I’m ridiculously excited about this post…
You get to hear from my amazing husband! He’s gone on a little healthier-living-journey of his own over the past year(ish) and he’s sharing a bit of it with all of you today :) Enjoy!
Hi. I’m Jesse and I’m the guy who was lucky enough to marry Danica. Danica asked me to write a guest post for her blog, so I thought I would share with you my story of wellness. Let’s go back in time to early 2012.
Glad you made it safely. Right now I am a senior in college, majoring in computer science and my life is pretty stressful. I’m taking my most difficult and time-consuming classes, planning a wedding, traveling around the country interviewing for jobs, spending a lot of time with college friends that I’m about to move away from, and I’m also probably hungover most Saturday mornings. I don’t have a lot of time/motivation to exercise, nor do I plan meals. There are just things that take precedence over my overall health right now. I realize that I’m not in my best shape but I feel fine and look fine.
I graduated college in May of 2012, started my new job 2 weeks later, bought a house 2 weeks after that, then got married a week after that. Because why wouldn’t everybody want to do all those things within a month? After our wedding we went on our honeymoon to Chicago and ate out for about 90% of meals for the week. Chicago has great food.
About a month after our honeymoon, Danica and I joined a very nice gym. They give free quarterly wellness evaluations where they measure your body fat percentage, test your upper and lower body strength, take your blood pressure and measure how efficiently your body uses oxygen. I decided to sign up for an evaluation to see where I was and hoped to get some tips to live a healthier life. Plus, I knew I was in okay shape, so I had nothing to worry about and just wanted to see my numbers.
I wasn’t in okay shape though. I was actually in pretty bad shape. Unless the shape in question is roundish, then I was in good shape. I’m 5’7” (5’9” on my drivers license and 5’8” in casual conversations) and I weighed roughly 175 pounds for the evaluation. My body fat percentage was in the “highly risky” category, as was my blood pressure and my ability to use oxygen. I was in the 1st percentile for upper body strength (very bad) and (mysteriously) in the 99th percentile for lower body/core strength.
At this point of my guest post I’d just like to take a quick break and let you guys know that I’m really not sure how long the average blog post is around here, but you’re approximately half done so keep chugging along if you’re still with me.
The whole wellness evaluation was just a big wake-up call. For the first time in my life, I was in bad shape. I had always played sports and led an active lifestyle but slowly, and unintentionally, I gave that up. I felt kind of embarrassed in myself and sheepishly told Danica my results.
But it was really motivating though. It really helped that my wife and I were transitioning into our “long-term” lives. It is easier to plan healthy meals and get on a regular exercise program when I have a regular schedule. After eating better and exercising 3 or so times a week, I lost 10 pounds pretty quickly. My next wellness evaluation was a bit better. I went from “very risky” to “risky” and I improved in all tests across the board.
After losing the first 10 pounds pretty quickly, I stayed there for a long time (forgive me for judging “health” by my weight, but it’s a good way to quantify my overall health). At the end of 2012, I did a food journal for a week and Danica looked over everything. We made small changes to my diet. I ate about the same amount of food but I ate better food. I changed my desk at my job to a standing desk and made other small, sustainable changes. I continue to work out 3-4 times a week, with a mix of cardio and weight lifting.
I’ve lost another 15 pounds since then and I feel so much better than I did a year ago. I feel a lot thinner and more confident in myself. I went from the first hole in my belt to the last hole. I see random veins in my arm pop out that I’ve never seen before. I don’t get out of breath when I run up the stairs and I can run 3 miles (if I have a good podcast queued up) without feeling like dying for the next hour.
And that’s where I am today. I’m not done, by any means, and I still have quite a ways to go. It is so easy to lead a healthy, happy life when I get such great support from Danica. She cooks the majority of my meals, and they’re all delicious and nutritious.
Thanks for reading, and ask me anything in the comments. I’ll check back and respond!