On Monday of this week, I started a three part series that discussed what I might hyperfocus on since the full repayment of my student loans is coming up soon. On Wednesday, I announced that I was going to hyperfocus on my health, but I also wrote about some apprehensions I have about choosing this path. Today’s entry goes over three very specific approaches that I’m considering taking to improve my health. Enjoy!
I need to get a handle on what, exactly, it is that I’m going to hyperfocus on. Being in “good health” is a goal that can be approached in a general sense (i.e. regularly working out, eating fewer calories) or something that can be approached in a very specific way (i.e. going on a specific diet, using a certain training program in the gym).
I’m not sure which direction I’m going to go in yet – general or specific.
On the one hand, I’ve been incredibly successful with a general approach to “good health” in the past. As I’ve noted on this blog time and again over the last decade – I once lost 125 pounds over a 6 – 8 month period. I’ve since regained about 100 of those pounds, but I initially lost that weight by taking a very general and yet time consuming approach to getting healthy. When I lost that weight I did a lot of cardio, lifted weights in a unorganized manner (i.e. I knew what I was doing with the weights, but didn’t have set days for lifting certain body parts or regions), and went on a low calorie diet. That was it. No tricks and no gimmicks. In essence, my successful approach boiled down to “eat less, workout more.”
Pretty powerful stuff.
This time around, I don’t think that I’ll have the free time that I once had to take such a general approach allowing me to just “workout more.” Since I realize that I need to efficiently use my time if I want to achieve better health, I’ve spent the last few weeks unofficially toying around with certain specific approaches to getting healthy. There are three specific approaches that I’ve attempted and each of them have some merit. They are listed out below.
The Paleo Diet
The first specific approach that I toyed around with was the paleo diet. If you don’t know what it means to “go paleo,” then you should know that this diet focuses on returning to our roots as cavemen by eating more fruits, vegetables, and meats versus grains and processed foods. But more importantly, this type of diet all but removes the highly processed foods from a person’s diet and returns the person to eating natural, organic foods. Personally, I’ve been trying to eat organic foods more often than not over the last decade so I’ve got that change down already. And because of making this change over the course of the last ten years I’ve seen significant changes in my digestive tract. For example, my digestion of organic milk versus processed milk and organic apples versus apples grown in a genetically modified way is unbelievable. In other words, I’m already a believer in eating organic!
The second specific approach that I toyed around with isn’t necessarily a diet program, but rather a workout program that comes with some guidance on how to eat better (in a paleo style, actually). There is a website called Nerd Fitness and the kid who runs it – Steve Kamb – produced a training program called the Rebel Fitness Guide. I’ve been reading Steve’s blog for a few years and I like it. He manages to successfully blend a nerdy type of entertainment in his writing along with an inspirational message about getting healthy. As a writer, I can tell you that successfully blending these two paradigms is a particularly hard task to achieve – and Steve does it well. I went through a cycle of the Level 1 Rookie workout (the beginning of the program) and I liked it. What drew me to the workout was that it doesn’t necessarily require you to go to a gym since most of the movements can be done in the privacy of your own home, out in the yard, a public park, or wherever you feel comfortable. And while the freedom of the workout drew me to it, the fact that it is achievable made me stick with it for the entire cycle.
The third specific approach that I attempted was utilizing the DDP Yoga program. For those of you that don’t know what “DDP” means, it stands for Diamond Dallas Page – a former professional wrestler. DDP created this yoga workout program to help him recover from back surgery that doctors said would put him out of the ring for good. Before you ask, the program has nothing to do with professional wrestling (though he does make professional wrestling references from time to time on the videos). What drew me to the DDP Yoga program was the fact that real people are achieving real success with it and they are posting their successes on social media sites. I’ve looked over the results that these folks are achieving and they are impressive. I tried using DDP Yoga a few times and the workouts were achievable and I felt nice and loose after completing the routines. Improving my flexibility has always been a goal of mine and DDP Yoga might help me achieve that goal.
And there you have it, folks. On Monday I wrote about the two areas that I would consider hyperfocusing on once my student loans are repaid later this summer. Then on Wednesday I wrote about why I chose to hyperfocus on improving my health of obtaining a doctorate (right now… I’ll get that doctorate at some point or another!). And above you have the completion of this three part series where I share some of my thoughts about three specific approaches that I am considering taking to achieve the goal of being healthier.
Stick around at JerseySmarts.com – the next adventure begins soon!