The day after last night

I'm not perfect and the last thing that I want you to think is that I live an austere lifestyle devoid of guilty pleasure. For example, last night was what you could call a dietary disaster. UFC 102 was playing at a local sports bar and I HAD to go. As per tradition, I consumed copious amounts of moderate quality beer (Yeungling and a blatant Blue Moon knock off to be specific) as well as fried chicken parts dredged in various sodium and fat laden condiments. Just prior to the main event (which was EPIC) I ordered up a slice of chocolate cake that sent my pancreas running to hide somewhere behind my liver while I dutifully cleaned the plate.

Feeling stuffed to my eyeballs with violence and bar food, I waddled out the door, and made my way back home. Upon waking this morning, there was a sense that I was still in the process of digesting last nights repast, but determined to stick to my normal routine I made a point to eat a small breakfast.

I've worked with many clients who suffer from over "catastrophizing". In other words, if they cheat on their diet, miss a workout, or have some other experience that seems like a setback they say "F*@k it" and go off the deep end. I have found tremendous personal success in sustaining my diet and exercise habits by simply going back to my normal routine if I have a "bad" day.

My first step towards normalcy was a morning workout, a circuit of push-ups, bent rows, cleans, push-presses, and squats with an EZ curl bar loaded with two 25lb plates, was quite an ordeal, but I plowed through it anyway. A dip in the pool, a protein shake, an episode of Fight Quest on Netflix, and a lo-carb Rockstar later, my affect was much improved and I made my way to work.

Prior to my shift, I managed to sneak in a quick 20 min session at the employee gym; a power-endurance circuit of plyo push ups, pull-ups, and reactive step ups followed by five 30s on 30s off intervals on the stationary bike. I even threw in a power walk to the time-clock, granted, it was necessary at this point to ensure that I was not considered “late”.

After I clocked in, I was pleasantly greeted by a quiet workplace wherein I could accomplish my duties with time to spare. With said time, I snuck in a quick snack and busted out a short 3 round circuit of hanging leg lifts, shrugs, forearm curls, hammer curls, and reverse curls. My forearms pleasantly pumped, I moved on to rehearse the moves for an exercise “break” that I was giving for my fellow employees on the following day. The basic stretches, calisthenics, and relaxation exercises amounted to another 20 minutes or so of activity.

A small wave of guests had me delivering flawless customer service but it quickly receded giving way to another lull. My pre-determined “lunch” break was nearing, but my stomach was feeling empty, so I consumed a hard plum that I had packed with my other rations. After letting the slightly unripe fruit settle in my stomach, I slapped on a stopwatch and set the timer for 3 minute periods. I proceeded to bang out 6 rounds of shadow boxing with a particular emphasis on head movement as yesterday’s sparring session made it abundantly clear that I was deficient in this regard. A guest showed up and noticed what I was doing and, as it turns out, offered some pointers on footwork that helped stiffen up my jab and add pop to my hook.

Dinner was comprised of a large garden salad, a pile of various steamed vegetables, a cup of lentil soup, and some sautéed beef and red onions. I finished the meal with a small piece of carrot cake and a mug of coffee that I sweetened and cooled with chocolate soft-serve ice cream. Pleasantly full, I made my way back to the fitness center and hopped on an elliptical machine for about 10 minutes to help get my digestion going.

Another couple of stragglers, left over from a recent convention, wandered into the fitness center. After I got them set up with the necessary accouterments of headphone, towel, and T.V., I hit the foam roll to gingerly work out any budding tension in my legs and back. If you’re not familiar with a foam roll, just think of a like a rolling pin for your body that manipulates soft tissues until they reach a soft, doughy consistency.

Sunday is the appropriately named “Animation Domination” night where Fox runs approximately 3hrs worth of animated television shows. As a verified cartoon nut, I happily gave myself up to the antics of Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin, while I spun my legs, hamster-like, on an elliptical machine. The hour passed with much hilarity but a funny sensation arose in my knee which prompted another round with the foam roller.

Thus, my day was concluded. No disastrous binge. No throwing my hands up at the futility of it all. No shunning exercise out of loathing and self-pity. Just back to work, working out, and eating how I normally do. The path towards greater health and wellbeing isn't perfectly smooth. Understanding how to make this work for you in your own life will allow you to find that elusive middle ground; balance.

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About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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