On every journey there will be setbacks, and my road to wellness has been no exception. Four years ago, a twenty six year old me stared at these Beachbody DVD’s that had come in the mail for Kristin after our first son was born. “Shaun T’s Hip Hop Abs,” I read aloud as I thought about how ridiculous it sounded and how I would never be caught dead doing at-home-DVD-workouts. I saw these programs as an infomercial scam that had clearly found their way into our home. As I thought about how to best encourage Kristin with her post-pregnancy fitness, the reality of my own growing belly began to set in. Was it sympathy pounds from the pregnancy? No, just a lifetime of bad habits and a poor relationship with food. I had spent hundreds of dollars on gym memberships over the course of two years, and had tried multiple times to make running fun, but my health was deteriorating. As I took another glance over at the DVD’s, the second title reaffirmed my suspicions of a scam when I read, “Rockin’ Body” –Yup, this was not going to be the answer. As a couple months went by, one day I decided to challenge my own assumptions and give this hip hop dance workout a try; after all, maybe I would learn how to dance? Well, not only did I complete Hip Hop Abs (multiple times) I worked through much of Shaun T’s Rockin’ Body as well. “Who was this guy– Shaun T,” I thought to myself, “and how in the world did he get me to progress through two at home-workout programs? And did I actually just have fun doing them?!” By following the programs and eating healthy (what did that even mean), I lost nearly 40lbs over five months and felt like a new man. Beachbody had completely changed how I viewed at-home workouts and I saw these as the silver bullet for weight loss: My plan was to do intense cardio five days per week and eat “decently” by counting calories– and it was working!

Sustainable change would require me to learn more about nutrition, and develop the skills needed to handle the inevitable setbacks along the way.

Well, as time went on, I plateaued with my weight loss (as EVERYONE does). After an old knee injury flared up and kept me from jumping and lunging for a couple months, I lost my routine. I had felt triumph and success over the course of the five months by incorporating intense workouts which motivated me to eat well, but I never thought much about my nutrition or about setbacks. Fast forward seven more months, and I had gained most of the weight back and I felt awful. Continue reading