I used to be a fat, and now I am not.
9 years ago, I was a size 48 waist, today I am a size 33.
Back then, I worked out 10 hours a week. I was muscular, had near perfect scores on the Marine Corps fitness tests, and weighed about 185 lbs. The problem is I had a huge gut and a fat face. I was 21 years old.
Like most people, gut fat is a big problem. Today, I see many good police applicants get discouraged or disqualified because they are overweight, or their weight causes them too much hardship. I am still working on getting the results I want, however, I have made huge improvements by ironically, making very small, but very significant changes. The problem is not the quantity, it’s the quality. Quality is EVERYTHING. Quality of workouts and quality of food. We all hear it and very few of us know what that means.
Now, I work out 3 hours a week maximum. Yet, I weigh 200 lbs. and I am slimmer. The secret is not that crazy, but it all comes down to habits. Most of us, if we grew up on the spoils of an American consumer culture, have grown up with very bad habits and a slew of misinformation intended to make only a few people wealthy at the cost of a bunch of us going unhealthy.
Eating organic, running hills, and going 110 percent in the gym doesn’t do much good if you don’t have a good foundation. I’m not here to tell anyone to stop their routine and be like me, only working out three hours a week. However I know that if you apply some of this knowledge to your life, you will be much better for it and will be able to reap a whole lot more out of whatever diet and fitness plan you may have. Most importantly, your fitness and diet goals will benefit you not only for the police academy, but will last your police career.
So how is it that I have gotten slimmer every year, rather than more out of shape as most of us do, with an increase in life’s responsibilities and age?
- No junk food… EVER.
- Moving from point A to point B (running/walking).
- Eating more fat and more protein.
- Strengthening core.
- Eating more greens, fiber, and probiotics.
- BREATHING more, deeper, and longer.
- No alcohol binging
All of these were accomplished by small changes in my habits that produced great and long lasting results. All of it stems from the 80/20 principle, meaning that 80 percent of our results come from 20 percent of our efforts. The actual ratio can vary, but with certain facets, it can be more like 90/10. I got this notion from reading the books The Four Hour Work Week and The Four Hour Body, by Timothy Ferris. Books which changed my life.
When I was living in Europe, I discovered Americans were being poisoned by the food industry. You can look up documentaries like Food Inc and King Corn to learn more about this. I’ve only seen the trailers to those, I learned it differently. I didn’t make any of these changes because I’m super disciplined. I made them from realizing I had been lied to from childhood as to what it takes to be healthy. From then, I made small changes with profound implications.
In trying to reduce my gut, I discovered something more important than a quick fix. I discovered the a foundation to living well. All the money on supplements I was spending, all the time in the gym, all the sweat and sore muscles was not giving me a bang for my buck. It wasn’t so much the things I needed to do that would determine my success. It was the things I was already doing but wasn’t supposed to be doing. I discovered, LESS IS MORE.
I was putting too many things in my body that didn’t need to be there. I was putting unnecessary stress on my body and my soul. Too much exercise, too much junk, too many supplements, too much alcohol, too much shit going on and too much shit to be responsible for… unnecessarily. Basically, to fix many of the problems in my life, the quickest most effective fix was to figure out what to eliminate.
It’s so much sexier to look for that supplement, that work out, or that surgical procedure that will change your life. In reality, I wasn’t able to make lasting changes in my life until I looked at myself in the mirror and evaluated the life choices I was already making. The biggest culprit being JUNK FOOD.
As long as we are addicted to junk food, everything we do in life will be an uphill struggle.
Before you go on that crazy diet plan that whips you into shape in 30 days, or you read that 800 page text book on nutrition, try to identify the small habits in your life that are hurting you. In my upcoming posts, I will have discuss many of the ones I have identified in myself and most other Americans.
One of the reasons for starting this website is simply to discuss some of the lessons I learned. I’m not here to tell you to quit your plan or routine. I’m just here to combat some of the misinformation out there and share my stories of trial and error and research so that others may find it easier to live healthy. I feel personally vested in the success of future police officers because whether we like it or not, when we put on that uniform, we are the same in the eyes of the world.
So let me know what you guys think, ask questions, post comments, and email me, I look forward to advice from those who know more and helping those seeking knowledge.