A Guest Post from My Husband

by Danica on August 13, 2013

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!

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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.

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.

jesse & danica college graduation

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.

wedding

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.

J's standing work desk

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.

summer beach jesse & i

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.

Jesse before and after

Thanks for reading, and ask me anything in the comments. I’ll check back and respond!

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melinda Buss August 13, 2013 at 7:21 am

Nice job, Jesse! You’re kind of funny, too :) I’m proud of you and Danica for your healthy choices! You are both such good role models of making better choices for better health. Would you say the test results were what motivated you most?

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2 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 8:28 am

Thanks! I would say that the test results really motivated me to get started, and made me realize that I did need to take better care of myself. I always feel more motivated after a wellness evaluation. I get continually motivated by the results I see and of course by Danica!

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3 Heather @fitncookies August 13, 2013 at 7:30 am

Love hearing from the husband! I think it is great, Jesse, that you made these changes! Having Danica around everyday is definitely a plus :) She’s awesome, right? Even though the results weren’t what you wanted, look what you have accomplished, and now you know what to stay that way and even lose more weight (if that’s what you wanted!) :)
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4 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

Thanks, Heather! Danica is definitely awesome. My results are definitely on the right track, but of course I want them to be faster! I’m not really concerned with losing more weight at this point, but I still have some improvement to do on my body fat %. Thanks for reading!

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5 Marcia August 13, 2013 at 8:05 am

Way to go Jesse! Keep it up. You can’t go wrong with a life coach like your wife!

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6 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 8:31 am

Thanks, Marcia :)

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7 Kristin @ W [H] A T C H August 13, 2013 at 8:08 am

It’s so neat that your gym offered those evaluations. Truth be told, I’ve never had my body fat measured, but I would really like to.
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8 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Yeah the gym is really nice, and that’s one of its best features in my opinion. Thanks for reading!

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9 Spencer buss August 13, 2013 at 8:45 am

I just keep referring back to the Bluth company on the “very risky” to “risky” and I imagine you are just ask excited as they are! No questions, just love for my brother!

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10 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm

DON’T BUY!!!

Thanks bro ;)

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11 Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean August 13, 2013 at 8:52 am

woohoo! Way to go Jesse! What an awesome story to read. Little changes really do add up!
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12 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 9:33 am

Thank you! Making small, sustainable changes is the best way to do it!

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13 Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat August 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

Congrats Jesse on this wonderful accomplishment! It’s nice to hear about a guys journey to a healthy lifestyle. I think that it’s SO good that you made such an important decision in your life and was proactive in making this change.

My husband had a fairly similar story. In college, he had gained a significant amount of weight, wasn’t exercising and wasn’t eating healthy (at all!). About 6 months prior to our wedding, he made the decision to changed his lifestyle, made the right decisions by cutting out all the junk food, ate clean and exercise regularly. The weight came off fairly quickly and he’s keep it off ever since (about 6 years now) and continues to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Thanks for sharing your story!
Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted…The Sunshine AwardMy Profile

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14 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 9:35 am

Thanks, and kudos to your hubby as well!

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15 Mary August 13, 2013 at 9:01 am

Well done on adjusting and leading a much more healthy lifestyle, especially after such a hectic 2012! Any tips on how to encourage my fiancé‎ to do the same?! :)
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16 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 9:40 am

Thank you! Everybody is different, but the biggest thing that helped me decide to commit to making changes was the wellness evaluation. Also try cooking healthy, delicious meals together (I recommend the lentil veggie mac n cheese) and find fun, active activities to do together. Hiking, tennis, walks. Try not to make him feel insecure or awkward about it, and try not to make him feel like he needs to exercise. Eventually he’ll want to!

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17 Alyssa @ See This Girl Run August 13, 2013 at 9:23 am

Congrats Jesse! Awesome progress!
At my work we do those kinds of evaluations and then help people with making healthy changes and it’s true, sometimes they don’t realize there are certain things that aren’t as healthy as they think they are. Good for you letting it motivate you instead of being defensive. You’ve got a great attitude and that will make all the difference, trust me!
Question about your standing desk, I’ve been wondering about those lately, do you get tired of standing?? Because I’ve had jobs before where I stand a lot and it gets exhausting. What do you do?
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18 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 9:43 am

I’m a computer programmer. I stand all the time when I’m in my office working. I sit on my lunch breaks and for all my meetings (maybe 1 hour a day on average). For the first 6 or so weeks my legs ached every day after work and it was pretty frustrating. The 7th or 8th week for me just worked. No soreness and no fatigue at 3:00 pm. Now I don’t even realize I’m standing, and I don’t feel guilty about sitting on the couch for a few hours after work!

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19 Alyssa @ See This Girl Run August 13, 2013 at 10:57 pm

oh ok sweet. Congrats on getting to that point! I need to convince my job to put these in. It would be awesome.
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20 Amy @ Long Drive Journey August 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

This is great!! Jesse, do you feel like you mainly changed what you ate and that helped you to feel stronger overall, or did you also add physical activity back in to your life?
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21 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 9:46 am

I think I lost weight and generally feel better primarily due to the food I eat (and don’t eat). Doing cardio also really helps with this. I feel stronger due to the strength training workouts I do more so than diet.

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22 Lauren August 13, 2013 at 10:13 am

Congratulations on your weight loss and overall health improvement! A lot of people would take “very risky” and just laugh at it so they could ignore having to make a change. I’m pretty impressed you took it upon yourself and did something to BETTER your health! What’s your favorite way to workout? Running/weights/spin/etc.?

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23 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Thank you for the kind words! My favorite workout is definitely upper body circuit workout. 2nd place is long walks with Danica and our puppy ;)

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24 Laura @losingrace August 13, 2013 at 11:31 am

Congrats on the hard work and great results, you 2 are such a cute couple and seem to bring out the best in each other- that can translate into relationships AND your health!
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25 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Thanks and I agree, it’s so much easier to make healthy choices when your partner is supportive and helpful!

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26 Heather @ Pinkaholic Fitness August 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Congrats on the weight loss and changing your life for the better! Its amazing how much we let ourselves go without even realizing it until its to late! Major props to you {both of you} for taking the plunge and signing up for that gym. That was the very first step into a better you! Lucky you for having Mrs. Danica by your side, supporting and cheering you on! Of course her fabulous meals play a big part also!! ; )

Thank You so much for sharing your story with all of us and Danica for allowing you to steal her spotlight for the day! {hehe} I really enjoyed reading your post just as much as Danica’s {One of my fav bloggers btw}

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27 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Thank you, and yes! Especially since I was in decent shape my whole life. Just a year or so of being lazy and eating whatever I wanted really caught up with me. I was never in denial, I just didn’t realize that I was that unhealthy. Thanks for reading and supporting the blog!

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28 Dallas August 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

This is such an inspiring post — I love how you detailed how small lifestyle changes you made turned into a big difference! I think so many people can relate to going through periods of life where things are super busy {though I think you might take the cake — graduating college, starting a new job, buying a house and getting married all in a single month?? wow!} and this post is such an inspiration for people who want to take more charge of their health and start feeling better. Congrats! I think you and Danica are such a great couple and it was so fun to read a guest post from you today!
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29 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Thanks for the kind words and positive feedback, it was definitely a crazy month, but everything went about as well as it could have!

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30 Becky @ Olives n Wine August 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Oh my gosh, I love this! Good for you, Jesse – it is great to have a partner in life that helps you through the difficult times. I can’t wait to see a follow-up post in a few months :)
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31 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm

I’ll have to write another post after my next wellness evaluation! Thanks for reading!

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32 Emily August 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Congratulations! I love that you made a stand-up desk!

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33 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Thank you! The standing desk was one of the hardest changes for me, especially for the first two months or so. My legs would ache at the end of the day and it made me not want to work out. It also made it harder to focus at work since I was so accustomed to sitting. Now I don’t even notice and rarely have any soreness!

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34 Mark Buss August 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Very goodJesse! Lets plan To Run a 5k I Need SomeMotivation!

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35 Jesse August 13, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Thanks! We’re registered for one coming up pretty soon, I’ll get you the details.

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36 Samantha @ 10,000 Squats August 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Awww you guys are so cute! And such a good idea getting Jesse to guest post. I gotta try to get my bf writing on my blog now!
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37 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries August 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Strong work Jesse! My husband recently changed his desk at work so that he could stand up. I was so proud of him when he told me he did this. It’s the little things…they all add up! Keep it up!
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38 Jen Teichroew August 13, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Nice job blogging Jesse! I loved hearing form you on Danicas blog! You both are definatly an inspiration to all of us, thanks for sharing your story!

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39 Jesse August 15, 2013 at 9:28 am

Thanks Jen!

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40 Emily @ runningmyliferace August 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

Great blog Jesse! I don’t think I told you, but you (and Danica) looked great at the lake. I could definitely tell a difference! I’m very happy for your progress. I think that making my work station into a stand up desk was one of the greatest changes I made while having an office job. Working at the bakery means I’m on my feet all day, so I welcome the occasional sit-down break!
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41 Jesse August 15, 2013 at 9:30 am

Thanks! Yeah standing is definitely a plus for me, I’ve noticed a big difference after I made that change!

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