Lessons From My Little Brother

Here’s a contribution from my younger brother, Mike:

It was the best of days; it was the worst of days. It was a day very much like today.

It started poorly. I overslept. I had gone to bed with some work unfinished. As I was getting dressed, I realized that my poor food choices these past couple of months required me to buy a bigger pair of shorts for work. For the 1st time in 3 years, I had to upsize.

After about a year of weight stability right around 200 lbs (I’m 6’3″, 43 years old), I threw away everything over a 32 inch waist. I arrived at my 3-year paleo/primal anniversary on September 29 feeling pretty good about my accomplishments.

After half a lifetime of illness, my low carb, whole foods diet had eliminated all symptoms of obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, gingivitis, chronic colds, flus and respiratory infections, regular heartburn, sleep apnea and a tendency to have a productivity crash around 2:00 every afternoon. I was stronger, faster, leaner and healthier than I was 20 years ago in my supposed prime, and I felt such passion about the ability to enjoy and sustain paleo diet principles.

Enter life.

In early October, we took an 8 day vacation and pretty much ate like crap the whole time. In late October, I got uber busy at work, and I ended up eating on the road one or two times a day, six days a week. Work was good for the first time in awhile, so when I cashed the checks, the first thing I did was treat my starving family to meals out, pizza, beer, etc.
I’m embarrassed to report that today, for the first time since 2013, I bought a pair of shorts with a 34 inch waist. So I could breathe while I do my job.

I had found ancestral health and totally embraced it so I would NOT feel this way about my body or my health. I’ve helped a lot of people get started and stay on track through my example and my support. Family, friends, random Facebook strangers who like my posts in diet groups… I feel like I’ve dropped the ball in a big way, even though I know in my mathematical brain I’m making this a much bigger deal than it really is.
Maybe some of you find yourself in a similar place and feel the same way. If you do, don’t wait until January 1. Another month is too long to waist (sic intended), especially if you know what works and what doesn’t work. The holidays are not a good time to be feeling like sh*t, fighting a cold and spending your Christmas cash on fat clothes for yourself. It’s a time to feel awesome.

When I was 300 pounds with a 44 inch waist, the thought of walking into JC Penney for a pair of 34 inch waist shorts sounded pretty good. But that was a long time ago. Buying 34’s now just pisses me off. So I’m all in again right now. I’m back in black today, and I’m not going back to the store even if that means I have to wear the same pair of pants every day for two weeks until I get back in the zone.

If you were three weeks in, and you ate like I ate yesterday, I would tell you that today is now Day One. If you were three years in and ate like I have for the last two months, I would tell you that today is Day One. It kills me to say it, but today is Day One for me. I did well. I ate eggs and bacon and turkey and chicken thighs and asparagus. No need to ask me how my Day One went. I have plenty of experience being a stud on Day One. I blew day 1,093. And 1,094. And 1,095. In a lot of ways, this feels worse than blowing it in the beginning. After 3 years with such wonderful results, you’d think eating meat and vegetables and staying away from things I haven’t eaten in years would be easy enough.

I had all my monthly weigh ins from Sept 29, 2013 to July, 2016 on my dresser mirror. It represented the journey for me and served as a daily reminder of why I do this. I erased all that today because I blew it. Day one. The only number on the mirror now is 225.4, because Mike is on Day One. Day One!

I guess I’m okay with that. I had a good Day One, and I’m stocked in the fridge for Day Two. It is what it is. Maybe I should just be glad I caught it before it got too out of hand. I’ll take Day 1,093 more seriously next time.

Well Mike, if it’s any consolation, a lot of us are back to Day One, again. Huh, life… — Thom

Author: Thom Tombs

Thom is a former Marine with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. Thom is the owner/operation of Smarter Exercise and the host of the On Break in Encinitas podcast. For fun he likes to hike, read, listen to music, play Scrabble, and spend time with family in his back yard or a nearby campground.

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