By Donnie Wayne Smith

Journey - an act of traveling from one place to another

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I was completely surprised by the number of people who responded to my “food prep” pictures on Facebook. I never expected to get so many emails with questions, suggestions, and support. Thank you for that. After reading through a few of them I realized that there are so many people in the same boat (rut) I am in. So, I’ve decided to blog about it, share a little. Maybe no one will read it, maybe one person will and it’ll motivate them to get going/keep going. PLus, it'll keep me accountable to someone other than myself. Here’s to hope.  

Back in early November of last year (2016) I decided that I was tired of being an "unhealthy person". I have all of these amazing things going on in my life, (if you don’t know me well, I’ll explain some other time, just know that I am blessed in abundance) but yet I just didn't feel "right". I'm not sure how to explain it, …blah… that’s the best I can offer. After considerable internal reflection, I came to some conclusions about who I was and I decided it was time to make some changes.

1. I want to be a positive influence on everyone around me. (which could also consist of cancelling out some of the negative that's floating around as well). I want to be present "in the moment". Sounds cliche I know, try not spending any time on social media, it’s TOUGH. I spend way too much time worrying about things I have absolutely no control over, ask my wife she'll tell you. I don’t want to disconnect, I want to connect personally.

2. I need to be healthy. I want to eat right, think right, and feel “right”. 

3. I need to learn to enjoy the journey as much as the end result. If you know me, you know how "instant-gratification" I can be. I've become so incredibly stressed about finishing the album, finishing my degree, finishing the studio remodel... see the pattern emerging? I stress about how much I stress, it’s ridiculous. 

The first problem, I had NO idea where to start. There is so much superfluous information online… if you type “weight loss” into Google, you'll be inundated with pictures of beautiful people promising the easy, shortcut method to perfection. First red flag… BOING!

I love, love, love doing research. I get knee deep into pretty much anything that interests me, overboard comes to mind. I decided to start with overall fitness, muscle growth and nutrition. Healthy body leads to healthy mind, or maybe it’s the other way around? It took a little while to wade through all of the B.S. “easy” crap that’s out there.

The most beneficial, single source of information I’ve found so far is www.muscleforlife.com. Michael Matthews seems Bigger, Leaner, Strongerto have his stuff together and everything in his books (I have multiple) is backed up with real, verifiable resources. I dig that. I recommend checking out his Bigger, Leaner, Stronger for men and Thinner, Leaner, Stronger for women. Don’t worry I’m not getting paid to promote, I just really dig what he has to say and how he says it. 

I’ll get into more detail on these few things later, but I’m keeping up with more than just calorie intake every day. I’m meeting particular (specific to me) goals for losing weight/increasing lean body mass: fat, carbs and protein. I’m using my Fitbit to track it (you have to do it on your pc dashboard, the app doesn’t show macronutrients). 

 

The 1-year ChallengeMy workouts are based on progressive muscle overload. I’ll delve more into this on another day. Basically, it places more emphasis on compound lifting and adding weight every week. I’m using Mike’s The 1-year challenge for Men book. It’s a well-constructed spiral bound notebook for keeping track of your weights and reps. Once again, I’m a freak for spreadsheets and organization, so this appeals to me tremendously. He is in the process of building an iPhone app. Looking forward to that. 

 

The next logical step for us was meal prep. We stay busy, between Kerry’s day job (she’s a middle-school teacher), the photography business, family and gigging, we’re just never home long enough to cook, or shop for that matter. It became second-nature to just run through Wendy’s or Taco Bell on the way to/from a show/shoot. Not only was it really bad for us, it was SUPER expensive. I’m still working out the best formula for us on this. I found a Youtube channel that I like a lot. Fit Couples Cook. They have some great ideas and are very specific with measurements and portions sizes. Speaking of portion sizes, it’s taken me about a month to get used to eating smaller portions, but I’ve found that it really is enough food and I’m not in a constant state of HANGRY, like I thought I would be. Also, for those of you constantly on-the-go, Walmrt's online grocery shopping is the stuff of dreams. They pick out great food, the service is impeccable and it's fast! Check it out, it'll change your world.

Here are some of the results of my first month of serious diet/exercise: I have my before pictures, but you can expect not to see those…ever. Well, maybe one day. I’ve gained weight, (an average of 9/10’s of a pound, nothing too substantial). Muscle weighs more than fat, as I’m sure you’ve heard that. The weight-gain was very discouraging though, until I measured myself after 2 weeks. I've read that the weight loss can fluctuate and I shouldn't see dramtic loss for the first 6 to 8 weeks. Here are some 2-week measurement highlights:

I’ve lost 2 5/8 inches from my belly, 1/2 inch from my waist and 2 1/2 inches from my upper thighs. My arms and shoulders are larger. That makes me happy, and is incredibly motivating. I’m digging this new direction. 

If you’re interested, I guess if you weren't you woulnd't have read this far, check out the links above and let me know what you think. If you have any questions, let me know.  I can’t promise that I’ll know the answer, but if I don’t I’ll want to. You’ll be able to leave comments and such on the bottom of the blog or hit me up on Facebook. I may switch to a vLog later. We’ll see what happens. Thanks for spending time reading this…

 

btw... big thanks to Joey McBride for always answering my Paleo and dieting questions. He's a good dude. 

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