nuts/beans. I ate more or less the same amount of fruits and vegetables (which was a respectable amount, or so I thought at the time). Despite exercising and eating well (or so I thought), I was gassy and bloated a TON, tired a LOT, depressed quite often, and still skinny and weak! I made the decision that hippies were stupid, and decided to start pumping some iron and eating meat again. This began my bodybuilding phase (I now realize that's what it was) that lasted about four or five years.
I'll save that for the next post, as I now have work to do, but those were the years where I definitely went a little overboard in the name of health while simultaneously destroying it at regular intervals. Haha - I can't WAIT to rant about that!
Until next time,