In many ways this is the best time of my life. I’ve been diligent about saving and being frugal and consequently I’ve never been in better shape financially. I’m thrilled that many of my travel related projects including this travel blog, Smiling Faces Travel Photos, Backpacking Travel Blog, my youtube travel channel and my vimeo travel channel have taken off and grown at rates that have exceeded any of my initial expectations. I’m the dating the best girlfriend (Audrey – aka on the interwebs as That Backpacker) I’ve ever met in my life who is just as thoroughly addicted to travel as I am. I have travel plans for next year that are likely to exceed any journey I’ve ever been on. Not too shabby!
Thus, things are going supremely well these days except for in one MAJOR area: MY HEALTH. In the process of working a demanding 40 hour 9-5 job in tandem with blogging around the clock, I’ve let my health and fitness levels slide in a way I’ve never experienced before in my life. I’ve almost always been one of the healthiest people I’ve known in terms of eating well and exercising daily. I’m a former competitive athlete in a number of different sports. I’m thoroughly appalled at how bad I’ve let things get and the tipping point came recently when I could no longer fit into my loosest pair of pants. It’s beyond embarrassing. I’ve been in a state of denial for quite some time and it’s only now that I’ve decided to put my foot down and do something proactive about this situation. The stress of trying to juggle a full-time 40 hour a week job with another even more demanding job (blogging) has pushed me to the brink. There have been weeks where I’ve worked over 100 hours. I can’t remember the last time I slept more than 5 hours. Instead of intelligently coping with my stress levels by doing things such as weight training, jogging and in-line skating, I’ve often made frequent trips late at night to the local pizza parlour, 24 hour burger joint and convenience store that sells packets of frozen poison. I’ve put teenagers to shame with the amount of junkfood I’ve consumed in recent months. As I mentioned previously, I can’t believe I let it get this bad!
As a humorous aside: a few months ago I told my good travel buddy Brendan Van Son that I wouldn’t eat pizza for the rest of the year and that if I failed I’d give him $100. I think I may have lasted 5 1/2 days if even that 😛 My paypal account suddenly felt a little lighter. In this video you can see him and Will Peach devouring a pizza that I bought for them…because that’s what good friends do, right? They make fun of each others weaknesses 😛
I’ve always believed that focussing on the problem is never the best way to solve something. It’s good to identify a problem in your life, come up with an action plan and then spend 90% of your energy focussed on the solution as opposed dwelling on the problem. I’ve reached this point. I’ve decided to embark on a 100 day diet and fitness challenge to whip my fat ass back into shape. You see, I prefer having a skinny ass as opposed to a fat one 😛 This is what I’m going to do to get back into a lean mean backpacking around the world travel freakshow machine – in less than 100 days:
1) No Junkfood Pizza, chocolate, ice cream, burgers, fries and colas have been the worst offenders in my catastrophic failure of a diet lately. I plan to eliminate all of these junk food items plus anything that is sugary, deep fried, over-processed, salty or fattening. My goal is to eat as naturally as possible favouring a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and other sources of lean protein. 2) Reduce Calories I’m going to eat smaller portions for breakfast and dinner and eliminate all late night snacking. My breakfasts will now consist of a handful of almonds, one kiwi (the only fruit that is cheap in the area I’m living in) & a multivitamin. My late night snack, if I decide I even need one will be the same as my breakfast.) 3) Drink Only Water Aside from water and herbal teas I won’t be consuming any calories with my beverages. This includes alcohol. *The only exception during this 100 day protocol will be at times when it would be otherwise socially awkward: for example, at a birthday party when everyone is eating cake*
Exercise Daily This is going to be the easy part. I’ve missed working out regularly something fierce. My usual standard, as a teenager and in my adult years was to do some form of exercise daily. I will get back on this routine immediately. I plan to do a combination of weight training, jogging, running and stretching to improve my strength, endurance and flexibility. It’s time to become super fit Sammy once again 😛
Barriers to Success
As far as I’m concerned my biggest barriers to achieving success with this protocol is to slip and fall off the wagon. Thus, I’m going to impose a harsh penalty on myself for any day I don’t live up to my standards both nutritionally and/or fitness wise. Every time I mess up I’ll take $100 away from my travel fund. Ouch! Now that’s a plan with some teeth!
What I Need To Do In Order to Achieve My Goal
I want to keep this as simple as possible. I need to move more and eat less. And I need to do it on consistent basis. I’ll need to be disciplined with my diet and diligent about exercising daily. If I do this I’m sure I can achieve some impressive results in just 100 days. I plan to provide an update on December 13th – when the challenge is over. It’s time to begin – IMMEDIATELY: The first step is picking up the pizza box I currently have on the floor 😛 What are your thoughts? Do you think I’ll fail or succeed? Is there a 100 day challenge you’d like to take yourself? (Blogging, health, fitness, travel, etc) I’m curious to hear what you have to say!